Anna’s Column: My Meeting with the Lotus and Crocus, Part Two

Featured image “Emerald Dragon” by Arute (@ast05water)

By Anna

The mansion of Peony Sinclair had been invaded. The chandelier above them shook, and the hall was filled with battle cries.

“It’s the Floodgate triads, I’m sure of it. Harrison’s men,” declared Lady Kam, Kristoff’s comprador and the manager of Bjorgman’s Chinese trade. Everyone had stood up, nervously readying themselves for a violent brawl, but Anna was still glaring at Peony, who’d just dropped a bombshell on them all.

“Lord Yixin is immortal? He isn’t human? I mean, I knew he was uniquely powerful, and sure, there was something disturbing and otherworldly about his appearance. Elsa and I have always known that. But you can’t just pull this revelation on me and then let this go,” cried Anna, putting a hand on Peony’s slender shoulder.

“I’m not letting it go. In case you haven’t noticed, the Floodgate gang has broken into my manor. I don’t have time to explain now. Let’s ensure your safety first, and then I shall reveal all. In fact, it’s still ideal you hear it from my lord’s mouth,” said Peony coolly.

The mansion rang with rapid footsteps as screams of the household servants rang out through the halls and rooms. “They’re attacking my people. Lady Kam, you’ve got to get out of here, and bring the queen and her retinue with you,” demanded Peony.

Continue reading “Anna’s Column: My Meeting with the Lotus and Crocus, Part Two”

Michael’s Musings: Dinner with Tileke

Featured image art “At the Nokk Club” by PURY (@puryartist)

By Michael, Trade Minister

Before the hostilities of the Russo-Arendellian War, I had the chance to spend some time with Arendelle’s newest friend and ally, serakser Tileke of the Ottoman Empire. “Serakser” means “commander” – in other words, Tileke was to the Ottomans what General Mattias was to Arendelle.

This energetic fireball leader of the Ottoman forces came to help relieve and bolster the depleted Arendellian military before the final Battle of Arendelle. She presented herself with a swashbuckling flair and energy that is rare and amazing to see. With her invaluable assistance, we were able to stop Princess Katina Romanov from conquering Arendelle (yet at a price, I must say, was so terribly high for both sides, especially Katina.)

I had invited Tileke to dinner with me at the Nokk Club to get to know her better, and also discuss potential business. Her father is the Grand Vizier himself, Husrev Pasha, who’s like our own Prime Minister Countess Viola Mundilfari. Our kingdoms have a very good trade business going and I wanted to explore ways of making them better. Making friends like Tileke go very far in that endeavour… especially on a personal level outside of business where myself, Queen Anna, Snow Queen Elsa, Sir Alan, and the others are concerned.

We arrived at the Club and ordered our drinks before ordering dinner. I had pulled out a cigar to relax with. Tileke glanced at me from the corner of her eye, intrigued. She was curious, hungry to learn about everything that made Arendelle – especially things that looked wild and unusual. “That’s not how we usually inhale back on the Bosphorus,” she said, sitting back casually and rocking on her chair, much to the disapproval of the waiters around her. “What’s that stick?” Tileke asked me.

Continue reading “Michael’s Musings: Dinner with Tileke”

A Future Without Elsa

Featured image art “Snowstorm” by PURY (@puryart)

VICTORY as Queen Anna stakes vampire traitor Countess Vi through her heart

By Mikael, Defence Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

The desperate rebellion against Anna led by Countess Vi, Anna’s former prime minister, is about to be crushed by Her Majesty. As this article is going to press, the newly conquered states of the Southern Isles, Chatho, Weselton, and Vesterland will be recognizing Anna as the new and first Empress of Arendelle.

Loyal citizens of Arendelle, rejoice! Our beautiful motherland is now the Empire of Arendelle!

Since the death of Elsa, Anna was tragically broken and, as if a fire was lit within her, gloriously rallied and wiped out all her enemies. Seeing herself as a failure, she rapidly reorganized our kingdom into an engine of “total war,” and began a campaign of relentless expansion. Now Arendelle is several times its original size, having swallowed all her former allies, and with a navy that has blown apart the Prussian and Austrian fleets in Europe. Anna is even poised to wrench colonies in Asia and the Americas from their original masters of the British and French.

Yet in the midst of all this glory, the Countess claimed that Anna had lost her way and instigated a rebellion. Treason! It’s obvious that she simply wanted to seize the new Arendellian Empire for herself. After more than two years of fierce civil war, Her Majesty has crushed Vi’s forces and is now poised to seize Mundilfari Keep itself!

The sister-queens are dead. All hail the Last Sister!

Long live Empress Anna!

