Ed Leary, once a Latin teacher and most recently a probation officer, was building a castle outside Tupper Lake, a town in New York state’s Adirondack State Park, as Pam Lundborg reports in “Building a castle in the air, Ed Leary’s eccentric life ended before he could finish his dream in Tupper Lake.” He spent years of his life building a castle of his own out of concrete.
A Bygone Age
The first thing that springs to mind, given that the article mentions Leary had a fascination with castles and the medieval since childhood, is subconscious impulses from a past life. The modern day castle builder may have lived out a lifetime as a mason or architect in the middle ages of Europe. Maybe he died before seeing his work finished — as was the case with structures that could take more than a lifetime to complete — or never found a lord to choose his design. Now echoes of that past life, built to a manic level by hundreds of years of languishing unrequited in a series of uninteresting, non-constructive lives, are bleeding through to influence the modern man’s decisions. First it starts with the castle of concrete. Next, the builder seeks more people to participate in his recreation of a time gone by. This could be a positive experience, gathering up more time-lost souls who are out of step with modern society, or it could be negative; the builder kidnaps and brainwashes people to believe they exist in his medieval fantasy.
Dreams of Lost Carcosa
It could be a more alien influence, trying to establish a beach head on Earth using principles of sympathy. The structure, its plans seemingly dreamed out of nowhere by the builder, actually mirror an edifice already existing elsewhere in creation, designed in accordance with principles of sacred geometry and architecture. To get specific for a minute, Robert W. Chambers wrote a King in Yellow-related story set in the wilds of the Adirondacks, The Maker of Moons. Perhaps it’s Hastur itself influencing the builder’s mind, driving him to reconstruct the highest spire of Lost Carcosa. Once the tower is completed and the stars are right, as they tend to be, Hastur will have a psychic conductor ready to bridge the trackless reaches of space and time and channel his crushing mental influence right down into whomever happens to stand at the center of the receptor channels.
Birthday Party, Cheesecake, Jelly Bean, Boom
Alternately, the builder is battening down the hatches for the end of the world. They’re positive that society is crumbling and the only survivors will be those with remote strongholds, hardened against assault and stuffed with provisions to survive in a post-consumerism world. The surface structure is the fortified entrance to an underground complex of unknown extent. The player characters could be federal agents, sent to bring the survivalist to justice. With the end of the world nigh and mounting construction bills, they may have elected to take a pass on income taxes for one or more years running. Or the builder attracted a number of like-minded individuals looking to establish a lasting outpost of civilization after the fall, one of whom has a McGuffin or information that the player characters or their employers desire.