This idea just popped into my head. How about there are random rooms underground, similar to dungeons, that contain friendly dwarves? You could toss a gold bar (or a block if they're expensive) at them, and they begin to follow you around and fight any mobs that target you. I'm not going to put too much detail (so people can make up what they will), but that's the basic premise. So how does it sound?
(Don't mind my nonexistant post count, i've lurked these forums for a while, and finally decided to make an account.)