The Black Centuries was a period of several hundred years after the devestating Sixty Minute War in which several empires and cultures rose and fell. For most of it, it was a tough time; the era is referred to as the 'Black Centuries' because nuclear clouds and black smoke from other weaponry blotted out the sun for months at a time.

Despite this, several civilization rose and fell - historical records are, however, rather sketchy and often conflict.

Early Black CenturiesEdit

Civilization quickly collapsed following the MAD exchange. Few civiliians survived the initial bombardment; the humans by the events of Mortal Engines are most likely decendants of military and government personell
Ruined london mortalengines

London in the Early Black Centuries, hundreds of years before it was re-inhabited.

who hid in bunkers safe from the weapons of mass destruction.

Turmoil followed as crops died, animals died and humans died. it was pretty miserable. According to Philip Reeve;

"It was a savage age, in which most people would be happy to sell their children for a can of rice pudding."

Most people hid in the remains of buildings, caverns or abandoned bunkers, trying to escape plague winds and acid rain, among other un-natural weather behaviour.

However, after two hundred years of this a few civilizations began to rise to power, which in the world of Mortal Engines are shrowded in mystery.

Mid Black CenturiesEdit

Several cultures arose, such as the Electric Empire and the Blue Metal Culture; they seem to have both been very advanced for their time, but mysteriously disappeared. The only civilizations from this time that are well documented is the Raffia Hat Civilizations, which appeared around the marshy remains of the dried up English Channel.

They built large raffia hats to escape acid rain, but then started building bigger hats, until a single hat could cover an entire village. In their pursuit of larger hats, however, they farmed all the reeds in the marshes and ran out of hat-building material, and then succumed to acid rain. (This is most likely a parody of the Easter Island cultures which, in their obessesion of building larger stone head sculptures, cut down all the trees on the island and died out as a result.)

During the end of the Mid Black Centuries the acid rain and Earth Storms began to ease off with the infamous plague storms ending altogether.

Late Black CenturiesEdit

The time of the mysterious Arctic Pyramid Builders, who started to build stalkers (inspired or even reverse engineered from pre-war technology). Around this time the Nomad Empires began to rise in cultural power in Europe, and began using massive fortresses which moved about, eventually forming entire nations of these 'land fleets'. Although not yet powered by engines (instead pulled by beasts of burden, slaves, or both) the Late Black Centuries was unwittingly breeding the rise of the Traction Era.

Around this time old cities began being reinhabited; such as London, Paris and Bremen, just to name a few. The old infastructure was either cleared away, partially reinhabited or renovated.

The Late Black Centuries also saw the Scriven nomad empires becoming steadily more powerful. At this point the species split into the Scriven and the Nightwights (who lived in the caves of what was once Scotland).

By the last century of the Black Centuries, the Earth's weather was beginning to stabalize and people were settling down again; just as the Black Centuries 'officially' end, the Traction Era begins as the Nomad Empires motorize their moving homes and castles.

The Nomads are pushed ever North by technology-fearing Europeans, and the Scriven decide to give up their nomad lifestyle and invade pre-traction age London.


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