The Great Hunting ground stretches across most of Europe and part of Asia. Due to the constant movement of Traction Cities over the ground the ground has been reduced to vast muddy, scarred terrain. Even the hills have not escaped; mining towns 'eat' them for minerals, making the dismal plains even duller.
Tractionists refer to it as the 'bare Earth' or 'Out-Country', which they fear and loath. Dozens of devices have been made to cross this grim expanse, such as Pink's Screw-Propelled Mud Wagon; however, trekking across the Great Hunting Ground isn't as hard as it seemed as fugitives - sometimes entire communities of them - survive on these barren plains.
At the dawn of the Second Traction Boom, the Great Hunting Ground encompassed much of Europe (known at the time as Europa; in turn an ancient name for Europe) rather than much of Russia and therefore Western Asia in later years as the idea of Tractionism spread across the world.Europe saw the rise of imperial powers from around the 1200s onward which built massive overseas empires. Today, Europe is heavily populated (as shown in the image at the right) and is arguably a super-power (European Union).
Although Europe was technically not party to the Sixty Minute War, it appears either the American Empire or Greater China (perhaps both) bombed Europe. Perhaps Europe did indeed survive the intial conflict but was effected by nuclear fallout carried by air currents from other countries and overall changes in the environment.
A notable such change was that the North Sea and most of the English channel dried up, turning into forested plains and marshy land respectively.
After the Black Centuries, Europe was a major place of coordinated recovery after the African Spring Cultures a hundred years earlier. Tractionism began in Euope (the British Isles to be precise) leading to the fall of the previously powerful African nation of Zagwa.
The name Europa was quickly forgotten and soon it merged into the ever expanding Great Hunting Ground, which, by the events of Mortal Engines, would stretch from roughly where Portugal used to be all across the North of Asia.
- The Traction Codex, glossary and timeline; glossary describes the 'mud wagon'.