Michael’s Musings Special: Open Letter To A Certain Stalker…

Featured image art “Your countess” by Inkwhite (@Inkwhite_mo)

By Michael (@of_michel)

After reading my good friend Sir Alan’s article to this mysterious stalker of our prime minister, First Vampire (and close, personal friend) Viola Mundilfari, it’s time I added my 2 schillings worth on this sore subject.

To the cowardly stalker of Viola Mundilfari:

“Trade minister” by PURY (@puryartist)

You probably know who I am from my position in in Queen Anna’s Government and my articles in this fine newspaper, nevertheless, I’ll introduce myself.

I’m Michael, Arendelle’s trade minister, uncle to Queen Anna and Snow Queen Elsa, and a fellow minister and personal friend of PM Viola Mundilfari.

For a couple of weeks or so, Viola, myself, her friends and family, have had to put up with your posters and hand bills, slandering and badmouthing Viola. Of course, Princess Danny ripped them down and then made a nice fire to roast marshmallows and stargaze under the night sky with Vi, Danny and myself. You were just like an empty can, rattling and making a lot of noise and no more.

Then, you stepped over the line, my fiend. You invaded the home of Viola, Hilde Von Altheim, and Tess. Painting slurs on the gates of the Grand House and tossing rotten fruit on her doorstep. You went a bridge too far, and now we’re all looking for you. Payback is hell.

I don’t know what is driving at you to do this. Maybe it’s for past sins of the Mundilfari clan. Or what she had to do in London. Whatever it was or why, you just stepped into a deep hole of reindeer shiatsu with us. Alan posted his thoughts, here are mine.

Continue reading “Michael’s Musings Special: Open Letter To A Certain Stalker…”

The Fifth Spirit and the First Vampire

“Mistress of the Night,” by hanna.digiart (@HDigiart)

It was a nice and cool late morning. The wooden plank’s tip plonked onto the edge of the dock, and the ship’s passengers began to disembark. There were friends and family members waiting for some of the crew and travellers, and the wharf was lively with happy reunions as Arendellians welcomed loved ones and compatriots back from London. One of these passengers wasn’t like the others, for she felt almost peculiar about the fact that she could walk around in the bright Arendellian sun without being burned. Her blood-red eyes blinked slowly up at the white clouds and azure sky, and her fanged mouth breathed in the fresh fjord air.

It felt unreal to be back home after months of a nightmare in London.

The young woman behind her took her hand as they walked onto the dockside together. “Look,” said Tess Gaunt, pointing and smiling at a well-dressed, middle-aged man waving his hand. “I think he’s the one picking us up.” The locals recognized him as “Uncle” Michael, a member of the royal family and the kingdom’s trade minister.

Continue reading “The Fifth Spirit and the First Vampire”

Chapter Three: The Nightmare Intensifies

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

Story art by Alanna (@alhuart)

The story so far: Countess Vi has made her move. She has recruited the assistance of Home Secretary David Fullerton and London Age editor Boyle Skinner to pass a bill that would forbid the trafficking of women under eighteen into the East End, disrupting the “supply chain” of human bodies for the Eviscerator and forcing the criminal to strike at her directly. Yet three big questions remain.

How are the Eviscerator and the Ravager, the body snatcher aboard the Necropolis Express, related?

Who is behind them?

And how are they related to the Exalted?

*

It had become a regular kind of thing. That was, killing demonic creatures sewn together from the body parts of commoners and the illustrious alike.

For the past few weeks, every night at the strike of twelve sharp, Vi would stand guard among the brothels and “fallen houses” of the East End, and somehow they always appeared at the same time, lurching from the shadows of back alleys or emerging from behind decrepit walls. It was the same story for these horrors every evening: slice them apart, ensuring the heads were severed from the bodies. They moved fairly slowly, so unless Vi was careless enough to get caught in their crushing grip, there was little chance they could even touch her. Ever elegant and calm, she always swung her sword stick with gusto, flair, and energy, spilling open the innards of the composite beasts and severing their deformed limbs from their bodies. She painted the streets, brick walls, and alleyways red and green with their gore, but after more than a fortnight of protecting the East End from this never-ending night army, she began to feel her own body straining from eve after eve of combat.

