Stealing Stuff for Later Abuse

   
Stealing Stuff for Later Abuse


Sandpoint

Half Tempted to just link to where I found this... Giving Into Temptation

Light of the Lost Coast


Those who head north from Magnimar along the rocky coastline quickly find themselves ina peculiar country. Fog drapes the rolling landscape, floating spectrally along damp and lonely moors. Small woodlands grace the region, their tangled depths redolent of nettles, pepperwood and spinesnap, while further inland, river valleys lined by majestic redwoods wind between ragged tors and limestone escarpments. This vastness and the sense of isolation have earned the regions it's local name. This is the Lost Coast.

Yet there are pockets of civilization along the Lost Coast. Traditional Varisian campsites can be found in nearly every gulch and
hollow along the cliff-lined reaches, and lonely houses sit upon bluffs now and then—domiciles for eccentrics or the rich seeking
a bit of peace far from the bustle of Magnimar’s streets. Roadside inns grace the Lost Coast road every 24 miles or so, placed by virtue of the distance most travelers can walk given a day’s travel. Low stone shrines to Desna, goddess of wanderers and patron of the Varisians, give further opportunities for shelter should one of the all-too-common rainstorms catch the traveler unaware. Given time, any of these seeds of civilization could bloom into a fullgrown town, or even a city. It’s happened once already, along the shores of a natural harbor nestled among the cliffs some 50 miles northeast of Magnimar. What was once a larger-than-normal Varisian campsite in the shadow of an ancient ruined tower has become the Lost Coast’s largest town: Sandpoint.

Sandpoint Map

Sandpoint

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
Small Town: Conventional (Mayor); Alignment: Neutral Good
GP Limit: 800 gp; Assets 49,600 gp
Demographics
Population 1,200
Type: Isolated (90% human, 3% Halfling, 2% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% gnome, 1% half-orc)
Authority Figures
Kendra Deverin - Mayor
Belor Hemlock - Sherif
Abstalar Zantus - Town Priest
Titus Seametti - Nobleman
Ethram Valdemar - Nobleman
Lonjiku Kaijitsu - Nobleman


Sandpoint Cathedral
Easily the largest building in Sandpoint, this impressive cathedral is also the town’s newest structure. Built over the foundations of the previous chapel, Sandpoint Cathedral is not dedicated to the worship of a single deity. Rather, it gathers under its eaves the six most commonly worshiped deities in the region, providing chapels for all of these deities in a communal forum. In a way, Sandpoint Cathedral is six different churches under one impressive roof.

Yet even the previous chapel wasn’t the first holy site in this location. The core of both the original chapel and the new cathedral is an open-air courtyard surrounding a set of seven standing stones themselves surrounding a circular stone altar. These stones served the Varisians for centuries as a place of worship; although they generally venerated Desna at these stones, the stones themselves have a much older tradition. Unknown to anyone alive today, the seven standing stones once represented the seven Thassilonian schools of magic and served as a focus for wizards who wished to direct the destructive power of the nearby Hellstorm Flume. No one in Sandpoint suspects the standing stones are anything more than an ancient site of worship. Varisian oral tradition maintains that the seven stones represent the seven towers of Desna’s otherworldly palace, but this is merely a story perpetuated by early Varisian seers eager to hide yet another bit of their homeland’s destructive history.

The original chapel built here was a collection of six different shrines, each its own building and connected to the others by open-air walkways. Desna’s worship was incorporated into these shrines as part of the peace accord with the local Varisians, but the original builders also incorporated five other deities as well. Four of these (Abadar, Sarenrae, Shelyn, and Gozreh) were patrons of the original founders of the Sandpoint Mercantile Consortium, while the fifth, Erastil, was the most popular among the initial settlers.

When the chapel burnt to the ground five years ago, Mayor Deverin set into motion a bold initiative. Not only would the chapel be rebuilt, but it would be done on a grand scale. A cathedral would be built in place of the chapel, and it would be made of stone and glass. Funding for this project came partially from the founding families, partially from Sandpoint businesses eager to earn favor in the eyes of the gods, and partially from the respective churches. It took years to finish the cathedral, but the end result is truly impressive. To the south, facing Sandpoint’s heart, are the shrines of civilization: Erastil and Abadar. To the west, offering a view of the Old Light and the sea beyond, are the shrines of Shelyn and Gozreh. And to the east, offering a view of the Sandpoint Boneyard and the rising sun, are the shrines of Sarenrae and Desna.

The previous chapel hosted less than a dozen acolytes, led by a well-loved cleric named Ezakien Tobyn, who sadly perished in the fire that claimed the church. The new high-priest of Sandpoint is his most accomplished student, a pleasant man named Abstalar Zantus. Himself a worshiper of Desna, Abstalar is very open about matters of faith and has slipped into the role of adviser for worshipers of other gods of Sandpoint with ease.

More information about the six gods and goddesses of Sandpoint can be found in the Rise of the Runelords Player’s Guide.


Sandpoint Boneyard
Set in the shadow of the Sandpoint Cathedral and accessible via a gate to the north or from several doors leading into the cathedral itself, this expansive cemetery overlooks the Turandarok River. Stone vaults owned by affluent members of the town stand near the cemetery’s edges or at its center, while dozens of humble plots, each marked with a simple gravestone, sit amid trees and shrubberies. The boneyard is well-maintained, kept by a man named Naffer Vosk, a deformed smuggler Father Tobyn took pity on after his ship wrecked just north of town a decade ago. Naffer has found redemption in Sarenrae, and despite a twisted spine that, from birth, has given him a sinister lurching gait, he’s one of the town’s most devout citizens. He keeps the boneyard meticulously clean and is also responsible for ringing the church bells every day at dawn, noon, and dusk.


The White Deer
A pair of wooden life-sized deer, carved with painstaking care from white birch, stand astride the entrance to this sizable tavern and inn. The White Deer commands an impressive view of the Varisian Gulf to the north. The building is new, recently rebuilt after the previous inn at this location burnt to the ground five years ago in the same fire that destroyed the Sandpoint Chapel. The new building is a grand affair, three stories tall with a stone first floor and wooden upper floors with a dozen large rooms that can accommodate two to three guests each.

A somber and quiet Shoanti man named Garridan Viskalai owns the White Deer and runs the place with the aid of his family and a few local girls. Although his parents were members of the Shriikirri-Quah tribe, they abandoned their ties to settle in Sandpoint. Garridan regrets their choice, but his love for his wife and family keeps him rooted firmly in town.

Eager to encourage visitors to stay at his inn, Garridan keeps the prices of his rooms and board low, matching those of the Rusty Dragon (map marker 37) despite the fact that his accommodations are much cleaner and more spacious. Still, his gruff attitude tends to make his establishment less popular than the Dragon. Garridan is the brother of Sandpoint’s sheriff, Belor Hemlock, although the two of them are in a long-running feud stemming from what Garridan sees as his brother’s complete abandonment of Shoanti tradition.


The Way North
As with several other buildings in the vicinity, this one-story structure was recently rebuilt after the Sandpoint Fire. Originally a stable, the building has been converted by its owner, an aged but spry gnome named Veznutt Parooh, into a cramped and cluttered library to house his tremendous collection of maps and sea charts. Maps of local regions, from the immediate vicinity up to the whole of Varisia and the Storval Plateau, can be purchased from him for prices ranging from 5 gp to 100 gp, depending on the size and level of detail. When not here crafting copies of old maps, Veznutt can usually be found arguing over history with his best friend Ilsoari at Turandarok Academy (map marker 27).


