Sandpoint in Shadows of Thassilon
The town of Sandpoint serves as a focus for the early chapters of Rise of the Runelords and can provide a base of operations for characters throughout the Shadows of Thassilon campaign.
Sandpoint is a new and young town, founded in 4666 AR, just over fifty years ago, though the land upon which it was built has been a gathering place for Varisian wanderers for centuries. The town owes its origins to Magnimar's ever-expanding population and growing dissatisfaction with Korvosa; large cities have large appetites, and rather than depend on support from Korvosa, the merchant families that would go on to form the Sandpoint Mercantile League instead set out to found a new town, beyond the borders of the swampy and inhospitable Mushfens, that could help to support Magnimar and its growing needs.
Despite a rocky start, marred by conflict between the Magnimarian colonists of the League and the local Varisians who held the site sacred, Sandpoint quickly flourished, and today is home to over a thousand people. The town's recent history is marred by what locals refer to as “the Late Unpleasantness,” a string of gruesome murders that occurred in 4712 AR, shortly followed by the destruction of Sandpoint's previous chapel in a fire. It is hoped that the consecration of Sandpoint Cathedral, built on the site of the ruined chapel, will mark an end to this sorry chapter in the town's history and the start of better and brighter things for the Light of the Lost Coast.
Sandpoint is located on the Lost Coast to the north of Magnimar, a distance of fifty-four miles by road – two days on foot, or one day or horseback, if travellers are willing to push themselves hard. Here, the Turandarok River empties into th Varisian Gulf, forming a natural harbour and the perfect spot for a small town. Good farmland lies a little way inland, separated from Sandpoint proper by limestone escarpments and small but dense thickets of forest.
The most notable local landmark is the Old Light, a towering pile of stone that bears the weathered but unmistakeable marks of Thassilonian runes. Quite what this ancient monument might have been before it time and calamity tumbled it into ruin, none can quite say – it draws its name from the popular theory that, given its scale and its location, it may originally have been a lighthouse. The Old Light has drawn its share of curious sages and greedy adventurers over the years, since Sandpoint's founding and before, but none have ever established that there are any chambers within or beneath the ruin.
Sandpoint is dominated by the four families of the Sandpoint Mercantile League, each of whom exercises control over a certain aspect of the town's commerce and industry – the Deverins (farming and brewing), the Kaijitsus (glassmaking), the Scarnettis (logging), and the Valdemars (shipbuilding). Traditionally, of the four families, the Deverins have played the most prominent role in local politics; it was Almah Deverin who brokered the agreements that brought peace between the local Varisians and the Magnimarian settlers in the town's crucial early years, and Sandpoint's current mayor is Kendra Deverin. The town is more cosmopolitan than might be expected for a settlement of its size, and its shipbuilding and glassmaking industries in particular draw in skilled workers from as far afield as Korvosa and Riddleport.
Sandpoint is a tolerant town where matters of faith are concerned. The original chapel consisted of a series of six interconnected shrines, and the new cathedral has carried on this tradition, rebuilt on a more grand scale. Of the six deities worshipped in Sandpoint, Desna is the favoured goddess of the local Varisians, while Erastil is the most popular god among settlers from Magnimar; each of the other four deities – Abadar, Gozreh, Sarenrae, and Shelyn – was held in particular regard by one of the four families of the Sandpoint Mercantile League.
Beyond the six shrines that make up the cathedral, Sandpoint is also home to the House of Blue Stones – not strictly a temple, this training hall and library was founded by a wandering monk and worshipper of Irori. Sandpoint is generally tolerant of any faith outside of the wicked and malign – followers of evil gods should keep their faith hidden when dealing with these honest and hardy frontier folk.
A chronicle of events taking place in or around Sandpoint over the course of the campaign.
Rova 23rd: The year's Swallowtail Festival is an especially grand affair to mark the consecration of the new cathedral. However, the consecration is interrupted by a raid on Sandpoint by goblins!
Rova 26th-27th: Lonjiku Kaijitsu is murdered and his daughter Ameiko is kidnapped; all indications are that goblins, led by the half-elf Tsuto Kaijitsu, are responsible for both crimes.