Continue reading “Chapter Three: The Nightmare Intensifies”

The Ceremony of the Wolf Champion

Featured image art by Arute (@ast05water)

1839. The year Anna turned 18 and Iduna and Agnarr were lost at sea…

For years, Commander Hilde had watched over the dark countess and heiress at school, protecting Viola Mundilfari from the cruel bullying of other girls for her otherworldly yet beautiful red eyes. It was a painful childhood, during which Vi was still angry and upset about the destiny chosen for her. A destiny forced on her by a demon that held her family in thrall to generation after generation of servitude in return for near-limitless wealth and power.

Hilde had watched over Vi ever since the latter began her training. She’d watched Vi master the Ulv (Wolf) school of Arendellian fencing, becoming one of the kingdom’s best duellists. She’d kept Vi company as the other threw herself into the ancient aristocratic traditions of the Mundilfari Viking clan. She’d helped Vi memorize tomes of dark lore and learn the Mundilfari way of politics, manipulating the dukes, popes, and kings of Europe from behind the scenes. And, of course, she’d watched Vi learn to communicate with Mephistopheles, though Vi was humiliated and rattled every time she spoke to him. For he never missed a chance to remind her that her soul belonged to him unless she was able to give him the power of Northuldra’s five elemental spirits. That was the primeval promise made by the first Mundilfari noble, which had never been fulfilled. So, until that day, Vi was Mephistopheles’ property. His plaything.

The Countess was disgusted with herself, ashamed for her family, and heartbroken about her future.

Continue reading “The Ceremony of the Wolf Champion”

The Four Ladies of Arendelle, Part One

The Countess’s back was no longer so sore that she couldn’t sit up. So she propped herself against a fluffy pillow as she glared at the wooden bowl of gruel in her hand. She was in her purple nightgown, recuperating from the brutal chastising Mephistopheles had meted out on her. “Hilde,” she muttered, her other hand clutching a silver spoon. She glared at the martial woman by her bedside, whose serious expression looked somewhat hopeful. “This hot soup you’ve made for me is disgusting. I don’t even know what ingredients you put in to get this… porridge-like texture,” chastised Viola.

The supreme commander of the Countess’s private army actually looked crestfallen, a strand of her blond hair draping down her smooth face. “I used potatoes and leeks, just like in the recipe. It’s very nutritious, and perfect for regaining your strength, my Lady.”

Continue reading “The Four Ladies of Arendelle, Part One”

Anna’s Column: I Will End Mephistopheles’ Bondage!

By HM Queen Anna

Is it weird to talk about bondage in my column? Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the kind of leather I like to see on Kristoff. Hear me out, dear citizen, don’t get scared off! I’m talking about the kind of bondage I despise: the supernatural kind that keeps otherwise free women and men in servitude. Now I have your attention, don’t I?

We live at the dawn of what my historians call “modernity,” with steam and photography and all manner of technological wonders and terrors. But we’re still reminded of magic every single day. I’m in contact with the wondrous every day, thanks to my contact with Elsa and only-slightly-less-frequent contact with the other elemental spirits. Gale passes by Arendelle all the time; you can feel her. But not all supernatural forces are as benevolent as the Five Elements.

Continue reading “Anna’s Column: I Will End Mephistopheles’ Bondage!”

Viola Mundilfari, Prime Minister of Arendelle

The portcullis had already been raised when Anna, Sir Alan, and the newly appointed Minister of Trade, Michael, arrived at Keep Mundilfari. The attendant was waiting, and she curtsied in her frilled blouse as Anna and her friends disembarked the carriage. The coachman petted his whinnying horses, which were exhausted from two days of non-stop riding. “Her Ladyship is in the throne room, waiting for you,” said the attendant.

Rubbing her arms in the midnight cold, Anna glanced at her escorts. “Can they come inside with me, to speak with the Countess?”

The attendant hesitated. “That… that’s for Commander Hilde, Her Ladyship’s right hand, to decide.”

Jackboots could be heard coming from the main door. Moonlight spilled onto the slender but powerful general who emerged. Flanked by two members of her plague-masked death squad, the cloaked Todesschwadron, Hilde stared first at Anna, and then the two men by her side. Her serpentine, gold-yellow eyes flashed in disdain. Her demeanour was colder than any ice storm Elsa could conjure.

Continue reading “Viola Mundilfari, Prime Minister of Arendelle”