Bretonnian Castles are the magnificent fortresses that dot the landscape of fair Bretonnia, ranging from minor keeps to massive fortress-cities.
Due to the varying landscape of Bretonnia, castles are very rarely built to the same design. Some are sited on crags, making them inaccessible to all but the most determined invader. Others are built on fairly flat terrain, and so are normally surrounded by a moat that is easy to defend but almost impossible to attack across. Castles located on islands in the midst of marshes are quite common, and along the coast the castles of ruling Barons can be found on spectacular cliffs and islands which provide excellent defensive positions for an army to keep watch against seaborne invaders.
The largest castles are located in Bretonnia's cities, all of which are a mix of peasant slum and exquisite grandeur, surrounded by high walls and tall towers. Although still a populace mainly concerned with agriculture, Bretonnian cities grow each year, as more and more smallfolk head to there for work and safety. In many cases, the urban sprawl has overrun its original boundaries and foulburgs have cropped up, clinging to the sides of the curtain walls like limpets to a prow. On higher ground are the more stately structures, nobles' manses and baronial castles, all sporting the distinctive Bretonnian round towers. Bretonnia's largest cities are tall, as they are almost always built on high ground. Their castles are also relatively tall and thin compared to the large square and absurdist blocks of Empire architecture. It is thought that Bretonnian style mimics the round, spire-like ruined towers of the High Elf colonies still dotted around the region - a legacy of the Elven occupation that occurred generations before man united into nations.
As prolific builders of castles, improved stone masonry techniques and construction methods appeal to even the aggressively-feudalist Bretonnians. Unlike other areas of technological advancement, Bretonnian nobles are very keen on anything that speeds the process of building and maintaining the castles and strongholds from which their lands are defended from invaders. As a result, many improved construction methods have come along quickly and naturally out of necessity. It is important to remember, however, that the nobles’ preferred solution – in any situation – is always to throw more peasants at a problem until it goes away.
- "A trove of exquisite weaponry and armour, some said to be as old as the Grail Companions themselves."
- —The Armouries of Bretonnia's nobility.
Skilled blacksmiths gravitate to more prosperous castles, towns and cities, rarely staying in villages where little business can be found. Talented blacksmiths are highly sought after in Bretonnia, being one of the few peasant trades that Knights do not look down upon on. Of course, this is probably because the nobility need their horses shoeing, their lances in ready supply, their swords sharp and the dents in their armour knocked out. As such, all Bretonnian castles have their own resident blacksmith.
Castle armouries of the oldest families are collections of antiques, powerful relics, practical equipment stores and workshops. It is said that in the armouries in the palace of Couronne, there are relics of the Grail Companions, one of Gilles le Breton's suits of armour, and even weapons of Elven origin - artefacts abandoned when the Elves left the Old World.