I know there have been a lot of threads about FAQ and speculation about whether or not it was Stanley who captured the city and it strikes me as a very interesting discussion that could reveal a lot about character motivations. I've been reading the Erf-archives and I came across a few things I thought were interesting, some of which I've already seen posted.
1) Jillian became a barbarian a turn after receiving urgent news of an overflight of dragons. Presumably this message came from King Banhammer or a caster under his command. If Banhammer and Stanley/Saline had made a deal, as has been suggested, there would be no reason for him to send a message to Jillian about dragons as he would probably consider them to be bearing an ambassador (unless they had broken alliance, which is quite possible)
2) Sizemore says that Stanley took him and several other casters on a special mission. It has also been speculated that this mission took place at the same time FAQ fell and that the mission was regarding FAQ. Since Stanley is a warlord, fs the mission had been a battle, skirmish, or raid, it would not have been particularly special. Furthermore we have seen the importance of casters in Erfworld and that most rulers take care not to put their casters in positions of danger. For this special mission to merit the presence of multiple casters, it must have been very important.
3) Gobwin Knob casters have shown a good deal of loyalty, as everyone has noted in the past week or two. Wanda, not under any loyalty spell, attacks Jillian and the entire Coalition air force to protect Stanley. Later, Jack, who is a former admirer of Jillian's, remains with Stanley and helps him escape her clutches. this could be due to the imposition of Duty and Loyalty on casters, but it doesn't appear that either of Banhammer's former casters are chafing under Stanley's rules.
4) When Vinny first questions Ansom about his motivations, they mention the fact that Stanley barely touched Jetstone forces. Vinny suggests that Ansom hates the fact that Stanley isn't royalty (which is very logical and probably partly true, if not entirely true) and Ansom replies angrily that he committed regicide. but we know that Stanley didn't actually commit regicide. Saline died during a goblin uprising and it's highly unlikely that Stanley possessed either the motivation or the negotiating skills to pull something like that off. Which means Ansom is either making assumptions, talking out of his boop, or lying.
5) Around the same time, Vinny asks Ansom if the Arkenpliers might cancel out the Arkenhammer. Ansom says no, because they aren't attuned to him. Storywise, this could have been to express knowledge, to us, the audience - the issue of the Arkenpliers is brought up again later when Stanley says they aren't attuned to Ansom because Ansom is merely bringing them to Stanley. How does Stanley know the Arkenpliers aren't attuned to Ansom? If Jetsone and Stanley's forces have only had a few small encounters, the chances of Ansom meeting Stanley personally are low. But if Vinny doesn't know about attunement, it can hardly be common knowledge. This suggests, to me at least, that Ansom and Stanley have had some kind of encounter.
6) Ansom has three main confidantes and advisers in the story: Vinny, Webinar and Jillian. Webinar is a Jetsone warlord and loyal to Ansom, so his elevated status is obvious. What about Vinny and Jillian? Vinny has a lot of good advice, and as we have seen from the involvement of Transylvito in the war, comes from a powerful side. Transylvito has a ton of high level warlords and is probably a very powerful side in Erfworld. Not only that, but Vinny is very level-headed and could have easily assisted Ansom is bringing the Royal Crown Coalition to life. Any of these reasons could be why Ansom trusts him so much. What about Jillian? She is a high level barbarian who joins the coalition and is captured on her first mission. Ansom may have heard rumours that she was royalty, but nothing concrete. Why is she a confidante of Ansom when she is a barbarian? She's good looking and maybe he finds her adventurous spirit exciting. But when Parson sends him a thinkagram, he is incensed and rants about how he is stronger, smarter, and more morally fit to command than people below him. For someone that obsessed with royalty, why would he have had such a crush on Jillian? As a barbarian, shouldn't he have dismissed her as being far beneath her? The only reasons for his infatuation seem to be her beauty and military prowess.
So I realize that this Wall of Text is a little long, and probably more than a little irrelevant, but hopefully you can see where I am going with this and bear with me a bit longer.
Stanley was at FAQ, around the time it fell, but it's not necessarily true that is was him who attacked it.
FAQ's former casters are loyal to Stanley.
Stanley knows, apparently against common knowledge, that Ansom isn't attuned to the Arkenpliers.
Ansom, against his obsession with royalty, is equally obsessed with Jillian. This suggests to me that he knew about her royal status before.
Ansom has falsely accused Stanley of regicide.
Other people have suggested that it was Charlescomm who attacked FAQ and maybe it was, but it seems likely to me that Ansom had some sort of presence at FAQ before it fell and some meeting with Stanley while he was there. If Stanley had fought or encountered Ansom, he would know the Arkenpliers were not attuned to Ansom. If Stanley were to have discovered something about Ansom (ie, that Ansom were attacking FAQ) Ansom might be afraid someone else would find out. That could account for his dropping everything to kill Stanley. If he had worked with Charles to organize the gobwin uprising, he could have used the opportunity to accuse Stanley of regicide since no one else would know. If Stanley had rescued some of FAQ's casters from Ansom's forces it might explain why they are so loyal to him.
Now I'm sure there are a myriad of reasons why this couldn't have happened and I'd like to hear them all! Do you think Ansom could have lied to Jillian all this time and had a role in the fall of FAQ?
P.S. Sorry for the long post