A Queen’s Fire, A Kingdom’s Soul

The Mundilfari estate, like the seats of so many Arendellian noble houses, wasn’t actually in the geographical vicinity of Arendelle. Located in the Jotunheimen mountain range to the east of the kingdom, Keep Mundilfari was a castle built upon the earliest hill fort from which the clan’s Viking ancestors lorded over the region. The present Keep, which had remained the seat of the Mundilfari family since the Middle Ages, was more than two days’ travel from Arendelle.

“Her Majesty Queen Anna has arrived!”

 

Queen Anna. By Alanna (@alhuart) for The Arendelle Guardian

A single, somber trumpet heralded the arrival of the sovereign on the estate. Having rebuffed Mattias, Kristoff and Elsa’s offers to accompany her, she stepped out of her carriage alone, glancing around warily. The sky was gray and as sombre as her mood. She was in a spacious plaza, surrounded by venerable stone, and a well-dressed attendant received her, asking her to follow him. To her puzzlement, she wasn’t being led to the gardens outside, where she had been told the funeral for Lord Mayer Mundilfari was being held.

The air in the castle complex was chilly, and she rubbed her arms. How high were they above sea level? I left my cloak in the carriage, she thought. I’m so stupid. “Where are you taking me? Aren’t I here to ingratiate myself to the Mundilfaris?” she asked the cloaked attendant sarcastically. Her regal cape trailed behind the clacking of her heels.

The attendant opened a wooden door to a smaller garden, decked with vines and flowers, and Anna’s surprised eyes fell on a young woman standing at its centre. When she saw Anna, she slowly walked over to the queen, stopping and curtsying. Anna let her gaze run over her. She was very beautiful, with irises as red as roses and rich, long chestnut hair. She was lavishly garbed in a silk coat of dark purple with gold-sewn patterns, which in turn enveloped a fine, long black dress. Her shimmering earrings, elegant choker, and amethyst pendant outshone even Anna’s jewellery in splendour.

“Queen Anna, the new leader of Clan Mundilfari,” came the attendant’s voice.

The master of Keep Mundilfari’s voice was a titter that masked a violent snarl. “Your Majesty. We meet at long last. My name’s Viola. I’ve been hosting today’s funeral.” She raised her glinting eyes slightly. “Not that you’d be so naive as to think I asked you here for that.”

Countess Viola Mundilfari. By Alanna (@alhuart) for The Arendelle Guardian

“No, I know. I’m here to meet you in the flesh,” replied Anna coldly. She stared at her for what felt like minutes. Viola’s blood-red gaze didn’t falter as she observed the queen, keeping her head bowed for as long as Anna watched her. It was only after Anna spoke again that she slowly raised herself back up.

“Please tell me something, Countess Viola Mundilfari. And be honest with me,” said Anna softly. “Am I in danger?” Viola tilted her head slightly as Anna continued. “Do you have armed guards hiding somewhere? Or have you prepared a cell in your castle’s dungeon for me if I don’t play ball with you?”

Viola’s smile flickered, before widening. “A bold shot across the bow, Anna. I have no soldiers here. My invitation for you might have looked suspicious, but there’s nothing sinister about a countess meeting her monarch, is there?”

“I know you seized control of the Mundilfari house very quickly after your grandfather’s sudden death. Less than three days after Lord Mayer died, I received word from General Mattias’ spies that your parents, two brothers, and other sister all mysteriously perished.” Anna glared at Viola. “Did you kill them?”

There was barely a pause before Viola nodded. “Not personally.”

Anna couldn’t help herself from taking a sharp intake of breath, and she felt herself breaking into a cold sweat. “You admit to such a bloodbath so casually. I almost don’t believe you,” she whispered, shivering.

Viola shrugged. “If I didn’t triumph in the succession struggle, I wouldn’t be standing before you today, and instead be lying in a ditch with my throat cut.” The countess raised a slender hand, her choker gleaming around her neck. “You know who I am, and what our differences have led to. So much political shadowboxing, proxy battles, and deceit between us! We need not be adversaries, Anna. In fact, I don’t want us to toy around with each other. Join me, Your Majesty, and take up your birthright to conquer Northuldra.”

Anna blinked. “What?”

“Your government’s plan to reunify the north with Arendelle over a period of years is admirable. Alas, that policy isn’t enough for me. Surely the most straightforward way is colonization?”

“Should I let a private citizen like you shape my policies of generational import?”

“Our proxies been involved in many bills that have succeeded – and failed, to be sure – in Parliament. All I ask is that you commit to wiping out the north. If you promise that, I will publicly bend the knee to you. All of Clan Mundilfari’s resources will be at your disposal if you align yourself with my house’s ancient objective to destroy Northuldra’s nature spirits. I made a pact to accomplish this when I became leader of this family. Every head of Clan Munfildari does; the pact has been in effect for centuries. It will only end when we finally overrun Northuldra.”

