Postcard from Anna: From Harbour to Heartland

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

By Anna

Hello, Arendelle! From far away, across the waves, on the mountainous slopes of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong!

Sinclair Manor, the mansion belonging to my fellow Exalted member Peony Sinclair, suffered an intense and unexpected battle with Harrison’s hired assassins and warriors. No thanks to the British colonial administration, which we suspect has been paid off by Harrison to look the other way! I’ll be having a word with my British counterpart, Vic, when I have the chance back in Europe. Harrison is getting away with murder, and I fear it won’t be just a figure of speech if he gets his way.

I had the most extraordinary day: Lady Kam, comprador of the Princely House and Kristoff’s manager of the ice trade in China, invited me to inspect her clandestine force of… how do I put it? Triads. These well-trained, well-built women and men are members of the Lotus and Crocus, a clandestine underworld group Kam formed for my sake.

For Arendelle’s sake.

Continue reading “Postcard from Anna: From Harbour to Heartland”

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”

Elegy for Immortality: An Exile’s Last Will

Featured image art by hannah.digiart (@HDigiart)

Greetings, unfamiliar reader.

If you’ve discovered this final testament of mine, I’ve passed from this world of futility and frustration. I sensed my end coming quite some time ago, and have just finished penning this as a sort of bittersweet witness… perhaps, a kind of revenge.

Please, if your eyes fall upon this testament, don’t look away.

I’ve spent my life waging wars across Europe for a dream… a mirage. For although that immortal bastard invited me to join that most august circle – the Exalted – he discarded me like a piece of refuse once it became clear that his other hangers-on, in particular those Romanovs, were better placed than me to hunt down a mysterious substance called the elixir of life.

You read right. The elixir of life. You might call it ambrosia. Others, the Holy Grail or the cosmic milk of immortality.

Whatever you name it, it exists. I swear upon my honour and my career as Europe’s greatest conqueror. I was so close.

Continue reading “Elegy for Immortality: An Exile’s Last Will”

Countess Viola Mundilfari: All About Arendelle’s First Vampire!

“Your Vampiress” by Inkwhite (@Inkwhite_mo)

Viola Mundilfari, better known as Countess Vi or simply Vi, is the tritagonist (third main character, after Anna and Elsa) of this fanfiction project’s story. Your friendly editor thought that she deserved her own profile, especially to help any new readers that don’t know who she is! I hope you enjoy this summary of her journey so far as this newspaper’s main OC.

Chief

Meet the Countess

Don’t mind this Draculina’s sharp wit and sharper fangs: she’s someone you want by your side always!

A former antagonist of Queen Anna-turned-ally and anti-heroine, Countess Vi is a charismatic and caring vampire that watches over you by night. Second only to Anna and Elsa as drivers of Arendelle’s destiny, the charming Vi lives in a stately home in Arendelle called the Grand House, serves as Queen Anna’s prime minister, and holds court with her own household: her werewolf general and lifelong protector Commander Hilde, and her English sweetheart Tess Gaunt. Behind her shield of sardonic, dry wit and slight snobbishness and sarcasm, hides a tender heart that desperately wants to do the right thing. Once a human noble, her vampirism is a result of her saving Tess’s life: a defining act that has shaped her immortal existence forever.

Welcome to her first official profile!

Continue reading “Countess Viola Mundilfari: All About Arendelle’s First Vampire!”

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

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

By Anna

Hello everyone, from far away across the oceans! My greetings from the British-ruled port colony of Victoria Town, on the Chinese island of Hong Kong.

I’ve had the craziest meeting with Lady Kam. She left an impression I won’t be in a hurry to forget: she’s a tall, willowy woman, whose jet-black hair is done up in an elegant ponytail. Her rich dark eyes sparkle with a thousand secrets, and her smile is at once warm and enigmatic. And she’s told me things that have shaken my very sense of place in the world. My mind is still processing the outrageous things she’s divulged to me. There was one particular secret, related to the elixir of life, that I’m reeling from.

