Zak3056 wrote:gazes_also wrote:What makes Parson a formidable warlord is not the unthinkable things he is capable of doing to his enemies, it's the unthinkable things he is capable of doing to his friends.
Was that Parson's personality, though, or was it his "Resolve?" Remember that he threw that away at the end of book 1...
It's definitely his personality, and he knows it himself.
He has been a successful gamer, an environment in which it is perfectly ok to be imaginatively ruthless, sacrifice your strongest units to achieve an objective or annihilate an opponent. In Erfworld he is faced with the dilemma of conducting himself in the same way, using the same vicious imagination, but here his actions have consequences for living beings with whom he can interact and form relationships. He can conceive of the plans that will win, he cannot help doing that,it's who he is.
The problem is, what ability does he have to resist doing what he imagines? By not being CWL he sidesteps that problem. As CWL he is responsible to direct GK's forces, but does he have freedom of choice to do something other than what he has imagined as the most certain and devastating way to win regardless of collateral damage?
The Sword of Ruthless make sure that he would act, but having destroyed it by choice he is responsible for his own actions. Just sulking and feeling bad about it afterwards - as he has been doing since the end of TBoGK - won't cut it. Now he must either embrace the monster he fears he is or develop a moral backbone.
The thing about his Ultimate Warlord that Stanley will never realize until it's too late is that Parson can win every battle, but he cannot win the war