Places TownsAndCities

Fast Facts

  • Capital of the Democratic Chancellery of Shemerion.
  • More industrial and less grand than the archtypical Fireflow city.
  • Widely spread in the mid-branches with many good homes for the emerging middle class.


Around 13,000 souls.


The Bond of the Nation (parliament) for the Shemer nation meets in the converted palace of the old ducal hearthbond in the Ollfa Serin district of Vel-Shosha, where a number of other aristocratic manors have become home of the national administration. This center of government is The Palace of Ollfa Serin.

Vel-Shosha itself is an individual electory (see Shemerion) and the Bond of the Electory also based in Ollfa Serin in another converted great house, the old Palace of Anfinson-Yesro, now known as the House of the Electory.

Law and Order

The Bondguard in Vel-Shosha still contains an "old guard" from the days when their role was dictated by the aristocracy as control as well as law and order, as well as a progressive group who have grown up in the democratic chancellery with more egalitarian instincts. This somewhat divided force means that attitudes to both perpetrators and victims of crime can be somewhat unpredictable depending on who turns up at a given crime scene, and this mercurial response has in turn led to rumours of widespread corruption which may or may not be justified.


Situated in the Vel-Shosha Gap, between two mineral-rich groups of Tepui, the city has always felt more industrial and less grand than many in The Fireflow. Since its wholehearted embrace of democracy this has only been intensified, with the growing middle classes making the city welcoming to all who can contribute to its mutual prosperity - although anyone arriving here expecting deference due to their aristocratic status is likely to receive short shrift...

Districts of Vel-Shosha

From its population the traveller would expect to find Vel-Shosha to be a Stratified City (see Cities and Towns in the Trees) - and on first inspection they would not be disappointed. Standing on the main boardway in the central district of Helondrona development is clearly visible both above and below. Further investigation, however, will reveal that the middle Branches level is very extensive, with relatively little in the normally prestigious but difficult to develop high treetops or in the low status undercity - the democratic revolution in the busy city has lead to it's domination by a burgeoning middle class, whose mid-branch dwellings have formed the sprawling suburbs of Iamelle, filled with decent (but not ostentatious) homes.

Treetop Districts (Upper Level)

Ollfa Serin

The only district of the city entirely within the upper branches is Ollfa Serin. Here the palace of the former ducal hearthbond, plus some other nearby mansions, have become the seat of the democratic government of Shemerion, The Bond of the Nation. The garden branches of these mansions have largely become a public space - part park, and part place of national commemoration and celebration for parades, protests and monuments. The Ollfa Serin Parkland extends in a long strip (bordered by wealthy dwellings, high class places of entertainment and commerce catering to the most wealthy, such as exotic restaurants and art galleries) to the upper section of The Swords District.

The Swords District and Enthanin both extend into The Treetops, but are covered with the other Branches Districts, below.

Branches Districts (Middle Level)


Vel-Shosha is bordered on the south side by an exensive area of Tepui and the Enthanin district extends to the first group of these. These rocky columns so close to the city have long since been mined out (there are plenty some kilometers out which are still being actively exploited) but their caves and tops are home to a great deal of industry: smelting and heavy metalwork foundries, and workshops turning their wares into finished goods are the staple of Enthanin.

The value of rocky real estate for these activities (you don't want a blast furnace in a tree!) means that the district extends up into the treetop level, and to a lesser extent down to the Undercity.

Long deep within the safe territory of The Grand Unity (before the Three Nations Schism) the walls of Vel-Shosha were incomplete between the tepui of Enthanin. Work is currently underway to rectify this oversight.

The Swords District

The tepui to the north of Vel-Shosha are rich in more esoteric materials than the iron ore so prevalent in those to the south - silver, gems and even occasional deposits of mithral and adamantine are found on this side of the city. Although the nearby deposits have now been mostly exhausted, these unusual ores have led to The Swords District based in and around them being one of the Fireflow's premier sites of high quality crafting - and swords are a speciality. Any Vel-Shoshan will tell you that the finest swords in the world are made here and while this may not be an undisputed claim it is certainly a defensible one.

The most extensive manufacturing facilties extend through the tepui around the Branches level, with the smaller section of the district bordering Ollfa Serin in the treetops providing many of the shopfronts, as well as some crafting workshops producing the most detailed work up where natural light is most abundant.


At the centre of Vel-Shosha, where the main boardway passes below the political capital of Ollfa Serin, lies the business heart of the city: Helondrona. Bustling - almost frantic - with trade in goods of all kinds and in all quantities, plus all the services needed by those who organise this trade, Helondrona seems barely to sleep! Add to this district the most presigious temples, and the largest university in Shemerion and it's clear why, "There's no rest in Helondrona!" is a common phrase muttered by Shemers who feel they have too much to do!

It is into Helondrona that the main trade route boardway passes through Vel-Shosha. They key route to Nytheas is known as Oak and Spruce Way.


The democratic ideals which have spread from The Gelb and taken such deep root in Shemerion have lead to a more equal distribution of wealth in the Chancellery than in other parts of the Fireflow - and the expanding middle class wants decent housing. Combine this with active clearance of some of the slum districts which once festooned the Undercity, and it is clear why Iamelle has grown so large, extending something like 8km between the tepui groupings of Enthanin and The Swords District, surrounding Helondrona in a large ring.

Consisting largely of a single layer of well-lit dwellings of one to three stories, some larger, some smaller, it is no wonder that this expansion has taken Iamelle well beyond the city walls to east and west - a matter of some concern to those in charge of the defence of the city, and of the nation.

Sprinkled through Iamelle can also be found the local services needed by the widespread inhabitants, and numerous smaller producers and craftsmen keeping their costs down by working from home, or simply in less expensive premises - perhaps those just starting out, or happy to remain as "cottage industries." Lower costs sometimes lead to lower prices and a personal service for those who can find out where to look...

The Undercity


Largely below Helondrona (and in turn Ollfa Serin) Dretha is the seedier side of Vel-Shosha. Here the cheapest inns and less well fronted traders carry out their business - perhaps trading in the cheapest goods, or those whose legal status is less certain. Visitors to Dretha need to take more care after dark than they would in the branches above.


Most of the old slums of Vel-Shosha have been cleared in recent years, but Hilthe remains, sitting in the Undercity between Dretha and Enthanin. Those with the least are likely to find themselves here in leaky shacks and doss-houses, eating the most basic acorn porridge and drinking the most rotgut cider in spit-and-sawdust taverns.

Enthanin also extends its more rough-cut manufacturing quite extensively into the Undercity - see its description above.

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