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 PCs have travelled long and far. As nightfall approaches a mighty storm is unleashed. Luckily there is a lush wood nearby the path.
A good shelter for the rage of the unnamed weather gods it seams at first. As the PCs enter under the roof of this dense wood, they are welcomed by only a few drops wich is allowed trough the thick forest crown. A fire is offcourse required to warm the weary bones of the travellers. As one of the party is set to the task of collecting firewood the others settle down at a suitable location. But alas, they did not know the perils of this forest. But it seems clear to the rest of the party that something ill is at work as the woodcutters scream echo from afar.