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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FIRE AND ICE: Russia issues ultimatum to Arendelle’s allies

MOSCOW; SAINT PETERSBURG – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia has issued a public statement to the Entente of Small Kingdoms, warning that the armies of the three Grand Dukes will ignore attempts by Arendelle’s allies to stymie any Russian advance into Northern Europe.

The tsar’s government is arguing that the annexation of Scandinavia is a last resort after decades of failed Russian appeasement and continued incursions by states like France and Sweden. The ministry’s statement is being taken by diplomatic missions around the world to be prelude to a formal declaration of war. Tensions are understandably high, as a Russo-Arendellian confrontation could alter the balance of power across the Eurasian supercontinent.

“Our policy also applies to even the Ottoman and Austrian Empires, which despite their outward neutrality, seek to hinder Russia’s steps to protect itself against the predations of Western Europe,” said Katina Romanov, princess of Russia. Arendelle has accused her of being the mastermind behind the tsar’s aggressive foreign policy. “Never again will another Frenchman like Napoleon – or Prussian, or Briton, or Austrian – ravage our land or our people again. Russia demands two things: fear and respect. Fear of Russian vengeance should her sovereignty be violated, and respect for her stature and dignity as a great continental, global power.”

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Anna’s Column: My Chessboard with Katina

By HM Queen Anna

I was always prepared for this moment – the time when Arendelle would have no choice but to meet the challenge of a great power. It’s a classic underdog story, and pretty much everyone is an underdog when it comes to a mighty empire like Russia.

But even though many have called me a fairytale princess, life is anything but a fairytale for national leaders, who have to face hard choices and dilemmas every day. I’ve always fought hard and come out stronger whether in defeat or victory. But the world of global politics isn’t so simple. War and peace are matters of life and death, and you can’t just go lick your wounds after a loss. To gamble incorrectly on a conflict means the needless loss of life above all. But it can also mean loss of territory, loss of sovereignty, and even the extinction of the country itself.

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WHERE IS ANNA? Concern grows among journalists at queen’s week-long silence

ARENDELLE – With her sociable personality, love of company, and keen political savvy, Anna is the most press-friendly monarch Arendelle has ever had.

In one year she has granted more interviews and done more press events with the Big Three newspapers (The Arendelle Guardian, the Fjord Times, and the Snow Herald) than her predecessors put together.

Naturally, after a week of silence from the palace, Arendelle’s reporters are growing restless and impatient, with editors scratching their heads in puzzlement.

Journalists from the Big Three that are tasked with covering the queen and royal household are known as royal correspondents. They often double as political journalists due to the queen’s executive involvement in the Great Assembly. With quotes drying up and coverage material dwindling, newswomen and men on this prestigious beat are starting to panic, resorting to gossip about who Queen Anna last saw before shutting herself away in Arendelle Castle.

One senior reporter from the Fjord Times made a smarmy joke about Anna’s absence causing Arendellian stocks to fall. Others have interviewed figures in the palace, trying to understand what happened. While Kristoff and Elsa have admitted that Anna is indeed still in Arendelle Castle, they’ve struggled to give a reason for her silence.

She was last seen in public on her daily walk with a beautiful foreign woman, near Vera’s Berg Sweetshop.

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For the Grand Dukes Only: Profile of Anna, Queen of Arendelle

From: Katina Romanov, Princess of Russia

For: The Grand Dukes of Russia

Grand Dukes, read my summons. To me!

Except for Sora, who’s consistently and annoyingly absent from activities of state, you’ve seen for yourselves the young monarch from Arendelle. I once dismissed her out of hand, but now I honour her as my sworn enemy. I thought her a vapid successor when she possesses even more initiative than her elder sister. I assumed that she’d be utterly unextraordinary even as she tried to sneak in Northuldra agents while smiling to my face in the Alexander Palace. If she was scared by Nykras’ little display of necromancy, she didn’t show it. And who could forget our little chess match?

Despite all her imperfections, and there are many, I now see this freckled redhead as a foe on the same level as her predecessor, Elsa.

