As you walk, you begin to notice a heavy mist creeping from the older buildings around you, tendrils reaching from their doors, windows and balconies.
According to John’s weathered handbook ‘ghosts linger near the mist’, and up ahead you can see the Commercial Hotel wreathed in the thick miasma.
The Hotel sits at the edge of the ‘traders’ district; an area where rival gangs – The Wharfies and Sailors – ‘often came to blows’, the handbook says.
It describes the Wharfies as ‘a stocky bunch, typically coated in a layer of sweat and grime from a hard day’s work. They can’t fasten their waistcoats, instead pulling their pants up to disguise their beer guts. They also always wear flat caps to make them less identifiable to the authorities’.
You hear chanting from the depths of the Hotel.
Let’s rip-off all the Sailors,
Sell them a ‘bargain’ today
Pretending our dirt is riches and jewels
Later to their dismay
Two Wharfies stumble out of the hotel, right in your path, their bellies hanging out below their filthy shirts.
The larger of the two barks, “What brings you down this way?”
You unwittingly blurt, “I’m collecting cargo and building a ship.”
“Is that so?” he says with a leer.
The shorter Wharfie then pipes up, “George, I can’t be bothered hauling this sack to the wharf – I’m too full. Let’s get this kid to take it.”
“Shut up Spud, I’m the boss and I come up with the plans.” George runs his fingers through his food-encrusted beard. “I have a brilliant idea”.
He shoves a heavy sack into your chest. “We have a delivery for the Sailors and need you to deliver it.”
“What is it?” you reply, cautiously.
“It’s a sack of highly valuable ‘black diamonds’!” Spud bares a devious smirk.
You try to slide away. “I don’t think…”
“Oh no, young whippersnapper, there’s no way you’re weaselling out of this like a Sailor,” George warns.
It’s clear that any refusal will only escalate the situation – Spud is already cracking his knuckles – but maybe there’s a way to turn this to your advantage.
“Fine, I’ll take it.”
George bares his teeth. “Good. My other associates are waiting for the cargo at the wharf. Make sure you get it to them, or we’ll be seeing you again.”
Once they’re out of sight, you duck into a doorway alcove to check your score, only to find coal, not ‘diamonds’. Damn it, hopefully you can trade it or find some other use for it.
You’re still item-less – getting cargo may not be as easy as you first thought. And you don’t relish the prospect of further encounters with those Wharfies, or intend on delivering their lies.
COURTYARD: Turn off Commercial Road and head along Divett Street towards the Courtyard, in search of genuine trade-opportunities? When you get to Lipson Street turn right and look for Henry Weman’s Sailmaker shop.
PORT ADELAIDE INSTITUTE: Look for some honest advice on where to locate cargo and ship pieces at the Port Adelaide Institute. Cross to the other side of the road and continue up Commercial Road to the corner of North Parade.