“How does she do it?” This is the unuttered question on the lips of heads of state, diplomats, and journalists across Europe as Arendelle becomes the new place of pilgrimage for great and small powers alike.
Even during Elsa’s reign, no one could have predicted the meteoric rise to global prominence the small Nordic kingdom would enjoy.
While Anna’s predecessor managed significant relationships with mighty realms like the Russian Empire and the Qing Dynasty, it’s Anna who has radically transformed Arendelle’s relationship with almost every great power – and set an example for middle and even smaller states to emulate.
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.
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.
By Gudrun, World Affairs Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian
HONG KONG; ARENDELLE – In a mysterious disaster for Kristoff’s ice subsidiary, Bjorgman’s Asian branch in the colonial port of Hong Kong was burned to the ground in the middle of the night several days ago. The suspects remain unknown and at large.
The British authorities, with local Chinese community leaders, have decried foul play, but no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility.
The Celestial Empire is one of the largest markets for Kristoff’s business, where quality ice is popular among wealthy Chinese and non-Chinese merchants and British governing officials. Ice is also in demand by hospitals and other strongholds of science and medicine. So important is ice to the Hong Kong elite that the colonial authorities founded Ice House Street, a one-way street for companies in the ice trade to set up shop, including Kristoff’s.
ARENDELLE; MOSCOW – From investing heavily in Arendelle’s allies to growing the political influence of its executives in foreign lands, Kristoff’s company of Bjorgman is playing a frontline role in Anna’s showdown with Katina Romanov.
With his supercargoes furiously criss-crossing the seas in state-of-the-art clippers, the royal consort and boss of the Princely House is determined to turn up the heat on tsarist business interests with his own services and products. Bjorgman is nicknamed the Princely House for its prominence in the business community, and as a nod to Kristoff’s fairytale romance with Anna.
Kristoff has come far since the orphan first began sledding and cutting ice on the outskirts of Arendelle. His Princely House has a plan: to pile pressure on Russia’s exporters, manufacturers, and financiers. In order to hobble Katina’s war effort, a massive endeavour that has demanded immense domestic expenditure, Bjorgman is snapping at the heels of Russia’s oldest and most prestigious business dynasty, the Stroganovs.
By Gudrun, European Bureau Chief for The Arendelle Guardian
ARENDELLE; VIENNA; ISTANBUL – Caliphs and chancellors might soon be squaring off with Russia’s tsar if Queen Anna has her way, and Arendelle successfully courts Austria and the Ottomans.
Last week, representatives of Kristoff’s trading company arrived in the Austrian and Ottoman Empires within days of each other. Their objective is to negotiate a series of deals that will attract reciprocal trade benefits for Arendelle from both nations. Kristoff hopes to leverage Austrian and Turkish support against Russia’s encroachments into Central and Northern Europe.
In a coordinated and carefully timed move, Bjorgman executives met with Chancellor Klemens von Metternich of Austria and Tileke, leader of the fearsome Mansure Army of the Ottoman sultan. The Arendellian delegation to Austria is led by Bjorgman director Johann Folkestad, while the trade mission to the Ottomans is led by fellow director Linbar Salberg.
By Rita, The Arendelle Guardian’s Economics Editor
ARENDELLE; RIO DE JANEIRO – Kristoff’s company Bjorgman (nicknamed the Princely House) has made its move against the merchant prince Will Harrison, entering into a series of bruising tussles for industry dominance across the globe. From soap and tobacco in Rio De Janeiro to wool and cotton on the Indian subcontinent, Kristoff has drawn first blood by throwing a wrench into the China trader’s plans for expansion in the British colony of Hong Kong.
The new offensive comes as Bjorgman’s stake in Skau-Krogh allows it greater manoeuvrability and reach into markets once untouched by Kristoff, in particular real estate and transport.
Harrison had attempted a hostile takeover of Matheson Properties, one of Hong Kong’s Scots-owned companies. Matheson Properties was one of the largest developers in the new British port, but suffered a run on its bank in Edinburgh by Harrison and was bankrupted.
At the last moment before Harrison stamped his chop on the promissory note confirming his purchase of Matheson, the enraged tai-pan of Matheson, who’d been in contact with Kristoff, declared his company open to bidding.
