Welcome, Emerald Dragon

Featured image art “Emerald dragon,” by Arute (@ast05water)

To: His Imperial Highness Lord Yixin

From: Her Majesty Queen Anna

Your Lordship,

Do you feel that breeze outside your window? My letter has been delivered to you by one of our kingdom’s nature spirits, Gale. She’s done her best to get this to you quickly, just a couple of weeks after Elsa’s battle with Grand Duke Nykras. We in Arendelle are exhausted by this war with Russia, and even with Tileke’s reinforcements, we can’t hang on much longer. I don’t even know if Elsa can last in an all-out battle with Katina’s last Grand Duke, Sora. Elsa’s recovering, but I’ll do everything in my power to ensure she never suffers from an imperialist or colonial power like Katina.

You wanted my big sister to join the Exalted, but you never lashed out at us after she turned you down. You had the chance for another Arendellian, Countess Vi, to sit among you, but that didn’t work out, either. I’ve always been aware of the special attention that you harboured for Arendelle.

Now, I’m here.

Continue reading “Welcome, Emerald Dragon”

Women of Might and Magic: The Secret Pact

Featured image “All we survey,” by PURY (@puryartist)

BREAKING: Arendelle and Russia square up for final confrontation

By Jorgensen, Senior Staff Writer for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – With the defeat of Nykras by a combined force of Northuldra and Arendellians, including the former queen-turned-Snow Queen Elsa, the final battle between Anna and Katina approaches. This confrontation will decide whether Arendelle and the rest of Scandinavia becomes a province of Russia, greatly strengthening Russia’s claim to the whole of Europe, or if Arendelle, a much smaller power, repulses Russia a second time, heralding an era of decline for the Romanov empire.

Nykras was Russia’s second Grand Duke. He overlaid his nether world onto Northuldra, inflicting heavy losses on the tribespeople. He also sealed away the three spirits of Bruni, Gale, and the Earth Giants, before nearly succeeding in traversing the Dark Sea to Ahtohallan. Honeymaren, Amira, Elsa, and the Nokk were eventually able to slay Nykras. But Elsa and Yelena were severely injured, and Arendelle is on high alert with its former queen convalescing with her successor by her bedside.

Foiled from establishing a base in Northuldra for any future land army, Katina’s position looks increasingly tenuous. Nevertheless, she plans to unleash her final and most powerful Grand Duke, the Romanovs’ guardian angel Sora, against Arendelle. Ottoman leader Tileke’s reinforcements have bought Arendelle precious time, but Elsa’s weakened condition could not have come at a worse juncture.

Continue reading “Women of Might and Magic: The Secret Pact”

Preparation: The War Through an Arendellian’s Eyes

By Alan Nadeau III

The Russo-Arendellian War has left a mark on Arendellians from all walks of life. For those in Anna’s inner circle, the impact has been felt especially hard. The burden of the kingdom’s leadership is to shoulder the losses and casualties inflicted by a foreign power. Alan Nadeau III, one of Anna’s most trusted knights and a member of her chivalric order of the Wheat Stalk, has found himself at the heart of Anna’s battles with Russia’s Grand Dukes. As he reflects on his moments of glory as well as shocking defeat, he ponders on how far Arendelle has come, and how much danger lies ahead.

*

I was back home in Arendelle, following my joining Honeymaren and Amira in battle against Nykras. I’d suffered a couple of minor injuries but nothing severe, although my sword had shattered yet again, dealing a blow to my pride as well. But I had bigger concerns.

I’d gone downstairs to the drawing room see Queen Anna, Michael, and the others. Recently, the love of my life, Queen Emerita and Fifth Spirit Elsa, had headed up to the Dark Sea’s shores to stop the Grand Duke’s advance to Ahtohallan. I’d been worried sick and in an earlier phase of my battle alongside Maren, I remembered seeing that damn lich send three of the other four spirits into what he called a “nether realm.” It was like something out of some fantastic storybook, and it angered me to no end. Why are such beings of power so often horrible, awful individuals? I wanted to give chase, to fight him, but Maren and Amira talked me out of it. Good thing they did. I needed to get back to the homeland and prepare for Sora and Katina’s arrival. Everyone would be needed.

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Anna’s Column: How can I stay the same monarch?

