Agreed, I like the idea of getting a treasure map (or a key) to new ruins to explore.
1. There should be a possibility of consequences for not completing a quest. Don't rescue the lady and perhaps her father; a champion, learning of this takes a vow to kill you and engages your soverign in tactical battle (in a great hall in your keep) or perhaps you hear that another lord rescued her and gained the alligence of her serfs (a squad of peasants).
2. Don't slay the rats, they could multiply and in x turns overrun your graneries - destroying your farm.
3. And when you are told there is a rat problem - don't be surprised if its involves a swarm of dire rats - about the size of dogs.
4. Perhaps a quest location is an ambush, set by bandits and your party is attacked from all sides.