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.

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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.

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Hans and the Duke’s Finest Hour: Arendelle’s Allies Engage in First Naval Battle with Russia’s Fleet

Featured image banner “Team Romanov,” by PURY (@puryartist)

WARNING: Extreme violence

By Mikael, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE; SAINT PETERSBURG – In a show of unprecedented naval might, the Baltic Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy set off on a charted course for the North Sea last night.

Led by the Grand Duke and admiral, Yaraslaf, the Baltic Fleet was rebuilt and streamlined by Katina after her father Nicholas I’s loss to Elsa. The Baltic Fleet currently consists of three Imperator-class battleships – Poseidon, Charybdis, and Scylla – and dozens of smaller vessels providing artillery support and transportation for Russian troops. Larger and more powerful than her father’s generation of battleships, Katina boasted to the Russian press that Poseidon, Charybdis, and Scylla would be more than a match for Arendelle’s ships: Pride of Elsa, Muspelheim, and Nobility.

“The time to ensure Russia’s future security is now,” declared the princess, who doubles as the supreme commander of the Russian campaign to annex Arendelle. “We’re a multicultural, multi-ethnic empire. We’ve managed great tracts of land for centuries, more than Arendelle could ever dream of. Arendelle won’t be forced to give up any of its traditions, and I guarantee that as citizens of the Russian Empire, taxes will be fair and even lower than that of Queen Anna. The only difference is that the Arendellian royal family shall rule in partnership with a tsar-appointed governor, who’d be little more than a glorified plenipotentiary.”

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The 21st: A Special Surprise for a Special Queen

Birthday chapter by Alan Nadeau III

Life in Arendelle these days went about the same as it had before, though the threat of Katina Romanov’s impending attacks on Arendelle and Northuldra loomed large. What Katina wanted of Arendelle, Anna couldn’t give, and now the Russian princess, even despite Grand Duke Sora’s attempt to talk the young Katina out of this, had led to her choosing war. Only time would tell as to when Katina’s attacks commenced, and all anyone could hope for was an absolute miracle to prevent it.

Despite this, the citizens of Arendelle were currently preparing for the Winter Solstice and season of frost. Today coincided with a special celebration: the birthday of Elsa. Normally, Anna would be in charge of coordinating the festivities, but this year, per his request, she’d passed on those duties to Sir Alan, as he wished to put together the best birthday that Elsa had ever enjoyed in her young life. Elsa meant everything to him, and he knew he’d be able to set up the perfect celebration for her.

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Tense meeting between Anna and Hans as new allies explore options against Russia

Featured image art by Arute (@ast05water)

ARENDELLE; SOUTHERN ISLES – The leader of the new signatory to the Entente of Small Kingdoms, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, arrived in Arendelle for tense talks with the queen this morning.

There’s no secret that for several years, well after Elsa’s coronation, Hans was persona non grata in Arendelle. He was seen by the public, the press, and his own family back home as having deceived both royal sisters during their most vulnerable and fragile period, and nearly destroyed them and orchestrated a coup. But with Hans serving his time in the Southern Isles’ dungeons, and Arendelle’s funding of the dominion’s reconstruction after Commander Hilde’s vicious plundering earlier this year, Anna and Hans have agreed to put aside past hostility to survive the imminent onslaught of a truly global power: Imperial Russia.

It’s largely agreed between the new allies that Arendelle, as Katina Romanov’s primary target, will take the military might of Katina’s war machine head-on, while the members of the Entente split into two groups to stymie Russia’s offensive. Chatho and Vesterland will strike at Russia from the south, and the Southern Isles and Weselton from the north. More updates to come in our newspaper.

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Anna, to Hans: The Southern Isles’ Membership of my Alliance

Dear Hans,

My apologies for the delay in writing back to you. I read with interest your proposition several months ago, but emotionally, I needed time to process what was at stake here and give you a proper response. I’m happy that the Isles are almost finished rebuilding from the devastation of Commander Hilde’s illegal attack on your state. That had been ordered by Countess Vi in revenge against you, without my knowledge or consent. I wish it never happened, and I’m still sorry about it. Honestly, that disaster drew the attention of the Chinese emperor, forcing me into a diplomatic spot that I survived only by outmanoeuvring the Countess.

