1841. Before Anna became queen, and before Vi became Mundilfari clan head
Viola Mundilfari hated visiting the Celestial Empire, and not because it was so far away. Oh, it wasn’t because China was necessarily an unpleasant place to go sightseeing. The Qing heartland was vast and ancient, thousands of times larger than Arendelle, and blessed with five millennia of civilization and dynastic splendor.
But she hated setting foot in the Forbidden City, and she sure hated being called to the Summer Palace – the regal, jaw-droppingly majestic headquarters of Yixin. It was all because Yixin had summoned her here for the most unpleasant of reasons.
She stood before the Summer Palace’s throne hall, a uniformed Commander Hilde standing quietly at attention beside her. Vi’s face was curled into a contemptuous grimace as she felt her host’s serpentine eyes run over her with matching disdain.
Vi was looking at a distant gold-wreathed figure, which rose from its chair and stood aloofly. He was at least twelve feet away and held an open red fan covering part of his face.
“Why am I even here, Manchu overlord?” called out the Mundilfari noble to the distant throne, smirking darkly. “I gave your retainer a clear answer a few weeks ago, but you don’t seem to want to accept it.”
“Step closer,” echoed the hiss of the Qing prince regent, the leader of the shadowy Exalted cabal of global rulers.
By Gudrun, Senior Staff Writer for The Arendelle Guardian
Her Majesty’s bill for an alliance with other nations passed both houses of the Grand Assembly (Arendelle’s parliament) the other week. As Anna’s allies celebrate this milestone in her legislative agenda, it is important to remember how unlikely it was for Arendelle to even set out on this path of international leadership. The speed by which the monarch was able to lay the foundation blocks of this ambitious project is also unprecedented.
A clue to understanding Her Majesty’s intent lies in the list of countries to be included in the alliance: Dun Broch, Corona, Vakretta, Chathoan, Zaria, and Vesterland. These are all states of middling size, like Arendelle, and they notably share similar vulnerabilities with our own kingdom. When the Queen proposed this entente, diplomats, politicians, and observers interpreted it as a treaty positioning Arendelle against the great maritime empires that currently control much of the known world. While Arendelle has enjoyed relative prosperity and stability for generations, geographical, political, and historical considerations have prevented it from expanding beyond its shores and acquiring large tracts of land and resources like France, Britain, and several others.
Her Majesty’s personal column is published exclusively by The AG. This royal op-ed was reprinted from her column in yesterday’s morning edition.
By now, dear citizen, you’ve probably heard all about Arendelle’s tensions with Great Britain. I’ve chaired several war councils, met with my inner court, and deliberated with Elsa on the best course of action. I’ve thought long and hard about my approach before asking the Great Assembly to vote for potential war with Britain.