NEW Story: The Fountain
Table of Contents
The borough of Lola is an administrative region in southwest Vekllei, located in the Capital Region on the ancient city of Reykyavic, south of Sojiya and east of Lava. It includes several of Vekllei’s oldest inhabited urban neighbourhoods, including Reykjavic, Hosfyourd and Seispri. Characterised by historical architecture and a dense low-rise cityscape, Lola is among Vekllei’s most well-known boroughs and makes up part of Vekllei’s “original city” boundary along its southwest coast. The neighbourhood of Seispri in Lola is the home of Tzipora.
Tzipora’s brief phase as a self-described Bolshevik began during recess on the roof of the Lola 6th School’s science block
– Recess on the Roof
Lola is the spirit-god of the sea in Upen mythology, and is generally considered Vekllei’s most important living spirit. Since Vekllei is an island country with a historical dependence on the oceans around it, Lola has long blessed Vekllei with plentiful fish stocks and, beginning in the 19th Century, an improving temperate climate via the Atlantic Gulf Stream. The name Lola appears throughout Vekllei, though the borough predates its use elsewhere.
I’ve only seen the sea three… Four other times before… And let me tell you, this is the best of them.
– Tzipora Desmoisnes
Lola has been settled for at least 3,000 years by Vekllei’s Algic peoples, when it was known as Oslola. Reykjavic, located on the eastern peninsula of Lola, would become the first settlement inhabited primarily by European Scandinavians in 1100BC, when it was named “Smoke Cove” for its geothermal springs by Norsemen. The interactions between Vekllei’s indigenous Oslolans and Norsemen are among the earliest recorded, and are considered the beginning of Vekllei ethnic and cultural diffusion that contributes to many of the contemporary cultural features of Vekllei today. In this sense, Reykjavic is the birthplace of modern Vekllei, and would become the seat of power for successive regimes that united the island under a common government.
Reykjavic and its surrounding villages were agricultural for most of Vekllei’s Common Period until the rise of Vekllei’s monarchy in the 3rd Century, which established Oslola as the capital of Vekllei and Reykjavic as its seat of power. This time saw Reykjavic grow dramatically as it developed into the military and economic base of the monarchy, which succeeded in establishing the state of Vekllei and uniting its southern coast under its rule. By Vekllei’s Middle Period in the 8th Century, Vekllei was a powerful port city-state predicated on continental trade in Reykjavic’s docks.
Vekllei’s Late Middle Period saw multiple famines and peasant uprisings by Vekllei’s Norse ethnic population, which succeeded in instigating a civil war that installed Aismo Desimou as king. Although the name ‘Vekllei’ had been in use since at least the 3rd Century, it was under Deismou’s rule that the island commonwealth became known as the Commonwealth of Vekllei, with a formal capital established west of Reykjavic in the present-day neighbourhood of Altanehs. The western coastal region of Lola would continue to grow outwards during this time, and farmland had reached the Esja Mountains by the 13th Century.
As Desimou-era rule failed in the 14th Century, Reykjavic’s influence over the commonwealth waned and saw powerful economic towns established on Vekllei’s East Coast during the Period of Rest. Rising concerns over Algic nationalism saw the Commonwealth Navy launch a coup against the Reykjavic monarchy and topple the king, installing a junta known under several names in its place. The renewed colonial ambitions of the Junta established Lola as a colonial metropole, and the wealth of Vekllei’s Late Period transformed the borough. Reykjavic by this time had come to resemble a continental European capital, with an urbanising cityscape marked by stone fortresses and elaborate public gardens.
Lola would remain the capital of Vekllei throughout Vekllei’s Late Period and into the 20th Century, until the destruction of Reykjavic in the First Atomic War and its occupation by the United Kingdom.
Postwar Development #
The Atomic War saw nuclear strikes in Reykjavic and Geofyourd, destroying both the Junta’s Palace of the Commonwealth and most of the Port of Vekllei. The port was reconstructed under British occupation between 2005 and 2013, but the Palace was unsalvagable and to this day remains a preserved ruin.
Upon independence, the Vekllei Interim Government moved the capital of Vekllei to the newly-founded Borough of Vekllei (also known as Vekllei Proper) on the South Coast, which would become a planned city home to most of the country’s political structures and bureau headquarters. The reconstruction of Reykjavic and decontamination of Lola took over fifteen years, and radically changed the appearance and demographics of the former capital. Agriculture was reintroduced into the neighbourhoods of Alveg and Hosfyourd to combat Vekllei’s 2016 famine and the construction of the Southwest Canals in the 2020s saw most of southern Lola industrialise rapidly.
Lola has historically been a multicultural borough because of its status as a colonial metropole, and this trend was intensified under the rapid growth of the Floral Period. Boroughs like Seispri have large Southern European communities, and nearby Vogah is one of Vekllei’s few historically black neighbourhoods comprised mostly of descendents of Caribs.
Lola in the contemporary Floral Period is a borough of hills and narrow, prewar roads symptomatic of its history. It is a major manufacturing borough in contemporary Vekllei and is home to some of the country’s greatest design firms and artisans, whose works are often the products of knowledge inherited through thousands of years. It is also a modern borough of cosmopolitan and forward-facing dispositions, home to a people who have inherited the trauma of the Atomic War and are eager to leave it behind.
Lola is coastal and low-lying, and is made up of peninsulas, islands, islets, coves and straights. During the Ice Age, it was covered by a glacier. The borough is threatened by rising seas, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
The neighbourhoods of Lola cover almost all of the borough, which has no contemporary Crown Lands. The borough does feature substantial parkland in the neighbourhoods of Seispri, Alveg and Geofyourd, which extent up into the Esja Mountains.