Jeweler
This squat stone building escaped the fire that ravaged northern Sandpoint, much to the relief of its owner, a wild-haired jeweler named Maver Kesk. Maver retains a halfdozen local toughs as guards, but he has a habit of leaving doors and vaults open—a trait his wife Pennae Kesk often berates him for publicly.


Junker’s Edge
Garbage gathered by Gorvi’s boys (map marker 7) is routinely dumped over the edge of this cliff to gather on the beach below. Several of the town’s Gozreh worshipers (in particular Hannah Velerin; map marker 45) rankle at this practice, but until an equally cost-effective and convenient option is presented, the town council is reticent to change its ways. In any event, the sea generally makes short work of the junk, ensuring it never piles up too high.


Gorvi’s Shack
This dilapidated shack is home to one of Sandpoint’s few halforcs, a fat, heavily tattooed lummox half-orc named Gorvi. Despite the ramshackle look of his home, Gorvi’s made quite a pretty penny for himself serving as Sandpoint’s dungsweeper, enough that he employs about two dozen vagrants and curs who would otherwise be causing trouble along the boardwalk, paying them regularly in copper to haul one of his distinctive red wheelbarrows through the streets to collect refuse and garbage. Sandpoint pays him handsomely for his services, a job that no one else really wants but everyone wants to see done. Lately, Gorvi’s been making a menace of himself more than usual, spending evenings down on the boardwalk, harassing ladies, and raising hackles at the Hagfish (map marker 33). Mayor Kendra has had to ask him to ease up on the drinking and carousing more often lately, but Gorvi has grown content in the belief that he won’t be run out of town as long as he continues to ensure the streets are clean.


Sage
The sole occupant of this ancient building is a cantankerous old man named Brodert Quink, a balding expert on Varisian history and engineering. Brodert claims to have spent two decades of his youth studying with dwarven engineers at Janderhoff and three decades as a cataloger at the Great Library of Magnimar, and is continually baffled and enraged that his learning and obvious intelligence haven’t afforded him more prestige. Brodert has been studying ancient Thassilonian ruins for the past several years and has recently become obsessed with the Old Light. No one believes his theories that the tower was once a war machine capable of spewing fire to a range of more than a mile.


Locksmith
A flamboyant dwarf named Volioker Briskalberd has owned and operated Sandpoint’s locksmith business since the town’s founding. Something of an institution, most of the town’s locks were built by Volioker. He’s long been an enemy of the Sczarni (map marker 43), who have used both diplomacy and intimidation in their attempts to recruit him to their side. Volioker’s distaste for thievery and scoundrels may have its genesis in his childhood as a street orphan in Magnimar, although he’s traditionally close-mouthed about his past. He’s a tremendous fan of the arts, and never misses a new show at the playhouse.


Sandpoint Garrison
This stone fortress serves double duty as Sandpoint’s militia barracks and its jail. The jail itself is located in an underground wing, while the above-ground portion houses the town’s guard. Sandpoint’s town guard consists of a dozen full-time watchmen; about twice this many servants and other experts (smiths, cooks, bookkeepers, couriers, and the like) dwell here as well. Guards patrol the city alone; there’s generally not much trouble beyond the odd drunk for them to handle, so usually only three or four are on duty at any one time.

Sandpoint also maintains a militia of 62 able-bodied men and women (human warrior 1) who are expected to attend training and exercise here at least once a week. This militia can be brought to service in 1-3 hours.

The garrison is currently under the watchful eye of Sheriff Belor Hemlock, a native Shoanti who inherited the post of sheriff when the previous holder, Casp Avertin, was murdered by Chopper. Belor saw the town through that last terrible night and is generally held to be the man who stopped Chopper’s rampage. In the emergency election that followed a week later, the people of Sandpoint officialized his role, and Belor became the first Shoanti sheriff of Sandpoint. Honored and eager to live up to Casp’s legacy, Belor changed his last name to its Chelish translation, from Viskalai to Hemlock, a choice that has endeared him to Sandpoint’s mostly Chelish populace but hasn’t sat well with his brother Garridan (map marker 3). Belor’s not-as-secret-as-he’d-like romance with Kaye Tesarani (map marker 43) has put further strains on his relationship with his family.

The jail below the garrison is generally empty save for a few drunks or Sczarni doing time for some minor crime. Murderers and other hardened criminals generally stay for only a few days before an escort from Magnimar arrives to bring them to the high court for trial in the big city. The garrison’s jailor is a heavily scarred brute named Vachedi (CG male human barbarian 3), a Shoanti tribesman who hopes someday to earn enough money to buy back his two sons from Kaer Magan slavers.


Sandpoint Town Hall
The majority of the ground floor of this two-story building consists of a meeting hall large enough to seat most of Sandpoint’s adults, although town meetings have rarely been even half so well attended. The upper floor contains offices and storerooms, while a vault in the basement below has been functioning as the town bank for decades. Plans to build a proper bank have been stalled for various reasons since the town was founded. Sandpoint’s mayor, Kendra Deverin, can often be found in this building, tending to the town’s needs.


Savah’s Armory
The northeast corner of this building bears a few scars from the Sandpoint Fire, but fortunately for its owner, Savah Bevaniky (NG female human fighter 2/rogue 1), the building escaped significant damage. Savah’s shop sells all manner of weapons and armor, including several masterwork items and exotic weapons like a spiked chain, a dozen masterwork shuriken, and a +1 repeating crossbow with a darkwood and ivory stock that bears the name “Vansaya.” She’s not sure what the name means—she bought the weapon from an adventurer on the way to Riddleport a year ago, and the combination of its high price and complexity has ensured its semi-permanent stay in her shop.


Risa’s Place
Risa Magravi operated this tavern for the first 30 years of Sandpoint’s history, and even now that she’s gone mostly blind in her old age and has left the day-to-day affairs of the job to her three children Besk, Lanalee, and Vodger, the mysterious Varisian sorcereress remains a fixture of the tavern. Known as much for Risa’s tales of ancient legends and myths as for its spiced potatoes and cider, this tavern is a favorite of the locals if only because its out-of-the-way location ensures strangers rarely come by.


Rovanky Tannery
Situated at the edge of town, Larz Rovanky runs Sandpoint’s tannery with ruthless efficiency. He expects perfection from his workers and his products, and as a result often works long hours on his own during the stretches when he’s temporarily fired the help. His leather and fur goods are of high quality, enough so that locals generally don’t mind the extra wait for custom orders while Larz fusses with getting things perfect.


Red Dog Smithy
Named for its owner’s affection for large red mastiffs, two to three of which can always be seen lounging about nearby, Red Dog Smithy is owned by a bald and powerfully muscled man named Das Korvut. Das’s temper is, perhaps, his true claim to fame—he has little patience for customers, and even less for everyone else. Sandpoint suffers his foul-mouthed attitude and frequent drunken midnight rants because he really does know his job. And as long as he’s busy hammering metal, he stays relatively calm and confined to his smithy. The local children have recently been circulating a somewhat cruel rhyme about Das that they’ve taken to chanting at hopsquares, a rhyme sure to come to an end once the smith hears it.
“Here comes crazy-man Das Korvut,
Mad as a cut snake in a wagon rut.
See how his chops go bouncity-bounce?
How many people has he trounced?
One! Two! Three! Four...”


