Story art by Arute (@ast05water)
By Helga, Home Affairs Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
ARENDELLE – Her Majesty has ordered the resignation of the University of Arendelle’s vice-chancellor, Stein, with immediate effect. Her dramatic move came on the heels of a meeting between Stein and Anna in the queen’s study, in which he showed her a death threat sent to him by Amira. But the written death threat contained an accusation from the Northuldra hunter-saboteur that Stein had sent private thugs to Northuldra to “deal with her.”
The note further said: “These Arendellian goons for hire now lie defeated in the Northuldra snow, their corpses forgotten and their families surely broken. It’s all thanks to your hatred of my existence, the fact that I remind you of what could have been: a generation of brainwashed Northuldra children taught to hate themselves and serve Arendelle.”
Caught between a rock and a hard place, Stein approached Queen Anna for help, but was forced to admit the truth in Amira’s note.
Courtier sources reveal to this journalist that while Anna did assure Stein of his physical safety, her fists were balled in fury as she screamed at him to resign then and there. The trust between the University and the palace, she shouted, was irreparable as long as he remained. Anna also warned that she’d be looking carefully at future appointments and scouring candidates’ potential support for the Northuldra Children Protection Act, a scheme devised by King Runeard to trick families of the north with scholarships and bursaries into sending their children to be raised and schooled in Arendelle, with no intention of allowing them to return. While the Act was never implemented, many senior figures in Arendelle’s educational establishment have covertly supported or tried to clandestinely enact it, much to Anna’s horror.
Stein attempted to defend his actions, decrying Amira’s attacks on Anna’s former ship, Autumn Cloud, and the palace itself. He also said that he’d sent men to hunt down Amira in Northuldra as reprisal for her ruthless ambush against him. But Anna countered that his unilateral decision to take revenge only served to undermine trust between Northuldra and Arendelle. The deployment of hired thugs and assassins to kill Amira was the last straw.
The queen expressed her shock and disappointment in a short statement to the press gallery of the Great Assembly: “I’ve sent Gale with a letter to Yelena and, of course, Elsa. Stein was an experienced and intelligent education minister in his younger days, before my time. He seemed a natural choice to lead the esteemed institution that is our university, which has been around since 1477. It’s hard to put into words how furious and disappointed I feel at this betrayal of our core principles. Now we must move quickly in regards to Amira and prevent another cycle of Arendellian betrayal and Northuldra anger or violence.”
Honeymaren, Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations and Anna’s political ally, also expressed grave disappointment. “I fear that this fiasco forces Anna and I to move to an earlier date the task force’s expedition to confront Amira. It’s urgent that we prevent any impending attack by Amira, with the help of our scouts and Mattias’ intelligence, while also preparing a worthy case to present to her: that peace is the only wish of the Crown and the monarch’s government. Stein doesn’t represent Arendelle. King Runeard is long gone. Anna is Arendelle’s queen and she wants things to change.”
Several within Arendelle’s leadership circles have already joined Lady Maren’s task force, and contact with Amira is expected to occur soon. Maren has spoken of this confrontation with a fellow Northuldra as “her greatest challenge” since becoming Anna’s right hand diplomat at Elsa’s request.