Continue reading “A Future Without Elsa”

Journals of the Exalted II: The Ruby Tiger

Featured image art “The New Exalted” by Arute (@ast05water)

Welcome to Journals of the Exalted! This is Part II of a four-part series exploring each member of Anna’s new Exalted. Now that she’s accepted leadership of this secret society, she’ll also be responsible for putting it together… before Lord Yixin tasks her with his ultimate objective.

Make sure to follow each member’s story:

Overture: Your Burden

Part I: The Gold Reindeer

Part II: The Ruby Tiger

Part III: The Sapphire Phoenix

Part IV: The Emerald Dragon

*

BREAKING: “It’s like my heart, twisted into a knot, has been freed”: Anna Overjoyed as Colisa of Chatho Arrives in Arendelle

By Brunhilde, Politics Editor for The Arendelle Guardian

In a remarkable turn of events, Ottoman general Tileke has succeeded in her rescue expedition, having retrieved Prince Hans of the Southern Isles and the Duke of Weselton from shipwrecks off the coasts of the Batavian Republic and Germany. She was also able to rescue Queen Colisa of Chatho, Anna’s primary international ally.

Our queen Anna, upon hearing of the news, was said by courtiers to have burst into tears of joy and emotion. It wasn’t lost on her high command that she instantly gave orders for Tileke to have Colisa come to Arendelle first. As of now, neither Anna nor General Mattias have disclosed their plans concerning Colisa with the press.

The three sovereigns, along with Mari of Vesterland, are members of Anna’s Entente of Small Kingdoms, an alliance that Anna formed in order to collectively resist the pressure of larger kingdoms, empires, and colonial powers. However, the alliance proved unable to mount an effective military resistance against the Russian invasion of Arendelle, with the fleets of Chatho, the Southern Isles, and Weselton obliterated and Vesterland neutralized. With Arendelle now in a position of newfound power and influence after standing alone against Katina Romanov, it’s uncertain what Anna will choose to do with the Entente.

Continue reading “Journals of the Exalted II: The Ruby Tiger”

Anna springs into action as Ottoman ally Tileke rescues Queen Colisa of Chatho

Featured image art “Supreme commander,” by PURY (@puryartist)

Dear Anna,

Thank you for taking care of me for all these weeks. By the time you receive this, I’ll be halfway back to Saint Petersburg. My flagship will be in the North Sea, perhaps a short distance from where my Baltic Fleet and your naval coalition first exchanged fire. I burn with shame for having directed the late Yaraslaf against your allies and inflicting so much violence on Queen Colisa, the Duke of Weselton, and even Hans, all of whom you’ve told me plenty about during my time in Arendelle.

The fact that you’ve treated me, your invader, so kindly and compassionately after my own catastrophic mistake, should be a source of eternal shame for me. That’s the one point that you and I will always differ on: that you, in your eternal optimism and kindness, feel that you can forgive me once I’ve made amends for my cruelty. You’re wrong. My debt to you for giving me another chance to lead Russia, the way Sora would have wanted me to, will last long after my death.

I miss her.

Continue reading “Anna springs into action as Ottoman ally Tileke rescues Queen Colisa of Chatho”

Anna’s Column: For Elsa and Arendelle, I must be something more

Hi, Chief! It’s Anna. I’m sorry I’m late with my column draft again. Things have been super hectic, I’m sure you’d agree. I’m still getting things back on their feet after the war with Russia. You’ve been reporting on Princess Katina’s departure back to Saint Petersburg, right? Ever since the war began you had your printing presses operating round the clock and your reporters in the fray with my soldiers. I hope none of your war correspondents were put in harm’s way.

I know you’ve promised to publish glowing articles about our kingdom’s victory, and you’ve already started writing about our kingdom’s new influence among the European powers. It’s slightly embarrassing, but thank you. We could use the encouragement.

Continue reading “Anna’s Column: For Elsa and Arendelle, I must be something more”

VICTORY proclaimed as Arendelle signs armistice with Russia

By Mikael, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE; SAINT PETERSBURG – Against the odds, the Kingdom of Arendelle has outlasted a months-long Russian onslaught, with General Mattias signing an armistice with Russian leader Princess Katina in the heavily damaged Arendelle Castle.

The armistice states that Russia will promise to never wage a war of aggression against Arendelle again, while Arendelle will return Katina to Saint Petersburg and receive millions of Arendellian kroner worth in an indemnity.