The Pillbug’s Pantry
Nestled at the base of a cliff and tucked between several old tenements, nothing but a painting of a pillbug perched on a mushroom indicates this building’s anything more than yet another
home. The proprietor of this establishment is a short, rotund man named Aliver “Pillbug” Podiker (LE male human adept 5), an accomplished herbalist and gardner. Although he’s of mixed Chelish/Varisian blood, the Sczarni (map marker 43) have taken to treating him as a full-blooded Varisian.


Bottled Solutions
This cluttered shop is filled with shelves upon shelves of bottles, bags, and other alchemical containers, some covered with dust and others so new that the pungent stink of their brewing still fills the air. Nisk Tander fancies himself a more gifted alchemist than he really is—items purchased from this shop have a 5% chance of not working as intended, either being subdued, inert, or wildly unpredictable in their actual effects (such as a flask of alchemist’s fire bursting in a flash of light that acts as a daze spell in a five-foot-radius, or a vial of antitoxin functioning instead as a vial of acid). For some reason, Nisk doesnt take too kindly to people inspecting his wares too closely before they buy.


Cracktooth’s Tavern
A particular favorite of patrons of the Sandpoint Theater, Cracktooth’s Tavern is always full after the latest show at the nearby playhouse lets out. A large stage gives actors, singers, and anyone else the opportunity to show their stuff. Every night a crowd of would-be entertainers packs the taproom in the hopes of being discovered. Owner Jesk “Cracktooth” Berinni might look like a thug, but he’s actually quite well-read and possesses a scathing wit—nights when he takes the stage to deliver his observations on the political situations in Magnimar are quite popular.


House of Blue Stones
This long stone building is primarily a single large chamber, the floor decorated with polished blue stones set within winding pathways of reed mats. This structure was built 10 years after Sandpoint was founded by a wandering monk named Enderaki Sorn—today, the monastery is tended by Enderaki’s daughter, Sabyl, her father having passed away seven years ago. A worshiper of Irori, the god of self-perfection and knowledge, Sabyl maintains a large collection of old books and scrolls in the basement chambers below. She opens both the meditation floor and her library to fellow worshipers, but others must convince her of their good intentions before she’ll let them in.


Sandpoint Glassworks
One of the oldest industries in Sandpoint, the Glassworks has been owned by the Kaijitsu family from the town’s inception. The glassworking trade has been in the family for generations, and many of their techniques—perfected in distant Minkai—result in dazzling and impressive works that fetch top price among the nobles of Magnimar, Korvosa, and beyond.


Sandpoint Savories
The smells issuing from this bakery fight against the salty tang of the sea every morning except on Sunday. Owned and operated by the Avertin family for the past two decades, Alma Avertin still hasn’t quite recovered from the brutal death of her son Casp five years ago under Chopper’s blade. Her twin daughters Arika and Aneka all but run the business these days.


The Curious Goblin
The sign out in front of this shop shows a wide-eyed goblin reading a book nearly as tall as him. Inside, this bookshop is a testament to one man’s obsession with the printed word. Chask Haladan has maintained his love affair with books for nearly 70 years and shows no sign of giving it up any time soon. His store is surprisingly complete, and while almost all of his wares are far too pricey for any of the locals to shop here with any frequency, a nest egg gathered in his adventurous youth combined with a frugal lifestyle makes the success of his business secondary to his own satisfaction. Several locals, including Brodert Quink (Map Marker 8), Sabyl Sorn (map marker 19), and Ilsorai Gandethus (map marker 27) can often be found here, either chatting with Chask or sitting in one of several large chairs, reading.


Sandpoint Theater
Brand-new cathedrals and ancient ruins aren’t the only incongruities Sandpoint boasts. This massive playhouse, financed entirely by its larger-than-life owner, Cyrdak Drokkus, features one of the most impressive theaters on this side of Varisia—it certainly competes with the playhouses of Magnimar, a fact that Cyrdak takes great pride in, since he was forced to flee that city for mysterious reasons he’s eager to hint at but reticent to expound upon (although they certainly involve another local of note—Jasper Korvaski). The Sandpoint Theater often showcases local talent, but it’s the three weekend shows that locals generally look forward to. Cyrdak uses his contacts in Magnimar to great extent, ensuring that the most exciting new productions in the big city are available here as well. Although Cyrdak enjoys flirting with all of Sandpoint’s young women, his romantic relationship with Jasper (map marker 40) is one of the town’s worst-kept secrets.


Carpenter’s Guild
The vast majority of the buildings in Sandpoint were erected by members of the town’s large and eternally-busy Carpenter’s Guild. Currently overseen by Guildmaster Aesrick Battlehorn, a dwarf who left his homeland with a near heretical fondness for working with wood rather than stone, the Sandpoint Carpenter’s Guild has recently been accepting a growing number of projects in the outlying farmlands as well as work about town. The guild has been in a minor feud with the Sandpoint Shipyard (map marker 46) for years, one that most often flares up over which guild has claim to the best lumber from the mill.


Sandpoint Lumber Mill
This long building was one of the first to be built when Sandpoint was founded. Owned by the industrious Scarnetti family, daily operation of the mill has recently been left more and more to a penny-pinching businessman named Banny Harker and his partner Ibor Thorn. Neighbors have been complaining that the two have been running their insidiously noisy logsplitter into the wee hours of the night as they rush to keep up with demand in the face of an increased availability of lumber from Magnimar, but Harker’s influence with the Scarnettis has so far kept any mandates against operating the logsplitter from coming to pass.


General Store
Owned and operated by Ven Vinder and his familiy, Sandpoint’s oldest and best-stocked general store has a little bit of everything—farm equipment, weapons, tack, tools, furniture, food, and even homemade pies by Ven’s wife Solsta. Ven even keeps a shocking supply of alcohol in his basement, although a customer has to ask to see the “wine cellar” before Ven’ll admit to his special stock. Ven has a particular fondness for harsh bitter grog and rotgut imported from places as far as the orc city of Urglin. His true pride, though, is his daughters, whom he dotes upon. Lately, he’s been increasingly distracted by what he believes is a budding romance between his daughter Katrine and that no-good Harker from the lumber mill. Unfortunately, Ven’s obsession with Katrine’s nightlife has rendered him all but blind to the actions of his other daughter Shayliss, whose reputation as “easy” is growing by the month.


Turandarok Academy
As families thronged to Sandpoint, the town founders quickly came to realize that they needed somewhere to handle the education of children, a place to house unfortunate orphans, and somewhere to busy older children to keep them from becoming delinquents. The answer was the Turandarok Academy. Part school, part orphanage, retired adventurer Ilsoari Gandethus volunteered to be the academy’s headmaster if he could have the basement of the two-story building to himself. The town agreed, and today, the rooms below the Academy are almost a museum of the strange things and trophies Ilsoari has collected over his years. He keeps these chambers locked, but the children who attend classes on the ground floor and the orphans who live on the upper floor have countless stories about what’s down there, ranging from a goblin farm to a nest of phantom spiders to the Sandpoint Devil itself. Although the contents are much less sinister (Ilsoari is all too happy to show off his collection of exotic weapons, strange maps, and monster trophies to anyone who asks nicely), the old wizard does nothing to dissuade the children’s tales.


