By HM Queen Anna
Citizens of Arendelle! You have no idea how strongly General Mattias was against me approaching you openly about what I’ve seen with my own eyes. He and I got into an angry argument in my study the other night about what I’m about to share with you in my column. From what I see in the pages of all Big Three papers, even this one, I guess our row was leaked to the press.
Destin was insistent that this puts our national security at risk. I hope that won’t be true, because I’ve blotted out and burned the name of its author. Besides, it’s not as if recent events haven’t got everyone talking already, especially after our war against the Southern Isles.
I love you, general, but I need to go public. Consider this an exclusive I’m giving this paper. Have a look at this.
“From the intelligence gathered by the Ravens, agents of Anna’s spy network, I can only note this. What the High Command and General Mattias feared is likely to pass. Commander Hilde plans for her shock troops, the Todesschwadron, to reform, rearm, and retrain Countess Viola’s chivalric Order of the Rune. The end result would be a combined, ruthless force made of Runic Knights and Hilde’s death squad, mobilized against the north: one to truly challenge Elsa and the spirits. One that reminds all that Hilde, the Spirit Killer, rides to battle again.
“It’s all connected: from the corporate attacks against local arms manufacturers to the European money flowing into the Bank of Arendelle. Hilde’s expeditionary force, while still needing much time to prepare, will make Muspelheim look like a hobbyist’s toy.”
There you have it. Mattias made me promise not to reveal any more than this note, but this should show you what’s already been rumbling in the background and occupying me for a while. Don’t you think this is crazy? Am I looking at what’s typical of a healthy, united kingdom? Or does it look like we’re in danger of all-out civil war, and dragging entire nations into our mess?
After the destruction of the Southern Isles, which poor Hans (I never thought I’d say that) is barely managing to recover from, I signed a treaty with China, Great Britain, and the Ottomans to make sure Hilde wouldn’t attack them, in return for the extradition of three of their nobles that wanted to assassinate me. That was how scared they were.
Vi says that the treaty was a diplomatic victory for us, and she’s right in some respects. But I paid a heavy price. Some nations look on Arendelle with fear now. They wonder if I’m hiding behind flowery words about peace and non-interference while Viola sends Hilde to storm entire countries with her “death squad” (can you pick a less horrible name, Hilde?!), under the guise of a private citizen’s military ventures.
If there’s enough fear or suspicion about my intentions, my grand alliance proposal (for us smaller countries to unite in order to resist the larger powers like Britain and Russia) risks falling through. That will really hurt Raps over in Corona, as well: she’s already signed on! And what if Hilde hopes to make use of the splits within Northuldra’s tribespeople about my reunification bill, and dilute support for it?
Was this Vi’s plan all along? Turning Arendelle into some exploitative, predatory state that bullies and manipulates other countries into submission? That is unacceptable. No sane head of state, monarch or otherwise, would allow this extralegal foreign policy conducted under her own nose.
We’re looking like a country with dual personalities, and it’s not surprising: this is a contest between Vi and me, and our clash over Elsa and Northuldra will define our kingdom’s future.
I want to kick up a public debate the likes of which has never been seen before in Arendelle. I want the commercial world involved. I want the press, including this newspaper, to debate the issue relentlessly. And most of all, I want Vi to realize that whatever moves she and Hilde make, they do it with the public’s knowledge. She revealed herself to me, so she can’t pick and choose. She should get used to you, the typical citizen, scrutinizing what she does.
That’s my response to your move, Vi. I’m right here, in Arendelle Castle. Come and get me.