“Mistress of the Night,” by hanna.digiart (@HDigiart)
By Jeanne, reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
ARENDELLE – In her most dramatic move yet, the queen unveiled Arendelle’s most powerful warship at a sober military ceremony with Mattias in the morning. The recommissioning of Muspelheim comes as rumours swirl amongst Arendelle’s political circles about the impending return of Anna’s prime minister, the noblewoman Vi, from London.
At the ceremony, Anna formally conferred responsibility of the ship on Hilde, who doubles as both General Mattias’ second-in-command and Vi’s bodyguard-cum-lieutenant.
“It’s an indication of how far we’ve come, for me to pass Muspelheim back into the hands of her original owners,” she told the press. “I do this with clear eyes and an enthusiastic heart. I have no regrets.”
Anna’s move was anticipated by journalists and observers of Arendellian affairs, since Muspelheim was part of the agenda for military reforms in response to impending war with Russia. Yet it was not without controversy, given Muspelheim’s background.
Anna declared that Muspelheim would be assigned to the Arendellian navy alongside Anna’s personal flagship, Pride of Elsa, and Mattias’ ship Nobility. The modern ironclad ship, more advanced and threatening than any Arendellian counterpart, is an ideal answer to the overwhelming power of the Baltic Fleet. Together, the three ships will form the main defence against the Baltic Fleet, the elite Russian naval force led by Grand Duke Yaraslaf. All three ships can transport troops and engage in prolonged naval battles, which will be crucial to resisting the Baltic Fleet’s attempt to establish a beachhead on the island opposite to the fjord.
Armed with two pivot-mounted thirty two-pounder and four six-pounder guns, the presence of Muspelheim at the docks of Arendelle struck a chilling sense of foreboding and fear into the hearts of attendees and passers-by. She was originally secretly constructed for the Mundilfari family at a cove near the Jotunheimen Mountains. The last time she saw service, her cannons had actually been aimed at Arendelle, with Vi attempting to force Anna into accepting the warship as a gift to build a new Arendellian empire and to strike at Northuldra. After a climactic confrontation with Anna aboard Muspelheim, Vi was defeated by Elsa and forced to retreat. The warship was confiscated by the Arendellian military and stowed in its own shipyard until just recently, when Katina Romanov’s territorial ambitions fully emerged.
The recommissioning of Muspelheim coincides with news of Vi’s return, who has been on a long and mysterious sojourn in London. Even though the prime minister’s absence has inconvenienced Anna significantly, she remains tight-lipped about the nature of the visit to Britain, telling the press: “Vi asked me not to tell any of you, so I can’t. She’s been on a top secret mission. I’m just glad she’s coming back.”
This hasn’t stopped the press from speculating. Furthermore, there are rumours circulating all the way from London about something unspeakable having happened to Vi. Anna has refused to confirm or deny hearsay that Vi is being accompanied by a blonde, green-eyed British young woman, and that they often barricade themselves in their cabin for hours on end, refusing to let anyone see Vi. At night, the seamen swear they can see bats fluttering above the ship, despite them being surrounded by saltwater, and when the Countess is on deck, the moon’s light glows blood red.
“I don’t know the young lady accompanying her,” responded Anna when approached about these rumours, “but I look forward to welcoming both her and Vi back here. My mind is completely focused on preparing for the battles to come and to reassuring and protecting my citizens. As to this wild gossip about some supernatural aura about Vi, well, she is a vampire, right?”
Anna later clarified to this reporter that she was joking, and expects to enjoy with Vi a rich catch-up dinner of roast chicken and potatoes rather than silver goblets of blood.