By HM Queen Anna
I was always prepared for this moment – the time when Arendelle would have no choice but to meet the challenge of a great power. It’s a classic underdog story, and pretty much everyone is an underdog when it comes to a mighty empire like Russia.
But even though many have called me a fairytale princess, life is anything but a fairytale for national leaders, who have to face hard choices and dilemmas every day. I’ve always fought hard and come out stronger whether in defeat or victory. But the world of global politics isn’t so simple. War and peace are matters of life and death, and you can’t just go lick your wounds after a loss. To gamble incorrectly on a conflict means the needless loss of life above all. But it can also mean loss of territory, loss of sovereignty, and even the extinction of the country itself.
I’ve deployed a two-pronged strategy against Imperial Russia: exploit the differences among Princess Katina’s elite circle of commanders, the Grand Dukes, and use Kristoff’s global trade connections to position other countries against Russian advances. Sir Alan, my uncle Michael, and myself have tried to convince Sora, the most senior yet kindest of Katina’s Grand Dukes, that Russia would be better off as friends with us. Perhaps Russia could even join our Entente of Small Kingdoms. Sora has been the guardian angel of the Romanov family for centuries, but she lacks Nykras’ relentless vengeance or Yaraslaf’s thirst for battle and destruction. She might be able to convince Katina to relent, or perhaps hinder Yaraslaf and Nykras.
I’ve also placed hopes on Klemens Von Metternich and Pasha Tileke, top leaders in Vienna and Constantinople respectively, to put some pressure on Russia and perhaps isolate them in a way that they haven’t experienced since Napoleon Bonaparte. The initial letters from Kristoff’s directors and signals from Austrian and Ottoman diplomats seem to indicate a good start. If I can disrupt Russia’s hold on the Black Sea, I might have more leverage against their designs on the North Sea around Arendelle. But can Maren and Amira lead a defence of Northuldra against Nykras? We’d need the help of the very spirits!
The probability of this two-pronged diplomatic defence’s success isn’t certain, but I have General Mattias leading the High Command should it come down to military conflict. Chatho and Vesterland stand ready, staunch allies of our kingdom. And I’ve asked this newspaper to tear Russia apart like never before in the press (both morning and evening editions!). If Katina wants to be feared and hated, Chief is willing to help them with that.
Arendelle has been at peace for centuries. Elsa will call me a silly billy, but I can’t help feeling a bit upset that Russia has chosen to make its long-awaited move under my watch. Of course, Elsa will tell me that it wasn’t the first time, that this is simply the second act in a long-running saga that began with Elsa’s reign. The first true war between Arendelle and Russia was handily won by her and Colisa, and that didn’t spell the end of diplomatic relations between our two nations (in fact, bilateral trade has grown up until now). This struggle started with Elsa and Katina’s father. It’ll fall to Katina and me, Elsa’s successor, to finish it.
Once more, my inexperience as a queen is starting to show, but I must draw upon everything that I have to mount a sustainable resistance.
A monarch is only as strong as her people. Please, give me strength, my friends. In the end, I’m just a fellow citizen like you. I’m a young woman struggling to do the right thing. If you see me that way, I know you’ll feel that I need your help and encouragement.