Slightly dazed by Viola’s brazenness, Anna shook her head. “You actually expect me to move against the Snow Queen, my sister. It’s outrageous we’re even having this conversation. I don’t care if my forebears genuflected to you. My government could have you ostracized for expecting me to be a puppet.”

“But that’s what the royal family always has been to us. Figureheads,” said Viola, quite sincerely and without remorse, almost in exasperation. “Come on, Anna. You wear a shiny crown on your head. You can be picked off by a musketeer anytime you’re in the Plaza. True power, the force that actually drives the kingdom’s destiny – “ She put a hand on her chest. “ – must be hidden, like a leviathan beneath the endless depths. King Runeard was our most recent tool, and an all too willing one. He hated Northuldra as much as my late grandfather did. Did you think King Agnarr was so different before he married that creature of a Northuldran?”

“Iduna! Queen Iduna! My mother!” roared Anna, cheeks red in rage.

“Right, right. Your creature of a mother – “

Anna howled in fury, raising a hand to slap Viola, but the noblewoman caught her wrist, and they struggled violently against each other, Viola’s grin widening as she savoured Anna’s anger. Veritably vampiric red eyes met blazing cerulean irises. “Your ancestors danced to the tunes of mine, and this very moment is no different! You waving your hand around to my cheap taunts!” she hissed. “Get a hold of yourself! This should embarrass you. But you’re too naive to understand.”

Anna stilled, staring hatefully into Viola’s eyes. “I’ve fought off your puppets in the Great Assembly and built my own power base. I have Kristoff and the Princely House. I can match your Snow Herald newspaper with my own. I have the military and General Mattias by my side. And I will never, ever surrender the north to your rapacious predations. Not when two of the most important people in my life share Northuldra heritage.”

“Ah, yes, the Snow Queen and that amateur Honeymaren,” sneered the other. “That you think your inner court can outmanoeuvre me, when you have so easily and willingly answered my summons like a good little houseboy, speaks volumes about your inexperience. It’s almost cute.”

Anna’s chest felt like it was on fire. She hadn’t felt so angry since she punched Hans in the face. But this was a different kind of anger. It was mixed with a gnawing, unwelcome frustration at the realization that she was dealing with someone very much her intellectual and political equal – if not more. “Screwing with me? Then why don’t you just declare war on me? Claim the throne for yourself?” she demanded.

The mountain wind blew at the women, Anna’s cape and Viola’s cloak billowing.

“If you think civil war or a palace coup is what I’m about, then you’re even stupider than I thought.” Viola didn’t take her eyes off Anna. “I’m a patriot. I love Arendelle, and you could say that I love you, my queen. I can be an indispensable servant to you. All you need to do is ally with my family, as all monarchs of Arendelle did before you.”

“Your family is full of darkness and poison. I will never join you,” declared Anna defiantly.

“If only you cared to know why we have a different point of view, my dear,” said Viola quietly. Their faces were much too close. “Have you ever even bothered to wonder why our clan is sworn enemy to Northuldra’s spirits?”

Anna stared into Viola’s crimson eyes. She felt a brief surge of fear, like a bottom had opened up in her stomach. There was something mythic about Viola’s aura. She might be a master manipulator – that much was certain – but she wasn’t a bluffer. Then her fear was gone, and she regained her resolve. “There’s nothing to know, except how I can neutralize you,” growled the queen, trying to pull her arm back. Viola tried to hold on for a bit longer, and they struggled briefly again. “Let me go, Viola! You’re hurting me.”

To her surprise, Viola actually obeyed, and Anna yanked away, rubbing her wrist. She kept her glare on the noblewoman. “Know this, Countess: I don’t care how my predecessors licked your boots. You’re going against the Crown and me, the holder of the Orb and Sceptre.” Her voice rose in pitch. “When we meet again, you’ll either be curtsying in obedience at my court, or exiled in this miserable castle that you call home, never to threaten Northuldra again!”

In a breath of wind, Viola glided up to her, her pale hand pressing lightly against hers. She stared closely at Anna, who had frozen in place. “Don’t make threats out of anger or fear. I can tell you’re not even sure what you want to do with me, my queen,” she said sincerely, very quietly. “I’ll give you a real threat: Arendelle’s future belongs to either my hands around Elsa’s throat, or your hands around mine.”

Anna stared at her, that familiar dread like a hole in her stomach. She felt the terror of her witching hour nightmares returning, the fire of Elsa’s pyre crackling, scorching and incinerating the Fifth Spirit.

“How could you say something like that? Why are you doing this to me, Viola?” she asked, her distressed voice shaking ever so slightly for the first time.

