When the ancient enemies of humanity, who had slumbered for untold centuries, lulled to sleep by the songlines woven to hold them, awoke, they struck hard and fast. It began when gold was unearthed at Clunes in 1851, and the enemies were unleashed. The great influx of population to Victoria that began as news of the gold rush spread was paired with an almost equivalent loss of life. The ancient enemies were hungry from their long sleep, and ate heartily.

In 1860, they marched on the greatest centre of population on the Australian mainland: the swift-growing city of Melbourne. The final conflict between humanity and its ancient enemy on the plain immediately to the west of Jones Creek, on the bank facing what was then Avondale. This battle lasted three days and two nights, from August 15 to August 17, 1860. The ancient enemy were fought to a standstill, but with a terrible loss of life.

The nameless plain was so covered with the cairns of the dead, who were too many to carry off for burial, that it became known for this quality above all others. Hence the name, Cairnlea. However, the cairns were mostly buried in the upheavals that destroyed Avondale, and the course of Jones Creek was diverted to a more westerly alignment than it had previously held. Nonetheless, the name stuck, for all that it now applied to a somewhat smaller area than it had previously.

In the 1940s, Cairnlea was the site of a weapons plant that built armaments for the Australian and Allied forces in World War Two. Although these weapons and ammunitions were of surpassing quality and lethality, few realised that this was due more to a species of accidental necromancy than anything else. The only one who seems to have realised the truth of this was a Nazi war criminal in hiding, a Dr Heinrich Lantz, who tapped into the power in 1952 and exhausted it, the better to disguise himself in the years of his hiding.

Suburbs near Cairnlea:

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