The Rise of the Runelords
“Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!”
A simple, relatively peaceful town with all the color and common oddities one expects from a tightly-knit community, Sandpoint sits at a point on the Lost Coast halfway between Magnimar and Windsong Abbey. Wood buildings and cluttered docks line the town’s natural harbor, while farms and the manors of wealthy citizens dot the surrounding countryside. During the day, fishing, farming, lumbering, glass-making, and shipbuilding occupy most of the townsfolk, who commonly retire to their homes by way of Sandpoint’s many taverns. A playhouse and would-be museum make unusual attractions in such a small community, but Sandpoint’s true landmark is the Old Light, a lighthouse of ancient origins that lies in ruins.
A relatively peaceful town, devoid of many of the dangers of a true frontier town and intrigues of a sprawling city, Sandpoint has nonetheless had its share of troubles. The fading scars of a recent terror still linger, a time most folk refer to as the Late Unpleasantness. Just over five years ago, a madman stalked the streets of Sandpoint, killing dozens. Known as Chopper, the killer’s month-long terror ended bloodily when an eccentric local artisan was revealed as the murderer and killed during his attempted capture. Adding to the pain, less than a month later the local chapel burned to the ground in a conflagration that nearly consumed the town’s northern half and left the local priest dead.
Emerging from the shadow of these events, though, Sandpoint has healed and rebuilt, with many townsfolk viewing the coming dedication of a new church as a symbolic end to the healing and return to normality.
A rolling, lightly forested land of limestone escarpments, rugged tors, and verdant moors surrounds Sandpoint. Most who populate the area live off the land and sea. Numerous farms spread over the surrounding countryside, while the homes of fisherfolk dot the coastal cliffs. Viable farming land is a coveted commodity around Sandpoint, as rocky hills and expanses of limestone pavements—-uneven areas of flat rock—-break the lush landscape. Wolves, snakes, and oversized weasels primarily stalk the deer and hares common to the area, along with the occasional stray farm animal, making attacks on humanoids rare. When the fogs common to Sandpoint’s stretch of shore rise, though, every dark shape in the mist becomes a monster, giving rise to numerous local legends of hungry wild men, winged terrors, and reeking things from the sea.