Madame Mvashti’s House
Although from outside this appears to be an ancient, decrepit manor house with several rooms, only one person lives in this old building—ancient and mysterious Niska Mvashti. Old even when Sandpoint was founded some 40 years ago, Madame Mvashti (as she prefers to be called) is a Varisian historian and seer, part of a long tradition of oracles in her family. As with many seers, the current age’s unexpected departures from established prophecies have left her with a lifelong sense of brooding worry. She performs most of her readings with cards or carved bones but seems only very rarely to enjoy casting her predictions.

Madame Mvashti had long complained that the yearly travels of her extended family hurt her bones, and when Sandpoint was founded, as part of the accord with the Sandpoint Mercantile League, the local Varisians demanded a large manor house be built for their respected elder. Once she passed away, the house was to revert to the town’s property, but Madame Mvashti has proven exceptionally tenacious and long-lived. She survives primarily on support and volunteer help from local Varisians, although she spits and curses at those she knows belong to the Sczarni. Druids from the hinterlands make weekly visits to her home, often helping her allong on the long walks she still enjoys in the nearby countryside.


Grocer’s Hall
This building’s facade is open to the air where it faces the market. During the day, bins and trays and tables here are heaped with produce brought in that morning from the outlying farms. Near the back of the store are tools, seeds, feed, tack, and other supplies useful for farming. The other half of this building is filled with living quarters, meeting halls, file rooms, and storage. Olmur Danvakus took up the post of guildmaster here after the previous guildmaster was murdered by Chopper.


Vernah’s Fine Clothing
Rynshinn Povalli has owned and operated this clothing shop for the last five years. The only daughter of a kindly woman named Vernah, Rynshinn never knew her father, Iremiel, only that he was killed by goblins less than a week after she was born. At the time, Vernah’s tempestuous affair with the mysterious elven bard was the talk of the town. Every year on the anniversary of Rynshinn’s birth, a small package of elven coins, medicine, and toys mysteriously appeared somewhere in the upper floors of this building. Vernah always claimed the gifts were placed by Iremiel’s ghost, but locals generally believe the gifts were granted by one of his living relatives. Rynshinn, for her part, holds out against hope that her father somehow survived and that it’s not his ghost but him who leaves these mysterious birthday presents. Since her mother’s death five years ago during Chopper’s murder spree, Rynshinn has used much of the money from those gifts to expand her mother’s tailoring business, and even founded a guild that brings together dozens of quilters, crafters, sewers, and tailors so they can sell their wares here. She’s looking into opening a shop in Magnimar as well, but has yet to find a partner there whom she trusts. A number of Sandpoint’s young men idly court Rynshinn, who many hold to be the town’s most beautiful citizen, but to date, the lonely woman has politely eschewed all possible suitors for reasons she has not shared.


Wheen’s Wagons
A lanky man named Bilivar Wheen owns this workshop. Bilivar is a down-on-his-luck wheelwright who’s lately been spending more time at various taverns (especially the Hagfish—map marker 33) than here working—ever since his daughter Tanethia drowned in the Mill Pond last year, his wife Vorah has grown more and more shrill and paranoid that her remaining two children’s days are numbered as well. Bilivar’s been heard to mutter about packing up and skipping town to some of his drinking buddies at the Hagfish, but no one thinks he’ll really follow through on this plan.


Scarnetti Mill
As with the Sandpoint Lumber Mill, this building is owned by the Scarnettis. All of the flower and grain produced here is supplied by local farmers. Mysterious fires have claimed the Soggy River Mill, the Biston Pond Mill, and most recently the Cougar Creek Mill, leaving this mill the only functioning grain mill in the region. Accusations of Scarnetti-sponsered arson have been flying high, but the manager of this mill, constantly worried and sneezing Courrin Whesterwill, has gracefully lowered the prices for its use to record lows until the outlying mills can be rebuilt, a gracious move that has alleviated, to some extent, extensive public outcry.


The Hagfish
One of Sandpoint’s most popular taverns, especially among fishermen and gamblers, the Hagfish is also Sandpoint’s best bet for a good old-fashioned seafood meal. Owned by a gregarious one-legged man named Jargie Quinn, the Hagfish gets its name from the large glass aquarium that sits behind the bar, the home of a repellent hagfish that Jargie affectionately calls Norah (despite the fact that he’s had “Norah” replaced dozens of times—hagfish don’t live all that long in Quinn’s aquarium). Hanging from a nail next to Norah’s tank is a leather pouch bulging with coins: prize money for anyone who can drink down a single tankard of “water” scooped from Norah’s tank. It’s a single silver coin to try, but the trick is that, since she’s a hagfish, the water in Norah’s tank is thick and horrifically slimy and foul-tasting. Few can stomach the stuff, but those who do get to keep however many coins have accumulated in the pouch, and then get to carve their names in the ceiling beam above the bar. To date, there are only 28 names carved there, and the Hagfish has been in business for nearly 10 years.

But there’s certainly more to this tavern than Norah. Jargie’s game tables are always well-attended, with games ranging from cards to checkers to dice to darts. Tall tales are a favorite pastime here, with one popular game called “yarning” involving seeing how long a local can string along an impromptu fable without contradicting himself. The most popular subject of these tales is traditionally Old Murdermaw, the legendary giant red snapper who might or might not dwell in the depths of the Varisian Gulf. Jargie himself is quite an accomplished yarner, with the everchanging story of how he lost his leg being his favorite starting point for his tales.


Valdemar Fishmarket
Like the Grocer’s Guild across the market, the facade of this long building is open to the air. Here, locals can shop among the day’s catch, picking out cod, salmon, tuna, shellfish, and even the odd octopus for the evening’s meal. Turch Sterglus, a retired fisherman with a lazy eye and a wild white beard, runs the fishmarket in a lovably crochety manner, constantly complaining about the weather or the day’s catch or the antics of local youth, but always packaging his customers’ purchases with a smile and a wink. The fishmarket itself is owned by the Valdemar family, but most locals act as if the building and business were Turch’s, often tipping the loveable old man a few extra coins. Turch’s five sons, each smarter than the next, have made a career working for their father as fish cleaners, haulers, and even cooks.


Sandpoint Market
On most days, Sandpoint’s marketplace is empty save for the odd group of children who enjoy using the wide-open area to play whistleball or other games. Twice a week, the market fills with vendors. At the start of each week, the farmer’s market radically increases the daily selection of goods available at the Grocer’s Hall, while all day at the end of the week merchants from Magnimar, Galduria, Nybor, Wartle, and beyond take part in the Town Market. Goods purchased at the Town Market adhere to Sandpoint’s 800 gp limit, but prices are generally 75% of the regular asking price.


Sandpoint Meat Market
Local butcher Chod Bevuk runs the Sandpoint Meat Market. Half of this building doubles as a slaughterhouse, with the meat itself put on display for sale in the front half of the market. Most of the meat processed here is from livestock or animals caught by hunters. Chod still claims to this day that he encountered Chopper several days before he was ultimately caught and that the two of them fought, leaving Chod with one less finger, but most locals believe that the wound was self-inflicted in an attempt to get attention. Chod’s penchant for lies and exaggeration in all matters not relating to his business don’t help lend credence to his version of how he lost the little finger of his left hand.


