Anna and Mattias: War Games by Firelight

Arendelle Castle

Anna sat in her lime green nightdress by the Great Hall’s fireplace, where she ate dinner with Kristoff and would often frequent for a late night supper alone. It was becoming more and more a habit, thanks to long hours working and staying awake well past midnight, before the crack of dawn forced her up to attend to national affairs once more. It was a far cry from when Elsa would drag her out of bed.

Tonight wasn’t much better as she sat by the warm fireplace, her hands around a wooden mug of black tea. She didn’t turn around as she heard boots nearing her. She heard her general’s deep, reproachful voice.

“You went ahead with writing that column and asking Chief to publish it. You included the leaks about the Countess’s troop mobilization against Northuldra, everything. Now everyone knows about our shadow war with Viola, against my expressed wishes.”

She hung her head. “Can you at least sit with me before you chew me out?”

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Anna’s Column: Northuldra is at the heart of Arendelle’s greatest challenge

By HM Queen Anna

Citizens of Arendelle! You have no idea how strongly General Mattias was against me approaching you openly about what I’ve seen with my own eyes. He and I got into an angry argument in my study the other night about what I’m about to share with you in my column. From what I see in the pages of all Big Three papers, even this one, I guess our row was leaked to the press.

Destin was insistent that this puts our national security at risk. I hope that won’t be true, because I’ve blotted out and burned the name of its author. Besides, it’s not as if recent events haven’t got everyone talking already, especially after our war against the Southern Isles.

I love you, general, but I need to go public. Consider this an exclusive I’m giving this paper. Have a look at this.

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The Blade of Elsa and the Siege of Arendelle

It had been a long time since she tasted the sea-salt air of Arendelle’s fjord.

Wreathed in her dark purple cloak, deep brown tresses blowing in front of her smooth face, Viola Mundilfari stared at Arendelle Castle in the distance. Heeled boot clacking idly, she stood at the bow of her ironclad warship, Muspelheim. It was positively Gothic how this gargantuan vessel had appeared on the horizon, her modern cannons bristling like a porcupine’s spikes from her hull. She’d been built with materials purchased from around the world by Viola’s lawyers in secret, and assembled under the shelter of the forest below Jotunheimen Mountains. It had set sail from a cove close to Viola’s castle, concealed from Arendellian intelligence until the moment Viola chose to commission her.

Her superweapon had moved past the mountains beyond the kingdom, and was anchored within firing distance of the palace and the Plaza.

At least twice the size of Anna’s personal flagship, Autumn Cloud, Muspelheim dwarfed any warship in the Arendellian fleet. The only vestiges of the old world on that ship were her three magnificent masts. Make no mistake: this vessel was a harbinger of a nightmarish modernity. Of destroyed cities and weeping orphans. Of world wars.

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Anna’s Column: Blade of the Queen

By HM Queen Anna

General Mattias has become more of a dad to me than Father ever was. As your servant-queen, I’ve gained a much better appreciation for his extremely difficult job. Destin’s fair, but stern: his attitude is (perhaps inevitably) more martial than mine. That’s fine. I’m used to growing up quickly, and I’ve already had some diplomatic experience over my first year. He’s training me in not just swordsmanship, but also strategy and the art of war. This is a complicated, messy world, and governing requires both the ideal of peace and the… well, the promise of resistance against those that might be tempted to bully, invade, or colonise us.

His favourite among the masters of war is Clausewitz, who he read assiduously over many years before being trapped in Northuldra. A few months ago, he gave me his father’s notes on this great strategist’s work. He says it’ll serve me well throughout my rule. I, for one, will honour this gift from Destin.

I’ve been taking fencing lessons for him for a while now. I wrote down my own thoughts in my practice journal the other week. Would you like to take a peek?

Well, if you’re not interested, too bad. Because I’m sharing them with you today!

Lots of love,
Anna

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