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Castle Caladan was the official residence of the ruling clan of planet Caladan, the House Atreides for 6 generations before, and 26 more throughout their tenure as Dukes of Caladan; until the Atreides, under the rule of Duke Leto the Just, the 20th Atreides Duke, were ordered to take over the planetary fief of Arrakis in 10191 AG.
It was an impressive ancient structure, made of very old stone and wood, and was characterized by many rooms and halls, as well as vaulted ceilings with patterned wooden beams. Its Dining Hall was the scene of many lush meals presided over by the Atreides Duke.
Wesle Atreides, younger brother of ruling Duke Philippos Atreides of Gallatin in 8711 AG, no longer wishing to live in the shadow of his sibling, decided to move to Caladan and ordered the Castle to be built.
Istaivan Hiivaladan, one of the most illustrious architects of the era, was commissioned to design the Castle; it has been described as his finest work.
Wesle was a lifelong student of history and wished to pattern Castle Caladan after the manor of a feudal lord of Old Terra.
When the Castle was completed in 8722 AG, the Siridar-Duke, now Paulos XVI Atreides, moved his household to occupy the new residence. From 8721 AG to 9350 AG, the Atreides lived quietly in the Castle with emphasis on serenity and comfort, its priceless art collection, and its persistent lack of any military touch - aside from that token garrison -reflected this serenity.
In 9355 AG, following the assumption of the Dukedom of Philippos XIV Atreides and the massacre of Hestia, all this changed: walls were removed and rearranged to provide room for the extra servitors needed by a ruling House; the military barracks increased tenfold; and the already sturdy defenses were strengthened to full capacity, at which any but an all-out planetary attack could be rebuffed.
The quarters which Philippos and his heirs occupied slowly evolved from their luxurious state to more utilitarian — occasionally Spartan — forms. Drawing rooms and studies became military headquarters and training rooms for the younger family members, who were now born into the family of a politically ambitious Duke and destined to face all of the dangers such a birthright made unavoidable.
The studios and galleries so central to the lives of the earlier inhabitants became divertissements for the Atreides ladies rather than places in which the lords of the manor would spend their days. Within a century even the great, library had fallen into disfavor, its volumes conscientiously dusted but seldom studied: As the nerve center of their fief, Castle Caladan served the Atreides for another 22 generations.
Migration to ArrakisEdit
It was left in the hands of numerous caretakers following the assignment of Arrakis as fief entire to Duke Leto I Atreides. (Although Count Hasimir Fenring was appointed Siridar-in-Absentia of Calada, he did not relocate to Caladan and there is no evidence the Count or his Lady ever so much as visited the Castle).
Upon her return to Caladan in 10196 AG, the Lady Jessica took up residence in Castle Caladan again and remained there — with one interruption, from 10218 AG to 10220 AG — until her death in 10256 AG. Following the Lady's burial in the Atreides Family cemetery on Caladan, the Castle was declared an Imperial monument.
Many generations of Imperial citizens toured the building and grounds which made up the birthplace of Paul Muad'Dib Atreides, treating them as things to be venerated for themselves. In time, the fact that Castle Caladan had once been a stately and gracious dwelling was almost completely forgotten, dwarfed by comparison to its importance in the Atreides legend.
Certainly it was Hiivaladan's longest-lasting, as portions of the central keep and much of the perimeter wall remained standing even after the God Emperor's rule.
It stood by a great river and farmland owned by House Atreides. Various rooms within the castle held views of river orchards and Mount Syubi. The estate surrounding the Castle included approximately 500 hectares of arable land enclosed by a wall 2 meters thick and 50 meters in height built of varicolored Caladanian granite and strengthened by flying buttresses.
Within the wall lay fields of pundi rice, both for home consumption and export; wheat and other grains; all manner of vegetables and fruits; and a complete array of livestock, both native and imported. The Castle was, in short, capable of total self-sufficiency in keeping with the desires of its original owner.
Various dwellings, comfortable if not grand, were provided on the estate for the retainers who tended all of its flora and fauna. A military barracks housed the detachment of Atreides soldiers Wesle had been granted by his brother.
The Castle proper was centered on this tract of land and was constructed of the same beautifully tinted stone that made up the boundary wall. In its heyday the building was a marvel:
- 20 fully outfitted bedroom suites,
- a kitchen capable of feeding four thousand if completely utilized,
- conservatories with plants from a hundred worlds, and
- a library which had been favorably compared to that of the Court on Kaitain.
More than two hundred servitors were employed in its maintenance.
After the alterations of 9355 AG, walls were removed and rearranged to provide room for the extra servitors needed by a ruling House; the military barracks increased tenfold; and the already sturdy defenses were strengthened to full capacity, at which any but an all-out planetary attack could be rebuffed.