The Rusty Dragon
This large structure is Sandpoint’s oldest inn, notable for the impressive (and quite rusty) iron dragon that looms on the building’s roof, doubling as a lightning rod and decoration. Owned and operated for the past six years by the lovely and popular Ameiko Kaijitsu , the Rusty Dragon is not only one of the town’s most popular eateries (made so, in large part, by the spicy and exotic food served here), but also a great place to meet visitors from out of town, since most newcomers to Sandpoint come upon this inn first, the north Lost Coast Road being less traveled. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Ameiko’s exotic
beauty is more than matched by her skill at music, and few are the evenings that pass without at least two or three songs by the talented woman. Some bad blood exists between Ameiko and Cyrdak, and one never seems to miss a chance to badmouth the other, but no one in town really understands the reason behind their rivalry. Of greater concern to Ameiko is the long-running feud with her family—leaving town to become an adventurer scandalized her family enough, but when she returned, rich and successful (and with a seemingly endless supply of eccentric hairstyles), with a desire to purchase and renovate Sandpoint’s oldest tavern, her family officially took to shunning her. Ameiko claims not to care, but becomes evasive when anyone asks her why she returned to Sandpoint when she was obviously doing well as an adventurer. Some believe she has a secret lover in town, while others theorize that something happened on her last adventure that took the bravery out of her. In any event, the Rusty Dragon is probably the most adventurer-friendly establishment in town, with its ubiquitous “Help Wanted” board near the bar and Ameiko’s “discount rooms for anyone who tells an exciting adventure story” policy.


Goblin Squash Stables
The sign above this door perpetuates one of the greatest fears of the lowly goblin—being trampled underfoot by a horse. Tended by a retired hunter named Daviren Hosk, Daviren’s hatred of goblins is nearly legendary in Sandpoint. In a somewhat grisly display, over the entrance to the stable’s covered barn is his collection of goblin ears: preserved and nailed to three different rafters, each bearing the goblin’s name burned into the leathery flesh—mostly because Daviren knows that writing down a goblin’s name is one of the worst things you can do to desecrate his memory. The bitter ranger’s pride and joy is a large glass bottle filled with brine in which he’s preserved the body of Chief Whartus of the now extinct (due in large part to Daviren) Bonegrinder Tribe.


Two Knight Brewery
While Sandpoint’s taverns serve a wide variety of spirits, they all proudly serve the mead, ale, and rum brewed here at the Two Knight Brewery. Established almost 40 years ago by two brothers (both worshipers of Abadar and cousins of Mayor Deverin) only a few years after Sandpoint was founded, their expertise at brewing has only increased over the years. Tragically, Wade Deverin was one of the first of Chopper’s victims, a murder that has shaken his brother Gaven’s faith. Locals whisper that since Wade’s death, the brew from here simply hasn’t tasted as good, but they would never say something to this effect to Gaven’s face.


Sandpoint Mercantile League
This large building serves many purposes. One can book passage on a ship bound for other ports, arrange for caravans or carriages for overland travel, or send messages to folk in town or as far away as Korvosa or even Riddleport. Inquiries into land ownership, building construction, and founding new businesses, both in Sandpoint proper and in the surrounding hinterlands, must begin their processes of official foundation here. Although ownership of the league remains split evenly between Sandpoint’s four noble families, few of them take part anymore in the actual day-to-day business, leaving such matters in the capable hands of Sir Jasper Korvaski. In his younger years, Jasper was a paladin of Abadar, and although he’s long since given up the more dangerous lifestyle of a crusader, he remains loyal and devout. Despite his best efforts, his romance with Cyrdak Drokkus (Map marker 23) has become one of Sandpoint’s worst-kept secrets. The Scarnettis, easily Sandpoint’s most conservative family, find the rumors of this relationship scandalous and offensive, but it’s unclear if they’re more offended by the relationship itself or the fact that the majority of Sandpoint is so accepting of it. In any event, the Scarnettis have been doing their best to make things difficult for Jasper in an attempt to not-so-subtly convince him to move back to Magnimar, but the support of the other three families has, so far, kept the Scarnettis from becoming too obnoxious.


Sandpoint Boutique
This large boutique and shop sells all manner of clothing, weapons, toys, artwork, books, and tools imported from throughout the world, although most of the wares here are Varisian in nature. The place is owned by Hayliss Korvaski, who is, like her brother Jasper, a devout worshiper of Abadar. Yet unlike her brother, her temper isn’t braced by a desire to keep everyone happy. Hayliss isn’t afraid of making enemies and wears her disdain for the Scarnettis on her sleeve. She’s even gone as far as sometimes upcharging her goods for members of the Scarnetti family, in spite of Mayor Deverin’s repeated requests to keep the peace.


Fatman’s Feedbag
If the Hagfish is Sandpoint’s most popular tavern, Fatman’s Feedbag is its most notorious. Bar fights are common, and Sheriff Hemlock typically has to come down here two or three times a week to sort them out when they grow particularly violent or loud. The majority of the clientele here are Varisian scoundrels or less-reputable sailors.

Most believe this tavern is owned and operated by an enormous man named Gressel Tenniwar, but in fact the owner is a lanky thug named Jubrayl Vhiski, one of the Feedbag’s regulars. Jubrayl is also the leader of the local gang of Sczarni, an extended network of Varisian thieves, highwaymen, con artists, graverobbers, smugglers, and murderers. Nearly two dozen of the Varisians in Sandpoint are members of the Sczarni, all cruel and self-serving men and women who take care to maintain respectable jobs as laborers, fishermen, and hunters, but who draw their true income taking part in various illegal Sczarni scams and stunts. Sheriff Hemlock suspects that Jubrayl is the local leader, and would like nothing more than to bring him in, but the Sczarni are experts at walking the line between legalities and taking the blame for their direct superiors. So while Sheriff Hemlock’s sent many of Jubrayl’s boys to jail over the last several years, he’s never come close to the ringleader himself, much to Jubrayl’s continued amusement.


The Pixie’s Kitten
Many of Sandpoint’s crasser locals have a much more colorful name for this establishment, but Kaye Tesarani runs the town brothel with class and distinguished grace. She pays her girls and boys quite well, and the three Shoanti bouncers she employs are more than enough to handle troublemakers. Although prostitution isn’t illegal in Sandpoint, the Scarnettis have long lobbied for it being outlawed, viewing the Kitten as a place where vice and criminal activity can take root. Certainly, Jubrayl has tried for the last five years to get in on the brothel business, but Kaye’s not-so-secret friendship (and romance) with the town’s sheriff make this a delicate, long-term goal for the Sczarni at best.


The Feathered Serpent
This cramped and cluttered shop smells of a strange mixture of incense, spice, and dust. Its sole proprietor, Vorvashali Voon, an exotic-looking character with bright blue eyes, long red hair, and almost bronze-colored skin, is gregarious and excited about every customer. Not everything in his shop is for sale, rendering it part museum in its eclectic collection of strange relics, statues, and monument fragments. Vorvashali’s stock changes constantly, as his dozens of contacts from Magnimar come in weekly to buy and trade stock. Adventurers seeking magic items and other tools of the trade can find what they’re looking for here more often than not.