By Lukas, Defence Correspondent for The Arendelle Guardian
ARENDELLE – Palace and government sources can confirm with our paper that the queen has asked her inner court and most senior advisors to “accelerate preparations for the kingdom’s significant challenges” in the coming year.
In language that seemed to be aimed directly at Katina Romanov of Russia, Anna asked her fiancé and the managing director of Bjorgman House, Kristoff, to focus on securing an economic foothold in the Ottoman Empire, an ancient rival of the Russians.
The Princely House will also send a business delegation to Austria, whose influential chancellor, Klemens von Metternich, distrusts Russian territorial ambitions in Central Europe.
Finally, Anna has granted her top general Mattias sweeping powers to expand the Arendellian army and navy into a heavy-hitting force with a touch of Mundilfari magic through his co-commander, Hilde Von Altheim.
ARENDELLE; BOSTON – In a heavy blow for Queen Anna and her government, Arendelle is poised to sign the Treaty of Weselton, which will cede to Will Harrison of Virginia two of Her Majesty’s four coveted trading freedoms with the Celestial Empire. Our queen will retain the lower taxes for Arendellian banks, and continue to enjoy the privilege of exercising Arendellian law in territory assigned to Arendellians by the Chinese emperor. But the tariff-free imports and expedited customs – critical for volume and speed in importing products – will be transferred to Harrison’s private monopolies.
Reporters say that whether the State of Virginia demands that Mr. Harrison share these privileges with the Virginian government remains an internal American dispute.
Harrison had instigated a corporate war between two Arendellian companies: Kristoff’s Bjorgman and Lars Krogh’s Skau Krogh. Harrison used Skau-Krogh to plunge Arendelle into economic uncertainty, before moving against Anna’s Entente of Small Kingdoms. While he failed to subdue Chatho, Harrison defeated a combined force of Weselton, Vesterland, and Arendellian forces attempting to liberate Weselton of Skau-Krogh’s occupation. With Princess Mari of Vesterland and the Duke captured, Anna took the dramatic step of opening talks with Mr. Harrison to negotiate their release.
Harrison has arrived in Arendelle to sign the treaty. His private clipper, the Enslaver, is to dock in the harbour – beside Anna’s own flagship, Pride of Elsa.
The concession of two trade privileges rather than four is good news for Arendelle, but remains symbolically crushing for Anna as they represent the terms of the Celestial Empire’s gift to Agnarr and Iduna on the night of Elsa’s birth. This marks the lowest point in Anna’s reign since the early days of her conflict with Countess Vi Mundilfari. As the current prime minister, Lady Mundilfari is absent from Arendelle and unable to assist Anna.
It’s unknown what will happen to Skau-Krogh now that Mr. Harrison seems to have wrenched his desired deal from Queen Anna.
By Peterson, International Correspondent for The Arendelle Guardian
CHATHO – A beachhead established by Skau-Krogh’s private navy was destroyed on the shores of Chatho several days ago.
In a shock blow to the increasingly belligerent company’s image of ascendance and military might, its corporate pirates were routed, with remnants of the invasion taken prisoner. Reports say that Queen Colisa’s shock troops, the Ten Tigresses, ambushed the privateers as they attacked Chatho territory in the early morning. Trouncing their defences, the Ten Tigresses then sunk the flotilla by the coastline, crushing the remaining resistance of the invaders and confiscating large supplies of gunpowder, rifles, and other weapons.
I had just come back from a meeting with the Prime Minister and my friend, Countess Viola. Kai, the Royal Steward of the Castle, came up to me and said that there was a visitor in the office of the Trade Minister – my current posting.
We walked down to the office and there, bold as brass, was Will Harrison, the man behind the corporate war between Arendelle’s two largest companies, Bjorgman and Skau-Krogh. Bjorgman was nicknamed the Princely House, because it belonged to my niece Anna’s fiance, Kristoff. He’s a steady and strong fellow and learned a good deal of business savvy from me.
I asked Kai to have Gerda bring up the cold tea from the kitchen’s ice storage area and two glasses of ice up. Kristoff’s ice blocks keep the meats and other foods cool, and there are smaller ice pieces for drinks. He and Elsa helped with her powers to keep it cold with her snow and ice powers when she was queen. I watched Will walk around in my office and take a cigar from the humidor on my desk.
“Can I help you, sir?” I asked.
Will said, “Ah! So you must be Mr. Michael of Arendelle, the Minister of Trade, I presume?”