It is said that though the crown has always been passed through inheritance, no man may rule without the approval of the Archmage and the Guildmaster. (Interpretation I leave to interested parties.
The ruling family depends on some magical artifact or place to secure their right to rule. A monarch isn't considered legitimate until he or she has been "accepted" by the artifact or place, whatever that might entail. It is also possible that some one else, not of the ruling family, could be accepted as the legitimate heir... A fact which the monarchs would like to keep secret.
There is a group that believes no good can come of trying to change to future to render a prophecy or prediction incorrect. They believe that meddling will either cause the prediction to be true in the first place, or make something worse or more extreme happen.
Atheists and agnostics get a jolt when one or more deities make an appearance, and take a direct interest in things. It is hard to deny the existence of gods when one has met them face to face.
Bards and minstrels, if business is slow, will moonlight as freelance diplomats, couriers, or spies.
The army relies on a loosely organized, semi-freelance corps of scouts for information-gathering. The officers in this scout corps are usually retired spies.
"The world has an immovable dark red sun in the centre of the sky that produces very little light. The heat is totally unbearable and the aroma of delicious cooking meat is in the air. To look around it appears as though you are surrounded by giant black mountains with no vegetation anywhere. The ground is soft and an oily liquid flows into your footprints. Travelling reveals nothing else."
Any character without some resistance to fire or heat is slowly being cooked. The ground if you haven't guessed it is the cooked meat.
I've wanted this world to be part of a dimensional hopping "chase". I thought maybe to populate this world with giant carnivorous beetles or perhaps this could be a "Nirvana" for deceased or living (but dimension travelling) fire dragons.
Perhaps I've just been grilling a little too much meat or perhaps there are some great ideas out there on how to spruce up the place. Any suggestions?