Anna’s Column: Being wracked with guilt is an awful thing

Featured image “Team Mundilfari,” by Arute (@ast05water)

The Battle of Arenfjord is over, but I’ve felt sick to my stomach for days on end. I’d known of Commander Hilde’s critical condition ever since the werewolf warrior was brought back to Arendelle Castle on a stretcher, her body nearly cleaved in half by Yaraslaf’s polearm. She didn’t even have time to be undressed and bathed; she needed the wounds tended to and for the bleeding to stop. The Grand Duke is dead and gone, beaten by Elsa at the last minute, and we can turn our attentions to Northuldra’s defence now. But I’ve felt… paralyzed.

Usually, I’d be the first to visit the wounded and infirm to provide comfort and encouragement, but with Hilde, I’ve been finding it strangely difficult. Maybe it’s because Hilde was under my direct command. Perhaps it was because I know how important she is to Vi, and that the Countess has stayed with her for nearly every waking hour.

Why haven’t I dropped by her room yet? Maybe because this is my first war. This is the first war fought under my stewardship of the kingdom. Any loss, even potential loss, is debilitating and heartbreaking to me. Get better soon, Hilde, and teach me to be as amazing a pugilist as you again. I’ll even go easy on you.

Ha. In my dreams.

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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.

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Arendelle DEFEATS Russia at Arenfjord; Expels Russian Prisoners

Featured image “War map,” by Arute (@ast05water)

By Mikael, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – After a grueling and bloody battle that lasted for an entire day, the Arendellian army repelled an attempt by Russia’s Baltic Fleet to seize an island off the fjord of Arendelle (nicknamed Sudden Death).

Should the Russians have seized Sudden Death, Arendelle’s harbour would have been in the direct sights of the Russian navy’s cannons. At great cost, the Arendellians’ strategy of keeping the Russians off the islet worked, with Muspelheim, Countess Vi’s iron-clad warship, striking the Baltic Fleet in a pincer attack that ended with the destruction of Poseidon and the sinking of Charybdis and Scylla. Of the thousands of Imperial Russian troops that stormed the island, only about two hundred survived and have been taken prisoner by General Mattias. Anna has promised to display clemency, and will settle for expelling them from Arendelle. The Russians also lost their admiral, Grand Duke Yaraslaf, who was one of the most terrifying figures of the invasion force.

However, there is little mood in Arendelle to celebrate.

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The Battle of Arenfjord, Part Three

Warning: Violent depictions

Featured image “Baltic Brawl,” by Arute (@ast05water)

The cries and screams in the distance had quietened down slightly, with cannonfire between Muspelheim and the Baltic Fleet still shaking the palace. But it was the late afternoon, and Anna knew that both the Russian and Arendellian troops were surely exhausted. She crossed her arms as she stared out the window, to her study, biting her lip as the afternoon sun bathed her in red light.

Elsa was on her mind, and sure enough, Elsa walked into her study. “The door was open. I wanted to talk to you,” came the Snow Queen’s gentle voice.

Anna didn’t look back. Elsa glided across the study and moved closer to Anna, who avoided her gaze. “It’s time.” The queen of Arendelle remained silent, but her predecessor pressed on. “Now it’s time for you to send me out there.”

Continue reading “The Battle of Arenfjord, Part Three”

The Battle of Arenfjord, Part Two

Warning: Violent depictions

Featured image “Baltic Brawl,” by Arute (@ast05water)

The sun had risen magnificently over the fjord, the rays of light touching and warming the wharf. But even though she was standing by the docks on her usual morning walk, Anna wasn’t mindful of the beauty today. For in the distance she could hear the booming rumble of cannons, the cries of Russian and Arendellian soldiers, and somewhere in that tumultuous struggle for Sudden Death, the island across from Arenfjord, Mattias was there with Hilde, holding off Yaraslaf. Elsa was keeping Danny company, while Sven and Olaf were accompanying the citizens evacuating to Keep Mundilfari. Uncle Michael and Alan were acting custodians of the palace while Anna focused on the war. That left only…

“Hey.” Anna turned her head at Kristoff’s voice. “Thought you’d be here.” The tai-pan of the Princely House was in his beige casual ensemble, and his brown eyes were kind as he observed the exhausted face of his queen and future wife. “Babe, you need rest. More than any of us,” he urged. “Mattias and Hilde have got this down. You can get some shut-eye for a few hours, at least.”

