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”

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”

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”

Journals of the Exalted IV: The Emerald Dragon

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

Welcome to Journals of the Exalted! This is the final part 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

*

Boost to Tourism in Arendelle as FJORDSPRING FESTIVAL enchants residents and visitors alike

By Greta, Travel Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

Spring is here, and this year’s seasonal festival coincides with Arendelle’s formal armistice with the Russian Empire. The kingdom has managed to recover quickly from Katina Romanov’s onslaught, although a national day of mourning was held for the soldiers lost to the conflict a few days before the Fjordspring Festival.

Despite the heavy responsibilities on Anna’s shoulders, Her Majesty has pulled out all the stops to ensure that everyone can move on to happier things and take their minds off the fear and anxiety that has choked the kingdom since January.

This year’s Fjordspring Festival, traditionally held to welcome the melting of snow and the Arendellian ideals of hope and renewal, is expected to be especially among the tourist and expat population, which has boomed since Anna went further than any of her predecessors to expand global trade. The kingdom is abuzz with delicious food, lively events and games, and guided excursions as we showcase all our finest scenic areas, businesses, and much more.

Continue reading “Journals of the Exalted IV: The Emerald Dragon”

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”

Journals of the Exalted Overture: Your Burden

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

Welcome to Journals of the Exalted! This is the prologue to 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

Continue reading “Journals of the Exalted Overture: Your Burden”

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”

The AG’s NEW story arc: Emerald Dragon!

Featured image art “Moon Deity,” by hanna.digiart (@HDigiart)

What if you could protect Elsa and Arendelle forever?”

It’s the 19th Century. The war between Arendelle and Russia has ended. Anna’s leadership enters a new era as her kingdom rises to becoming a global power. In this new ongoing arc, The Arendelle Guardian’s story goes cosmic but also introspective, with Anna encountering her own mortality and what eternal life might mean for her as a queen and as Elsa’s sister.

Continue reading “The AG’s NEW story arc: Emerald Dragon!”

BREAKING: Anna’s Alliance in Tatters as Vesterland SURRENDERS to the Russian Empire

Featured image “Katina, Sora, and Nykras,” by PURY (@puryartist)

By Mikail, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

MOSCOW; VESTERLAND – In a fresh blow to Anna’s struggle against Russia, Vesterland has surrendered to the Russian Empire after a surprise blockade of the kingdom’s main trade routes by imperial tsarist forces.

Our correspondent in Vesterland can reveal that Princess Mari is being held under house arrest in her own palace, with her father King Jonas forced to appoint a “liaison resident” approved by Katina Romanov. As a token of good faith for Russia, Vesterland must further suspend its supply routes of raw material to Arendelle, its main contribution to Anna’s war effort.

Most worrying to Anna’s commanders will be the fact that the “blockade” was accomplished, without a battle, by a single head sent by Katina: Grand Duke Sora.

Continue reading “BREAKING: Anna’s Alliance in Tatters as Vesterland SURRENDERS to the Russian Empire”