By Maren, Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations
“Depuis quelque temps, Arendelle a deux souveraines: Anna, que règne sur la ville, et Elsa, responsable de la Forêt Enchantée.” – La Reigne Des Neiges II, L’admirateur d’Olaf
Recently, I’ve been kept up at night by many questions. There are the immediate, like how I can put aside my suspicion of Viola Mundilfari and work with her: she’s my new prime minister, after all. She was all about invading Northuldra just months ago. . . !
Anna assured me that I’ll still report directly to her rather than Vi, and that the passage of the Northuldra-Arendelle reintegration bill won’t be interrupted for Vi’s sake. In fact, it’s the Countess who’ll need to swallow her pride and learn a thing or two about the real Northuldra, the real us. Fair enough, I guess. It’s about time.
But even if Vi were sincere, the debate about Northuldra has moved far ahead and way beyond the Mundilfari perspective since I last wrote my column for this paper.
I’m thankful to Northuldra Trust for picking my recommendation, Ryder, as its leader. There was talk about whether it could be co-chaired by an Arendellian as well as a Northuldra tribesperson, and there were thorny issues about a fair balance and who had the “right” to steer this group. The Trust has launched several projects, many of them in collaboration with Arendelle’s institutions. For example, we’ve started a monograph of Elsa’s discovery of Ahtohallan. Yelena is negotiating with the University of Arendelle about the latter’s wish to document the secrets of the mystic river, like its ties to human memory and the Five Spirits.
But all this activity is useless if the Trust isn’t able to fulfil its main purpose: building goodwill between Arendelle and Northuldra’s people. And progress is slower than we’d hoped.
There’s an understandable gap between the people and the government’s understanding of the relationship shared by Arendelle and Northuldra. Many citizens have sympathy and respect for the idea of our two lands as one. But a nation-state love alone doesn’t make. Since Anna became queen, the Crown has moved towards a legal understanding of our two regions as one sovereign realm, co-ruled by the Diarchy of Anna and Elsa. But it doesn’t feel that way for a lot of us, because things have been moving so fast in the political realm that our societies, including our own tribe, haven’t been able to keep up with the rapid pace of change.
That’s one thing that Anna and I have discussed on many a late night: how quickly we should move ahead with reunification. We even joked how our bill being bogged down in the Great Assembly might actually be a blessing in disguise, and give us more time to hammer out the finer points.
But there’s one more urgent point of action which is of utmost concern to Anna and me.
In the past few weeks I’ve been receiving intelligence about several disturbing incidents involving the infrastructure that both the state and private firms are building between Arendelle and Northuldra. Sections of several rail lines, none of them completed, have been sabotaged, blown up by unknown explosives that we’re still investigating. The outposts that we were constructing to facilitate communications have also been ransacked, their wardens attacked and left with severe injuries.
Even more disturbingly, several junior ministers in our government responsible for coordinating Northuldra’s development with me have reported receiving threatening letters, all of them written by the same hand with the same message: to stay away from the north or risk abduction.
We don’t know who is committing these criminal acts, or why. They haven’t made any demands yet, but from what we can see, it’s obvious they want to disrupt the nodes and channels physically connecting Arendelle and Northuldra. The implications are potentially disastrous for everyone.
I’ve lived in Arendelle for quite a few months now, serving as Northuldra’s advocate in Anna’s reign. Even among the most traditionalist political circles, I haven’t met any statesmen who would hate Northuldra so much as to attack the government’s own infrastructure or private business.
That’s a relief, but I’ve also grown fearful. Because if the culprit isn’t from Arendelle, then they probably come from Northuldra. Perhaps they’re from within our own tribe, although I can’t fathom who. I know for sure that Yelena and Ryder haven’t the slightest idea who this would be.
The question I must ask now is why they’re moving against us like this, and how I can stop them from destroying Anna’s core political legacy.