Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)
By Camilla, Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
The injured Honeymaren and her Northuldra compatriot, Amira, have made a full recovery at their hillside cottage. Palace sources have also confirmed that they will lead Northuldra’s main defence against a future attack by Nykras, Grand Duke of Russia.
The good news was first circulated in a press statement from the palace, with Queen Anna expressing her delight and relief. Anna and Elsa had both been visiting Maren and Amira regularly since the latter’s convalescence began. The sister-queens often headed into town to buy groceries for the two women (royal consort Kristoff was often seen running up the hill with several baskets’ worth of food and drink), or keeping them updated on political matters.
“It’s my pleasure to confirm that my Home Minister and the huntress are more or less able to walk and handle themselves – delicately,” said Anna to reporters. “Elsa’s been especially worried about Maren and I’m so glad they can spend more time together. I trust Maren and Amira will be discreet with their physical limitations, and I’ll be keeping an eagle eye on them to make sure they don’t overwork themselves!”
Maren and Amira were both severely hurt in Saint Petersburg during a brutal skirmish with the werebear Yaraslaf, one of Princess Katina’s Grand Dukes and top commanders. Anna had summoned the kingdom’s best physicians and doctors to watch over them, assigning them a comfortable, cozy cottage to live in during convalescence. Northuldra medicine, with recipes known only to Amira and Maren, helped to accelerate their recovery.
Such a recovery is timely, since Northuldra has been identified as one of the three major targets for the Russian invasion of Arendelle.
“The ancient lich Nykras, who’s been around for many centuries, is the Grand Duke chosen by Katina to lead the invasion of the forest,” warned Anna, “and while I’ve never faced his undead armies, I know they’ll be formidable and terrifying. It’s my fervent hope that Maren and Amira can coordinate with Yelena and Ryder, and all the other tribespeople, a plan to prepare the forest for a great danger.”
“Amira has demonstrated a willingness to forgive Arendelle for our kingdom’s wrongdoings. She’s even going to make amends with Yelena, who in good faith sent Northuldra boys and girls to be schooled in Arendelle’s institutions. We can continue our various dialogues and cross-cultural engagements now that Arendelle is working to heal the wounds of the past,” wrote Anna in a separate press statement. “On top of her incredible martial prowess, Amira’s repaired her relationship with Maren, and so I sincerely, truly see myself as her friend as well. I think all of us in the inner court feel the same way.”
Anna had written in a memo to the Great Assembly that Amira deserved not just a pardon, but a position of leadership. Amira expressed her reservations about such a prospect, noting that she preferred to work alone, but was willing to engage in dangerous missions to sabotage Russian military infrastructure and even target Imperial Russian operatives and commanders. “I definitely wouldn’t want to be on the opposite side of a battle with Amira – as we can attest to experience!” joked Anna.
In any other situation, Elsa would be present to defend the forest from encroaching threats. But the threat of the guardian angel Sora, reputedly the strongest among the Grand Dukes, has forced Elsa to return to Arendelle to assist Anna’s counterattack.
“It’s come full circle, in a certain way,” the Snow Queen told this reporter. “My powers awakened in Arendelle, and then I became the guardian of Northuldra. But now, Maren and Amira must assist me in my absence while I help Anna defend Arendelle from Russia’s most concentrated attack.”
As Home Minister, Maren has already set about reinforcing coordination between the Ravens, Arendelle’s espionage bureau, and Mattias’ soldiers. “Her Majesty has kindly given me every permission to use all my new authority to ensure that we can stay updated on all of Russia’s movements,” Maren told reporters. “I also can tell you that we’ve asked Amira to work with our tribe to stop Nykras when he comes. I think you’ll find our people more than happy to defend our home and forest with a ferocity that’ll surpass any invader’s expectations.”
Anna is also banking on the assistance of the spirits themselves – Gale, the Nokk, Bruni, and the Earth Giants – who will surely be enraged by the encroachment of the eerie undead against Northuldra lands. The nature spirits are timeless, primeval forces that called to Elsa to become the Fifth Spirit, the bridge between them and humanity. They dwell in Northuldra, their endless natural-spiritual power a source of nourishment for the tribespeople and also for Arendelle.
“If Katina has enlisted the help of the supernatural to assist in her invasion, then I don’t see why I can’t do the same for my defence,” said Anna.
The warning to Russia from Arendelle’s newspapers is clear: don’t expect an easy fight.