The Rise of the Runelords
NG Small town
Corruption +0; Crime +0; Economy +1;Law +0; Lore +2; Society +0
Qualities: prosperous, rumormongering citizens
Government: Autocracy (mayor)
Population: 1,240 (1,116 humans, 37 halflings, 25 elves, 24 dwarves, 13 gnomes, 13 half-elves, 12 half-orcs)
Kendra Deverin, mayor (female human aristocrat/expert)
Belor Hemlock, sheriff (human male fighter)
Abstalar Zantus, town priest_ (male human cleric of Desna)_
Titus Scarnetti, noble (LN male human aristocrat)
Ethram Valdemar, noble (male human aristocrat/expert)
Ameiko Kaijitsu, owner of Rusty Dragon (female human aristocrat/bard/rogue)
Shalelu Andosana, local ranger (female elf fighter/ranger)
Brodert Quink, Thassilonian expert (male human expert)
Base Value 1,300 gp; Purchase Limit 7,500 gp;
Minor Items 3d4; Medium Items 1d6; Major Items —
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 travelers unaware. Given time, any of these seeds of civilization could bloom into a full-grown 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, the Light of the Lost Coast.
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 the waves. Passage over creeks and rivers is more often accomplished by wooden bridge than ford, and the Lost Coast Road itself grows wider and betterkept. Sight of Sandpoint from either approach (south or east) is kept hidden by the large upthrust limestone pavements known as the Devil’s Platter and the arc of the rocky outcroppings and lightly forested hilltops that rise up just east of town, 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.
Those who head north from Magnimar along the rocky coastline
quickly find themselves in a 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 and pepperwood and pine sap, while further inland, river valleys lined by majestic redwoods wind between ragged tors and limestone escarpments. The region’s vastness and sense of isolation have earned it its local name—the Lost Coast.
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 cause to worry 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!”
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 consists, mostly of buildings that are 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 downtown. 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 modest-sized natural harbor, 30 feet deep 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 sawmill. South of town rises another bluff on which Sandpoint’s most aff luent 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 tidal island is now known as Chopper’s Isle, and was once the home of Sandpoint’s most notorious criminal. The remote outcropping is accessible only by f light or by a skilled climber, and 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 proves most striking to visitors of 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, with 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 into the tower’s true purpose remains.