Rise of the Runelords
As one approaches the town of Sandpoint, the footprint of civilization upon the Lost Coast grows more clear. Farmlands in the outlying moors and river valleys grow more numerous, and the blue-green waters of the Varisian Gulf bear more and more fishing vessels upon its surface. Passage over creeks and rivers is more often accomplished by wooden bridge than ford, and the Lost Coast Road itself grows wider and better-kept. Sight of Sandpoint from either approach (south or east) is kept hidden by the large upthrust limestone pavements known as the Devil’s Platter or the arc of rocky outcroppings known as Whistler’s Tors, but as the final bend in the road is rounded, Sandpoint’s smoking chimneys and bustling streets greet the traveler with open arms and the promise of warm beds, a welcome sight indeed for those who have spent the last few days alone on the Lost Coast Road. From the south, entrance to Sandpoint is governed by a wooden bridge, while from the north a low stone wall gives the town a bit of protection. Here, the Lost Coast Road passes through a stone gatehouse that is generally watched by one or two guards—the southern bridge is typically unattended. Aside from the occasional goblin, the citizens of Sandpoint have traditionally had little worries about invasion or banditry—the region simply isn’t populated enough to make theft a lucrative business. Hanging from a bent nail at both the gatehouse and the southern bridge is a sign and a mirror— painted on each sign is the message: “Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!
Sandpoint at a Glance
Most of the buildings in Sandpoint are made of wood, with stone foundations and wood shingle roofs. The majority are single-story structures, with a few noted exceptions. The town is often thought of as two districts by the locals. Uptown is relatively new, and the streets are open and less crowded. This section of town is also physically above the rest, situated on a level bluff overlooking the southern half of town. The majority of the town’s buildings can be found downtown, which grows increasingly crowded as available space is claimed by new arrivals. Downtown is built on a gentle slope that runs from a height of about 60 feet above sea level to the west down to only a few feet above the waterline to the east and south.Sandpoint Harbor is a fairly deep natural harbor, 30 feet for most of its expanse, with sharply rising slopes near the shore. The languid waters of the Turandarok River wind down from the hinterlands, skirting Devil’s Platter to empty into the harbor—the river is often used to transport lumber harvested far upriver down to the local saw mill. South of town rises another bluff on which Sandpoint’s most affluent landowners have staked their claims.
Only a few hundred feet north of town rises an upthrust spur of rocky land topped with a few trees—this is known now as Chopper’s Isle, once the home to Sandpoint’s most notorious criminal. A remote outcropping accessible only by fl ight or by a skilled climber, locals now believe the isle to be haunted by Chopper’s ghost. Children often dare each other to go out to the isle’s base at low tide and touch the barren cliff face that surrounds it, but no one’s visited the top in years.
The sight that strikes all visitors to Sandpoint at first is the ruins of the Old Light. The original height of this tower is unknown, but those who have studied the ancient architecture of the crumbling remains estimate it might have stood more than 700 feet tall. Today, less than a quarter of that remains. The Old Light rises from sea level and is built into the face of a 120-foot-tall cliff , the tower extending another 50 feet above that level to culminate in ragged ruins. The remaining shell is yet another reminder that neither the Chelaxians nor the Varisians are the first settlers of this land, yet apart from a few badly weathered carvings signifying that the peak of this tower once held a brilliant light, no insight to the tower’s true purpose remains.
Industry and Government
Today, Sandpoint is a thriving community. Many industries, including fishing, lumber, farming, hunting, brewing, tanning, shipbuilding, and glassmaking have flourished, luring skilled laborers from as far as Korvosa and Riddleport to relocate here.
Sandpoint's four founding families still manage the principal trades of the town – the Kaijitsu family owning the glassworks, the Scarnettis owning a lucrative lumber mill, the Deverins handle the grain harvest and the brewing of ales, and the Valdemar family maintain the shipyard.
The Late Unpleasantness
Over its four decade history, Sandpoint has been thankfully free of major disasters. Every winter brings its share of strong storms, yet the natural harbor, sandbars, and cliffs do a remarkable job of blunting the force of wind and wave, leaving the town relatively untouched. Elders in town spin yarns of a few really big storms, but apart from the town’s somewhat rocky beginning with the Varisians, only two events have really qualified as disasters: the Sandpoint Fire and Chopper. These two events, occurring in such close and recent proximity as they have, are generally lumped together as the “Late Unpleasantness,” even though the two events didn’t have any obvious links. Natives of Sandpoint are reluctant to talk about either event, preferring to look ahead to brighter times.
Recent Goblin Raids
Despite having occasional skirmishes with the many goblin tribes that populate the surrounding area, Sandpoint has recently been the target of a series of large-scale, carefully orchestrated, goblin raids. Unlike typical raids, these have been well planned and comprised of multiple tribes working in concert.
The largest such raid occured during the Swallowtail Festival, at the commencement ceremony for the new Sandpoint Cathedral. Though the festival proceedings were thrown into chaos, the raid itself was thwarted largely by the intervention of four attendants who have since come to be known around the town as the Sandpoint Heroes.
Locations of note (thus far)
|The Feathered Serpent||magical items||Vorvashali Voon|
|The Rusty Dragon Inn||lodging, food||Ameiko Kaijitsu|
|The Curious Goblin||books||name|
|Goblin Squash Stables||stables||name|
|Red Dog Smithy||blacksmith||Das Korvut|
|Savah’s Armory||martial accoutrements||Savah Bevaniky|
|Risa’s Place||tavern||Risa Magravi|
|The White Deer||lodging, food||Garridan Viskalai|
|The Way North||maps||Veznutt Parooh|
|Bottled Solutions||alchemist||Nisk Tander|
|Turandarok Academy||school, orphanage||Ilsoari Gandethus|
|The Hagfish||tavern||Jargie Quinn|
|The Pixie’s Kitten||brothel||Kaye Teserani|