Castles in the Sea of Stars (A to Z Challenge, C)3 April, 2016
Castles and other fortifications are common to the point of near omnipresence in the Sea of Stars, while of limited use against dragons (but what is?) they still preform a vital role in warfare acting as administrative centers, training grounds, storage depots and, of course, military strong points.
The more advanced the construction of a castle, the greater use of magic in those defenses: walls are warded, built of multiple materials and reinforced by spells or enchantments. If aerial attacks are expected, one or two tall towers are often constructed near the center of the castle mounting ballista and magical weaponry or, rarely, a small floating island fragment may be moored above the castle to provide the same sort of air defense platform. Such defense usually deter those with flying cavalry (griffin or pegasus mounted cavalry for example) as they are far too valuable and expensive to replace to risk against such defenses. Skyships may be used against fortification but they too are expensive and commanders are loath to risk them unless their safety can be guaranteed as for them to be effective with bombardments they must move slowly over the target and not too high up, making them vulnerable to attack from defenders on the ground.
Equally, underground (but still warded) storehouses are often constructed to defeat aerial observation as well as to protect against the occasional aerial or magical attack as well as to store the most valuable of items when they can be effectively defended. When abandoned, they can become populated by rouge wizards, bandits or worse.
Notes: Not sure which key I hit that published an empty frame of this article yesterday, but my apologies all the same.
Abandoned casters provide a reliable place for adventures to take place and can provide an excuse for classic dungeon styled adventuring in the Sea of Stars.
Castle photo by Donna and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license, ballista photo by David Jackmanson and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.