There is *always* at least one encounter that is not the same as in the myth. This may mean that instead of the Dark Hag of the Wilderness you encounter The Black Boar of Trollandor (two events related by their Darkness nature), or where *you* thought there was a river to cross (so you brought all your "kick Water's ass" stuff) there is a locked and sealed Iron Door (two events related by their "get past this" aspect).
A heroquest is influenced as much by the quester as it is by "history".
To reflect this, take a published heroquest (Such as Bruce's wonderful Redaldan quest) and tweak a station or two. Look at what a "Victory" means for the station - did you just get past an obstacle, make friends with a useful ally or defeat an enemy? The result of the station should be the same, but then look at the opponent/obstacle. Can you tweak it along Elemental lines (this station we face the Darkness), or goal (we need to get past it), or something else? Look at the friends and enemies the Heroes have made. If they have a Zorak Zoran troll enemy, then Darkness or Combat stations can occasionally be turned into an encounter with ZZ (not *all* the time, that gets predictable and boring - just enough times that they get the connection, and say "Geeze, are we going to encounter Bloodyfang Gutripper this time? Better bring the ..."). This is where Bloodyfang is on his *own* heroquests and encountering the heroes. Many HQs have a station where the quester encounters "his darkest fears" - so use the fears of the hero. If he has a flaw that seems appropriate, use it (and don't let the player weasel out of it!).
Of course, a HQ should go mostly the way that it is told. If the Redaldan quest is tweaked in every station, and the outcome nets you a Shiney Sword instead of a Magical Foal, well, it's not really the Redaldan Quest then, is it?
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