So, we finally get to see Stanley and Parson together again. Maggie's sudden passion was enjoyable, but the rest of this update leaves me very disappointed.
Stanley's attempted apology (and even acknowledging Sizemore) was a very promising start, but his stumbling decision to promote Ansom took the wind out of those sails almost instantly. First, it makes very little military sense that I can see. Maggie already covered the basic problem of replacing Parson with an obvious inferior. But it also implies that Stanley intends to send his Chief Warlord out to retake other cities, which maximizes the chance of his Chief Warlord dying yet again. Why? Sending Ansom to lead an army makes sense given his Leadership, but from what we've seen, any warlord can lead a force in the field. Why must Stanley send his Chief Warlord into the field? How would it not make more sense for Ansom to be the field Warlord to Parson's Chief Warlord?
Secondly, Stanley's halting dismissal of Parson seems to serve no purpose other than to make him look like even more of a buffoon than he already does. He starts off by apologizing for fleeing GK in Book 1. But he then makes it clear that he's still not listening to anyone else's advice and will do whatever he thinks is best, implying that his apology is meaningless. But then he practically has to beg Parson to accept the demotion. He's pleased when Parson accepts, but then surprised when Parson talks Maggie into accepting as well. What is going on here? Stanley is all over the map.
If Stanley's decision is actually a reasonable move, his pathetic disembling when demoting Parson seems out of place. If the idea is that Stanley isn't used to asking for advice and is thus trying to feel his way into it, his "quiet air of cold threat" at Maggie's interruption seems out of place. If the idea is that he's afraid of Parson and wants to quietly marginalize him, his more genuine smile at Parson's first acceptance seems out of place. I have no idea what this scene is supposed to convey, unless it's that Stanley really is a useless halfwit.
But the real problem with this update is Parson. Book 1 ended with a powerful show of defiance from him, refusing to be Fate's pawn. Yet all of a sudden he's gone completely passive-aggressive, never challenging Stanley, afraid to say what's actually on his mind, agreeing to whatever is suggested so he won't have to make any more hard decisions. Swell. So much for the player. Aside from completely undercutting the end of Book 1, Parson sulking in his tent feels like a theme that is going to get old fast.
Finally, letting Parson casually swear from now on is exactly what I did not want to happen. His use of profanity at the end of Book 1 was powerful precisely because it was so difficult to say it. If Parson can now swear freely and easily, it cheapens that hard won power. The more he treats profanities as ordinary verbs and nouns, the more his "Fuck you" to Erfworld is no big deal.