Arendelle is invaded by Weasleton and a young Elsa must flee in the midst of chaos aboard a cargo ship. With a large price on her head, Elsa is forced into a life at sea. Wanting to weaken the tyrants that took over Arendelle the crew turns to piracy, hoping to gain enough power to one day oppose Weasleton. As years pass rumors of the missing Queen of Arendelle are overshadowed by the tales of the infamous Ice Maiden, a pirate ship with a ruthless and beautiful woman captain. Anna of Arendelle is enraptured by the tales of valor of the Ice Maiden and sets out to start her own adventure, all in the midst of tyranny and betrayal.
Chapter 1: Deadly Red
Fifteen year old Princess Elsa awoke with a jerk to find chaos swimming around her. Fire licked the thick curtains framing her ceiling-tall windows and sharp winter wind urged it farther in, leading it onto the traditional rug that had been in the castle for five generations of royalty. The wind didn't faze her, but the heat from the fire was blistering and she had to squint to look at it. Elsa was disoriented for only a moment, but the sound of gunfire and wild screams snapped her back to reality.
It was an attack. Yet, who would attack Arendelle? Her father hadn't mentioned any trouble with any particular country lately, and she was fairly well informed for her age.
"Princess?" Elsa's door crashed open, a royal guard squinting through the smoke, rifle swiftly scanning her room. At the sight of Elsa the guard quickly lowered his weapon, "My lady, please, we must hurry, the kingdom is under attack!"
Elsa slid out from under her luxurious covers, not caring when her bare feet made contact with the chilled floor. The guard hastily ushered her out into the hallway, then into the nearest hidden servant corridor. These narrow hallways led to every room and were used so servants could discreetly move from one place to the other. Now Elsa figured they became the perfect way to sneak out the royal family without being caught by the enemies. Speaking of-
"My- the King and the Queen, are they safe?" Elsa asked in-between ragged breaths. She wasn't use to such exertion as a Princess, the most physically activity she did on a regular basis was riding horses or lugging books around the library. This running in fear took much more out of her much faster than she was use to.
"Yes mam, of course, others are attending to the King and Queen. You are to join them and board the ship the Ice Maiden."
"Ice Maiden" Elsa muttered. She had heard of this ship before, it was a cargo ship, primarily for trade. But it was just that, a cargo ship, not some sort of vessel fit for war or transporting royalty. Elsa felt her face tightening as she realized how unprepared Arendelle had been for this attack. Of course their had been skirmishes around the boarder every now and again, but nothing her father had thought would lead to this… this unwarranted siege.
Finally the guard led her through a door leading out of the servant's corridor after an innumerable amount of turns and curves. Elsa was surprised to find herself in the back of the kitchens, right in the center of a small circle of Arendelle soldiers. Elsa drew back- the horror and emptiness filling their expressions was intimidating, though she knew logically they would were on her side. What if she needed to be given up to stop the fighting? She had read of it happening in the past- an army would be willing to ceasefire and let the survivors go if the royal family was sacrificed.
Her throat tightened in apprehension, but she held her head high. She would do anything for her people, that's what her parents had taught her, at least. "Princess!" The group greeted mournfully, bowing dutifully at the waist.
She curtsied back shallowly, as was proper, but she felt herself sink lower than was needed of her status. If they favor me, maybe… Insecurity burrowed itself in her chest.
"Listen here, boys, we are going to fight to the last man and beyond to get the princess onto that boat, you hear?" The guard who had been leading Elsa suddenly shouted, causing Elsa to flinch back.
"Yes sir!" chorused the group, the emptiness in their eyes suddenly filled with purpose and grim determination.
"For our home!" Battle cries lifted from the soldiers and Elsa again found herself swept away. She was suddenly surrounded by fire and blood- red everywhere, death seeping into the cobblestones beneath her feet. Her country, her parents, her people! How could they survive this? The city surround the castle appeared ransacked and was glowing orange, flames reaching high in the night sky, smoke blocking out the stars.
An enemy soldier rushed her, but the Arendelle soldiers easily stopped him. The masts of the ships docked in the harbor were just visible, soon Elsa spied the rolling waters reflecting the light of the fire swiftly overtaking the town.
A choked scream made Elsa flinch around, and with her eyes wide she witnessed a soldier die, sword sprouting from his chest in a plume of crimson blood. He collapsed to the ground to reveal a soldier bearing the colors of Weasleton grimacing behind his back. What struck her most was his look of displeasure- he was only doing his duty as ordered by his King, of course. Elsa realized this, but it didn't help stifle the sudden hate and fear rising in her chest.
She was pushed back forcefully as one of her own soldiers did his duty, and cut down the threat to his Princess. "Go!" he shouted forcefully.
Obediently Elsa spun and took off again, training her eyes back on the masts of the ships. The soldiers leading her kept close, warding off any attackers, but still the rapid force of fighting was slowly breaking them apart into a less organized formation. Elsa wanted to help; she wished she could do something. She was useless, and these brave men were dying for her.
Heat suddenly rose from her arm, she peered down to find a deep gash sliding across her bicep. She blinked up, surprised to find a Weasleton soldier dead, being shoved away from her. He must have lunged for her, accepting death for the attempt at her life. She would have shuddered if she hadn't already been shaking horrendously.
"Princess!" A voice called from above.
Elsa snapped her head up to find Gerda, the head of the servants, leaning over the side of a ship. When she had actually arrived on the dock, Elsa wasn't sure. She guessed she had blacked out after getting cut.
