Featured image art by Arute (@ast05water)
By Michael, Uncle to Queens Anna and Elsa
A few weeks ago, before the current situation with Countess Viola, I was talking to my Niece, Queen Anna of Arendelle, and Lady Maren, about the possibility of starting a new freight route to Northuldra, especially after the recent agreements that were made with Queen Victoria of England. Queen Anna and Lady Maren (Honeymaren to the Northuldrans) were in favor of it too.
Lady Maren stated that it would be good for that to happen, since she has been spearheading improvements to the roads and paths leading to Northuldra and the villages and towns in Arendelle, to help this new commerce to move more efficiently. I would have to meet with the leader, Yelena, and get her permission. Snow Queen Elsa, my older niece and Anna’s big sister, heard about this and invited me to visit and have tea with her. It was a wonderful opportunity to not only meet Yelena, but to also visit my super niece, Elsa, at her new place in the Northuldran forest.
Queen Anna sent a message via Gale to both Elsa and Yelena that I wanted to come and see them and meet with them on the matter. A day or so later, Yelena and Elsa’s answer came back, saying that they’d be happy to meet me and for me to stay a couple days. Elsa was really excited to see her Uncle Michael! So the date and time was set with a few more messages (and Gale wanting overtime pay, should she have been a human being, for carrying so many)!
A few days later, I packed my wagon and set off for Northuldra. Kristoff gave me a map of the same way he, Anna, Elsa, Sven and Olaf traveled to go there the first time. It’s a very good map, I had no issues getting lost with it thanks to my pretty decent sense of direction. Gotta have that when you travel with freight. I stopped for the night and made camp there in the shadow of North Mountain and in the view of the Ice Castle. The view of the Ice Castle from the road is amazing!
I can remember the first time I was there, visiting Elsa. I was just in amazement of how she fled everything that night of her coronation, how beautiful and amazing a place she made with her ice powers. The shapes, the architecture, everything there from her sharp, brilliant mind.
The next day’s travel was uneventful. When I got to where Elsa had heard the Vuelie song again, the crews working on the road made a new path for wagons to come down the hill onto the plain approaching the forest.
I arrived at the Northuldran forest in the afternoon. It’s springtime here in Northuldra and everything was in bloom and just gorgeous. The path was short into the woods, so I left the wagon and brought my reindeer that pulled it with me. He was an offspring of Sven I called “Junior” since Kristoff called him Sven, Jr. when he was born. He looked so much like his daddy and he was just about like him as well.
It wasn’t a long walk until I saw Elsa. Bruni and Gale were with Elsa as she was doing some magic with the autumn leaves. She looked so resplendent in her Snow Queen gown she had since that day in Ahtohallan. I watched her until she turned her head my way, then I grinned at her and said, “Hello, my little Snow Queen!”
Elsa’s face was radiant with that happy, glowing grin! “Uncle Mike,” she exclaimed, then rushed over and put me in the warmest, best hug ever as we hugged and laughed and smiled at each other! This trip was worth it all! “I’m so glad you came!” said the Fifth Spirit.
“I’m glad I came too!” I replied, laughing. “I’m so happy to see you. Oh my gosh, you look so beautiful! Just look at you. All full of happiness, peace and joy! I’ll never get over seeing you!”
Elsa blushed, just like when Anna gushes over her! “Oh uncle!” said Elsa, with a slightly embarrassed look.
“It’s okay,” I said, chuckling.
“What do you think?” Elsa asked me. She, with Gale and Bruni, had swirled the autumn leaves into a gorgeous blaze of reds, ambers and orange in a magnificent swirl of wind and a touch of icy whiteness of snow by Elsa.
“Omigosh! That is awesome and beautiful!” I said in stunned amazement. This symphony of colors and sounds arranged the leaves on the forest floor more beautiful than the best works of art in Castle Arendelle or even the world’s finest museums!
“So, you’ve come to see my home and the Northuldran people?” asked the Fifth Spirit.
“Yes,” I said. “And to meet Yelena and talk some business. But I’ll never ever say that a trip up here is complete until I see my Fifth Spirit niece! And from what I’ve seen so far, I love it!”
“Ooohhhh, you should wait until tonight! The sky will be clear and the stars will be at their brightest!” Elsa said.
It so happened that Honeymaren was in the vicinity and came over to us! “Hey there, Maren!” I said. She came over and hugged me, then Elsa.
“I see that you came up to my place too!” said her ladyship of Northuldra.
“You know it! With Elsa up here, a herd of wild reindeer couldn’t stop me!” I replied, nodding.
Maren smiled. “We’re having dinner, Northuldran style tonight. Remember when I said how the salmon was better fresh than at the Nokk Club?”
