By Frey, Foreign Affairs Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
ARENDELLE; SAINT PETERSBURG – The queen of Arendelle is confirmed to be working with her predecessor and sister, Elsa, and leaders of other kingdoms to form an elite corps tailored for diplomacy with Russia. Secret Arendellian and Russian mediators are still discussing whether to hold talks in a neutral location, Arendelle, or in Saint Petersburg, the Russian capital city.
Queen Colisa and Princess Mari of Vesterland are reported to be helping Anna and Elsa steer the initiative, which has been conceived as a united lobby robust enough to resist the overwhelming pressure of the vast Imperial Russian state.
Sources close to the queen and General Mattias have confirmed on condition of anonymity that Anna’s objective is to persuade the tsar and his government to negotiate mutually favourable terms that will prevent misunderstandings and enmity between Arendelle, its allies, and Russia.
“Her Majesty knows that the tsar is in thrall to his daughter – Katina, the true master of the Russian empire,” disclosed a military source close to The Arendelle Guardian. “Given the acrimonious history between Elsa and the tsar after the Battle of Odinland and Katina’s public grudge against Arendelle, my bet is that Anna hopes to strike first in a diplomatic sense, setting the tone for future contact and negotiations.”
“It’s quite ingenious, really,” shared a Vesterland military source with our paper. “Anna is seizing the initiative, to show her people and Russia’s government that she sees peace between the two states as a matter of paramount importance for her reign. Russia can’t refuse to respond to her overtures, especially when Anna has the multilateral blessing of her allies and has mobilized state resources to reach out to Katina.”
“Her Majesty is familiar with what happened some years ago, when Russia invaded Scandinavia with an eye on controlling the North and Baltic seas. An alliance led by Queen Emerita Elsa and Colisa of Chatho forced the tsar to negotiate peace terms, but mutual suspicion has festered since then, with Elsa unable to mollify either the tsar or Katina. In fact, it’s precisely because Anna and Elsa know that Katina is waiting for a chance to send her armies west, that they’ve taken the first step,” said royal historian Bruno to us. “They don’t want to give Katina any excuse to light a matchstick that will start an inferno.”
Watchers of Arendellian affairs also attribute Anna’s determination to her still-fresh wounds from the Treaty of Weselton, which was effectively an act of economic coercion successfully imposed on Arendelle’s monarchy by the merchant prince Will Harrison. Since Harrison and Katina are both members of the shadowy clique of the Exalted, Anna is worried that they both have less-than-benevolent plans for Arendelle.
Despite their mutual disdain for Arendelle, Harrison and Katina have divergent ideas about the kingdom. Harrison is said to be much more interested in self-enrichment and personal wealth, preferring to exploit Arendelle like a fief with less of a focus on directing United States foreign policy.
Katina, however, is reported to be passionate about Russia’s role as the Fourth Rome and the divinely appointed custodian of the Orthodox Church. She sees Russian control of the seas around Arendelle as inseparable from Russia’s core security interests – placing her on a collision course with the kingdoms and states that make up Northern Europe.
The Romanov family is Russia’s ruling house and the successor dynasty to the Rurikids, who ruled Russia from its early days as a principality called Kievan Rus’ in the Middle Ages until 1610. Of considerable prestige among Europe’s nobility, the Romanovs were initially boyars (Slavic nobles) under the Rurikids. They began ruling Russia in 1613 and were responsible for some of their most famous leaders, including Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Katina is said to be obsessed with boosting the glory of the Romanovs and sees Arendelle’s royal family as an inconvenience to be swept aside.