Treads of Metopoli
setting and history
Setting and Lore
Most of this is public knowledge, however some of it may require history checks.
The Mortal Engines Quartet is set in the distant future, in an age known as the Traction Era. Earth has been reduced to wasteland by a devastating conflict, known as the Sixty Minute War. Nations no longer exist, except in the lands of the Anti-Traction League; Traction Cities – entire cities mounted on caterpillar tracks for mobility – are fiercely independent city-states, using giant jaws to devour one another for resources. Trade is mostly accomplished by airship, though sometimes cities of roughly equal size (unable to devour each other) will stop to trade. Old-Tech (technology from before the Traction Era, some of which is from the 21st century) is the most sought-after commodity.
Locations of Note
The Great Hunting Ground – Consists of Europe and Northern Asia, and is the domain of the Traction Cities. It is a muddy wasteland, as the constant movement of the cities has destroyed all vegetation. The land is referred to by city-dwellers as the “Out-Country.”As it is called the Great Hunting Ground it is likely to be the biggest in the world, with the most traction cities.
The Ice Wastes – New name for the Arctic, which is also home to Traction Cities which use iron runners to skate across the ice. In some places the ice is thin and a danger to traction cities as they risk falling in the ocean.
Africa – Africa is split between the Sahara Desert, which is a land of Traction Cities, and the southern regions, run by Anti-Tractionists. Areas of the southern continent include the static cities of Zagwa and Tibetsi, and the highland area known as the Mountains of the Moon.
The Dead Continent – North America, reduced to an irradiated wasteland by the Sixty Minute War. Rumours abound as to whether it is completely dead or not,
Asia – The stronghold of the Anti-Traction League. Eastern China is evidently irradiated from the War, and the Himalayas are now the center of civilization (the mountainous terrain making it impossible for cities to approach).
Nuevo Maya – New name for South America, which was severed from North America when “slow bombs” destroyed Central America during the War. Like Africa and Eurasia, South America is split: static settlements rule the Andes, but the lowlands are filled with ziggurat Traction Cities.
Antarctica – the domain of oil-drilling Traction Cities.
Survival of the FittestEdit
The main part of Municipal Darwinism is predator and prey; if the bigger town is faster, than the smaller town will be eaten. But if the smaller town is faster, than the bigger town risks running out of fuel. However, the world of Municipal Darwinism is not limited to predator and prey only; parasites and scavengers also have a role. While rare, it is not impossible to find an empty and abandoned city being slowly stripped of goods and scrap metal by scavenger crews from small towns and airships, reminiscent of a decaying carcass being decomposed by bacteria and insects. Airships are seen hovering around a large city and sifting through its exhaust smoke to recover minerals, similar to flies hovering around a larger animal. Small aquatic vessels are rumored to secretly attach itself to the underside of Water cities like a barnacle or limpet, and the crew sneak into the city at night to pilfer valuables. Nimrod Pennyroyal (noted historical author, now living aboard Brighton resort) also mentions vampire towns in Nuevo Maya that stick to the bottom of Ziggurat Cities and drain them of everything inside, leaving them as empty shells (though this may not be true).
Municipal Darwinism is the centre of life for the people of Traction Cities, bordering on a religion. It is considered dirty and wrong to set foot on bare earth, and “unnatural” for cities to be stationary.
Municipal Darwinism is opposed by such groups as the Anti-Traction League, which sees Traction Cities as obstacles that hinder the recovery of the Earth to its natural state, and view their citizens as barbaric. Likewise, the citizens of Traction Cities also view Anti-Tractionists as barbaric, often using the derogatory term “mossie” to describe them.