TO: GENERAL DESTIN MATTIAS
RE: The global situation, as concerns Her Majesty and the Exalted
Selene Severin’s agents have spread across the planet and begun gathering important intelligence about the elixir of life. Soon, Her Majesty may approach you to mobilize the Borealis Corps or the larger army to act on the intelligence that the Ravens provide. Perhaps the Exalted themselves will choose to act and come to our regions of interest. We have begun identifying these regions based on meticulous collating of local information, rumours, legends, and accounts. We have tapped into local networks, government figures friendly or allied to Arendelle, and, where appropriate, reached out with attractive rewards for the more mercenary-minded.
In our first report, we will relay to you what we know about Queen Anna’s targets of South America (Queen Colisa’s jurisdiction), Africa (Honeymaren’s assignment), and Inner Asia (Peony’s specialty).
South America: The continent is undergoing unprecedented change as nationalist movements sweep across multiple countries. The Spaniards are suffering loss after loss of territories, and the turmoil nearer to home during Napoleon’s takeover of Spain effectively showed the world that the Spanish Empire is now a spent force. We don’t need to deal with the Spanish as the rulers of South America now, for we have new governments to deal with: specifically those that are loyal to the nationalist legacy of Simon Bolivar.
According to some of our allies in the new nation of Peru, founded only in 1824 (when King Agnarr was still in power), there is a most mysterious ruin called Machu Picchu, a citadel built by the long-lost civilization called the Incas. It lies on the Cordillera Oriental, the eastern side, of the Andes mountain range. There are whispers that after the Spaniards fled a couple of decades ago, hauntings began to be seen and heard across the Andes. Ghostly figures and noises persistently echo amidst the mountain ranges, and it’s gotten to the point that there’s (false) talk that the Spaniards left a curse upon the native people.
We shall spare no effort in reaching out to Ramón Castilla, a competent and respected leader who has just succeeded the recently deceased Domingo Nieto, Grand Marshal of the newly independent Peru. He may be able to assist us in forming an alliance with Peru, and mounting an expedition to Machu Picchu.
Africa: We have traced echoes and rumours of a possible fragment of the elixir of life to Gondar, the capital of the Ethiopian Empire. The once glorious Solomonic Dynasty, which has ruled Ethiopia since the 13th Century, is in a state of decay and impotence as warlords vie for control over the emperor. These warlords are known as the Wara Sheh. We must identify who among them can amass resources for an expedition to unlocking the secrets of this fallen yet once-glorious royal clan – after all, they claim descent from the very King Solomon and Queen of Sheba in the Bible.
There are hints of knowledge – scattered here and there, and pieced together painstakingly by our agents and Selene – that the Solomonic Dynasty has ties to both the Exalted and the Moonborn and their elixir. But Ethiopia is a large and complex country, and Gondar is in political turmoil. Honeymaren must be careful.
Inner Asia: There is a great tussle underway between the great empires for control of the Eurasian overland. The Russians have long eyed inroads past the borders fixed by the Qing’s Kangxi Emperor centuries ago. The British wish to divide and rule to offset any threat to their Indian base, which shares borders with Russia and China. Stuck in the middle of all this are the once-proud Mongol people, who have been chafing under Qing rule for a while now.
We don’t seek any disruption in the balance of power between Russia, China, and the Mongol tribes. Intelligence provided by Katina Romanov’s spies report of surges of magical power. These manifest as minor earthquakes and bursts of light, illuminating the night sky eerily. Rumours abound that these surges are coming from the purported grave of Genghis Khan, who was himself a member of the Exalted centuries ago. No one has discovered this tomb before, which is almost unbelievable for a personage so august and respected among the Mongol peoples. We strongly suspect that a fragment of the elixir of life is located here, but it will be difficult to locate the mountain in which this mythic grave is located: somewhere in either Inner or Outer Mongolia.
We’ll need the cooperation of the Qing authorities and the Mongol locals. Peony Sinclair, emissary of Lord Yixin and an Exalted member, was mindful of this when she chose Inner Asia as her region of focus. We’ll expect her to liaise with Anna on this expedition soon.
General, we will be back with more information for your use regarding the situation in Europe (Anna’s focus) and Arabia (Kristoff and Tileke’s sphere of influence).
The stage is set for a great odyssey around the world. This has never happened in the history of Arendelle, and could set the stage for Queen Anna’s most enduring legacy, along with her unification of the kingdom and the lands of Northuldra. This will be her life’s work. We don’t know if she’ll succeed or fail, but she will go down in history as the most ambitious monarch of Arendelle, ever.
Of course, where there are possible locations of the elixir, so there may be the fragments’ hidden guardians, the Moonborn.
We await your reply and thoughts, General.
– END OF REPORT –