Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)
By HM Queen Anna
I admit it. I wasn’t expecting things would turn out this way. It feels almost too good to be true, like I’m getting the best of both worlds. My sister has come back to me, at least more often than she’d otherwise do. I feel a bit guilty for roping her in, but I like to remind myself that Elsa extended the offer first. I don’t know if she was expecting me to refuse her politely, being a good sport and all that. But I don’t play coy, so I accepted right away.
With her by my side in governance, I feel invincible, like there’s nothing Arendelle can’t do. Alright, alright, maybe not quite. Mattias was correct when he told me that I can’t get too cocky. After all, it’s because of Mr. Harrison that Elsa is even making a return to frontline politics. Well, that and increasingly sombre reports of Russia’s military buildup – an invasion force amassed specially for Scandinavia.
I’m flattered, Princess Katina. But I will resist you until my last breath.
Despite the fact that we probably share similarly fiery dispositions, I need to dig in for the long haul. Katina is patient. She’s ruthless, strategic, and believes sincerely and utterly in Russia as the Third Rome, the successor to true, Orthodox Christendom. There’ll be no easy treaty with her, no quick war that resolves the differences between us. She knows that her father, Nicholas I, suffered from impatience and a lack of contingency planning. That’s why he was forced to back down and welcome Elsa and Colisa to Saint Petersburg for negotiations after the Baltic Fleet was destroyed by Elsa.
If it were up to Katina, Russia would never have banked the viability of its invasion on a single front. And when she launches her own assault, the Baltic Fleet will surely be only one of many theatres I must mount a to-the-death resistance in.
I have to admit, I still feel a bit surreal sometimes when I remind myself that not only does one of the Exalted’s members, Mr. Harrison, want to bend our economy to his will, but that another member, Katina, is actively planning a campaign that will sweep across the Scandinavian Peninsula – the northern bridge of Eurasia between Western and Central Europe.
I’m being tested, no doubt about that. To my limits.
Elsa and I have spent several long evenings discussing the Romanov family’s motivations, about what makes them tick. I’m struck by how deeply Katina believes in the righteousness of her family’s rule over such a vast region of the world (we in Arendelle are a fraction of the size of Saint Petersburg, let alone the whole of Russia). There’s the revenge factor, how much she despises Elsa for thwarting Nicholas I’s first attack. Katina has surely factored my sister into her war games, and I have no doubt that her generals and armies will be far better prepared for Elsa’s amazing powers.
My war effort will be comprehensive, my defence relentless. I’ll mobilize everything I have, from the Entente of Small Kingdoms to Mattias and Hilde’s forces, to stop an Imperial Russian conquest of Scandinavia that will guarantee Katina’s dominion over Eurasia for years to come. Elsa and I are going to prove to Miss Sinclair and Lord Yixin that Arendelle must and will be heard at the table of the Exalted and other forces behind the great empires.
When the day comes – when Katina comes – I promise you all that Elsa and I will defend hearth and home with our lives.