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Anna’s Column: Be Fearless and Ready

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

By HM Queen Anna

I know this is a lot to take in, everyone. As of my penning this column and submitting it to The Arendelle Guardian’s editor, the kingdom is alight with fearful talk. From the local bakery and pub all the way to the government and my inner court, there’s a name whispered with fear and loathing: “Katina Romanov.”

Katina Romanov – princess of the Russian Empire, the true power manipulating her daddy, the tsar, behind the throne. Member of the Exalted. Commander of the Grand Dukes of Russia, three mighty generals that she’s tasked with the full-scale invasion of our kingdom.

As your servant-queen, I’ve sworn an oath to always be truthful and honest to my people. So this is the truth: Russia is mobilizing against us, but we have no way of knowing when. Katina will come to me when she’d ready. Therefore, I appeal to everyone in Arendelle not to fear, and to live life like we always do. However, I accept that these won’t be normal times, and to that end, I’ll be working extremely closely with Elsa, General Mattias, and Commander Hilde to prepare for that fateful day when Russia declares war on Arendelle.

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Arendelle’s Delegation in Saint Petersburg for Talks with Russia, Part Three

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

Read Part One here! Grand Duke Nykras reveals his dread necromantic powers!

Read Part Two here! Honeymaren and Amira take on Grand Duke Yaraslaf the werebear!

“Check.” Anna moved her bishop along the chessboard, cornering Katina’s king piece. Her eyes glinted. “I wonder if I can put you in checkmate soon?”

Surprised once more at Anna’s aggressive play style, Katina grimaced, looking at Anna with a strained smile. “You’re pretty good, Queen of Arendelle.”

Anna smiled. “Thanks, Katina, and I mean that. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent many a late night playing with Elsa and Kristoff.”

She reclined, hands behind her back. “Honestly, I have to admit – I thought after Elsa and my team left, you were going to have Nykras put me under house arrest or something.”

“A sovereign doing such a thing to another sovereign? And why would I worry about you attacking me? I have Nykras and Sora in the palace with me. And just because I hate you doesn’t mean I play dirty. You’re the one who sent Northuldra spies into my city. But I’m so straight with you, I’m even showing you my hand: the Grand Dukes that will lead my invasion.” She stared at Anna. “Mr. Harrison is the one who loves to play dirty. He’s a wily fox, a typical merchant prince. But I prefer war to be a duel. Just like a face-to-face conversation, or a game of chess.”

They were sitting over a game table in Katina’s drawing room, which was so large that it was twice the size of Anna’s drawing room back in Arendelle Castle. It was lavish and sumptuous, with voluminous curtains and gold leaf wallpaper, the walls themselves festooned with portraits of Katina’s ancestors, including Peter the Great. He was the one responsible for kicking off the reforms of feudal Russia and transforming it into an early modern superpower in Eurasia. There were mechanical trinkets, dolls, and toys on mahogany shelves, lavishly painted tables, and burning candles mounted on the most elaborately decorated candlesticks.

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Arendelle’s Delegation in Saint Petersburg for Talks with Russia, Part Two

Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)

Read Part One here!

It was the dead of night and eerily quiet. Northuldra’s champions were on the hunt.

Founded in the early 1600s by the greatest Romanov tsar, Peter the Great, the port of Kronstadt was a centre of commerce that grew in strategic importance as the maritime defence outpost of the imperial capital. The main base of Russia’s Baltic Fleet was located in Kronstadt, guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. Maren and Amira stood in stunned silence as they stared up at the incomplete skeletons of warships among the huge dockyard. The two Northuldra women, who’d never been outside of Arendelle or Northuldra, were gobsmacked by the sheer vastness of the military base.

As the two Northuldra dashed from warehouse to warehouse, unpicking doors and peering inside, Maren and Amira found more evidence of Russia’s military buildup. Their acutely sensitive eyes saw everything with little issue, and they didn’t need torches or light. There were rifles, pistols, and bayonets stored on rows of shelves in one warehouse, hundreds of officers’ uniforms in another, and an entire factory reserved for mortars, howitzers, railway guns, and other armaments and artillery. Amira couldn’t hide her surprise at witnessing so many modern weapons of war as Maren looked on grimly.

She took Amira’s hand, giving it a squeeze. “Quite the sight for us unwelcome tourists, isn’t it? Now do you believe me about the danger that Northuldra faces?”

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