“Snowstorm,” by PURY (@puryartist)

EXCLUSIVE: Elsa hovers between life and death as Katina declares final stage of her invasion

By Evangeline, Senior Staff Writer for The Arendelle Guardian

After a fortnight’s worth of careful logistical arrangements, the nearly broken body of the Snow Queen, Arendelle’s former monarch, was delivered grimly to the palace and instantly attended to by Anna and her friends. Elsa nearly fell in battle against the undead lich Nykras, who was dispatched in an ingenious maneuver by the Fifth Spirit.

The Battle of Northuldra has concluded with a major victory for Northuldra’s people and the elemental guardians. It’s come at a high price, however: a badly wounded Yelena is being attended to by Ryder and Amira, while a grief-stricken Honeymaren has had to personally accompany Elsa to receive treatment alongside Commander Hilde, who’s still recovering from her battle with Yaraslaf. While Elsa is projected to recover more quickly than Hilde, she won’t be in full strength for the final battle, which will be led by the Romanovs’ guardian angel Sora.

Continue reading “Anna’s Column: How can I stay the same monarch?”

The Battle of Northuldra, Part Three

Featured image “Second Death,” by PURY (@puryartist)

Warning: Violent depictions

Above the wet and rough sands of the Northuldra coast, an eerie portal shrieked open. Two black hands with long, misshapen fingers seized the edges of the portal and pulled their owner from the void. Nykras’ wispy long hair trailed behind his mummified face, and his billowing cape followed his armoured form. His armoured boots stepped onto the beach that Elsa’s bare feet once treaded. Those feet had courageously sprinted and swum across the Dark Sea’s treacherous waters toward her destiny.

Across the stormy waves was Ahtohallan. Source of the five spirits’ power.

Thisss isss my dessstiny too,” whispered Nykras to himself, “to encounter Ahtohallan myssself, and ssseize it for not jussst the eternal sssecurity of the Russian Empire… but for myssself too.”

It was true. To be imbibed with the source of Northuldra’s spirits would elevate the already formidable lich to unimaginably fiendish power. It would guarantee the subjugation of Northuldra and an effortless conquest of Arendelle proper, the seat of power for Elsa’s successor, Anna.

Continue reading “The Battle of Northuldra, Part Three”

Anna and Tileke: Arendelle strengthens defences with Ottomans as war up north rages

Featured image “She was a punk,” by PURY (@puryartist)

Anna stood alongside General Mattias as the Ottoman warship, a European-style brigade clipper with sail masts decked in red and white, the national colours of the Sublime State, anchored in the harbour. The hull of Flagship Crescent towered over the queen and the general as businessmen, journalists, and several veterans stood behind them. Just a few moments ago, the Arendellian ships, Pride of Elsa and Nobility, had fired off nineteen rounds of cannonballs short of reaching Crescent, a salutation that indicated a new chapter of military cooperation between the Kingdom of Arendelle and the Ottoman Empire. Anna felt a surge of anticipation as she waited for Tileke to disembark. Gulls squawked over the gathered assembly’s heads, the morning sea breeze cool and comfortable.

“So this is it,” murmured Anna to Mattias. “After losing so many lives to Yaraslaf while defending the fjord, we finally have reinforcements.”

“Tikeke’s position is that her Mansure troops are here to defend Arendelle, in case Northuldra falls,” pointed out Mattias. “Honeymaren and Amira’s tribespeople are fighting for the forest’s life alongside the spirits. If they’re beaten, there’s no stopping Nykras, or Sora, from making a final push against us here.”

“We have Elsa for that eventuality,” said Anna sourly, “as she likes to remind me.” She bit her lip, mindful that Elsa had left Arendelle for Northuldra, much to her displeasure.

Continue reading “Anna and Tileke: Arendelle strengthens defences with Ottomans as war up north rages”

The Battle of Northuldra, Part Two

Featured image “Second Death” by PURY (@puryartist)

Warning: Violent depictions

“Nykras,” by PURY (@puryartist)

You know who I am.

Grand Duke of Russia. Leader of this expedition into Northuldra. Faithful servant of Katina Romanov.

My name is Nykras.

Tell me, friend of Arendelle. Have you ever been stabbed from all directions by enemy blades, just as you watch your village burn before your your very eyes? To see women and children dragged away, their screams of terror and despair ringing in your ears even as you know you’re losing too much blood and haven’t a hope of catching up with the marauders that have so indiscriminately butchered and humiliated your people?

