Diarchy, Schmiarchy: Anna and Elsa are nothing to us

Your Imperial Highness Yixin, Prince Regent of the Great Qing Empire,

I trust you’re in good health! In the past year I haven’t had the chance to sail to Canton, to visit the American factory there. Our tai-pans are very busy at this time of year, with many merchants moving to the ports that your emperor has opened. But I trust that global events, which we’ve always steered with confidence, will bring us back together soon enough.

I hope you visit Berkeley Plantation one day and let me host your stay in our beautiful Virginia. As heir to one of her First Families, what I say pretty much goes. You haven’t had apple pie before, have you?

I’ve been observing recent developments in a corner of Northern Europe, which have already influenced regional and global tides. For such a small place, it’s punching above its weight. Happenings there could easily tip the balance of power in the Baltic and even northern Eurasia.

You know Scandinavia well. Indeed, Arendelle has a presence at the doorstep of China, in Hong Kong. Last time I was in Canton, I sailed over to the Brits’ island to visit Bjorgman House’s branch. We’ve tried Kristoff’s ice in our sodas and gin & tonics and it’s fantastic, really top-notch.

I know that you’re friends with Queen Anna, and you’ve always given her good advice. But you’re also the leader of the Exalted, and our motto has always been, “Smooth governance of governments.” Nothing of true significance happens in any part of the world, free or occupied, without our awareness and approval.

You know this, but many in our most exclusive rulers’ club eye Anna with a mix of fear, jealousy, and suspicion. We should be in the business of moving economies and states as we see fit, not bothering ourselves with a tiny snow kingdom like Arendelle.

Story art by Arute (@ast05water)

Diarchy, schmiarchy. These amateurs, Anna and Elsa, have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into. Anna might respect and look up to you, Your Imperial Highness, but you deserve better. They’re ants who think they can join a herd of elephants.

Still, despite how imperfect they are, they’re objects of interest for a reason. Do you remember when Elsa was queen? Russia had wanted to dominate the supply lines along the Baltic Sea, and the tsar had thought any detractors would be easy to bully into submission. But his diplomats suffered a nasty shock when Elsa assembled a coalition of smaller countries and pretty much blocked the sea routes between Russia and the Germanic states! Arendelle’s interests wouldn’t be dismissed, nor its representatives silenced, the Snow Queen had declared.

Two legacies emerged from this fiasco on Russia’s part: a burning grudge against Arendelle nursed by Princess Katina, our fellow Exalted member, and Anna’s own inspiration for a grand alliance of smaller kingdoms and states to resist larger powers.

You’ve always just seen Anna as a harmless protege to nurture, perhaps to use as a pawn against the Exalted’s enemies. But then she allied with that wild card, that most fearsome countess, Viola Mundilfari.

Story art by Arute (@ast05water)

Such was Viola’s influence and wealth that we had seriously considered inviting her into the Exalted. Then she shocked us all with her military might and ruthlessness by sending her general, Hilde Von Altheim, to raze the Southern Isles.

That’s when you personally asked Anna to deal with Viola, right? Yet by making Viola her prime minister, isn’t Anna defying you and the Exalted? She might have written a letter of apology to you with all sorts of excuses about how she wanted to obey you but couldn’t plunge her kingdom into civil war, but… please don’t let her charisma and your own sympathy for her blind you.

Katina and I are at your disposal, sir. We can ensure that the sister-queens of Arendelle and Northuldra understand where they fit in the pecking order of the world – and who really runs the global show.

I remain, as always, your loyal ally.

Will Harrison of James River
Member of the Exalted

9 thoughts on “Diarchy, Schmiarchy: Anna and Elsa are nothing to us

  1. Alright, time to rant.

    You don’t know shit about Elsa and Anna. You really don’t dude. Anna is doing what is best for the kingdom, and to tell you the truth, you don’t know jack shit about Viola either. You don’t know about her past, her clan’s history, and the shit that she has to deal with because of her ancestors, which by the way, we are working on dealing with.

    Arendelle is not a kingdom to be toyed with. Why should we and other small kingdoms submit to the big boys on the world stage? We want our seat at the table, not the scraps that you leave behind. Elsa did what she had to do and Anna is as well, to build the kingdom up from the depths that Reunard, and to an extent Agnarr, dived us into.

    You want to know something else? You have no say over what Yixin does. That’s up to him. Sure, he wasn’t too pleased about Anna making Viola the PM instead of eradicating her, but you want to know why Anna did that? Because its better to have Viola with us than against us, for all intents and purposes. And I am sure Yixin will understand that. What happened in the Southern Isles, yeah, that was bad and shouldn’t have happened. Hilde should not have gone that far.

    And, by the way, you won’t be ensuring jack shit. Understand this, Mr. Harrison, as I stated before, Arendelle, as well as Northuldra, ARE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. Anna is determined to build the kingdom up and have other small kingdoms join us in that pursuit. Just because you, China, and Russia are all big and mighty, doesn’t mean you get to push us around and get away with it. Fuck that shit. Your “exalted” group is nothing more than another group that wants to take down what we have been building up.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. And this is why Elsa always mobilized nations like Zaria, Chatho, and Vakretta against Russia and the Western European giants like France and Spain. She never let anyone bully us, even when holding back with her magical powers! I definitely will be drawing inspiration from her strategic approach with my own grand alliance.

        I respect all the leaders of other countries. As equals. No more, no less.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah guys. Another secret society. This one would make at least 3 sons of Virginia, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry (“GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!) roll in their graves and want their carcasses on hangman’s ropes for treason!

    Harrison, being from Virginia, you should be familiar with your state’s motto. Even Viola’s heard of it; SIC SEMPER TYRANIS! Be it ever to tyrants!

    Trade Minister Michael of Arendelle

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Damn right, Anna. Harrison has never read the Declaration of Independence. Especially the parts about “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!”

    Liked by 1 person

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