Nikola Quercus is a Northern Nomad who holds the rank of Land Admiral in the organisation called The Movement. He appears in the Fever Crumb Series. He is remembered in the time of the Mortal Engines Quartet, revered as a God (by the name of Nikolas Quirke) and worshipped by Londoners who first declared him as such. Many people believe Quirke to have devised the concept of traction cities, when in reality Auric Godshawk did and he developed the concept from Auric's musings after being told of them by his daughter Wavey Godshawk.
Nothing is really known about Quercus' early life.
Quercus first appeared in Fever Crumb. Before he came to London, he was Land Admiral of The Movement. When Fever's Hot Air Balloon landed amongst The Movement's traction fortresses, she was taken to meet Quercus. He told the movement that they were to take over London, which they promptly moved south to do. When they arrive in London Quercus declared that London now belonged to the Movement. Ted Swiney, then mayor of London, objected to this; the two entered a fight to determine who would rule the city. Ted tried to have Quercus crushed by a barrel, but this resulted in Ted being crushed instead. The people of London instantly began cheering for Quercus.
In the events of Scrivener's Moon Quercus began his work to transform London into the very first Traction City. During this time many of his Nomad Enemies formed alliances and made plots in order to overthrow him and take his resources. In the last battle of the Nomad Wars the enemy Nomads led a legion of traction fortresses, armoured hairyphants and stalkers against a newly tractionist London. Despite the Nomads' efforts, they were defeated and their strongholds in the North were eaten by London before the newly mobilized city moved south again to find more food.
Quercus is effectively responsible for the entire Traction era, as he created the first Traction City and thus prompted others to follow suit. He is worshipped as a God by tractionists for this reason, and has his own festival, Quirkemas, a parody of christmas.
The name Nikola Quercus may be a reference to the eccentric American inventor Nikola Tesla.
This character is named after Philip Reeve's friend Nick Quirke (best known for his work with Brighton’s Festival Shakespeare Company)