The Qi'Shen Incident
Updated: Sep 4
Editor's note: This article was originally published in number 3 of the digital print editions.
Disaster at Port Qi’Shen struck on Thursday, May 28 at the Feast of Evermoon. The Feast, which celebrates peace and community, and even warranted a ceasefire between Atlas’s three warring empires, became a symbol of the opposite at 7:37pm CDT, when a crate exploded violently within the Shen-Cirilian capital. The explosive crate was disguised as a gift from Shen Archmage Zhengyi to Shen Archmage Qi’Shen, however Zhengyi, when the gift was described as such, stated that he “gave no gift”. The “gift” was the last in a number of gifts given and received at the supposedly peaceful event, including many from a number of non-imperial nations.
The blast, which Qi’Shen described as
“truly the lowest form of attack”
killed and injured an uncounted number of attendees, including Chief Magistrate Jesse Clark of Cirilia, a close Shen ally. Clark was attended to by Shen healers and brought to the Qi’Shen infirmary, which he survived. The blast also opened the way to an unknown cave beneath Port Qi’Shen, which many found themselves temporarily lost in. As KeiSilex put it, it “was a fun event”.
Upon hearing the injured cries of Shen, Vantians, Purelakers, and Cirilians alike, Archmage Qi’Shen was heard to have uttered “Tainted Mother help us”, before chanting unknown Shen magic which instantly teleported all present away from the danger. The teleported arrived on the shores of the Vantis Desert, near a Shen ship called The Crimson Dawn. The ship’s captain, Captain Xiao, accommodated the unexpected visitors, as Archmage Qi’Shen demanded “an emergency summit in 24 hours’ time”, in which “each and every one of [those in attendance was] a suspect”.
The summit was held 24 hours later in Teronkal, under supervision of Valderkal leader Torvald. In attendance were representatives of most (if not all - attendance was not taken) nations present at the Qi’Shen bombing. All imperial nations but the Shen sent a different representative than was at Qi’Shen the day before. The goal of the summit was a trial to determine and punish the perpetrators. Tensions were high, but at no point did any violence occur.
First, Archmage Zhengyi was accused on account of the name on the gift and his poor relations with Jesse Clark, but this was successfully denied by description of Zhengyi’s practical motivations and lack thereof for killing Clark. The Purelaker Republic was accused, but denied this in a similar way. In this fashion, nations, imperial and not alike, made their cases one by one: the Wardens of Wraithwood, the Arkayo, the Crimean Khanate, The Platinum Union, Cortesia Del Mar, Meridiön, Insula, Eldori, and so on. However, after nations finished their cases, the presiding Torvald began to push for a vote, and this led to two more popular candidates emerging: the Valderkal, and the Naurulian Empire (the Elders). The Valderkal were accused on account of what many saw as an immunity to suspicion for running the trial and fears of partiality, and the Elders on account of their power and quietness at the trial and their potential for benefit from a divided Athera. After much clamor, and in a few cases revolt against the Valderkal trial system (such as deliberately misusing the “step forward” voting system), both were added to the ballot, and a vote ensued.
The results were a tie: 11-11 between the Arkayo and the Naurulian Empire, with the Valderkal and the Wardens of Wraithwood also tying for second at 6-6. A vote between only the Arkayo and Elders followed, which the Elders ‘won’, 14-12. King Torvald announced that “The nations of Atlas have decided that the Naurulian Empire is responsible for the bombing”, and then gave his closing remarks before going to “[meet] with the other leaders to discuss the appropriate sanctions to be levied against the Naurulian people for this heinous crime”.
Torvald announced, as he was departing for his meeting, that the Valderkal had, in order to avoid further Qi’Shen Incidents, “decided to create the framework for…nations’ ambassadors to safely negotiate and carry out diplomatic relations between [them]selves, without the need to send diplomats behind enemy lines”. With this, the summit concluded.