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4. The Minister of State has designs of his own for the throne, which involves
a. Replacing the king with the General of the Army, making himself the Power behind the Throne, then
b. Getting the general corrupted, then replaced by the parliament, making himself ruler.
The Minister of State hints at his "ambitions" without revealing his plan (subtle GM'ing needed here). He has a plan to get the PC's to foment war with the orcs, but to a point, leaving a portion of the kingdom vulnerable to invasion, in return, he'll give that portion of the kingdom to the orcs, and leave the king looking like a weak fool. Parliament will vote "no confidence" in the king, and the General of the Army will step in, becoming a war hero and deposing the king.
5. The PC's are informed of their "official mission" will be to travel deep into orc territory, infiltrate their stronghold, recover war plans (logistics, leaders, attack points, timetables, reinforcements, etc.) and assassinate their warplanner Brainboy (or whatever). The PC's will be given back most of their equipment and turned loose on the outskirts of the kingdom in the middle of the night. (plenty of guardsmen here. NO derailing this).
6. Depending on how you want to do this, the players could be fitted with magical phylacteries, or torcs (armbands, neckbands) that explode if they're not magically removed within three days (Snake Plisskin style) or if that seems cheesy, a poison that needs an antidote, or simply they're so deep into enemy territory that they'll need to rendesvous with the guard contingent just to get out alive