June 25

Bulletin sent via horse and boat. No telegraph here yet. Distribute to members of Steampunk Explorer group upon receipt.

I am just completing an exciting journey to a new land!

The Commonwealth of Austral is located just to the south of Caledon and can be found directly south of Caledon Caer Firnas. I will file my official report immediately upon my return. I am sending ahead this brief letter in the event it arrives before I do.

This previously unknown island until quite recently was home only to exotic plants, jackrabbits and kangaroo. The latter are plentiful and care not where they inhabit. I have heard the sound of distant gunfire more than once. I believe it may be early settlers trying to move the ‘roo off their newly cleared space.

I am among the first to visit and did so at the invitation of the Governor-General, The Hon. Alix Stoanes. His Excellency has graciously extended this same invitation to all explorers.

While the land is quiet now, I have witnessed the first signs of a new nation rising. As of this writing there are no occupied homes but I saw two that were being built. There were no commercial ventures underway. Austral is in the earliest stage of inhabitation.

But there was some activity. At the Governor’s order a railway is being constructed and one hears rumor of a port. A fine church has been completed and awaits a congregation. But the most amazing sight was an airship of tremendous proportion hovering in the low clouds.

I have reached an agreement with the Governor to establish an office of Steampunk Explorer here. I am not certain but it appears our group’s site is the first land parcel to be divided. I will undertake to set up the office prior to my departure. The official opening won’t be until our Director, Mr. Steampunk, can come down here and take charge.

D. Whitfield