These are large, sturdy building usually built atop hills, in front of easy-to-land-on sections of beach and also on flat, boring pieces
of marshland if hills, beaches and small cliffs are in short supply. Originally built Long Ago™ to house Kings, Emperors
and all those required to keep them out of the way of normal folk, castles scatter the landscape of most countries escluding the ones
that never invented them. The ancient Egyptians preferred Pyramids whilst the Atlanteans preferred stately marinas. American castles are known
as 'office blocks' and spurn the firmly rocksome construction materials of standard castles for highly-polished mirrored windows.
Ranches are a variant of castle from which the farmer is protected from the people that would steal his favourite hog.
Besides shielding the ruling personage from his subjects and/or vice versa, castles took many years to construct and gave rise to
the modern builder. Mediaevel builders would slouch about with their fundament protrudant from their very britches drinking
mediaevel tea and leering at passing comely wenches. When the King came to harass them for not having completed the castle
five years ago they would claim to be waiting for a delivery of granite from the regional office three days' ride away and that
they could do the job now but would risk the cornices coming down in three hundred years. In the absence of mobile telephones with
which they could contact their depot, ancient builders would have to send one of their number on a donkey with the message. Such 'conversations'
could take upwards of five years to complete. When the plans were finally confirmed, a different monarch would have usurped their previous
employer and would now demand a change in the colour scheme or the addition of a new-fangled windlass-operated drawbridge with
added rivets. The irked nature resultant in many builders of castles is responsible for the high ceilings and complex passages within the larger castles, by means of which Kings would have extremely
large heating bills and would often lose their way around their own home.
Recently, monied-to-the-eyeballs members of the richer classes have taken to refurbishing castles and living in them. As a result, not as many castles
as once there were are still open to the public. For a small fee (which goes towards repairing the ancient stonework with modern
cement and red bricks) people can wander around all the safe sections of the castle in which there will rest a few pieces of
anomalous furniture purchased form an antique shop and beaten up a little to add the right patina. Small Gifte Shoppes in the guardhouses
adjacent to the castle often sell genuine replica key rings, pen knives, tea towels and jigsaws similar to those used
during the castle's active life. Rather stupidly, castles are only open during daylight hours when all the interesting shadows and
unlit passages can be trodden without fear of falling down a hole into the privy or out of a trapdoor into the pit of spikes where
the scorpions used to live. Some castles take to hosting historical theme nights such as hog roasts. The best thing to do with these is dress
as a Viking and storm the place, ousting the fat aldermen who will typically be sitting at the head of the long table stuffing
dripping hogfat into their maws.