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Arkangel was one of the largest traction cities of the Ice Wastes, and one of the few classified as urbivores. It made its first appearance in the sequel novel Predator's Gold, although it was first mentioned in Mortal Engines and the short story Urbivore. It has 8 tiers. Its name was based on real-life Arkhangelsk of Russia.



Arkangel's layout differs from that of most other major traction cities. Instead of having the higher classes at the topmost tiers and the lower classes at the bottom, it had the higher classes situated in a central district known as the 'core', near the city's engines where it was warmest while the lower classes resided in the colder periphery regions. Arkangel had a large enclosed air harbour which housed the air exchange where air traders and merchants gathered to trade.

The city's districts were linked by a vast network of elevators, like in most traction cities. The surface of the city was lined with tiers of factories and dismantling mills which were manned by slaves from captured cities that had been eaten. At the peak of Arkangel was a temple to their wolf-god Eisengrim, who was the city's principal deity. Since Arkangel operated in the frigid Ice Wastes, it had massive ice skates for manuevering on snow and ice, using a large pair of 'drive wheels' at the rear of the city for motion. However, Arkangel also had a standard set of Caterpillar tracks, though they were only lowered when the colder months ended. In summer, Arkangel was forced to travel south onto solid land or risk falling through thin ice.

Its Gut District had vast furnaces and massive dismantling-engines for devouring smaller towns and cities. Residents of captured suburbs and cities were enslaved, the suburbs themselves stripped and refitted as drone-suburbs to work for Arkangel. For this practice (a direct violation of Municipal Darwinism) Arkangel was feared and hated by many other cities of the Ice Wastes.


Originally, Arkangel was a Nomad Empire called Arkangelsk (which is a real region in modern day Russia). When London became a Traction city, Arkangel copied London, but instead of using tracks and wheels, it built vast skate runners, the first of its kind. Many Northern cities followed suite, in order to escape rampaging London.

By the time of the later Traction Era, Arkangel was one of the biggest cities in the world and roamed the Ice Wastes preying on smaller cities and towns. To more easily find prey, the city offered gold to airmen in exchange for information about the location of other cities. These bribes were known as 'Predator's Gold'. They would then dispatch a force of borderline pirates known as the Huntsmen to board and capture these targets.

Before the events of Mortal Engines, future Anti-Tractionist agent Anna Fang was made a slave at an Arkangel salvage yard. The manager Stilton Kael fell in love with her and Anna took advantage of him to say she'd build an airship for the Great Ice Race (a race held from Arkangel across the Ice Wastes via airships to an unknown location). For the race she constructed the airship Jenny Haniver and then escaped instead of entering it into the race with Kael. As a consequence, Kael was disowned by his family and banished by the ruling Direktor (Mayor of Arkangel) for aiding a slave to escape. Arkangel then put a price on Anna's head.

During his period in exile, Kael joined a group of Snowmad scavengers who were salvaging wreckage from the sunken raft city of Grimsby. He killed them all and then stole their submarine; using it to travel down to Grimsby which became the base of his criminal empire which raided various cities. Over the years, he discarded his former identity and became known as Uncle.

In Predator's Gold, Hester Shaw betrays the coordinates of Anchorage to Arkangel in order to get Tom back. She is captured by Blinkoe and sold to the Green Storm. Later on she changes her mind about selling Anchorage and kills the Huntsmen sent to capture it. This allows Anchorage to continue on with Arkangel still pursuing it. This chase culminated with Anchorage leading Arkangel over thin ice that couldn’t support its immense bulk.

The ice subsequently fractured, with Arkangel's frantic attempts to reverse failing. The city was left effectively immobilised, with its jaws below sea level and its furnaces and boilers extinguished. The slaves of Arkangel swiftly rioted, seizing control of the underdecks and evacuating aboard hijacked survey-sleds and drone-suburbs. The rest of the citizens swiftly followed suit, evacuating the once-mighty predator city and leaving Arkangel an abandoned husk.

Small Snowmad Scavanger Towns would reach the wreck and subsequently harvest its fuel and any remaining possessions. The wreck eventually sank beneath the sea in the summer, when the ice grew too weak to support its weight.

It famously consumed the Spitzbergen Static, which was a major contributor to the rise of the Green Storm.

The city also bore multiple titles, which were frequently announced by the Huntsmen of Arkangel when attacking their prey or advertising Predator's Gold. These included: "The Hammer of the High Ice", "Scourge of the North", and "Devourer of the Spitzbergen Static".

2018 Movie

The Arkangel never appeared but was mentioned by Thaddeus to be armed with "Battle hammers" presumably a large mortar weapon.

Residents of Arkangel