From Peony Sinclair: Beware the Illusions of Overwhelming Power

To Princess Katina Romanov and Mr. Will Harrison,

I thank you for your valuable time at our meeting in Constantinople the other week. What a beautiful city – I never tire of visiting.

The Ottomans hold the key to the Mediterranean, and nine years ago, Katina’s father had forced the sultan to give Russia joint suzerainty over the Dardanelles. When France backed a pretender caliph against the sultan, my country, Britain, as well as Russia, felt that everyone’s interests were threatened, especially since Katina sees the Black Sea as Russia’s weak underbelly. I’ve put the appropriate pressure on the sultan, Britain, and France to accept that the strait is forbidden to all ships of any nation as long as the Ottomans remain in charge.

Remember: the illusion of government is often enough to maintain world order. Only if even that breaks down are we allowed to a free-for-all. Until Turkey’s monarchy (or any country’s government) collapses internally, the Exalted will support them.

Now, to the matter of Arendelle, which is of great interest to all of us.

As you know, I was educated both at Eton – my female sex given an exception – and schooled in the Chinese classics by Lord Yixin’s imperial tutors. One of my favourites is the Book of Lao Zi, the scripture for a Chinese religion called Daoism. Let me quote a passage to you:

Under heaven, nothing is softer and more yielding than water. Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better; it has no equal.”

You, Mr. Harrison, have your own fleet, levers of private control over the American economy, and undisputed dominance in the China trade. You, Katina, have the resources of Imperial Russia at your beck and call. You’ve waged continuous wars along your borders that threaten to swallow your neighbours. Indeed, you’re members of the Exalted precisely because you enjoy such power.

But weakness isn’t always a simple gauge of sheer firepower or numbers. Arendelle’s resources are meagre compared to yours. But haven’t you read the papers?

Arendelle’s former monarch, Elsa the Snow Queen, is returning to frontline politics alongside Queen Anna.

Just a month ago, Will, you were patting yourself on the back for showing Anna who’s boss. Admittedly, Anna needed my help to make sure you didn’t get everything you wanted, lest that imbalance of power go to your head. But how confident are you if Elsa joins the negotiations, or even the fray?

I’m also mindful of your plans, Katina – that you’ve been patiently preparing a full-scale invasion of Scandinavia, a campaign that would dwarf your father’s several years ago. You want to succeed where Nicholas I didn’t. The point is that to both of you, Arendelle looked pretty broken and helpless a few weeks ago. Now look what’s happened. Because the Arendellians know of your hostility against them, they’ve brought the Snow Queen back into action. I bet you didn’t expect to encounter her again so soon.

Whether it’s co-rule with Anna or simply giving her regular advice, or representing her in official functions, Elsa’s presence will inevitably and significantly alter the calculations of every ally and foe of Arendelle. Her magic and force of presence is immense and would pose a challenge to even your generals, Katina. The waters of Arendelle’s fjord, once so inviting to you both, are now the domain of the Fifth Spirit.

I’m not in the business of stopping you from pursuing your self-interest. But for your own sake, you shouldn’t assume Arendelle is defenceless. As the Exalted, our power is overwhelming, but pride goeth before a fall, and water is at the same time the weakest – and the strongest.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Peony Sinclair

8 thoughts on “From Peony Sinclair: Beware the Illusions of Overwhelming Power

    1. Trade Minister, my lordship taught me that the natural state of the world is chaos and death, and power is the currency that rulers and leaders trade to maintain order. I want Anna not to shy away from wielding it – yet like gold itself, one can accumulate power the right way… or deplete and lose it all.

      Sincerely,
      Miss Peony Sinclair

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      1. I know from what I’ve just read read here, you have studied and follow Lao Zi’s religion of Daoism. Myself, I am a Christian. I do agree about water. You can see it’s gentleness flowing down a quiet stream, yet can carve out rocks, mud and rubble and be extremely dangerous in a flood.

        As for rulers and leaders and the power they wield, that power has a high responsibility when placed upon a man or woman. Paul wrote this in Romans 13 “The authorities that exist have been established by God…
        …For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

        A ruler, leader, or a minister like myself, needs to understand that the real broker of the power they have is in God. With that, it changes their prospective. Solomon puts it this way in Proverbs 29:2 ; “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked person rules, the people groan.”

        Anna is a good ruler and sees herself as a “servent-leader.” With help from you, Elsa, myself and Yixin, she’ll be a great leader.

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      2. Warm greetings, Trade Minister! The only memory I have of my long-lost father is that he was an Anglican deacon. His missionary work took us to the Celestial Empire, where I was born.

        I see the Christian ideal of a leader as one that leads by selfless sacrifice and concern for the wellbeing of others. I hope Anna takes to heart these virtues, for the temptations of this age to find an easy way out are too great. I have faith in Anna since she’s chosen the difficult road of reunifying her kingdom with Northuldra. I’ll be watching closely.

        Sincerely,
        Miss Peony Sinclair

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  1. “As far as I am concerned, no matter what, Harrison and Katina will not have an easy road to get what they want. And especially, I don’t want them to get what they want. They don’t deserve it. Any of it. I thank Elsa for choosing to get more involved in things with Anna but let it be known that Arendelle is more than just Elsa and Anna. Its all of us working together, especially with our allies. I myself have been working extra hard to keep myself prepared. I will be ready.”

    Alan

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    1. I saw you during my last visit to Arendelle, in the hours of the early morning. Anna seems to trust you very much. I don’t know how well all of you might fare against Harrison or Katina, but if Anna proves herself worthy, a great destiny awaits her as a national leader.

      Sincerely,
      Miss Peony Sinclair

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure you know this already, but, at least in a physical, one-on-one sense, I beat Harrison not long ago, the same day he came to sign that dammed treaty and forced Anna’s hand. Dude was not going to leave unscathed, I wouldn’t allow it. I know Anna is worthy, I think we all do. I can’t wait to see what happens. And I’ll be right with her.

        Alan

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