“Sure I do.”
“You’re getting your chance tonight! Salmon over a campfire with veggies and fruit from the forest,” said Maren.
“I’m all in!”
I had to clean up a bit before supper, so Elsa led me to her “bathtub” – a deep part of the stream near her dwelling! I had to chuckle and so she left me there to clean up and shave. Her “shower” was a small waterfall nearby. Talk about “roughing it!” But, she’s happy and so was I (being on the Arendellian roads meant that for me as well at times!)
I got to the Northuldra settlement on time. Elsa and Maren were there as well as Ryder. I got to meet him and he told me about how him and Kristoff were the “reindeer whisperers!” He got to see Junior and ole’ Ryder was thrilled!
Soon, Yelena came up with Maren, who introduced me to her. “Michael, this is our leader, Yelena.”
I replied, “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.”
“So you are Uncle Michael, whom Maren and Elsa have told me about.”
“Yes, I am.”
Yelena then told me, “We still haven’t seen too many from Arendelle, even since Queen Anna destroyed the dam their Grandfather Runeard built to try and conquer our homeland.”
I replied: “I know. I was a young lad at the time. I’m sorry about my step-father’s arrogance. I spent some time over in the New World of the United States of America until I came back, when Elsa became Queen of Arendelle.”
Yelena stated: “We’re still a little reserved and cautious of strangers coming into Northuldra because of that, and the fight that caused the enchanted mist that locked us in for 34 years.”
I replied: “I understand. I hope that this visit will be the start of some genuine goodwill between us. I hate to see Maren’s, Queen Anna’s and Elsa’s work go down the drain over more stupidity, hatred and greed.”
Yelena nodded, pleased with my reply. “Come, join us over a meal and tea.”
“It would be my pleasure.”
So we set around the fire, said our prayers over the meal and then dug in. It was delicious. Maren asked me, “How do you like this over the Nokk’s salmon?”
I laughed. “The Nokk’s salmon? There’s no comparison, this is so much better!” We had a great meal and rich conversation over it. Juice and tea was very fresh as well.
As night approached, the sky was indeed awake.
After a great dinner, the Northuldrans began cleaning up around the fire. Elsa and myself grabbed more of that delicious tea and headed to a place not far from the settlement where we could see the stars. I had brought my pipe and some good aromatic black cherry tobacco and asked Elsa, “Do you mind if I smoke?” Now, back in the day at the castle when I visited them, I would sometimes go to a balcony and smoke a good cigar or pipe, but never inside. Sometimes it would be the same time Elsa had her tea time. She had invited me sometimes to be with her and Anna, other times, she would be alone for some peace and quiet. Elsa didn’t mind the pipe, although stogies would make her wrinkle her nose!
Elsa assured me that she didn’t mind, so we found a place to sit, sip tea and look at the star-filled Northuldran sky. A beautiful night with the beautiful Snow Queen Elsa to enjoy some tea and a pipe.
What more could a man want, especially when the Snow Queen is family?
Elsa and myself had a wonderful time gazing at the stars and discussing how things were in Arendelle. Olaf and his antics and child-likeness, reading and learning new things with help from Anna, Kristoff, even Sven! How things were in the kingdom, new things Elsa had learned to do with her powers here and at Ahtohallan, and the things that she does and did in the North Woods with the other four spirits. I talked about where I’d been with the wagon and how I’m starting to grow the business since the trade agreement with Queen Vic, maybe even take runs now and then and letting the new hires run them while I and a small staff do the office work needed and get new customers. I said that Queen Anna was thinking of me being an advisor in the Transport Ministry. We’ll see.
Elsa loves to look at the stars. She learned all about the stars and the constellations from her father, King Agnarr, who had memorized the names of those constellations. She gave me a great tour of them! We had a wonderful evening talking and gazing at the stars and listening to the nighttime sounds of the forest that’s now her home.
The next morning was a working breakfast with the Northuldran leader Yelena, Elsa, and Maren as we talked over having routes for freight wagons with a possibility of deliveries and pick-up. There are some in Northuldra that are still concerned about Arendellian folk coming into their homeland. I assured them that no nonsense will be tolerated by me and it will be all friendly. I will take it most seriously and professionally. Any Northuldrans who want to work for me will be treated fairly, just like all my Arendellian employees.
In future writings, I will also cover my visit to where the remains of the sister’s parents ship is, and a trip to Ahtohallan, because of things that happened between myself and King Agnarr that led to my leaving have haunted me for a long time. Closure and forgiveness is needed. Elsa plus Anna showing up helped me and them heal this deep hurting in my life.
A very pleasant, relaxing and productive visit indeed, and when your magical niece is the Snow Queen, that makes it all the more special!
From Uncle Mike