Stronghold is a high fantasy story about building a town and defending it. You, the hero, have killed a fearsome monster and been named Holder of a new town. So what will your town be? What will you be? Will you be a warrior or a sage? A priest or a merchant? What will your town be? Will it be a wealthy market town or a place of learning? A traditional farming community? A bulwark against enemies?
It's about adulting -- who do you become when you take on fully adult responsibilities? What does the hero do after the credits roll? What does the hero do for the next thirty years? What is a good leader? What does responsibility mean? What does it mean to stop being the young hero and be the ruler?
It's also about community. What kind of community do you want? How do you balance needs and wants? How do you strike a sweet spot? Too many differences and people won't work together. Too few differences and you have no depth of skills or point of view. What does good government look like?
It's fascinating to work on, especially since it does not provide easy answers. In other words, a market town or a university town or a refuge are all fine things, but they're different things. The key is to be intentional and to attract people who share your vision. The key is to create cooperation and build bonds -- which means you must have some commonality while maintaining depth. After all, all farmers and no craftspeople can't succeed any more than all craftspeople and no farmers can! All warriors means you starve. No warriors means you're overrun. A functional society has depth. However, too many differences means you're paralyzed by competing visions and no vision can become reality.
Stronghold should be out in late spring/early summer. We're deep into it now!