Session 1: The Old Colonists Report in Antipodean Moon | World Anvil

Session 1: The Old Colonists

General Summary

Wednesday 24th February 1886

  The League of Gentlemen attends the first monthly meeting for the year of the Old Colonists' Association. They are treated to excellent food and drink including locally caught fish, kangaroo stew, cockatoo pie, damper, and fine Reynella wines.   The Hon. Sir Henry Ayers K.C.M.G., President and Life Governor of the Association and a renowned orator, gives a confident, passionate, and lengthy opening address on the history and strengths of the Colony of South Australia and the current challenges facing the colonists.   Of particular concern to Sir Henry are the following issues, many of which may spell disaster for the Colony:
  1. two years of acute drought, overcropping and overgrazing on arid land north of Goyder's Line, and subsequent wheat crop failure and extensive loss of farm livestock
  2. shortages of clean drinking water due to the ongoing drought
  3. immigrants continuing to arrive from overseas despite the Colony experiencing a deep depression as a result of the drought and a corresponding lack of employment opportunities
  4. lack of democratic representation for all resulting in disenfranchised colonists fermenting dissent
  5. poor decision making in the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council leading to inconsistent, illogical, and sometimes rapacious laws
  6. reliance on vulnerable single point-to-point telegraph lines for vital communication with other colonies in the region and with Great Britain
  7. rampant land speculation in the Colony's early days contributed to the current wide gulf between rich and poor even though the Colony was supposedly established on an egalitarian, opportunity for all basis
  8. shortages of skilled doctors and nurses cause undue suffering and avoidable deaths among less well-to-do colonists who cannot afford to pay for care
  9. lack of education opportunities for colonists from middle and lower social classes with the ability and desire to learn
  10. potential invasion by hostile powers given the Colony's twenty-year boom prior to the drought, isolation at the far side of the globe, vulnerability to seaborne attack, and lack of a standing army
  11. poor treatment of women by men who should know better forces many women and their children into desperate circumstances without the necessities of life
  12. organized criminal elements are gaining ground in southwest Adelaide, other lower-class communities, and the Colony's ports
  13. continuing shortages of wood and coal are impacting steam-powered rail, manufacturing, milling, and mining operations across the Colony
  14. shortages of skilled scientists and engineers cause the Colony to suffer a lack of innovation and progress in medicine, manufacturing, transportation, horticulture, viticulture, and other necessary learned pursuits
  15. lack of confidence in the Colony's banks and insurance companies due to past unethical conduct by bank managers and staff stifles shareholder investment and lending growth.
Sir Henry ends his opening address with a call for all present to find ways and means of meeting these challenges so the Colony may rise to prosperity again. If the Pioneers and Old Colonists cannot chart a course out of the current difficulties with their skills and resources, then no one can.

Rewards Granted

An invitation to a luncheon with Sir Henry Ayers the following day to discuss privately the state of the Colony and what might be done about it.

Missions/Quests Completed


Missions/Quests Accepted

  1. Find ways and means of meeting the challenges identified by Sir Henry Ayers at the Old Colonists' Association dinner so the Colony may rise to prosperity again.
  2. Start by saving the Commercial Bank of South Australia from ruin (an instruction given to the party the following morning after Sir Henry had considered his options overnight).

Character(s) interacted with

The party meets their dinner table companions, a banker and a timber merchant, and their waiter, Thomas Wellington.   During Sir Henry's opening address the party sees the ghost of a young girl, much to their shock. She runs through the closed doors of the Banquet Room and past the party's table, looks around frantically, and then runs back out through the closed doors. No one else appears to see her, except perhaps Sir Henry. He makes a noticeable pause mid-sentence, glances in the direction of the table of attendees she stands behind, then continues as if nothing has happened.   After dinner, reports from both the Secretary and Treasurer of the Association, and dessert, Sir Henry joins the party at their table. He speaks to them of his concerns regarding the Colony and his desire to reset the Colony's course for a better future. On enthusiastic agreement from the party, Sir Henry instructs Thomas to give each of them an invitation to a private meeting to discuss what can be done in more detail. It becomes apparent that Thomas has been masquerading as their table waiter under Sir Henry's instructions, perhaps to find out more about them. Thomas Wellington is, in fact, a young law clerk who works on Sir Henry's legal and administrative matters.   After the meeting closes, James Sinclair Hindmarsh invites his colleagues over to the Prince Alfred Hotel next door where he is staying for further discussion about the night's odd events. After settling into comfortable chairs in a quiet corner of the hotel lounge, the party discusses the possible nature of the ghost girl and how she might be related to the meeting, if at all. Coming to no conclusion on the matter, James' colleagues depart for the evening.

Created Content


Sir Henry Ayers, K.C.M.G.
Mr. Thomas Wellington, Esq.  


Adelaide Town Hall
Prince Alfred Hotel  


Prince Alfred Hotel's Ghost


The Banquet Hall is located at the rear of the Auditorium.   The following documents and maps are required:
  • Invitation
  • Agenda
  • Dinner Menu
  • Adelaide Town Hall
  • Banquet Room.
Whoever Owns the Land Makes the Rules
Sanford Cleve Kirkham
Head Alienist Dr Sanford Cleve Kirkham ( 64 / Male ) from Adelaide Lunatic Asylum at North Terrace
James Arthur Howard
Diplomat James Arthur Howard, Esq. ( 46 / male ) from Adelaide
Report Date
01 Nov 2020
Primary Location
Secondary Location


Author's Notes


These references link to current external resources:
The Millenium Project

Please Login in order to comment!