Anna’s Column: House Bourbon, Meet House Arendelle

Today, I visited Kingdom Hall to listen to a performance of Francesco Durante’s Danza, Danza, Fanciulla Gentile. The last few weeks have been a relatively quiet time for the Arendelle Philharmonic (they’re preparing a new concert – I’m keeping my lips sealed about what they’re playing!), and we’re still in the middle of arranging for the composer Clara Schumann to visit our kingdom. I thought it was a good time to mention my new opera singer. The papers have been circulating her name, so maybe you’ve heard about her already.

Luna de Bourbon.

It was Kai that had been advising me on how to take Vi’s great cultural project forward. She’d provided a very solid foundation, what with a lasting grant that would pay the Philharmonic members’ salaries for five years and the running costs of maintaining Kingdom Hall’s considerable upkeep (Arendelle has never had a cultural center before). Although I don’t accept Vi’s old ideas of imperial rule, her hardheaded ideas of hard and soft power have their merits. Ever since we built Kingdom Hall, our position as a cultural influencer throughout Europe has grown in correspondence to our military and diplomatic victories – not just over Russia but in keeping fiefs like those of Will Harrison under control, and even against the British East India Company way back in the early days of my tenure.

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Courting the Bear: The Consequences of Hilde’s Conquest of Agrabah

By Nahir al-Adil

As I write this letter, news of Agrabah’s fall has become known to anyone who has picked up a newspaper in the last two days. An alliance of French and Austrians have occupied Agrabah’s capital, led by, to Queen Anna’s horror, an Arendellian: Viola’s Commander Hilde.

Most Europeans think of Agrabah as a legendary place out of medieval tales – of little relevance to our modern world. And one may be forgiven for holding this opinion. Contemporary Agrabah was – I must remind myself to use the past tense – independent but also left behind by the times. A tributary and sometimes-vassal of the nearby Ottoman Empire, it was marked by its failure to create a unique economic and political identity in our nineteenth century. But does that justify its military subjugation?

Of course not.

Let’s first revisit the historical legacy that most of us think of when we hear the name ‘Agrabah’ – the reign of Sultan Ḥāmed II, whose daughter Jasmine married the orphaned former thief, Alā’-ud-Dīn, better known in the West as Aladdin, partly through the intervention of an unnamed jinnī.

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Yokohama Trade Delegation Arrives in Arendellian Waters

By Floki, Trade and Seafaring Correspondent for The AG

After several months of sailing, a multinational, five-ship fleet of Japanese, Dutch, and Zarian traders arrived in Arendelle’s dockyards this morning at daybreak.

Representatives of Bjorgman House, the largest ice company in the kingdom, were present to welcome the kingdom’s tired guests, and General Mattias’ first company of ships fired a cannon salute.

The guests will be guided to their lodgings, after which they will lunch with Her Majesty at the palace. Queen Anna will host a week-long trade fair at Arendelle Plaza near the docksides, showcasing the kingdom’s friendly relations with the Tokugawa Shogunate and the burgeoning trade between Arendelle and states far to its east. A range of different products and services will be showcased, generating new business opportunities for merchants of all trades, from shipping, textiles, food, tea, and much, much more.

Her Majesty was also quick to point out, in a memo to Arendellian and Japanese businessmen, that Arendelle would not follow the example of other nations in seeking extra-territorial rights for her own merchants travelling to Yokohama, in a gesture of respect for the Shogunate’s anger at European treaty demands. “Trust can only be built when there is trust to begin with,” she wrote, “so I have faith that our traders will not be unjustly harmed or detained under Tokugawa law. Unlike the Dutch and Portuguese, we are stridently anti-imperial and accept Japanese sovereignty within the Shogunate’s borders, just as our guests are subject to Arendellian law during their time here.”

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