Hannah’s
While Abstalar Zantus (map marker 1) does his best to take care of Sandpoint’s truly sick and needy, he can’t help everyone. For minor aches, pains, and illnesses, most of Sandpoint’s citizens
depend on Hannah Velerin. Hannah spends most of her mornings out in the surrounding wilds, gathering herbs or simply enjoying Gozreh’s bounty. In the afternoons, she returns to her shop and home here to prepare medicines and receive patients. Hannah’s ironically the one to go to when either one wants to end a pregnancy or needs a midwife to aid in a birth; Hannah encourages all of the women she sees to carry to term, and advises the use of pinberry extract to young women as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place, but in cases where there’s no other option, her other services are discrete and confidential.


Sandpoint Shipyard
The southern facade of this long building is open to Sandpoint Harbor, allowing its small army of shipwrights, ropemakers, and sailmakers to work their trade in one of four drydocks right on the shore. The shipyard is owned by the Valdemars, with Belven Valdemar, old Ethram’s eldest son, overseeing the constant work here. Belven is a handsome and quite available bachelor, but his dedication to his craft and family have so far left him little time to entertain the dozens of young women who’ve been trying to catch his eye for the past several years.


Valdemar Manor
This manor house commands a breathtaking view of the town of Sandpoint and the harbor below, as befits the family most connected to the town’s shipbuilding and fishing industries. The family itself remains under the patriarchal rule of old Ethram Valdemar, the only one of the original members of the Sandpoint Mercantile League still alive. Ethram’s years are numbered, though, for the old man has a lung infection that keeps coming back, no matter how often the family pays to have it cured.


Scarnetti Manor
Perhaps Sandpoint’s most notorious noble family, many of Sandpoint’s elderly Varisian locals still haven’t forgotten or forgiven Alamon Scarnetti’s assault on their people more than 40 years ago, even with Alamon 20 years in the ground at the Sandpoint Cemetery. The Scarnetti family, now headed by Alamon’s only surviving son Titus, controls Sandpoint’s mills and the lumber industry. The control of the lumber the Valdemars need for their enterprises is not lost on the Scarnettis, and they use this fact as often as possible to leverage Valdemar support. The Scarnettis are easily Sandpoint’s most traditional family, who cling to old Chelish values that are, in many cases, outdated today.


Kaijitsu Manor
This manor is the smallest of the four noble houses overlooking Sandpoint, yet the Kaijitsus are perhaps the richest family in town. What this manor lacks in stature and size it more than makes up for in the exotic and impressive furnishings within. Lonjiku Kaijitsu has carried on his father’s proud work as glassmaker, and the Sandpoint Glassworks is perhaps the town’s most prosperous business, with its products regularly shipped as far as Korvosa. Lonjiku’s accomplishments are all the more impressive when one takes into account that he and his family are newcomers to Varisia, the survivors of an exiled family from Minkai sent over the crown of the world a half century ago for unknown crimes. Lonjiku was born in Magnimar and has never visited his motherland, but he carries memories of its wonders in the form of stories told to him by his now deceased parents. Yet for all of his success at business, Lonjiku has found the role of father to be one he’s particularly ill-suited for. His eldest son Tsuto, in addition to being proof of his wife’s affair with an unknown elf, left the region several years ago after an argument that resulted in Lonjiku striking his son with his cane. His eldest daughter Ameiko shamed him not only by becoming an adventurer, but by opening and running a tavern and flophouse—“hardly women’s work,” he’s fond of telling anyone who’ll listen. Of course, those who know Lonjiku know his short temper is his real problem.


Deverin Manor
Living within the largest manor, the Deverins have traditionally held the role of “leader” in Sandpoint. Old Amos Deverin served as the town’s mayor for its first 23 years, and his son Fenchus served for the next 11. Both Deverins perished to unfortunate accidents (Amos to a runaway horse on Festival street and Fenchus to a snakebite while on a boar hunt), leaving Amos’s youngest daughter as the heir to the family fortune and a likely candidate for mayor. Kendra Deverin didn’t initially want the job, but after she was nominated for the role by her close friend Casp Avertin, she won the election by a landslide, something her primary opponent in the election, Titus Scarnetti, has never quite come to terms with. For some time there was talk of her and Casp becoming wife and husband, but Casp’s death at Chopper’s hands cut that short. Kendra’s recovered now from the shock, but has put aside all interest in romance for politics. She shares this manor with her brother’s rather large family, and although her sister- in-law Vana constantly complains about needing even more space and luxuries, Kendra has done a saintly job so far in keeping her temper under control.

Map Links for Me to use for laying out Gridwork when the time comes. These will contain spoilers. I wouldn't look if you want to keep things suspenseful but since the product has been in publication for years I can't expect people to not have seen it.

http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...ikis/sandpoint

http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...gs_-_Chapter_1

http://l-hazard.com/webpage/LH%20extraEN%20Malakai1.htm

Historical Overview of Varisia

Varisia: Wild Frontier Region


At the height of Old Azlant, the wizened mystics of that continent-kingdom exiled a powerful wizard named Xin for his heretical beliefs that cooperation with the lesser races could build a greater nation. The outcast arrived on the shores of Avistan with an army and a plan. He established the empire of Thassilon, and in so doing brought commerce and civilization to the simple folk he found living on Avistan as nomads, a people known as the Varisians. As Thassilon’s reach and inf luence continued to grow, Xin appointed seven of his most powerful wizardly allies as governors, splitting his empire into seven nations. Xin’s governors, each focused on one of the seven schools of rune magic he helped define in accord with his seven virtues of rule, became known as the runelords.

Yet Xin’s optimism was sadly misplaced. The runelords wrested control of his empire from him, and for centuries their cruelty led Thassilon along the path of decadence, ultimately collapsing into ruin when the Starstone rocked Golarion (although sages argue to this day upon the exact cause of Thassilon’s demise).

The region remained wild for thousands of years, inhabited only by barbarian tribes known as the Shoanti and the nomadic Varisian survivors of Thassilon’s fall, until it came to the attention of expansionist Cheliax, whose armies marched on the region in 4405. Chelaxian soldiers drove the warlike Shoanti into the rugged regions to the northeast, while colonists adopted a tenuous peace with the native Varisians under the pretense of bringing “culture and civilization” into their lives. It was at this time that the ancient frontier came to be known as Varisia.

Modern Varisia is a region of conf lict, a strip of frontier laid against the Storval Rise—a land of barbarians and giants to the northeast. Although no central government controls Varisia, three city-states have emerged, each of which could some day soon claim control over the region. The eldest and largest of these is Korvosa, a city of Chelish loyalists ruled by a monarchy but cleaving close to Cheliax in a bid to be reabsorbed into the empire. Korvosa is a haven for merchants and tradesmen, and functions as a gateway for trade throughout all of the region. The city itself is governed (some say too governed) by a complex charter that divides responsibilities between several magistrates, law-enforcing arbiters, and a monarchy of kings and queens. Most of Korvosa’s citizens are native-born, but they retain much of their Chelaxian blood, both in appearance and tradition. The Varisian people are tolerated in the city but are often discriminated against, while Shoanti are openly shunned and thought of as crude and violent barbarians who have no real place in a civilized city.

