22 November: Arendelle celebrates first year of Queen Anna’s reign

By Erik, Senior Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – The queen celebrated her reign’s first anniversary among subjects and friends, marking a milestone of one year since her accession to the throne. Anna first hosted a public brunch party at the town plaza, where she shared cake and candy with families and children. At midday, she attended a cannon salute fired from her flagship, Pride of Elsa, by the dockside with her military leaders, General Mattias and Commander Hilde. She concluded her anniversary with a quiet evening and supper with Elsa and Kristoff in Arendelle Castle.

“I neither desired the throne nor thirsted for some fancy crown of my own. But if Elsa felt me worthy to be queen, then I’d embrace that calling as tightly as I do her person in my arms,” she told reporters, when asked for reflections or comments about this very special day. “Her blessing was all the coronation I needed.”

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Munich Moonlight, Part One: The Countess’s Summons

Featured image art by Alanna (@alhuart)

1841. Before Anna became queen, and before Vi became Mundilfari clan head

Story art by Alanna (@alhuart)

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.

Continue reading “Munich Moonlight, Part One: The Countess’s Summons”

Dramatic Day in Parliament as Ministers Clash Over Anna’s Military Reforms

By Mikael, Political Reporter for The Arendelle Guardian

ARENDELLE – The Great Assembly, Arendelle’s parliament, is located at the foothills of the kingdom, in a square that can be reached via footpaths from the ministers’ quarters and several avenues of stately homes and holiday cottages. Composed of the House of Ministers and the House of Jarls, the Great Assembly was the site of combative and fractious arguments today as members of both the lower and upper houses traded increasingly angry exchanges about Her Majesty’s proposed military reforms.

The monarchy is pushing for:

  • An increase of manpower in the standing army to 1,000 trained fulltime soldiers (a significant increase for a small kingdom),
  • The incorporation of Commander Hilde Von Altheim’s elite “death squad” into the Arendellian army, and:
  • Recommissioning the Mundilfari ironclad warship Muspelheim, which Countess Vi once used to attack Arenfjord, and expand the navy’s budget to purchase a new fleet of ships on par with Pride of Elsa.
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Queen Anna’s Letter and Apology to the Emperor of China

Warmest greetings to Your Imperial Majesty, the Daoguang Emperor!

I, Queen Anna, extend to the Great Qing Empire’s people the sincerest greetings and best wishes of the people of the Kingdom of Arendelle.

Since the reign of my predecessor and sister, Queen Emerita Elsa, Sino-Arendellian relations have flourished in a spirit of mutual respect and deepening understanding. Mutual trade is growing. Arendelle maintains neutrality in any conflict that the Great Qing is involved in. Much of this progress has been thanks to our family’s friendship with Your Imperial Majesty’s grandson and right hand, Prince Regent Yixin. He’s a master statesman and understands the position of Arendelle in Europe and in the world. He has been a reliable ally as we face the challenges of modernity together.

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New Northuldra Trust Aims for Civic, Multilateral Engagement

By Emmanuel, Conservation Correspondent for The AG

The queen’s newly established Northuldra Trust aims to oversee conservation of the forest as its tribes begin working in partnership with Arendelle’s political and economic system. Sources close to Honeymaren, Anna’s Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations, have confided to me that she and Her Majesty have tipped Ryder to lead the Trust, with positions on its executive board soon to be opened to stakeholder votes.

The Trust is understood to be the queen’s attempt to bridge what the monarchy sees as a “gap of understanding” between the government’s plans for Arendelle’s re-integration with Northuldra, as outlined in Anna’s ambitious, reign-defining bill, and the public’s knowledge of the stakes involved.

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Elsa’s Guest Column: All is Fair in Love and War

By Elsa, Queen Emerita of Arendelle

It’s been over a week since Anna effectively shut herself in her study during most of the day, receiving not even Kristoff and Maren until dinnertime. Last weekend, I decided that I’d pay her a visit myself. What had gotten her so upset?

To my relief, Anna wasn’t gorging on chocolate cake and ice cream, like she’d sometimes do in the past when she was sulking. True, she needed her own space for a while, but when I saw her, she’d been hunched over her desk, poring over maritime maps, books, and newspaper reports. It wasn’t a very healthy situation – I could tell she’d barely moved from her desk for hours on end, every single day.

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Anna’s Column: Empire Isn’t The Only Way

Featured art by Athena (@myrthena) for The Arendelle Guardian

By HM Queen Anna

It’s a weird feeling. Vi and I are exchanging letters and I’m looking forward to visiting her again. Yet she is my sworn enemy, the woman whose open objective is the destruction of the Five Spirits, including Elsa, and the transformation of Arendelle into an empire, an imperium. For a noblewoman who has puppets and proxies everywhere, she’s actually too honest and open about her desires.

I should hate her. But after many nights of discussion with Elsa and Maren, I’ve finally come to realize that she and I are similar in many ways: deeply unhappy childhoods (hers was unquestionably more heartbreaking and dangerous than mine), sharp wits, and fierce convictions. We both possess iron wills. It’s our hearts that are more complex with many shades, and that’s why we’re drawn to each other.

