From: Husrev Pasha, Lord High Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
To: Lady Tileke, serasker (supreme commander) of the Mansure Army (Asâkir-i Mansûre-i Muhammediye)
In the name of our sultan Abdulmejid I, I greet you, my dearest kerime, my little girl who I adopted in secret and nurtured to this day. You’ve been preparing all your life for this, the restoration of Ottoman influence around the globe. Now, we seize our chance with Arendelle.
It has been nearly two decades since the Janissary corps, that rotting edifice of entitlement, stagnation, and seditious behaviour, was annihilated and abolished. The Janissaries lost battle after battle to the Europeans even as they looted the sultan’s treasury to hoard wealth and pleasures, and we watched, enraged, as we grew weaker and poorer at the hands of their fiefdom.
The Auspicious Incident, which swept away this obsolete group of so-called “elite” warriors, was followed shortly by the Akkerman Convention in 1826, which Russia forced us to sign during our moment of weakness. Remember what I taught you: never forget that the Russian Empire wants to carve up our territories in Egypt and the Balkans, and if they had a chance, the Europeans would join in too.
No more Janissaries. Instead, a lean, mean, modernised fighting force that answers only to the sultan, the Mansure Army – placed in your hands, dear girl, as a reward for your hard work, training, and valour.
Now the Russians are pushing westward again: this time, further up north, with Princess Katina Romanov’s hungry eye on the small kingdom of Arendelle. Her Grand Dukes are frightening indeed – perhaps up to the challenge of destroying even Elsa, the Snow Queen, and finally conquering Arendelle.
I trust you’ve read my dossier in preparation for your meeting with the Arendellians – despite her friendships with the Western European powers, Queen Anna has effectively been abandoned by Britain and France as she faces Russia alone. Yes, she has her Entente of Small Kingdoms, but what can five ants do to an elephant?
The Arendellian diplomats are worried about more than just Russian annexation. Apart from some supply lines from Austria, which Anna’s fiancé Kristoff lobbied hard for, why are the Europeans keeping neutral?
The answer is brutal and simple: they’re betting that it’s too much effort to stop Katina and her Grand Dukes. Instead, it would be easier to appease Katina and persuade her to let them carve up Arendelle’s economy and territory once the war is over. Russia would get the prize meat, while the rest feed off Arendelle’s prone polity like vultures. The prosperity of the kingdom and its geostrategic importance are immense, compared to its size.
Everyone is watching how the war between Arendelle and Russia will turn out, jostling for a piece of the pie.
If Anna loses. If.
Everything I’ve written so far hinges on this assumption. The chances of Arendelle surviving the Romanovs’ onslaught are slight, yes. Apparently, their allies have already been swept aside by a Russian Grand Duke. The fight is unbalanced. But this is where you come in: to tip the scales. It’s time for the Mansure Army to move. Your objective is to rendezvous with Anna and her commanders and provide them with the assistance they need. Observe the movements of Yaraslaf’s Baltic Fleet for now, and see how they strike at Arendellian territory. Coordinate with Anna as needed… now is the time for you to shine, Tileke, and to make us proud.
Arendelle’s victory will be our victory too. Good luck and God be with you.
Your Grand Vizier,