"Go Princess, we will hold them off!" An Arendelle soldier called over his shoulder, sword raised and glinting red. Nauseous, Elsa stumbled up on the ship, which was in a flurry of activity itself. Hardened men hefted ropes thicker than her wrist onto the deck of the ship.
"My parents- where?" Elsa managed to croak to Gerda.
Elsa missed Gerda's wince and etched frown, "Sit down, lass, you appear as if you're about to swoon."
So Elsa sat because she was too numb to think to do anything else. She watched blankly as the ship moved away from the dock, giving her a wider perspective she never wanted on the destruction of her home. Arendelle was in shambles.
Adjusting to life at sea had been hard, but Elsa wasn't anything if not stubborn. Despite her age and status she fell into the habit of helping however she could manage. She wouldn't freeload off these people. Quickly she discovered that nimbly climbing up to the crow's nest was nerve-wracking because of the height, but also something she was able to do quicker than most of the other crew. It wasn't much, but she took a secret pride in it.
Insisting on helping on the ship was also a selfish act on her part. She wanted, needed, something to distract her from the horrors in her own head. The deaths of a million soldiers played in her mind, and the soldiers soon morphed into her own parents, dying over and over again, just an arm's reach away.
Elsa was now the rightful Queen of Arendelle, but it didn't mean much to her because Arendelle was now under the control of Weasleton. She wasn't in charge of a country and she insisted any sort of formality to be ignored. She didn't like being bowed to by the crew members- she was in the same boat with all these people; she was no better than any of them.
She began to find herself taken with the blue of the water and the blue of the sky. Nothing like the reds of fire or blood. Her body became adjusted to the rolling of the sea easily, and her nose was thankful for the salty breeze. Her hands were thoroughly callused by the time the Ice Maiden docked in the Southern Isles.
What awaited her there was an escort to capture her. She was impressed at the amount placed on her own head. The King of Weasleton was insuring that it would be more profitable to hand Elsa over rather than shelter her. The following fight was vicious, but Elsa escaped on the Ice Maiden once more.
She overheard the captian speaking to Gerda one night while she had been hanging in the nets, watching the stars. Their hushed voices had been difficult to pick out, but she heard them clear enough.
"You are welcome to stay on this ship as long as you see fit, madam. This crew stays loyal to the Queen, of course."
"I understand that," Gerda replied hotly, "But we are in danger here. A ship must dock eventually, and I am fairly certain no docks are friends of Arendelle's right now."
"We will lower the colors of Arendelle. No one would bat an eye at us."
"Yes, and having a fifteen year-old girl on board is not suspicious at all."
"Your sarcasm is biting." The captain deadpanned. "Yet it is not uncommon for a young boy to be on board, she has not grown up enough that it is impossible for her to pass as one. Just cut her hair-"
"Cut the Queen's hair like a ruffian?" Gerda protested indignantly. Elsa personally liked her hair long, but she supposed cutting it did make sense. She wouldn't say a word against it if it protected the lives around her.
"Listen to yourself. I am not asking for her fingers here, Gerda. Hair grows back. It is quite a small price to pay." The captain reasoned.
Gerda seemed to deflate, "This is no life for anyone. I am sorry, I do not wish to be difficult, I just wanted to make Elsa's life as normal as possible."
"Her life was never normal to begin with. Being born a royal does that. I am sure eventually she can rally Arendelle to fight with her once more, but until then we must live on this ship."
"But that isn't forever. Eventually Elsa must-"
"Yes. Take back the throne. But I already have plans for when the Queen is ready, if she is willing."
Gerda paused suspiciously, and Elsa peered down at the captain closely. They had shifted right below her, angled to look out over the moonlit sea, but both their eyes were trained on one another. "What sort of thing are you planning?"
"If we disrupt trade from Arendelle, we could weaken whoever is placed in power then strike while they are weak."
"You're insinuating piracy! You are, don't even deny it." Gerda rubbed her temples, "Spirits, you are an ambitious man."
"I'm not captain because of my complacency." Elsa could see the Captain's grim smile from her perch. He was serious about resorting to piracy.
Elsa reminded herself that he had said if she was willing, but despite the blood staining the back of her eyelids at night, she couldn't find reason to protest if the crew wanted to. Any road she took would lead to bloodshed, her own or friends or her enemies. She would really prefer to take initiative against her enemies first, if she had to take any action at all. Better them than her, although she wouldn't have thought this way a month ago. Anger and sorrow flashed red hot through her mind.
Just a month ago she had been woken up by a guard who was surely dead by now, either hung for his loyalty to her or killed in battle. And the man that stood behind her, and the one who was quite rough when shoving her, but also so willing to give his life to her. All of those men who helped her escape that day and so many more. Too many had died for her, to give her a chance. Yes, Elsa decided, she would fight for her country, like her country had fought for her. Even if it cost her her life.
Why hello there, Goldflame here. I was not expecting my muse to slap me with this one. Really, I had a Pirate AU floating around in my head for a completely different fandom, but then frozen had to take over. And then it happened, I wrote this monster chapter. Don't expect this length all the time. I usually write half this for a chapter typically. Start off with a bang, I guess.
Four for anyone who can catch my pun. I'm pretty lame and pretty proud of myself. Reviews give me lifeblood. Let me know how you liked the first chapter! Any Improvements? Mistakes? Predictions? Wild headcannons?
Thanks for reading,