Rova 29th: Ameiko Kaijitsu is rescued from the goblin lair of Thistletop, and Tsuto Kaijitsu and an accomplice are taken into custody.
Lamashan 2nd-3rd: Arson and a jailbreak reveal the mastermind behind Sandpoint's recent troubles to be none other than the aasimar Nualia Tobyn, the adopted daughter of the town's former high priest, thought to have perished in the conflagration of the Sandpoint chapel years before.
Lamashan 10th-12th: The 'Skinsaw Murders' take place: a trio of local troublemakers are found slain in a barn south of Sandpoint, and later, sawmill worker Banny Harker and his lover Katrine Vinder are gruesomely murdered at the Sandpoint lumber mill.
Lamashan 14th: Local nobleman Aldern Foxglove is exposed as the 'Skinsaw Man,' responsible for the recent murders. He and his ghoulish minions at the nearby Hambley farm are eradicated.
Neth 17th: Investigating a monster that has been killing livestock, local heroes find and slay the black dragon Black Fang beneath Grimtooth Tor.
A list of significant NPCs in and around Sandpoint.
Mayor Kendra Deverin
Kendra Deverin was elected to the position of mayor in 4712 AR, seeing off her rival Titus Scarnetti in a landslide victory. The Deverins have always been a popular family in Sandpoint, but Kendra is not content to simply trade on her family's good name and reputation, and has deftly directed the town's recovery from the Late Unpleasantness and the loss of its chapel; indeed, the rebuilding of the burned Sandpoint chapel as the grand Sandpoint Cathedral is one of Kendra's boldest and most significant initiatives.
Sheriff Belor Hemlock
Sandpoint's human population is fairly evenly divided between Varisians and Magnimarians of Chelaxian colonist stock, but a small number of Shoanti also make the town their home. Among those Shoanti is Belor Hemlock, Sandpoint's sheriff since the gruesome death of his predecessor, Casp Avertin, in the Late Unpleasantness of 4712 AR. Hemlock played a central role in bringing the Late Unpleasantness to an end, and was elected to the position of sheriff largely on the strength of his efforts during that troubled time, but he has subsequently proven himself to be a capable keeper of the peace and enforcer of the law, though recent events have certainly tested his abilities and strained his resources.
Father Abstalar Zantus
Abstalar Zantus was little more than an acolyte when Sandpoint's previous chapel burned to the ground (a tragedy that also claimed the life of Ezakien Tobyn, the town's high priest at the time), but in the intervening years, the modest Desnan cleric has risen to the status of the town's most senior priest, and now leads the congregation at the Sandpoint Cathedral. Father Zantus is well-liked for his humble, even-handed manner and his open-minded nature in matters of faith, acting as an advisor and mediator to worshippers of other gods in Sandpoint.
Ameiko Kaijitsu is the proprietor of the Rusty Dragon, Sandpoint's oldest inn and one of its more popular taverns. Ameiko chose not to follow her father Lonjiku into the glassworking trade, instead embarking on a short but profitable career as an adventurer before returning to Sandpoint and buying the Rusty Dragon. These career choices scandalised the straight-laced Lonjiku Kaijitsu and opened a rift between Ameiko and her family, one that had not begun to heal before Lonjiku's murder at the hands of his son (and Ameiko's half-brother) Tsuto. Ameiko has weathered the tragedies of recent months as well as might be expected, and the Rusty Dragon remains as popular as ever.
The elf ranger Shalelu Andosana has occasionally been called "an unofficial member of Sandpoint's town guard," passing through town once or twice a season to pick up supplies and deliver news and reports from the hinterlands. It was Shalelu who brought Mayor Deverin and Sheriff Hemlock troubling reports of the local goblin tribes setting aside their typical squabbles and uniting behind Warchief Ripnugget of the Thistletop tribe. Shalelu also discovered that a black dragon, Black Fang, was preying on local livestock, but the dragon proved to be more than she could handle by herself.
Recently, Shalelu has chosen to leave Sandpoint behind for a spell, accompanying the heroes who defended the town from goblins, ghouls, and Black Fang on their latest adventure to the frontier village of Turtleback Ferry.