"Don't just laze about! Help with the seating arrangement! The guests will be here any minute, and the king said everything must be perfect tonight or heads will roll! Now remember, the King must sit at the head of the table with her majesty at his side. Lord and Lady Pemberton must sit next to each other but not next to either the Knight-Commander Gren or his wife.. The Priest Lenard mustn't sit next to any of the attractive Ladies, and the Matriarch will certainly cause a ruckus if not placed in a respectable seat, but don't put her near the wine fountain either. Also, the Ladies...."
Draw the party together as debtors to the local lord, king, head of the thieves guild, or mercenary clan, who is forcing them to work together to pay off their debts.