So here we are, Vampire Vi. In a headlong collision, despite how you claim to want me, and how we click despite our vastly different political objectives.

After I got back from Keep Mundilfari, I knew that the Countess would begin striking at me. She appointed a new editor at the Snow Herald, and competition between that paper and this one, The Arendelle Guardian, grew intense. She also tried to regain control of the Great Assembly through her supportive ministers in our parliament. There wasn’t any point sugarcoating it: she was used to the government, even the monarchy, working for her. But I haven’t stood for it since the day Elsa passed the Crown to me, even if I didn’t know it was her family behind the scenes.

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Elsa’s Guest Column: Looking Back On My Reign

By Elsa, Queen Emerita of Arendelle

Can you imagine my surprise upon receiving Anna’s letter from Gale about my most recent “elevation?” I told Anna that it was fine, that I didn’t need to be Queen Emerita, that it was enough that the various factions in the Great Assembly didn’t mind me visiting and advising her every weekend. In fact, no monarch in Arendellian history has ever been bestowed such a title; Anna just made it up (as she is prone to do so)!

But you know her. When she believes in doing something, not even the spirits can stop her. She saw a need for me to be recognised as a retired monarch and accorded honorary privileges that I don’t even know if I’ll ever need.

My ears were as red as an apple’s when reporters told me what Anna had shared with the press. Her being my star pupil? That she reflected my beauty, talent, or whatever she was gushing about me?

My Anna. You – oh, dear me.

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Northuldra-Arendelle: A Government Blueprint for the Two Realms’ Re-Integration

Featured art by the amazing Arute (@ast05water) 

Presented in the parliament of Arendelle’s Great Assembly by HM Queen Anna and Lady Honeymaren Nattura, Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations

1. This proposal, if passed by the House of Ministers, and then the House of Jarls, binds Northuldra and Arendelle towards obligations that will result in an orderly and mutually beneficial re-integration between the two regions. The three core principles agreed between Her Majesty and Lady Maren, representing Northuldra, are:

  • Partnership,
  • Equality, and:
  • Sovereignty for both regions.

2. This re-integration is a long-term initiative that may be accomplished during Queen Anna’s reign, or that of a distant successor’s.

3. Northuldra’s primary obligation is to quickly set up the necessary branches of government that will allow it to communicate with the family of nations, chief among them an executive, treasury, and foreign ministry. Arendelle will not interfere in Northuldra’s choice of government, whether it decides on monarchy, democracy, or republicanism. The span of time for Northuldra’s representatives to complete this can be negotiated with Queen Anna.

4. Arendelle’s obligation is to assist in Northuldra’s political reconfiguration, during which time its army and navy are to be deployed in the defence of Northuldra.

5. Arendelle will commit to fostering an active but sustainable and balanced economic relationship with Northuldra, in consultation with the tribes and peoples of the region. 

6. The kingdom has already fulfilled its promise to provide Northuldra with an influential lobby and voice in the Arendellian government, by appointing a Northuldran-born Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations (a post currently filled by Honeymaren).

7. The final goal is the reconstitution of both Northuldra and Arendelle as a legally united, sovereign territory called Northuldra-Arendelle.

8. In the distant future, there will be a need to ensure that a sustainable political entity exists for both region’s peoples. Queen Anna and Honeymaren propose that the physical territories of what are currently known as the Kingdom of Arendelle and Northuldra each be reorganised as “Geographically Autonomous Lands” (GAL), both of which remain independent but share one destiny and common interests. Legally, the two GALs of Northuldra-Arendelle will not constitute provincialism, federalism, or unionism. Each GAL will chart their own way, but with the assurance of each other’s protection and assistance. This proposed arrangement is geared towards maximising both sovereignty while binding both closer together.

9. This bold yet practical proposal offers to both Arendellian and Northuldran peoples a unique partnership that reflects the special relationship between sister-queens Anna and Elsa. Her Majesty and Maren urge that this bill be passed so that the government can move quickly on the work of serving the people.

Put forward in this session of parliament, on this day of our Lord, 1842.

Signed and sealed, HM Queen Anna

Three Fiefs in a Kingdom: A Guide to Arendelle’s Newspaper Empires

As you might have heard from the local gossip, there was a bit of a verbal confrontation at the Nokk Club. The kingdom’s only private ladies’ and gentlemen’s haunt, the Club isn’t a place for the stuffy jarldom or even the royal family. This is where Arendelle’s ascendant captains of industry, managerial and professional classes, and politicians and journalists congregate.

It was our usual inter-outlet meeting, where we debate and negotiate how we’ll frame the news and stake out our territory. My fellow press barons and I got a bit more heated than usual about Queen Anna, probably due to her recent political accomplishments. It climaxed with the owner of the Snow Herald throwing a bottle of fine aged wine against the wall, screaming an obscenity against Her Majesty. Meanwhile, the proprietor of the Fjord Times threatened to sic thugs on me to rough me up a bit. I guess I also floated the idea of sending reporters to rummage through her garbage. Not exactly our most noble moment of journalism.

You might be surprised at how high the stakes are in our small kingdom. In this editorial, I want to come clean and tell you all about Arendelle’s newspapers, from our constituents and readership to our power base and beliefs.

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