I’ll cut to the chase. The Southern Isles has a potential place in my Entente of Small Kingdoms, alongside Vesterland, Chatho, and Weselton. You’ve only just gotten back on your feet. You don’t want Russia’s Grand Dukes moving against you without a network of friendly nations, which we can provide. I’m not exactly known for my affection for the Duke of Weselton, but he’s a reliable contributor to our alliance and has even made several bold moves against our adversaries. So in principle, our alliance is an open door.

Ha. Do you remember that song we sang together all those years ago? I sure had egg on my face afterwards.

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Chapter Two: The Burning of the Southern Isles

Warning: Graphic Violence

Part of the Arendelle: Occult spinoff series


Lunchtime had barely begun in the courtyard of Arendelle Girls’ School when the usual clique of noblewomen’s daughters began gathering around Viola, trapping her in a circle of contemptuous sneers. Shaking in her small shoes, the nine-year-old adjusted her frilled necktie nervously as the sniggering girls around her whipped out their tomatoes from their backpacks – rich, ripe, and ready to throw at her. To mush against her face and dark blue school uniform. To remind the trembling outcast of her crimson irises, an appearance she never chose.

“Vampire, bloodsucker, freak,” the girls variously called her, pushing the countess-to-be around as she hung her head and tucked her arms in, clutching her books tightly to her chest. She stumbled and fell to the ground as she felt the tomatoes hit and splatter against her, and she shut her eyes, waiting for it to be over. She was used to this.

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Chapter One: First Blood

Warning: Graphic Violence

Featured image art by Arute (@ast05water)

Part of the Arendelle: Occult spinoff series


Keep Mundilfari was under attack.

It was the dead of night. The majestic portcullis had been compromised. The bodies of two watchmen lay motionless on the ground as a dozen shadowy figures dashed over ancient stone and sprinted across the large courtyard of the castle, methodically and silently killing their target wardens and sentries. With surgical precision and timing, each assassin, swathed in ebony armour and hoods, approached any guards in sight, plunging a dagger into them or choking them into submission.

Their mission: to kill the master of the castle as she slept.

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Prologue: Conclave

Part of the Arendelle: Occult spinoff series

In the highest spire of the Mundilfari estate, some distance away from the Kingdom of Arendelle, the young Viola bled, the first wound she had suffered after tonight’s bloodbath, and it was self-inflicted. She clenched the blade, and several red droplets dashed onto the stone altar that had been in the Mundilfari clan’s possession for almost a thousand years. She wasn’t injured apart from a few scrapes and bruises, but her muscles burned with exhaustion, and her limbs were aching. Caked in the gore of her parents and siblings, tears of grief and terror and fury still pouring down her cheeks, she screamed an ancient summons, an invocation that was her right to make when – and only – when – she had slain all the family members trying to kill her that night.

“My grandfather, Lord Mayer, is dead, and I’m worthy to succeed him! By right of familicide, I claim ascension to the leadership of our noble, accursed clan,” cried the new Countess, falling to her knees. Her deep purple cape draped around her trembling body. “Hear my cry and compensate my suffering with the untold power promised to each generation of Mundilfari leaders!”

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The Authorized Royal Biography: The Great Thaw

Elsa groaned as she groggily opened her eyes. Her vision slowly unclouded to reveal she was in a prison cell. She sat up and noticed a pale white light coming from the cell window. She quickly dashed to see the outside but something pulled her back. She looked down in disbelief at the manacles that covered her hands and chained her to the wall. Who created these? Could her father have? It did not matter now. Elsa gazed upon her kingdom in stunned silence.

“Oh no. What, what have I done?” she whispered.

Continue reading “The Authorized Royal Biography: The Great Thaw”