Featured image “Katina, Sora, and Nykras,” by PURY (@puryartist)
By Mikail, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
MOSCOW; VESTERLAND – In a fresh blow to Anna’s struggle against Russia, Vesterland has surrendered to the Russian Empire after a surprise blockade of the kingdom’s main trade routes by imperial tsarist forces.
Our correspondent in Vesterland can reveal that Princess Mari is being held under house arrest in her own palace, with her father King Jonas forced to appoint a “liaison resident” approved by Katina Romanov. As a token of good faith for Russia, Vesterland must further suspend its supply routes of raw material to Arendelle, its main contribution to Anna’s war effort.
Most worrying to Anna’s commanders will be the fact that the “blockade” was accomplished, without a battle, by a single head sent by Katina: Grand Duke Sora.
Based on reports about this anticlimactic confrontation, General Mattias has deduced that Sora somehow persuaded Vesterland to give up resistance before she unleashed her power on the kingdom. There’s little doubt that the army of Vesterland, already meagre and poorly equipped, couldn’t offer much resistance against the guardian angel of the Romanov family. The kingdom’s impoverished state, as well as its dependence on overland routes for trade that Russia now has control over, gave it very little bargaining space.
The non-battle would seem to correspond to Arendellian intelligence that Sora is among the more kind-hearted Grand Dukes in Katina’s retinue. It also matches sightings of a mysterious red-haired woman that appeared in Arendelle several months ago, walking and talking with Queen Anna and the trade minister Michael and warrior Sir Alan, before abruptly disappearing (and has since not returned).
With Vesterland committing to neutrality for the rest of the conflict, Queen Colisa of Chatho missing, and the Weselton, Southern Isles, and Chathoan navies destroyed by the late Yaraslaf, Anna’s alliance has been effectively put out of the war between Arendelle and Russia. Although the Arendellians won the Battle of Arenfjord (at great cost to themselves), Russia continues to deploy superior resources in piling pressure on Anna. The conflict has entered a new and dangerous phase, with the Ottomans the only significant party vested in seeing Russia fail.
This war remains our monarch’s greatest test.
When you get this, you’ll know what has already transpired. I’m so sorry. I seem to keep letting you down – first with Harrison, and now having to withdraw the little help that Vesterland could offer. At the very least, we won’t be committing troops against Arendelle, so that’s something, I guess. Please don’t be angry at Dad for our surrender. I made the call after Sora approached our army outside Vesterland’s fort walls.
I swear to you, what I saw just a few days ago still keeps me up at night. I saw that red-haired woman erupting in flames, burning away her dress and revealing an armoured warrior underneath. Her wings unfurled from behind her back as a white-hot inferno engulfed the entire area, wave after wave of burning, unbearably hot air sweeping over our terrified army. The entire sky turned orange and red. We were drenched in our own sweat, and some of us fainted from the heat! In my nightmares, I can still see her casually drawing her sword, entwined snakes of fire bursting from her guard, and wrapping themselves around the blade. She casually waved the sword at us, and it was as if we were being incinerated, with not even ashes left behind.
Her eyes and face were deadly serious as she told me that my surrender would spare a great many lives. She even apologized to me, but told me to make the better of two horrible choices. I can still hear her voice, so quiet and gentle, over the roar of the conflagration.
When I told my generals to wave the white flag (even though the fabric had gone up in flames), Sora was true to her word and allowed her display of power to dissipate, sparing all our lives. She looked eager to leave us in peace. She even held and comforted my crying self, before shooting into the heavens. Perhaps this is how she negotiates her mistress’s conquering instincts with her angelic nature.
I’m out of this fight. But you’re not. I write this with the utmost urgency: Sora will come for you, and you must summon Elsa if you want us all to have a hope of surviving. Sora is terrifying, but she hates the loss of innocent life as much as we do. There’s a chance that you can convince her to thrash out any final confrontation with Elsa away from Arendelle’s village.
I’ll be cheering you on, even if I might be helpless to assist you. I believe in you, and most importantly, Elsa believes in you. I don’t know where Colisa or our other allies are, but they believe in you more than anything or anyone.
Please… stop Sora. No: stop her master, Katina.
With all my love and regret,