The climate is coastal and temperate, seeing mean temperatures of 20C in summer and about 5C in winter. Snow settles in Lola for one or two weeks in the winter, and for most of the season in the Esja Mountains.
The municipality of Seispri is Tzipora’s home. Historically industrial, today it is primarily settled by Southern and Eastern European migrants who arrived in the early 2020s. It is relatively material-poor and working-class, and is still marked by war ruins. It is known for its canvas industry.
Esja Mountains #
The Esja Mountains are a range located north of Reykjavic, marked by Mt Esja at 910m above sea level, its highest point. The mountain is situated in the borough of Geofyourd, and has been settled up to 500m. Its iconic peaks are unusually light-coloured because of extensive Rhyolite deposits, a byproduct of volcanism. Esja is a popular hiking destination among locals, but can be dangerous in winter because of the greater risk of avalanches.
Lola Geothermal Springs #
The Lola Geothermal Springs are located in Camro, in eastern Lola. Now part of a public park, there are some 250 geothermal pools that give off heavy steam year-round. About half are safe to bathe in, and form part of Camro’s famous Bath District.
With industry inherited from a thousand years of settlement, Lola remains a major manufacturing base of Vekllei. In the Floral Period it is characterised mostly as a working-class suburb of migrants and manual labourers, a trend that continues today. Much of its heavy engineering is a legacy of the borough’s status as a colonial port, and among Lola’s oldest companies are shipbuilding firms that have existed for over 600 years.
Lola is serviced by Vekllei Rail West, a part of Vekllei National Rail. Like most boroughs of the Capital Region, it is heavily serviced by trams.
As a coastal borough, Lola is home to the historical Port of Vekllei, one of Vekllei’s major deepwater ports. Unlike the Dohyo Free Port, the Port of Vekllei services mostly Commonwealth-flagged ships and naval vessels.
Vekllei Naval Yards #
The Vekllei Naval Yards are the primary drydocks, nuclear refueling facility and ship construction base of the Royal Navy of the Vekllei Commonwealth. The Naval Yards make up some 12 city blocks in the neighbourhood of Hosfyourd in Nismisn Bay, and are primarily tasked with maintaining Vekllei’s bluewater naval vessels and aircraft carriers. Adjacent to the Naval Yards are firms contracted by the Commonwealth Navy, including Dze S.q.M. and Propeller S.q.M. The facility is also home to the Vekllei Naval Museum, which features preserved examples of Late Period sailing ships and Vekllei’s first nuclear destroyer, the R.C.S. Desimousves.
Government House #
Government House is a building located in Altanehs, near the ruins of the Palace of the Commonwealth. It was part of Vekllei’s People’s Assembly during the Junta period, a minor legislative advisory body to the autocratic regime of that time. It is not the oldest such structure in Vekllei – the Parliament House in Althing predates the construction of Government House by nearly 600 years. Still, it remains next to the Palace of the Commonwealth as a physical legacy of Junta’s long rule, and is preserved as a museum of the Late Period.
Vekllei Cenotaph #
The Vekllei Cenotaph is a monument to all Vekllei servicemen killed during wartime. Its main feature is a 60 meter oblisk at the top of Memorial Hill, built out of granite. At its base is a list of every war in which Vekllei was a participant, and its surrounding grounds contain nearly 400 memorial stones with names of fallen soldiers enscribed. Its contents is mostly historical, since contemporary rememberence takes place at the Vekllei War Memorial in Vekllei Proper, and Atomic War rememberence at the Atomic War Memorial in the neighbouring borough of Lava.
Royal Hotel of Vekllei #
The Royal Hotel of Vekllei, shortened to the Royal, is among Vekllei’s oldest operating hotels and also its most luxurious, catering primarily to the international wealthy and the famous. Unlike Hotel International in the borough of Callaisn, most of the Royal’s guests visit for pleasure rather than business. Part of the Royal Hotel complex includes the former Summer Residence of the Vekllei Monarch, inside of which are Vekllei’s most expensive (and exclusive) hotel suites. The Hotel is serviced by a dedicated untimetabled train line that runs between the Royal Hotel in Hosfyourd and the Vekllei World Jetport in Pharos.
The Royal is ranked among the world’s most luxurious hotels and is a subject of fascination for Vekllei people, who are unlikely to ever visit it unless accompanying a paying foreigner.
Fiara Heavy Machines S.q.M. #
Fiara Heavy Machines is a coachworks and manufacturer of heavy equipment located in the neighbourhood of Seispri. Its factory complex covers four city blocks and borders the Lola Canal, where much of its product is shipped out to the port in Great Bay. Fiara specialises in custom orders for speciality vehicles and factory configurations, including articulating fire tenders and automatic factory systems. It is also a major exporter on the Vekllei International Market and sees a lot of trade with Western Europe.
Camro Bath District #
The abundance of volcanic springs in the neighbourhood of Camro has encouraged Vekllei people to bathe there for over a thousand years. These springs are now at the centre of the Camro Bath district, an area of the neighbourhood famous for its bath houses. These include the Atlantic Baths, its most prestigious institution, as well as themed and roman-style bathing facilities. These baths are tremendously popular among locals, who often travel between boroughs to reach them for the quality of their facilities and superstition of the geothermal pools.
Lola Magma-Electric Cogeneration Plants #
Lola’s east is home to several combined heat and power plants, which produce both electricty and useful heat from natural geothermal activity. As part of Vekllei’s commitment to decentralised electricity, three plants provide the majority of Lola’s power and heat (numbered S.M.1 through 3), which are operated by Vekllei’s Magma-Electric Commission. Useful heat is piped into Lola’s homes, but is also used to power large geothermal greenhouses that contribute fresh produce for Lola’s markets. S.M.2 in Camro is open to the public as a geothermal power museum.
- Old Vekllei