Yet as much as her government might like to hope, Korvosa is far from the only center of civilization in Varisia. The second-largest regional city, cosmopolitan Magnimar, is in an era of growth while Korvosa, at best, stagnates in its thick traditional values. Here, unlike in Korvosa, guilds are actively encouraged, and with enough luck and skill, anyone can rise to a place of power. The local Varisians are much more tolerated here, although they do still tend to dwell in specific ghettos inside the city walls. Magnimar is ruled by a lord-mayor and a Council of Ushers. As the city grows, so does its Council, and in time, Magnimar might well outshine Korvosa, especially as word of Magnimar’s fewer restrictions on trade reach further into the world.

Further to the north lies the region’s third-largest city. Riddleport is a solution to those who find law of any sort oppressive, and serves as a safe harbor for mercenaries, thieves, bandits, and pirates of all cuts. Tales of bandits ruling the streets, of muggings and murder taking place in full light of day, and of riots and anarchy are popular among the nobles of Korvosa, yet there is little truth to these tales, for the Overlords of Riddleport are undeniably harsh in punishing those who would attempt to disrupt civic function. Nevertheless, the fact that crimelords, pirates, and scoundrels rule the city shows in every street. Riddleport is not a place for the timid. Yet it still draws a surprising number of scholars and intellectuals to its filthy and dangerous avenues, for the city of Riddleport is host to one of the most intriguing and well-preserved Thassilonian monuments—the cryptic Cyphergate, a ring of stone that arches gracefully over the entrance to the city’s harbor. This and other mysterious local remnants from the previous age have long intrigued wizards and sages and their like, enough so that these stereotypically meek folk have become a strong and tempering force in Riddleport’s society.

Dozens of smaller towns and villages dot the lowlands of Varisia, and the majority of them see one of these three cities as their protectors. Korvosa takes a relatively active role in governing and guiding these holdings, but Magnimar prefers to let its holdings develop on their own, providing aid and support when a town asks for it. Riddleport has little interest beyond its walls, though, and as a result, very few villages survive for long in northwestern Varisia. Those that don’t succumb to internal corruption and strife invariably become prey for bandits, pirates, or other dangers of the region.

In many areas, Varisia remains a true wilderness, claimed by deadly predators and ferocious humanoids none too eager to share their territories with the advance of humanity. Along the coastal reaches, hundreds of goblin tribes dwell in sea caves and thistle-thick woodlands, bickering among themselves until leaders strong enough to unite several tribes at once take hold. Further inland, ogres and trolls hold court on rugged mountaintops and in deep forest glens, yet the true lords of the wildlands are the giants. Descended from the slave castes of ancient Thassilon, giants of all types call the true wilderness reaches of Varisia home, and their periodic forays and raids against humanity make for constant and brutal reminders that this realm is far from tame.

Other creatures dwell in the darkest corners of Varisia as well—monsters in some cases left over from Thassilon’s rule, tales of whom frighten even the giants of the land. These include mighty dragons, the cannibal spirits known as wendigos, sinister and capricious fey, pockets of scheming lamia-kin, and even sinister explorers and pilgrims from other worlds whose eldritch corners brush unwholesome and unwelcome against parts of this haunted landscape. And against this menacing backdrop broods an even darker evil, for the ancient lords of the land are said to exist still, dead but dreaming, awaiting the time for their return to rule over lands once theirs. Should these all-but-forgotten runelords rise, Varisia could be but the first of Golarion’s regions to fall.

The Land


A rocky land that slopes from the high Kodar Mountains in the north to the drenched fens of the south, Varisia is a realm sculpted from stone. Yet between the mountain ranges that carve the region, wildly disparate and vibrant lands flourish.

The most dramatic natural wonder of Varisia is the Storval Rise, a continuous line of cliffs that runs hundreds of miles and in some places rises as high as 3,000 feet. Adding to this wonder, nearly the entire face of these cliffs bears eroded sculptures, ruined cliff-castles, and grimly carved passages into depths below.

Above the rise stretches the Storval Plateau, a barren, hilly land of sparse vegetation and deadly giants. This is the primary home of the Shoanti. A nomadic people, the barbarians range from the Stony Mountains in the west to the Cinderlands—a badland of ragged tors—in the east.

Below the Storval Rise, rolling hills, dense forests, and rocky plains make up Varisia’s more hospitable reaches. Many of these lands are marked by ancient monoliths, eroded statues, and cairns of unnatural size. To the northwest, hills covered in high grass and windy flatlands form valleys between mountains and the sea. In the south, fertile lands pocked by rocky limestone pavements and mist-shrouded moors border the massive rot of the Mushfens.

Numerous dense deciduous forests also huddle against Varisia’s numerous mountain ranges. While spiders and other vermin infest the Churlwood, the ghosts of werewolves are said to haunt the Ashwood. Few dare brave the Lurkwood, for its dark trees grow and shed their leaves in an order not set by the seasons. Deadly and deathly things have also long been rumored to haunt the northern Sanos Forest, but the gnome population of the wilderness’s southern arm has done much to dismiss such
tales. Finally, the Mierani Forest was once and is now again a home to elves. While they have done much in the 200 years since their reappearance to treat with the peoples of Varisia’s southern lands, the elves permit few outsiders entrance to their woodland home.

Sandpoints History

Millennia ago, before the fall of Thassilon, what is known today as the Lost Coast was not a coast at all. It was a series of rocky bluffs and cliffs that ran through a vast moor that stretched between the end of the Fogscar Mountains south to the Mushfens. Called the Rasp, this ridge of stony tors and limestone escarpments marked the boundary between the nations of Shalast and Bakrakhan. When Thassilon fell, the nation of Bakrakhan collapsed and slid into the sea, forming what is called today the Varisian Gulf—the Rasp became the region’s new coastline.

Before these cataclysmic events, the Rasp was heavily patrolled by the armies of Shalast and Bakrakhan. Violent clashes between the two were common. Karzoug, leader of Shalast, used his impressive magic and giant slaves to erect immense statues in his image along the Rasp, granite sentinels that stood hundreds of feet in height and from whose stony eyes he could look out upon the nation of Bakrakhan from the safety of his throne in distant Xin-Shalast. In response, Alaznist, leader of Bakrakhan, built several destructive watchtowers called Hellstorm Flumes along the Rasp. Each of these towers housed a contingent of her soldiers, commanded by sorcerers and thaumaturges hand-picked from her personal guard. Atop each Flume burned a constant vortex of arcane fire, one that its commander could direct to scorch intruding armies for miles around. The Flumes did a remarkable job at keeping Karzoug’s forces from effectively invading Bakrakhan, while his own Sentinel Statues prevented Alaznist from launching any surprise invasions of her own. And so the two nations existed in tenuous balance until the cataclysmic fall of their world.