“Our lives are indelibly linked,” murmured Viola. “In a much more profound way than even that of friends, allies, or lovers.” She blinked, suddenly breaking into a smile, placing an arm around Anna’s trembling shoulder.

“You’ve come a long way. Why don’t you stay for dinner?”

23 thoughts on “A Queen’s Fire, A Kingdom’s Soul

  1. Okay….

    VIOLA. IF YOU EVER, AND I MEAN EVER, ATTEMPT TO HURT ANNA AGAIN, I WILL KICK YOUR ASS!!! DO YOU HEAR ME??? NOBODY MESSES WITH ARENDELLE AND GETS AWAY WITH IT, AND WE MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT ALIGN WITH YOU. THE MUNDULFARI WILL FALL WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, AND NORTHULDRA WILL NOT FALL, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. FUCK YOU VIOLA MUNDULFARI, FUCK YOU!!!

    Sincerely, Alan.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely Anna, I would do anything for you, for Elsa, etc., you know that. Heck, I’ll ask Kristoff if I can borrow Sven, I’m sure he won’t mind. I’ll be on my way before you know it.

        He said yes, I’m coming for you my Queen.

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll see you soon, Sir Alan, along the rocky roads of the Jotunheimen mountains. Thank you. I can’t wait to flee this crazy castle.

        I’m scared and I haven’t been rattled like this since the wolves chased Kristoff and me, years ago. That’s what she’s like.

        Anxiously,
        Anna

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I totally understand Anna. I’m leaving now, see you soon.

        Alan

        (Hops onto Sven and takes off as fast as he can to where Anna is, and makes it in a short amount of time. Sven is fast.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sir Alan,

      I’m so disappointed that you and other so-called supporters have led Her Majesty astray. She is so weak, so unprepared for what true greatness for Arendelle could be if we destroyed the five spirits. I’ll use all my resources, in Anna’s government, in my many companies across Arendelle, and in the press to mobilize our kingdom to burn Elsa’s home to ashes.

      I’ll have an elegant dinner with Anna later. I’ll wine and dine her under my grand chandelier in our great hall. I’ll get through to her under her red mop, I promise you. When I’m done with her, she’ll accept Arendelle has only two paths: one on which my hands are around Elsa’s throat, or one on which Anna’s hands are around mine. I would prefer the former, of course, but she cannot escape a reckoning with destiny.

      Don’t interfere. Or better yet, join me. Think about it.

      Yours,
      Countess Viola

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Viola, I got two words for you: FUCK OFF.

        I’m on my way and I will be taking Anna back with me. You wanna fight? Bring it on! Anna is not weak, she is far from that. Arendelle, Northuldra, we’ll take you down. NOBODY, AND I MEAN NOBODY, NOT YOU, NOT REUNARD, NOT YOUR ANCESTORS, NOBODY WILL DESTROY THE NORTHULDRA AND TAKE AWAY ELSA, NOT ON MY WATCH. You’re worse than Mundulfari leaders previous, I fucking hate you all, you’re a bunch of menaces. And I will be honored to bring you down. No way will Anna, myself, or ANYONE from Arendelle OR Northuldra join the likes of you.

        I’m on my way, I’ll be there soon. And when we meet, it will be intense.

        See you very soon, Alan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A pity, Sir Alan. Anna’s allies and confidantes are so fascinating! It will be all the sweeter when you and her bend the knee to me when our little political war is over. Hurry over. I want you to see my conquest of our queen.

        Countess Viola

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well guess what? I’m outside the castle. I’m bringing Anna back with me. You will not conquer her. We’ll conquer you.

        Alan.

        (Wanna continue this on Twitter?)

        Like

  2. Uncle Mike was coming back from a delivery when he met Alan, riding Sven, hell bent for leather, going to the Mundilfari castle. Alan quickly filled him in on the details. Mike then checked his pistol and double-barreled shotgun, sent Alan ahead and sent Gale with an urgent message for Elsa, then headed for Jotunheimen, locked and loaded.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alan would mention one thing, he’s only going to get Anna and that’s it. If Viola wants to fight, so be it.

      Like

    2. Oh, Mike. Another one of Her Majesty’s strong, caring men? One day, you, like Alan, will appreciate what I have in mind for Anna and for Arendelle. You’ve let your heart grow soft for the Fifth Spirit, when my ancient house can give you so much more.

      Yours,
      Countess Viola

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Uncle Mike just arrived and Countess Viola gas justmade him an offer as well…”

        So, if I just pledge allegiance to you, you’ll give me all of your power and command of your forces. Let me think about this…🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

        Hmmmmmm… No!