“Maybe you’re right. I’m glad you’re here, sweetie. I need a mountain man to lean on.” Anna took Kristoff’s oaken arm and rested her head against him. She breathed in his protective, masculine scent – fresh pinecones, mint, and the slight odor of reindeer fur.

“I want everyone in the kingdom to feel as safe with me as I do with you,” she whispered.

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For Tileke: Russia is at Arendelle’s doorstep. The Ottoman Empire won’t stand idly by

Constantinople, Alexandria-bound

From: Husrev Pasha, Lord High Vizier of the Ottoman Empire

To: Lady Tileke, serasker (supreme commander) of the Mansure Army (Asâkir-i Mansûre-i Muhammediye)

In the name of our sultan Abdulmejid I, I greet you, my dearest kerime, my little girl who I adopted in secret and nurtured to this day. You’ve been preparing all your life for this, the restoration of Ottoman influence around the globe. Now, we seize our chance with Arendelle.

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CRUSHING: Russia Piles Pressure on Anna as Baltic Fleet Wipes Out Chatho Allies

Featured image art, “Ancient Fury,” by PURY (@puryartist)

By Mikael, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – Our newsroom received breaking news in the early hours of this morning that the fleet of Chatho, one of Arendelle’s closest allies, suffered a horrific rout in the Arctic Ocean by Russian Grand Duke Yaraslaf’s Baltic Fleet.

Conflicting accounts of the battle have emerged, especially about the true scale of the casualties. However, General Mattias and his lieutenants have grimly concluded that most of the Chathan navy was wiped out. Arendellian command also received word that Chatho’s elite shock troops, the Ten Tigresses, all fell in battle against Yaraslaf. The leader of Chatho and Anna and Elsa’s childhood friend, Queen Colisa, has been reported as missing.

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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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Anna’s Column: To me, and don’t fear

Featured image art “Ashflakes,” by Alanna (@alhuart)

By HM Queen Anna

I’m sure you’ve read the news in Arendelle’s papers and gazettes by now. The Romanov family, Russia’s supreme and unquestioned rulers, has set its sights on us. Steered by their princess and Exalted member, Katina, the tsar, Nicholas I, and his government have declared war on Arendelle.

This is actually the second conflict between Arendelle and Russia, the first one having been between Elsa and the same tsar. Back then, Nicholas I was malevolent but outsmarted by my sister and Queen Colisa. Katina’s very different to her father.

Katina means to remove me from the throne and install someone – a governor – who will supervise a future Arendellian monarch more agreeable to her geopolitical ambitions. Should I fail, Scandinavia risks becoming a satrapy or province of Russia, which will provide Katina with the land, resources, and routes needed to launch an even greater bid for domination of the European continent.

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BREAKING: Russia Declares War on Arendelle

“Ashflakes,” by Alanna (@alhuart)

ARENDELLE; MOSCOW – The tsar of Imperial Russia, Nicholas I, has formally declared war on the Kingdom of Arendelle, marking a grim and uncertain new period of hostilities in Northern Europe.

It’s the beginning of a dark New Year in Arendelle as the kingdom’s unsettled citizenry share fears about the future in homes, bars, or in the village plaza. Futures of Arendellian products, in particular ice, timber, and fisheries, plunged on the Amsterdam stock market. Arendelle’s military, led by General Mattias, has begun movements in and around the Arendelle region, positioning troops at key strategic locations and deploying new weapons of war that Anna reluctantly commissioned.

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