When playing intrigue and the king it says that the player with the highest and lowest cards need to respectively take the king and intrigue cards that one may not play the special action on the card they put out.
Does this mean that if you get the intrigue or king card you can't play the special action on the card you played or does it mean that you may choose not to?
If you get the intrigue or king card you are not allowed to play the special action of the card that you have played. As far as I remember this rule is changed in El Grande: König & Intrigant – Player's Edition. According to the rules of that expansion you may instead play the special action of your card.