        I’ve seen your type all too much. You promise, yet it ends in a stab in the back. You’re a two-bit tyrant with the blood of your family on your hands, You are very lovely to look at, yet more wicked in your heart. You would have me sellout my two beloved nieces to join you. NEVER! I love them too much. They’ve been through too much for a remaining relative from Agnarr’s and Iduna’s generation to just throw them under a loaded stage coach for you! I can tell you this, you know nothing of what faces you if you piss off Elsa by killing Anna, let alone myself!

        And if you even succeed in putting Elsa in a grave, those spirits still bow to The Great Spirit! The Lord God Almighty, who gave his only Son for the sins of the world! Just like The rich fool who stored up all he had and got too full of his own pride, you too, Viola, will have that voice of God that will say “Fool! Tonight your soul is required of you. Then who will get all you have built up?” There is choice. Surrender your life to God through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on The Cross for all, or not.

        YOU have a choice. Either give up this folly, or it will not be Queen Anna’s hands on your neck, but the hangman’ s rope.

        SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Master Michael,

        Let me return your compliment about my beauty and say this much about you: you’re a big, formidable man with big, formidable words. I could give you land, titles, private armies for you to carve out your own warlord’s territory. All you needed to do was dance to my tune. Instead, you choose to remain uncle to the Fifth Spirit and Anna. How futile, since someday I will strangle Elsa with my own hands and take her little sister under my wing. What will be left for you, Master Michael, once Anna is mine? Don’t throw away my offer so quickly.

        We’ve lorded over inferior peoples and spirits in Scandinavia since medieval times. We did our dues to the Church with our contributions to the Northern Crusades, many centuries ago. Now we reap our just rewards – the souls and powers of Northuldra’s spirits.

        It’s not too late. You’ll still have Anna by your side if you join me… after I’ve moulded her into the woman I want her to be, of course.

        Yours,
        Viola

        Like

  3. Hello Viola. My name is Seeker. I understand if you have not heard of me for I just joined her Majesty’s royal guard as royal biographer. I must admit that I that I am impressed. There are few in your kingdom that can match your confidence and arrogance. However I have travelled to many places and seen many things. I have encountered more people like you than I care to admit. People who were consumed by their cruelty, fear, and lust for power. Despite their differences they all shared one thing in common. They lost, and so will you. You might be thinking “Well I will be different. I will be the exception. I will win.” That may well be the case and I might agree with you except for one thing. The woman you face. I just finished a chapter on the biography of Elsa, the woman you fear most. She was almost killed by Hans. A man much like yourself. A selfish, cunning, ruthless man who defined himself by status. Do you know what happened to him? He was stopped, by Anna. The same woman who destroyed the dam your ancestors worked so hard to create and the same woman you face now. I eagerly anticipate the coming months, your conflict with Anna and defeat will be legendary.

    Sincerely, Seeker

    Like

    1. Oh, sweet Seeker. Why you chose to waste your talent and time writing about Elsa, that pathetic excuse for a queen, I couldn’t care less. She lasted barely three years, strung along by my puppets in the Arendellian parliament. The only reason why I didn’t reveal myself then was that I didn’t know she was the Fifth Spirit. Now I know, and I have the resources to destroy her.

      But her little sister – yes, I give you that. She’s different. She did stop that useless Hans, and she may well stop me. But don’t forget two things: first, you’re underestimating me if you think I’m anything like that failed, penniless prince. Second, Anna and I might be in conflict now, but I only have her best interests at heart. I’m her loyal subject, you see, and she’ll come round to my way of thinking soon enough.

      I’m not her enemy. You’ll see me soon, at her court.

      Yours,
      Viola

      Like

  4. Seeker quickly rushes to the queen after sending his letter. He consoles her and promises her that everything will be okay. He then gives her special rare chocolates from Corona that were almost impossible to obtain.

    Like

  5. “Someday I will strangle Elsa with my two hands…” you said, Viola.

    Is that before Elsa turns you into a block of ice? Maybe Bruni will thaw you out, and give you a hot seat like you’ve never had before in your life! Oh, and maybe ole’ Nokk will put out the fire, then try to drown you. And Gale will blow what’s left of you back to your doorstep. You just don’t get it. Besides, you’ve heard how Anna knocked Hans into the fjord with her right hook? She’ll knock you back to your ancestors with it!

    And all your family did for the church. Think that’ll get you into Heaven? WRONG! Isaiah 64:6 tells us; “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
    Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:10; “There is none righteous, no, not one.” You must surrender your life to Jesus Christ to be saved from your sin. That goes for you and me both. John 14:6 records Jesus’ own words “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”

    Do yourself a favor. Save your bribes. You have nothing to offer me.

    Reap your just rewards? Here you go: Psalm 55:15; “Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.”

    Love,
    Michael.

    Like

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