One of the most exciting aspects of Super Dungeon Legends is how it allows Soda Pop Miniatures to expand the world of Crystalia, filling in the nooks and crannies of the world as never before. Forgotten King’s Explorer’s Handbook set the foundation for the world of Crystalia. With Legends, we can expand the world even further with the Explorer’s Guide. The Explorer’s Guide takes a look at the history, realms, races, monsters, and landmarks of Crystalia. (At present the Explorer’s Guide is scheduled to be at least 96 pages, we’ll see where it ends once we convince ourselves to stop writing!) Today we take a brief look one of the most important locations in all of Crystalia: Crystalia Castle.
Since the fall of the Goddess Tower, all the peoples of Crystalia have looked to one place as the source and font of hope and heroism. Crystalia Castle has become more than just the seat of the kings of humanity. These kings’ leading role in standing against the darkness has made their fortress not only the capital of their kingdom but also the center of the endless fight for light and life. Destiny, of course, played a role; once the prophecy of the princesses was understood, the family’s fate was set. Yet certainly the kings that built Crystalia Castle did not need this added weight to take up sword and lance against evil.
That focus and dedication to righteousness shows in everything they do. This royal family is not perfect—they are human, after all—but they do their best to live their ideals, rather than just proclaim them. This is reflected in the community that has grown up within and around the ever-expanding castle. The sprawling, cosmopolitan metropolis of Crystalia Castle is one of the world’s great cities. Here blend all the races and cultures of Crystalia, and what makes it work is that the entire community is given over to serving and supporting the fight against the darkness. Such dedication does not come from simple righteousness. It come from an attitude and unwavering belief instilled by the land’s rulers over generations. In this sense, the core of the fight against the Dark Consul really is Crystalia Castle.
Crystalia Castle is simultaneously the seat of the kings of humanity, home to that royal family, and center of the great struggle against darkness. Beyond that, it is also a bustling center of manufacturing and spirituality. A staggering number of people from all the free races live out their lives within its precincts and make it among the foremost cities of the world. Yet, it is not any one of these elements that grants the city its favored status; numerous other cities across Crystalia are larger or more populous, possess grand and glorious architecture where Crystalia Castle is charming and homey rather than beautiful, or boast greater achievements in art or magic or science or culture. Rather, it is the singular dedication and focus of the Castle’s residents that sets it apart. The diverse population of Crystalia Castle is wholly devoted to the fight against the Dark Consul; in one way or another, everything in the city returns to this cause.
The city is divided into two broad parts, Crystalia Castle itself (including the fortress and the areas enclosed by any of several defensive walls) and the sprawling neighborhoods that have grown up around it. The former is usually referred to as “the Castle,” “the Fortress,” or “the Towers” (meaning, specifically, the protected areas not part of the fortress itself), while the latter is simply called Castletown. While the king is nominally responsible for all of it, the administration of the Castle generally falls to the seneschal and king’s champion, while Castletown elects councils of aldermen and a mayor to oversee the whole (subject to royal approval). The Castle and its environs possess a markedly military focus, while Castletown is more varied and vibrant.
Crystalia Castle abounds with wonders and intriguing sights. Despite the haphazard and organic nature of Castletown’s growth, a great deal of consideration underlies the design and construction of the whole city. This very much characterizes the history of the royal family, as they have long exerted consistent influence through light touches, encouraging rather than commanding. In many cases, this took the form of setting aside land or building plots for specific kinds of buildings, offering to pay for improvements or design elements, and sponsoring the construction of public fountains, squares, gardens, and parks. Even without royal influence, famous Heroes, wealthy tradesmen, merchants, and powerful mages have all left their stamp on the city.
Easily the most famous location within the Castle proper, and arguably in all of Crystalia, is the Crystal Chamber. Harnessing the wondrous magic that pulses beneath Crystalia Castle, the massive crystals set in the outer walls of this vast room can focus the will and vision of mages and open portals to any point in the world. From this Chamber, the greatest and least Heroes of the Goddess have ventured out to face the Dark Consul’s minions in their own lairs. Many have never returned, but every day more come to test their mettle against the forces of darkness.