But just as things were getting interesting, we were attacked by a group of terrifying fighters and assassins! Kam said that they’re from the Floodgate triads, who are employed by none other than – you guessed it – Will Harrison. I should’ve seen that scumbag coming, but what unnerved me even more was that just as Elsa moved to protect us all, Lady Kam struck back and subdued our intruders with her own group of hidden bodyguards! They were triads too, but part of the “Lotus and Crocus” – a triad group founded to protect Elsa and me! To protect Arendelle!

I’m still stunned that there are underworld, technically illegal societies that fight for our distant kingdom. What other secrets is Lady Kam hiding?

Want to know more about what I’m up to on the other side of the world? Just read on…

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

VEXED VI: Arendelle’s Countess dogged by unknown harasser

“The First Vampire” by hannah.digiart (@HDigiart)

By Mikael, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – As Her Majesty embarks on her journey to the Forbidden City, things have taken a turn for the bizarre and perplexing in Arendelle. Anna’s de facto regent, the aristocratic vampire Viola Mundilfari, is suffering a string of slanderous attacks against her character and position by a mysterious assailant.

“Beast of the night.”

“Repent and just wither away.”

“You should be locked up.”

“You don’t deserve a drop of blood.”

Shortly after Anna departed for the Celestial Empire, Vi began receiving upwards of five pieces of hate mail per day at the prime minister’s office and her own home, with the government suspending Vi’s public appearances to prevent the harasser from getting near her. Some of the letters are incoherent insults, with expletives scrawled in capital letters that we can’t print. Others contain eerie allusions to her complicated past and insulting references to her undead state. Furthermore, posters have been pasted intrusively on the walls of homes and businesses, with an accurately drawn rendition of Lady Mundilfari’s profile and insults like “Fiend” or “Night Creature” scrawled at the top.

Residents and shopkeepers across the kingdom have told reporters that the vicious posters are unwelcome.

Continue reading “VEXED VI: Arendelle’s Countess dogged by unknown harasser”

Arendelle and the Fragrant Harbour

“Weaver” by Arute (@ast05water)

Gentle waves licked at the hull of Pride of Elsa as it slowly docked in Victoria Harbour, named after Anna’s fellow sovereign. A wooden plank descended upon a quiet wharf, with very few people around except for a neatly dressed Chinese fellow who stood beside Pride of Elsa, waiting to receive the new arrivals from Arendelle.

This colonial entrepot had been conceded by the Daoguang Emperor to Britain the year Anna was crowned queen. Unlike Portugal or Arendelle, to whom the Chinese emperor had granted generous trading rights, the Qing had hastily thrown Hong Kong Island at Britain, as part of a deal to get the persistent barbarians off their backs for trying to ban opium. Despite its barrenness, the British also wanted the island as a safe harbour at which to do business and dock ships. Curiously, Yixin had done nothing to help his own hapless ruler navigate the complexities of international diplomacy. But then again, back when Yixin controlled the Exalted, Harrison – a China trader and prominent opium dealer – was one of the core members.

Anna strongly suspected that the Celestial Empire’s day-to-day concerns and problems no longer concerned Yixin – if they ever did. And she knew why. The Exalted had always been a means for him to amass the wealth and resources necessary for his true goal.

He was no typical Qing prince regent. There was something unsettling about him. Something about the night. About the supernatural.

“He’s looking for the elixir of life,” she murmured to herself, “and I’m here to help him. To swear fealty to him.”

Continue reading “Arendelle and the Fragrant Harbour”

Allies of Arendelle: KAM CHIK-LOEI, Comprador of Bjorgman

Featured image “Weaver” by Arute (@ast05water)

You’ve met Will Harrison and Tiffany Hunsecker, Anna’s foes in Asia. Now get to know four of Anna’s closest foreign allies. They come from far away, separated from Arendelle by land and sea. Yet they’re as close to Anna and Elsa as you are, and help protect Arendelle’s international interests. “Allies of Arendelle” features four OCs that assist Anna with her goals in our Emerald Dragon arc: Kam Chik-loei, Tileke, Fujiwara Takako, and Luna de Borbón.

