(Plato didn’t exactly say, “Those who do not seek power are most qualified to hold it.” But it’s a fair paraphrase.)

Penk’s developed no small affection for his one-time mortal enemies, not least because they’re so consistently politically useful. 

It’s true that this role will never suit Byron the way it does Syr and Gravy. But there’s almost no alternative. Best and E-Merl are half-elves, and for humans deeply paranoid about persecution, that’s half too many. Scipio and Frigg have even less interest in the job than Byron: Scipio has already proven to himself that he cannot govern, and Frigg, er, does not have the patience for anything more administrative than her new sisterhood. Pardo might be a decent successor to Byron—he always liked Syr’Nj, Reynolds still thinks well of him—but he’s got to get over all the upheaval of the Gastonia he knew, including most of his “old friends” being killed as traitors except for the ones Byron killed back in his hometown. Nobody else could hope to slide into the role until things solidify a little more.

At some point in the future, Byron may no longer be the right choice. Right now his role in stopping HR gives him huge political capital, and that outweighs everything. But later, humans may ask whether it’s fair to have their representative literally married to wood elf interests. In time, someone new may step into the job…a recovered Pardo, one of Ardaic’s old assistants, or just a fresh-faced young lawyer somewhere. But Byron’s got to codify what the job even is, first.

FB: We need a face until we heal.