After Thassilon’s fall and Bakrakhan’s destruction, the Rasp became the new coastline. Karzoug’s Sentinel Statues collapsed, although here and there fragments of these once mighty guardians still stand. Bakrakhan’s Hellstorm Flumes fared no better—most of these watch towers fell into the sea during the cataclysm. Only one remained above the waves, and even it crumbled to less than a quarter of its original height. Varisian travelers preserved in their oral traditions stories of how ruined towers once cast fire down upon the surrounding lands, but over the generations, these tales evolved. The ruin’s location at the edge of the sea seemed to indicate that it was once a lighthouse, and in time, beams of fire became beams of light. Today, the Varisians view the last Hellstorm Flume as nothing more than an ancient ruined lighthouse, a landmark they call the Old Light. No record of the tower’s destructive purpose remains in the modern mind, yet clues to its violent legacy remain unsuspected in catacombs that once connected to the tower’s dungeons.

More recently, settlers from the southern nation of Cheliax have come to Varisia. The city of Magnimar was settled by colonists dissatisfied with the strong reliance on Chelish support in Eastern Varisia, and before long the need for additional farmland grew apparent. To the south, the sloppy expanse of the Mushfens made farming difficult, so the settlers turned their eyes northward along the Lost Coast. For much of its length, the coast offered little shelter, with one exception—a perfect cove about 50 miles away. A cove overlooked by a curious stone ruin.

The foundation of a new town is not a matter to be taken lightly, nor one to be funded by one man. Four powerful families from Magnimar had designs on the region, and rather than work against each other, they consolidated their efforts and formed the Sandpoint Mercantile League. These four families, the Kaijitsus (glassmakers and jewelers), the Valdemars (shipbuilders), the Scarnettis (loggers), and the Deverins (farmers and brewers), sailed north to claim their land after securing the rights from the Charterhouse in Magnimar. Yet when they arrived, they found the place already settled by a large tribe of Varisians.

Refusing to be set back, the Sandpoint Mercantile League began a series of talks with the Varisians, promising them an important place in the new township. Unfortunately, after a week of talks that seemed to be going nowhere, an impatient man named Alamon Scarnetti took matters into his own hands. Rounding up a group of his brothers and cousins, the Scarnettis mounted a murderous raid on the Varisian camp, intent on killing them all and leaving evidence to blame local goblins for the deed. Yet the Scarnettis, too drunk and overconfident, managed to kill only five Varisians before they were themselves forced to flee, leaving behind three of their own.

The Sandpoint Mercantile League fled back to Magnimar, and in the months to follow were embroiled in the repercussions of Alamon’s assault. Magnimar’s Varisian Council demanded punishment for all four families, but the High Court arbitrated a peace between them, in no small thanks to the remarkable diplomatic skills of a young bard and member of one of the families accused— Almah Deverin. Not only did she manage to assuage the Varisians’ call for blood payment, she also managed to salvage the plans for Sandpoint by promising not only to incorporate the worship of Desna into the new town’s cathedral, but to pay the Varisian Council a generous share of any profits made by Sandpoint businesses over the course of the next 40 years. One year later, the Sandpoint Mercantile League began construction on several buildings with the full cooperation of the Varisian people. In the 42 years since Sandpoint’s foundation, it has flourished. Although the initial term of the compact with the Varisian Council has passed, Sandpoint’s government has elected to extend the compact another 20 years, much to the consternation of a few locals.

Today, Sandpoint is a thriving community. Many industries, including fishing, lumber, farming, hunting, brewing, tanning, shipbuilding, and Kaijitsu’s own legacy of glass making, have flourished, luring skilled laborers from as far as Korvosa and Riddleport to relocate here. Yet Sandpoint’s location on the Lost Coast has also recently drawn settlers of another bent. As explorers and adventurers begin to piece together the fragments of ancient Thassilon’s influence over the region so long ago, the presence of Thassilonian ruins have acted as a magnet. The Old Light is no exception, and a few of Sandpoint’s recent arrivals are more interested in this ruin than anything else. 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.

The Late Unpleasantness

When Jervis Stoot made clear his intentions to build a home on the island just north of the Old Light, locals paid him no mind. Jervis had already garnered something of a reputation for eccentricity when he began his one-man crusade to carve depictions of birds on every building in town. Stoot never made a carving without securing permission, but his incredible skill at woodcarving made it a given that, if Stoot picked your building as the site of his latest project, you seized the opportunity. “Sporting a Stoot” soon grew to be something of a bragging point, and Jervis eventually extended his gift to include ship figureheads and carriages. Those who asked or tried to pay him for his skill were rebuffed—Stoot told them, “There ain’t no birds in that wood for me t’set free,” and went on his way, often wandering the streets for days before noticing a hidden bird in a fencepost, lintel, steeple, or door frame, which he’d then secure permission to “release” with his trusty hatchets and carving knives.

Stoot’s excuse for wanting to move onto the isle seemed innocent enough—the place was a haven for local birdlife, and his claim of “Wantin’ ta be with th’ birds” seemed to make sense. So much so, in fact, that the guild of carpenters (with whom Stoot had maintained a friendly competition for several years) volunteered to build a staircase, free of charge, along the southern cliff face so that Stoot could come and go from his new home with ease. For 15 years, Stoot lived on the island. His trips into town grew less and less frequent, making it something of an event when he chose a building to host a new Stoot.

Sandpoint was no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once or twice a year, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were drunk, and someone would end up dead. But when the bodies began to mount five years ago, the town initially had no idea how to react. Sandpoint’s sheriff at the time was a no-nonsense man named Casp Avertin, a retired city watch officer from Magnimar. Yet even he was ill-prepared for the murderer who came to be known as Chopper. Over the course of one long winter month, it seemed that every day brought a new victim to light. Each was found in the same terrible state: bodies bearing deep cuts to the neck and torso, hands and feet severed and stacked nearby, and the eyes and tongue plucked crudely from the head and missing entirely.

Over the course of that terrible month, Chopper claimed 25 victims. His uncanny knack at eluding traps and pursuit quickly wore on the town guard, taking particular toll on Sheriff Avertin, who increasingly took to drinking. In any event, Sherrif Avertin himself became Chopper’s last victim, slain upon catching the murderer in a narrow lane—known now as Chopper’s Alley—as he was mutilating his latest victim. Yet in the battle that followed, Avertin managed a telling blow against the killer. When the town guard found both bodies several minutes later, they were able to follow the killer’s bloody trail.

A trail that led straight to the stairs of Stoot’s Rock. At first, the town guard refused to believe the implications, and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis Stoot as his 26th victim. Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found upon a horrific altar to a birdlike demon whose name none dared speak aloud. Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose in a final offering. The guards collapsed the entrance to the chambers, burned Stoot’s house, tore down the stairs, and did their best to forget. Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes blessed and then scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit.

As fate would have it, the people of Sandpoint would soon have a new tragedy to bear, one that almost eclipsed Chopper’s rampage. A month after the murderer was slain, a terrible fire struck Sandpoint. The fire started in the Sandpoint Chapel and spread quickly. As the town rallied to save the church, the fire spread, consuming the North Coast Stables, the White Deer Inn, and three homes. In the end, the church burnt to the ground, leaving the town’s beloved priest Ezakien Tobyn dead.

All that remains today of the once-loved Stoot carvings are ragged scars on buildings and figureheads where owners used hatchets to remove what had become a haunting reminder of a wolf in their fold. The homes and businesses ravaged by the fire have been reconstructed, and the Sandpoint Chapel has finally been rebuilt as well. With the consecration of this new cathedral, Sandpoint can finally put the dark times of the Late Unpleasantness in the past





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Myth-Weavers Status       Advertise with us