Walking Castles II: Stowswell

The year is 1345. Knighthood is in bloom. Conflicts erupted between the various nations of Faria, a bean-shaped continent, that lasted a year or several, but ended eventually. Where there was peace, knights fought each other in war games intended not to be lethal, but which often were. Tournaments they were called. Mounted team combats waged across the fields and spilling into towns and villages, doing harm to people and property. The knights sacking your town for money out of boredom might be from an entirely different fief in another kingdom. Borders were very permeable, and the community and society of knighthood was universal in Faria, uniting the nobles as much a religion united the commoners. Knight’s didn’t want strong borders.

Female rulership of fiefs in Faria in 1345 is common; more of nobles are female with hereditary title rather than their male noble partner. Many female rulers have sought to foster a pride and identity in fief and queendom in her vassals and warriors. What they wanted to create lasting peace were defensible borders, but to fortify thousands of kilometres would be a feat of several lifetimes. Rather than build a wall, the leading female nobles looked for a mobile defence that could patrol their great border.

They sought a necromancer named Paria for help. Lord Jenna Garner asked Paria to use her infernal magic to create a moving defense for Setia, her personal fief. Paria demanded a sacrifice of a woman most dear to Lord Jenna, her sister Hannah, a renowned warrior in her army. Hannah accepted her duty and spilled her own blood on the castle rock; the necromancer did the rest. And Castle Stowswell was born as a walking castle.

A ship nervously sails through and under Castle Stowswell, navigating perilous moss stone and in view of archers ready for action depending on how the occupants of the ship are received. So many arrow loops.

In 1359, there were two walking castles policing the borders, and any merchant passing a river thief castle like Stowswell (it straddles a river to choke it and hold it against an enemy) dreaded being waylaid and their merchandise taken. Even though nationalism was being born in Setia, the castellan and knights in Stowswell were still children of reckless bloodthirsty, thieving knighthood. They did their duty, policed the borders of Setia, but frequently roamed past Setia’s borders to attack settlements and other castles, starting wars that pitted all of Setia’s neighbours against her.

Notice the ship with the white sail approaching the menacing castle that can burn them alive with flame arrows.

Clearing the highest forest canopy by a hundred metres, it is a river thief, resizing herself to span a strategic river and hold it for toll or hold it against one side in a war for pay. . Stowswell is made of moss rock for its foundation and sandstone for the actual twin castles. It projects several arrow loops and its walled ceiling and bridge can hold hundreds of archers. It can support its population of 1567 souls for a month without resupply. It walks two hundred miles a day. It is a most feared monster.

More on Walking Castles very soon.

Thanks for reading!

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