The elite peacekeeping force called the Zhev is composed of flying cylindrical automatons said to have been created by the Amber Pope more than a hundred years ago— some believe that he merely found and activated them.

The Zhev patrol Qi, usually in pairs but sometimes alone, preventing infractions of the law and acting to keep order, keep the peace, and protect the lives of innocents. The Zhev keep mostly to the central districts because they don’t have the numbers to patrol Qi in its entirety. The city has grown in the past hundred years, and while the rulers have the ability to repair the existing Zhev, they lack the materials and skill to create new ones.

They are cylinders 6 feet (1.8 m) high and 3 feet (0.9 m) in diameter, and they typically hover 3 feet (0.9 m) off the ground. The Zhev have three triangular eyes that appear to be organic. The eyes usually stay together in a larger triangle formation, moving inside the cylinder, peering through a slit near the top that goes all the way around. The eyes can also separate, each looking in a different direction, but they do this rarely.

Although the Zhev are essentially automatons, they have organic interior components as well as mechanical parts. When forced to choose between options, they always make the choice that saves the most people from the greatest harm. Protecting innocents takes priority over enforcing laws. They are well-respected, but not always liked. Their human superiors perform administrative work and never go out on patrols or calls in the city.

While the Zhev serve human masters in Qi, many people worry that they secretly have their own agenda.


Chronicles of Ascension LazUliSWC