When Austral was discovered I was one of the first to explore it. Something about this land called out to me, much as the northern lands of Winterfell had done before. The two nations, while very different, have something similar in their appeal, at least to this observer. Just as I had to have a home in the north of Winterfell – first in Ravens Reach and now in Ebonshire, I knew it was just a matter of time until I succumbed to the charms of Austral as well. In both cases I wasn’t looking to buy more property but in both I could not help it. Such is the call of these two beautiful lands, one to the north of Caledon, one to the south.

I have been much involved in the community here. The Steampunk Explorer office in Austral prime was established almost immediately upon the discovery of this land. I have recently opened the Icebox Pub in Austral Wollemian as a home for the group Steampunks of Austral as well as a hangout and concert and dance venue for the locals and visitors.

In between I established a home in Austral Wollemian. The Wollemi tree is believed to be the oldest plant on this earth. It is a pine tree, an evergreen. My home is on the east coast with breathtaking sunrise views. With the Wollemi in mind I decided to call it Evergreen Cove. I have put a house on the land that is rather eclectic in its influences. It’s a bit odd, ‘funky’ is a word I once heard in my time travels that might just fit, though funky is a rather tricky word with several meanings. I think the house might fit more than one of them! You might have to see the house to know what I mean. It’s a little Steampunk, a little Victorian, rustic yet urban, moss-covered brick, a good size house with a sunroom facing east. I have also anchored my ship, the SS Explorer in the cove. I purchased the land in August but only lately have I been able to start to turn the house into a home.

Although Laudanum is and always will be my main home, each of my residences serves a purpose and is important to me. The Wollemian house is my south sea base. It is a retreat from my work and brings the calm I feel when in the woods of Ebonshire or on the coast of Cape Wrath. Yet it does not have the same brand of isolation as those two homes. This house and this spot are more connected to the community. It is just a short walk from the Icebox Pub which has the potential of becoming a community center here. It is also a great seat from which to watch this young nation grow.

I am proud to say that the Steampunk Explorer group has led many visitors to Austral and may have played a small role in its early development. In many ways I feel the group is still just in the beginning stages but we have grown to over 160 members as of this writing and the membership includes some prominent figures in the steamlands. Our work has drawn the attention of several heads of state and we have received requests to establish offices in lands where we do not yet have them. The highest honor I have received since I settled in the 19th century is that of Knight of Austral, a title bestowed by the Governor-General or GG, Alix Stoanes. Although my personal commitment to Austral was certainly a factor, I do believe it was recognition of my work with Steampunk Explorer that brought this high honor my way.

The neighbors I have met in Austral tend to be long time residents of this world with many, like me, having their main homes in other steamland nations. It is a great mix of talented and creative people and in the short time since Austral was first settled a sense of community has blossomed and continues to grow.

I look forward to whatever the future brings here and to contributing in my small way to the success of this new land.

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