Strongholds of Fantasy

Castles, Dungeons, and other Fantasy Lore...


Strongholds of Fantasy exist in many creative works. 

They provide a backdrop for a story's setting in books, movies, and plays. In books the author paints a picture of a beautiful castle or an impregnable fortress and further captures the interest of the reader.  The movie director uses the camera to unveil a built structure with all its dressings or a fantastic miniature with crafty detail, which amazes the audience as they are pulled into that illusion of reality further.  On the stage of a theater the stronghold is in the background in the form of a  mat painting or is part of a huge stage prop that the characters interact with, while performing their roles in the scene of the act. 

To some characters they are a place of refuge or sanctuary, while enemy characters or monsters depict them as an area of conquest in order to expand their empire. In historical inspired movies men in Europe wage war against their neighbors for resources and other things of value.  As the invading army digs into the country side to lay siege to an enemy fortress, the inhabitants prepare to defend their homeland at all costs.  In sword and sorcery stories the men of the realm must protect their home from barbarians, orcs, dragons and other fantasy foes. 

In rare cases they are virtually treated as another character in a tale.  However, the stronghold is virtually alive as the other characters in the story interact with it. 

They can be part of or the main background element of a picture, painting or a drawing.  There are many beautiful images that professional as well as amateur photographers have captured on film of historic castles around the world in their natural settings.  Painters have brought blank canvases to life depicting strongholds of a fantasy nature with their creative brush strokes.  Pencil artists have taken empty pages of a sketch book and have caused their drawings of castles to virtually leap off the paper.   

War games, involving miniature figures, use them for terrain in various ways. Whether an obstacle for the enemy or a position to hold, stronghold miniatures always bring an exciting decorative piece to a war-gaming table. 

Role-players gather around their table of gaming and prepare for an adventure involving castles, villages,  wilderness areas, and dungeons.  Some dungeon masters even create quests involving miniature terrain of strongholds and figures.  An adventuring party may either reside in a simple stronghold between quests or a nearby village that is in close proximity to a dungeon they explore from time to time.  Other quests may involve them infiltrating a castle or dungeon, depending on the whims of the game master. 

Their creation of whatever form they take are inspired from historical places and can be used in a diorama as well.  Dioramas involving strongholds have been made to capture exciting scenes from popular movies and t.v. shows.  Historical battles have utilized and displayed strongholds in their glory and what can be learned from the layout.  Hobbyists create fantasy dioramas for fun, large and small, for fun and gain a great feeling of accomplishment after they endure the challenges of taking on a project. 

What is a Stronghold?

A stronghold is a fortified structure, designed to protect its inhabitants from enemies intent on attacking them.  It can be simply a tower, compared to a castle or fortress, which is several fortified buildings surrounded by an outer defensive wall. However a stronghold can be a castle if the criteria matches, not to be confused with a palace which is primarily constructed for decorative flare and not necessarily defense.

Strongholds can be tailor made to reflect the desires of its master in function and protection. Many can be built on various kinds of terrain involving land masses and water. They are home to kings, emperors, overlords, and other strong rulers. Land dwelling races such as humans, elves, dwarves and others use them as a central point of influence over their territories as well as protecting their citizens in times of siege.


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