“Ashflakes,” by Alanna (@alhuart)
ARENDELLE; MOSCOW – The tsar of Imperial Russia, Nicholas I, has formally declared war on the Kingdom of Arendelle, marking a grim and uncertain new period of hostilities in Northern Europe.
It’s the beginning of a dark New Year in Arendelle as the kingdom’s unsettled citizenry share fears about the future in homes, bars, or in the village plaza. Futures of Arendellian products, in particular ice, timber, and fisheries, plunged on the Amsterdam stock market. Arendelle’s military, led by General Mattias, has begun movements in and around the Arendelle region, positioning troops at key strategic locations and deploying new weapons of war that Anna reluctantly commissioned.
Nicholas I is notoriously known as the tsar that tried to invade Arendelle during former queen Elsa’s reign. He was forced to accept Elsa’s peace terms his after Baltic Fleet was annihilated by Elsa and Colisa’s alliance at the Battle of Odinland. Leading this second invasion is his much more cunning and ruthless daughter, Princess Katina Romanov, who commands a reformed Baltic Fleet, vast armies, and three powerful Grand Dukes: Yaraslaf, Nykras, and Sora.
“The newspapers of Arendelle cast us as the villains, but Mother Russia has endured incursions from the west for too long,” she told the Russian press. She claimed to have patiently bided her time, waiting for the right chance to convince her father that it was time for a new invasion, led by her. “From Napoleon to even Alexander the Great, it was always the west that ravaged the heartland of Eurasia. Not us. This year, we take the first step in securing Russian security and sovereignty – the pacification of Scandinavia, which will stand as a bulwark against future French, British, or any other European aggression!”
She also took aim at Anna for the recent destruction of a railway line in the forests of the Russo-Arendellian border, using Operation Fire Strike as the reason for the formal declaration of hostilities. “Anna had no proof that the railway line was going to be used for military purposes. Her Northuldra friends have trespassed and made a mockery of Russian property. Once more, news outlets are overlooking the pre-emptive aggression taken by Arendelle, and blaming Russia for legitimate action.”
Most countries have scrambled to stay neutral, afraid of risking the wrath of the Grand Dukes. However, the Entente of Small Kingdoms, in support of founding member Arendelle, released a joint statement from the Duke of Weselton, Princess Mari of Vesterland, Queen Colisa of Chatho, and Prince Hans of the Southern Isles: “Make no mistake: this is a naked act of aggression by an imperialist, colonial power. It’s a violent attempt to seize the levers of government and authority from a legitimate and popular sovereign, Queen Anna. It’s a cynical exercise paving the way for further expansion. As allies, we’ll spare no effort to help Arendelle resist the Romanov conquest.”
While no battles have been fought yet, Arendelle and Russia are formally now at war. Anna released her own statement to the Big Three papers of Arendelle, warning: “Katina’s empire is is many, many times our size, their population dwarfing ours, and their resources considerable. I’ve witnessed for myself how frightening her generals are. As queen, I can’t sugarcoat horrible situations, and it’s my duty to be honest with my people. But I’d also like to be honest with Katina: for every step you take on our soil, you’ll meet resistance from my own champions, who are much, much stronger than you think. Arendelle’s small size has forced monarchs down the ages to be creative and crafty. Are you sure you’re ready to test me on that, Katina?”
Arendellian and Russian strategists and commanders have already begun feverishly preparing their battle plans. It’s largely believed that Katina will open three main theatres: the North Sea, Northuldra, and Arendelle itself. Anna will respond accordingly, and has made several bold, dramatic moves to beef up Arendellian chances of repelling Russia – namely, her own reforms and expansion of Arendelle’s standing troops, and recommissioning the fearsome ironclad warship of Muspelheim, formerly the property of noblewoman Viola Mundilfari. She also commands a formidable alliance in the Entente, as well as the tribespeople and spirits of Northuldra, a defensive vanguard with home ground advantage.
From both sides’ perspectives, this will be a viciously fought war, and the fate of Northern Europe and Eurasia itself hangs in the balance.