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Arthur's Truth.

The Very Bad Thing, or The Occupation Authority Project / The 'Authority' Project (see Newspaper Articles), or The Thing We Don't Talk About, is the name of the incident that occurred during World War II, in which the British citizens of Wellington Wells gave up their children to Germany.

While the event is never truly called anything in the game, it has become the name that the community uses to refer to the devastating in-game event that is integral to Wellington Wells' past.

The Project[]

General Robert Byng, collaborating with Colonel von Stauffenberg, announces to the British citizens that all children under the age of 13 have to be sent to Germany on the 22nd July, 1947, for an unspecified amount of time, but that they'd be sent back when the War was over.

However, General Byng didn't know the true scale of this operation, as it was only Stauffenberg who knew why this was done.

The citizens were made to believe they had no chance of stopping the Germans from taking their children, even though they could've. Anyone who tried to go against their orders were punished by their own fellow citizens, even though they were never really made to do anything by the Germans. The citizens did awful things on their own because they believed they had no other options.

Even though the War ended with Germany retreating back to their country, Wellington Wells was left in ruin, and the children were never sent back.

Buff PureBliss.png Events of The Project[]

20th July 1947[]

Mr. and Mrs. Lashford, along with Thomas Cranmer, attempted to burn the list containing all names of the children that had to board the train to Germany. They were all found out and called traitors. According to Victoria Byng, the only reason why they decided to destroy the papers was so that their own children wouldn't have to be hostages, and that it was practically an insult to those who had sent their sons off to War.

The legitimacy of these claims are questionable.

Nonetheless, the citizens of Wellington Wells decided to hang the traitors underneath the arch by Barrow Holm, believing the Germans wouldn't get upset with them otherwise.

21st July 1947[]

Mrs. Boyle poisons her family to keep her daughters, Elizabeth and Anne, from being taken on to the train, leaving Sally the sole survivor.

22nd July 1947[]

Jack Worthing attempted to hide his daughter, but Ollie told the Germans where to find her, unaware that they'd shoot her.

Arthur Hastings persuades his older brother, Percival Hastings, into coming with him to the train while also keeping both of their passports. He then betrayed and impersonated Percy's 'odd' mannerisms to convince Chief Inspector Peters to let him stay in Britain, getting Percy taken onto the train instead.

It's important to note that none of the families were forced to turn their children in, and that they simply let the Germans have them without much struggle. Many Wastrels in the Garden District remember this, sometimes saying "Maybe we couldn't have fought back. But why did we help them?"


After the events of The Very Bad Thing had occurred, the British citizens of Wellington Wells fell into deep trauma. It got to the point where they couldn't have, or even look at children without being reminded of what they did in 1947.

Some women that managed to get pregnant after the event didn't last very long either, as some people took it so far as to start a spontaneous 'Breeder Riot,' which not only killed the families, but likely their unborn children as well.

Very few parents had successfully managed to sneak their children off of the train, and while they were well hidden for a couple of days, they were eventually found out. Robert Byng managed to send some post-war children away from Wellington Wells, though their destination is unclear.

The lingering sorrow from these events was so detrimental that General Byng requested Harry Haworth to produce a drug to cheer everyone up, but most importantly, to make them forget what made them upset in the first place.

10th of October and onward[]

Along with Joy making people happy, it's also a contraceptive, meaning that as long as women took the drug, they wouldn't be able to have children. This is why Sally, who wasn't on Joy, had her daughter.

Since the day the children were sent to Germany, there hasn't been a baby in Wellington Wells in 17 years, according to Victoria Byng.

Related Notes[]

Buff Conformist.png Trivia[]

  • It's never explicitly stated in the game what happens to the children. It's more or less left up to the player's own interpretation.
    • However, whatever happened to the children is not that relevant. Rather, it's the impact of the action that is, and how it made Wellington Wells into what can be seen in the game.
    • Arthur does encounter a child outside of Wellington Wells. Which would suggest that the whole of Britain did not have to give up their kids, and that The Very Bad Thing only counted for Wellington Wells.
  • A very similar situation occurred during WWII, in which British children were evacuated to different zones due to the risks of aerial bombings in the cities, the operation was called "Operation Pied Piper", beginning in 1939 - 1945. About 3 million people (including some mothers and teachers) were evacuated, and when the time came for the evacuees to return home, thousands didn't actually want to return, as some children had either forgotten or lost all affinity regarding their old families, including some parents themselves.

Buff Preservasionist.png Gallery[]