Since things were going along so well, I thought it was time to introduce some trouble into the mix. My bad guys aren't really evil, (just ask them) they just want other people to do and say things their way. Their goals blind them to everything but selfish needs, and the suffering of those that get in the way may or may not wake them up. I'm thinking not.
The major antagonist thinks his plan is the best way to save the kingdom from ruin at the hands of an incompetent leader. Others would beg to differ, but the antagonist is so sure what he is doing is for the good of the kingdom, that he won't be dissuaded by mere mortals. If only others did what he said, then everything would be happy in his little world. Of course, when he can't get things easily he'll try to control others, including our female protagonist. She is not the type to be controlled, not by the antagonist, and not by others who stand in the way of her goal. So if the antagonist can't go through the female protag, what does he do? An end run. He lies. After all, liars never get found out. Right?
The female antagonist isn't quite as lofty goal-oriented. She is more manipulative, especially when she has an easy victim. The secondary male character means well, he really does, but the boy is in way over his head trying to care for a supposedly orphan child. When the female antagonist offers him a ready solution, he leaps without thinking. There is no going back. He can't undo the wrong he does by listening to the female antagonist, but maybe later on he'll have a chance to redeem himself to the female protagonist. Hopefully before she decides to shish-ka-bob him for stealing her daughter.
Lies, deceptions and misunderstandings. Aren't they great? Of course the complication is to keep everything straight and build the layers so it seems plausible. We pretty much know how the protagonists are going to act – aboveboard, with honor, and for the greater good. Or let's just say, that's how they should act. Rational people do desperate things under pressure. Once the players are aligned, it's time to throw some plot on the fire and turn up the heat.
I love cooking with characters.