Jan 172019
 
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In this section, we’ll look at castles that have no village surrounding them.

Unless abandoned, castles are populated year-round and will be much like a village in which the residents live within the castle walls; there may be buildings scattered outside the walls, such as stabling for animals or guard houses, which are easily replaced if destroyed in a siege. The land around the castle offers farming and hunting opportunities, while the water source is typically protected (such as a well inside the walls). The castle is self-sufficient due to its defensive nature, and in times of peril, food may be stocked for a significant amount of time, but bear in mind that the ability to preserve foods is somewhat lacking in eras during which castles are widely used. Due to their self-sufficiency, castles typically have everyone they need, such as a healer or blacksmith.

Castles can be placed along important trade routes, at the opening to dangerous territory such as a mountain pass, or near valuable resources. They might take advantage of a natural fortification that is easily defended and be a general defensive/offensive location within a sovereign power. They can also protect borders, though these borders can and likely have changed at times, often with the castle being conquered and finding itself part of another kingdom. Decide if each castle is currently in the hands of those who built it (or their descendants). Changing possession can mean that two opposing kingdoms have each occupied it at times, both knowing its secrets; this is seldom discussed or utilized in fictional work, as occupants are typically portrayed as knowing the castle’s secrets while their enemy has no idea.

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