The war cost over a thousand Arendellian lives and even more on the side of the Russians. Several senior ranking officers of the Arendellian army and navy were killed, and the Russian Empire lost all three of its Grand Dukes: Yaraslaf, Nykras, and Sora. Yet the Arendellian victory left Anna standing as the first monarch in the kingdom’s history to have outboxed a continental empire like Russia. Countries like Great Britain, France, and many more had bet on Russia swallowing Arendelle early on in the war, but were proven wrong. Diplomats across Europe are now nervously wondering whether a newly empowered Anna will behave in a hostile way towards said countries.

Just for having outlasted the Russian invasion, Her Majesty has earned a position of power unmatched by those of her predecessors – her own grandfather and father King Runeard and King Agnarr included. From now on, Arendelle won’t be treated as a small power, or even as a middle power – but as a kingdom consulted by the world’s great powers.

Continue reading “VICTORY proclaimed as Arendelle signs armistice with Russia”

The Battle of Arendelle, Finale

Featured image art “Elsa and Sora” by Arute (@ast05water)

Warning: Graphic depictions

Clad in an intimidating, all-black military uniform that accentuated her figure, Katina Romanov, princess of Russia, stepped onto Arendellian soil, from the lowered plank of Reaver, the royal Russian flagship. Her heeled boots clacked across the burning wood of Arendelle’s docks as she made her way to the ruined plaza. All around her, Arendellian landmarks were burning. Even the castle in the distance was heavily damaged.

The sky was burning red, having overcome the residual blue hues of Elsa’s magic.

Katina grinned. “Just like Purgatory,” she whispered, flicking her pink and brown, braided ponytail.

She’d waited so many years for this, ever since her father had been humiliated by Elsa and Colisa. Years of planning and gathering the Grand Dukes. More years of amassing her forces and preparing her strategy. Arendelle had fought well, and Russia had suffered immense losses as well. But now she stood on the cusp of victory, finally able to complete her promise of making Russia overlord of all Eurasia – including Europe.

And it was so worth it.

Continue reading “The Battle of Arendelle, Finale”

The Battle of Arendelle, Part One

Featured image “Snow Queen and Guardian Angel” by Arute (@ast05water)

Tell me, child, have you heard of how Huang Gai of Wu endured a heavy beating by Zhou Yu, also of Wu, to fool the Wei warlord Cao Cao into thinking that they despised each other? Once Cao Cao had recruited Huang Gai, Huang Gai and Zhou Yu sabotaged him.

“In the art of war, if one is willing to suffer pain and another is willing to inflict it, such mutual connivance can fool even the most powerful of leaders.” – Yixin, to Anna

*

It was a crisp and fresh spring morning as Anna, Elsa, Tileke, Alan, and Michael awaited the final invasion force of the Russians, which consisted of a single, gentle individual. Gulls squawked above the harbour, waves lapping gently at the wood.

Soon after Sora had crushed Elsa and forced Anna to surrender, Katina herself would arrive on her flagship, all set to place her Russian governor or puppet-ruler before the throne of Arendelle. To bring the kingdom to heel, to rule it from behind the scenes, dictating how Anna would shape domestic and foreign policy… all on behalf of the Romanovs.

Once Arendelle was subjugated, the entire Scandinavian peninsula would serve as the Russian launching pad into Western Europe. At last, all Eurasia would be united under the banner of Katina, avenging centuries of repeated incursions and sackings of Russia at the hands of European powers.

That plan, of course, was one that Anna planned to foil. She stood in the evacuated village square of her small kingdom, flanked by Elsa and Tileke. “This will be simple,” she said quietly. “Russia no longer has a feasible invasion force thanks to the destruction of their Baltic Fleet and Grand Duke Nykras’ death. But their guardian angel, Sora, could overwhelm entire armies.” Her aqua eyes shone. The memory of recent events was roiling inside her.

Continue reading “The Battle of Arendelle, Part One”

Private memo: Anna’s seat among the Exalted

“Ashflakes,” by Alanna (@alhuart)

Members of Anna’s inner court:

At the request of the queen, please keep secret the information herein. If you have any objections, please understand that my task is simply to communicate Her Majesty’s wishes.

Since last week, Anna has taken on an additional role and duty which requires your immediate attention. She’s assumed membership among the Exalted, a private society of the most powerful leaders in several nations and empires, from the United States to the Great Qing Empire. Indeed, you know one of these members to be Katina herself, our aggressor in this ongoing and destructive war with Russia. In an attempt to oust Katina from her membership, Anna has negotiated with the Exalted’s leader, Yixin, an arrangement where she will lead the Exalted itself, ensuring Katina’s defeat and ouster. In return, however, we must prepare for a much more intimate presence of the Exalted in our castle halls, with Anna preparing to mobilize the Exalted for whatever mysterious purposes Yixin has.

Continue reading “Private memo: Anna’s seat among the Exalted”