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Kam Chik-loei (金織女)

With a nod of her head, Arendelle prospers. With a snap of her fingers, economies flourish. Making people wealthy is the power of Kam Chik-loei, the richest person in the British-ruled port of Hong Kong. Lady Kam serves as the comprador of the Princely House, Kristoff’s company of Bjorgman. She’s also the secret leader of the Crocus and Lotus, the Arendelle-allied but illegal triad society that’s locked in ongoing turf warfare with Harrison’s criminal allies, the Floodgate gang.

To call her Kristoff’s second-in-command is almost too simple. True, she’s a member of Bjorgman’s executive committee, and she sits on Kristoff’s board. But she’s so much more. She’s the procurement officer. The personnel recruiter. The guarantor. The underwriter. The chief interpreter. This isn’t even where her power is. Her authority comes from being the conduit through which all of Bjorgman’s money passes. There’s no transaction that she doesn’t oversee, no income or expenditure she doesn’t supervise. Depending on her snap judgement, a simple “Okay lah” or “No lah” can mean months of revenue or crippling financial losses. She’s the master of the Chinese world of trade, in which her boss would be lost without her.

Continue reading “Allies of Arendelle: KAM CHIK-LOEI, Comprador of Bjorgman”

Cheers and tears as Queen Anna sets sail for China

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

By Fitch, Politics Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

There was a palpable mix of pride and anxiety as Arendellian citizens gathered at the docks to send off their queen, who finished packing last night and is now aboard her flagship, Pride of Elsa. In her most recent column in the Sunday edition of The Arendelle Guardian, Anna reassured the kingdom that her upcoming voyage was a trip of goodwill among Arendelle’s allies in Asia: in particular, the Great Qing Empire (known to most as the Celestial Empire), the British port colony of Hong Kong, and the Shogunate of Japan.

The queen leads an entourage of friendly heads of state and senior figures connected to the royal household: Elsa the Snow Queen, Kristoff, her husband-to-be and managing director of Bjorgman, Queen Colisa of Chatho, and the mysterious English-born diplomat working for the Chinese imperial household, Peony Sinclair. Anna has left the running of day-to-day affairs in the hands of her prime minister, Vi, while other major matters are tended to by people she trusts, like Michael and Alan or Mattias.

Rumour is rife among the press that Anna has private objectives that she’s declined to disclose to the public. The Arendellian military, led by General Mattias, has gone out of its way to call this trip “of utmost importance of national security,” using this as a pretext to avoid questions about why so much of the outing will be focused on Peking, the capital city of the Celestial Empire.

Continue reading “Cheers and tears as Queen Anna sets sail for China”

MEDIA NEWS: Countess Vi BUYS The Arendelle Guardian

Featured image “The First Vampire” by hannah.digiart (@HDigiart)

ARENDELLE – The Arendelle Guardian has a new owner and its editorial staff a new employer. As of midnight, the Snow Herald is dissolved, its assets recouped by Countess Vi’s estate, and its journalists now transferred to The Arendelle Guardian’s office by the dockside. The Arendelle Guardian itself has been sold to Vi, who will be keeping its editor and the rest of the present staff in their positions.

The Arendelle Guardian, in return for signing a contract of new ownership under the Countess, will have the salaries of its editorial staff increased significantly, making the profession of the newsperson an aspirational goal for ambitious writers or young graduates of The University of Arendelle.

The Snow Herald was once the primary soapbox of the Countess, and when she opposed Anna in the early months of the latter’s reign, the newspaper was relentless in its ideological attacks on the queen and her allies. At certain points it even supported outrageous positions like questioning Anna’s ability to govern, and justifying the time when Vi tried to force Anna to accept her warship, Muspelheim, as a weapon for overseas war.

Continue reading “MEDIA NEWS: Countess Vi BUYS The Arendelle Guardian”