Shen-qi is a small city state in the mountains between the Border Kingdoms and Kridea. Since its founding about 100 years after the fall of the Goblin Empire Shen-qi has remained quite isolationist but was one of the first cities to rise out of the chaos and one of the last human states to fall to The Haram Empire. Prior to the invasion Shen-qi had a loose sort of control over the neighboring kingdoms much in the way a king controls his vassal lords. When the attack occured Shen-qi surrendered under the threat of overwhelming force and was thus given the position of capital over the newly formed Northern and Southern Border Kingdoms. Although this is more a formality than anything else and the majority of the Border Kingdoms remain autonomous it has given the state significance, attracting trade, and making Shen-qi's ways a benchmark for the area's culture. To be from the Border Kingdoms of Shen-qi is to be of the 'Shenese' ethnicity.
Shen-qi is unique in that it is the only other nation on Kaile with a ruler claiming an Imperial title, though not one with any relation to that of The Haram Empire. The Immortal Empress has ruled since the nation's founding and while the people of Shen-qi, and most of the world believe her to be thousands of years old; like any normal human being, she is subject to age and death. The Immortal Empress is actually a long line of Empresses, their oldest daughters taking their places as the centuries pass. When the original Empress finally accepted that death is inevitable, even to the greatest of rulers, she created a plan that would allow her spirit to live on even if her body couldn't.
About ten years before the death of the original Empress, she stepped down and allowed her daughter onto the throne, guiding her down the paths of wisdom and intelligence. Although her daughter was relatively young at the time, and the Empress quite old the cosmetics and makeups she had been using kept her appearance as that of a young woman. Each daughter has attempted to keep a similar appearance, through cosmetics and any other means available.
Although her husband died years ago the Empress had to keep at least two children as heirs should something go wrong and thus over the centuries each Empress has had a new husband and children. As for what happens to the husband afterwards, no one is really sure. Due to this rule only the three first children born are considered royalty, and one of these, the oldest daughter is hidden at a young age to be taught to take her mother's place; all others are effectively anomalies. The 'Hidden Empress' is traditionally concealed in the third and smallest section of the Palace of the Immortal Empress where she prepares for her turn on the throne.