You haven’t? Then how could you possibly understand me?

How could Arendelle possibly understand the struggles we Grand Dukes went through in the name of defending our Slavic homelands?

Haven’t you heard of the age of the Mongol-Tartar Yoke? We sent terrified hostages and obeisant princes to a Khan we never saw. We paid taxes and tribute to fatten imperial coffers in a faraway land we never visited. When we overthrew the Golden Horde – when I wreaked my revenge by personally leading my undead armies against the last Khan – we resolved to be an even mightier Eurasian power.

Continue reading “The Battle of Northuldra, Part Two”

Invitation to Cannon Salute for Ottoman Military Commander Tileke

Respected civic leader, businessperson, newsperson, or military veteran of Arendelle:

You’re cordially invited to a 19-gun naval salute for the inbound Tileke of the Ottoman Empire, by the kingdom’s dockside.

Queen Anna will be present to personally welcome the serakser and her Ottoman reinforcements, which have been sent by the Turkish sultan to reinforce the decimated armed forces of Arendelle after the Battle of Arenfjord. Our queen’s personal flagship, Pride of Elsa, will exchange nineteen rounds of cannonfire with Tileke’s vessel at a safe distance, marking the joining of Arendellian and Ottoman hands in our shared interest to thwart Russia’s plans. While our kingdom has always fired 21-gun salutes for royal birthdays, the 19-gun salute is fitting of Tileke’s rank as the Ottomans’ field marshal (along with her informal role as the empire’s ambassador).

As a gesture symbolizing deep personal trust, Anna will host a state-level party after the 19-gun salute, with General Mattias raising a toast to his Turkish counterpart. Please mark the afternoon and evening for both events in your schedules. RSVPs are absolutely essential.

Even as our Northuldra brothers and sisters engage with the horrific Grand Duke Nykras in the forest, we should be thankful for opportunities like this that bring encouragement to our citizens, our royals and the government, and our men and women in uniform.

Yours sincerely,
Kai, overseer of Arendelle Castle and chief attendant to the royal family

Continue reading “Invitation to Cannon Salute for Ottoman Military Commander Tileke”

The Battle of Northuldra, Part One

Featured image “Second Death,” by PURY (@puryartist)

Warning: Violent depictions

Late afternoon. Northuldra

Honeymaren was back in her more mobile Northuldra attire, crouched on a large tree branch as she scanned the foliage-covered forest floor.

“Clear,” she whispered, and a rustle of floating red and brown leaves blew gently around her, before rushing to another tree some distance away. Gale had taken her words and was blowing them towards the huntress Amira, who had also climbed a separate tree. She was covered in camouflage and had war paint on her face.

“It’s clear here, too. I guess we have no choice but to wait for the portal from Nykras to open,” said Amira, her voice betraying frustration as Gale blew away, taking her words back to Maren.

“Right. The moment there’s movement, we raise our voices and shout the battle cry,” replied Maren.

Northuldra’s elemental and human residents were cooperating to defend their shared home from its greatest threat yet.

Continue reading “The Battle of Northuldra, Part One”

Arendelle celebrates as Ottoman forces OBLITERATE Russia’s military reserves

By Erik, European Bureau Chief for The Arendelle Guardian

Arendelle’s beleaguered queen is in good spirits after the reserve forces of Katina Romanov were ambushed and annihilated by the Ottomans’ modernized Mansure Army near the Black Sea. Over several thousand well-trained Russian soldiers (almost equal to the numbers deployed at the Battle of Arenfjord) were killed or captured over just several days. The elite force was led by Ottoman serasker (military commander) Tileke, a strategic prodigy who’s rumoured to be a ferocious warrior as well.

Russia has condemned the attack as a violation of the rules of war, since Husrev Pasha, Lord High Vizier, had not yet declared war on Katina before sending Tileke on her offensive. Russia maintains that its war against Arendelle is a legitimate one, having declared hostilities before making incursions on Arendellian soil.

Despite few major powers voicing public condemnations of Russia’s actions, the Romanovs’ outcry will find little sympathy: the bad blood between the Russians and the Ottomans was so intense that war was probably inevitable at some point.

Continue reading “Arendelle celebrates as Ottoman forces OBLITERATE Russia’s military reserves”