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”

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”

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”

Northuldra Braces for Invasion by Russia’s Grand Duke Nykras

By Gudrun, Conservation Editor for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE; NORTHULDRA – The Russian Empire has been cut off from invading Arendelle by sea with the sinking of the Baltic Fleet. However, Anna has little time to prepare as Katina Romanov prepares the next stage of her assault. This month, it’s an invasion by land – a direct strike on the ancient forest of Northuldra. If successful, it will open a southern route to Arendelle that Anna can’t stop with her current forces.

The general leading this second phase is Grand Duke Nykras, who has taken over the invasion after fellow Grand Duke Yaraslaf’s death at Elsa’s hands. Nykras is an ancient being called a lich, a living corpse held together by black magic. The Arendellian High Command has credible reports from the Northuldra warrior Amira (who nearly faced down Nykras in a showdown on the Russo-Arendellian border) that he can open portals from his netherworld home at will. Honeymaren and Yelena suspect that he plans to overlay his dimension of undead warriors and corrupting magic directly into the forest, bypassing any need for Russian transportation.

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Operation Fire Strike: Northuldra Prepares Defences Against Russia

By Gottfried, Defence Editor for The Arendelle Guardian

NORTHULDRA; ARENDELLE – With Imperial Russia expected to declare war on Arendelle anytime in the New Year (which will mark the formal start of hostilities between the two countries), Honeymaren and Yelena have been hard at work mobilizing the forest to be ready for the fight of its life.

At stake is the very balance of the natural world itself, mediated as it is by the four spirits of the Nokk, Bruni, Gale, and the Earth Giants. While these great and ancient mythic beings have no interest in political squabbles – even those of Arendelle’s – they have already reached an understanding with Elsa. They will happily defend the forest’s ecosystem and tribal residents from the impending attack of Grand Duke Nykras, an ancient lich, whose undead legions threaten to corrode and corrupt the entire land.

Anna has stressed to her tacticians that should Katina Romanov seize Northuldra, her southward route to Arendelle would be open, leaving the kingdom vulnerable to a pincer attack from the northern land route and the westward naval bombardment by Grand Duke Yaraslaf’s Baltic Fleet. There is too much at stake – the tribespeople’s lives, the way to Arendelle, and the very balance of the natural world – to allow Northuldra to fall into Nykras’ clawed hands.

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What a Year! A Special Musing on Anna’s First Year as Queen

Contribution by Trade Minister Michael

It’s been quite the year in our fair kingdom of Arendelle and the land of Northuldra! I remember the date so clearly: 22 November was when the spirits unleashed their wrath on Arendelle, and our favorite sister-queens with Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven ventured into the mysterious, enchanted northern woods to find out why. House Arendelle discovered that the land of Northuldra was shrouded under a mysterious mist that let no one in until Elsa and Anna showed up. They went in and experienced a life changing adventure that gave answers to unresolved questions, such as why Queen Elsa had magical ice powers, why the spirits came to her that night after the fall festival, and why the North Wind’s voice was calling her.

Seeker is writing a great biography on the adventures that led to our sister-queens (my beloved nieces) to mature into who they are today!

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Arendelle’s Kingdom Hall Art Gallery Opens!

ARENDELLE: Kingdom Hall, a one-stop cultural, musical, and artistic centre established by Anna in the early months of her reign, is now permanently hosting an art gallery by The Arendelle Guardian’s most prolific artist, Arute (@ast05water)!

Click on the link to visit the gallery right now. Arute’s art is arranged in a beautiful, scrollable mosaic that you can click to view each artwork individually.

The gallery showcases the promotional, in-story, and profile art that Arute has contributed to this fanfiction project since its inception in early 2020. From paintings of canon characters to the OCs created for this newspaper and its story, the virtual gallery is a celebration of the “court painter” of the royal family and The Arendelle Guardian’s editor.

While our website has commissioned many wonderful artists (in particular: @alhuart, @puryartist, and @smolmushroomm), Arute has been with us since the beginning and has drawn the largest range of scenes, profiles, character studies, and atmospheric pieces. We love her fusion of fantastical anime aesthetics with naturalistic light and watercolour themes, which make her art particularly vibrant and delightful to view.

IRL, Arute has drawn diverse original art as well as fanart for various franchises, with the most prominent being Frozen.

Visit Arute’s beautiful gallery of Frozen art commissioned for this website and Twitter account!

Anna’s Column: Be Fearless and Ready

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

By HM Queen Anna

I know this is a lot to take in, everyone. As of my penning this column and submitting it to The Arendelle Guardian’s editor, the kingdom is alight with fearful talk. From the local bakery and pub all the way to the government and my inner court, there’s a name whispered with fear and loathing: “Katina Romanov.”

Katina Romanov – princess of the Russian Empire, the true power manipulating her daddy, the tsar, behind the throne. Member of the Exalted. Commander of the Grand Dukes of Russia, three mighty generals that she’s tasked with the full-scale invasion of our kingdom.

As your servant-queen, I’ve sworn an oath to always be truthful and honest to my people. So this is the truth: Russia is mobilizing against us, but we have no way of knowing when. Katina will come to me when she’d ready. Therefore, I appeal to everyone in Arendelle not to fear, and to live life like we always do. However, I accept that these won’t be normal times, and to that end, I’ll be working extremely closely with Elsa, General Mattias, and Commander Hilde to prepare for that fateful day when Russia declares war on Arendelle.

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Arendelle’s Delegation in Saint Petersburg for Talks with Russia, Part Three

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

Read Part One here! Grand Duke Nykras reveals his dread necromantic powers!

Read Part Two here! Honeymaren and Amira take on Grand Duke Yaraslaf the werebear!

“Check.” Anna moved her bishop along the chessboard, cornering Katina’s king piece. Her eyes glinted. “I wonder if I can put you in checkmate soon?”

Surprised once more at Anna’s aggressive play style, Katina grimaced, looking at Anna with a strained smile. “You’re pretty good, Queen of Arendelle.”

Anna smiled. “Thanks, Katina, and I mean that. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent many a late night playing with Elsa and Kristoff.”

She reclined, hands behind her back. “Honestly, I have to admit – I thought after Elsa and my team left, you were going to have Nykras put me under house arrest or something.”

“A sovereign doing such a thing to another sovereign? And why would I worry about you attacking me? I have Nykras and Sora in the palace with me. And just because I hate you doesn’t mean I play dirty. You’re the one who sent Northuldra spies into my city. But I’m so straight with you, I’m even showing you my hand: the Grand Dukes that will lead my invasion.” She stared at Anna. “Mr. Harrison is the one who loves to play dirty. He’s a wily fox, a typical merchant prince. But I prefer war to be a duel. Just like a face-to-face conversation, or a game of chess.”

They were sitting over a game table in Katina’s drawing room, which was so large that it was twice the size of Anna’s drawing room back in Arendelle Castle. It was lavish and sumptuous, with voluminous curtains and gold leaf wallpaper, the walls themselves festooned with portraits of Katina’s ancestors, including Peter the Great. He was the one responsible for kicking off the reforms of feudal Russia and transforming it into an early modern superpower in Eurasia. There were mechanical trinkets, dolls, and toys on mahogany shelves, lavishly painted tables, and burning candles mounted on the most elaborately decorated candlesticks.

Continue reading “Arendelle’s Delegation in Saint Petersburg for Talks with Russia, Part Three”