Shadows of the Sandpoint Hinterlands
Although Sandpoint has prospered for over fifty years as a bastion of civilisation on the Lost Coast, it remains an isolated outpost surrounded by wilderness, much of which is poorly-explored and potentially home to all sorts of dangerous denizens and undiscovered treasures.
The smaller of the two limestone escarpments that loom above the hinterlands, the heights of Ashen Rise are home to nothing more dangerous than swarms of hungry stirges and flocks of uncommonly aggressive crows and ravens.
This nasty tangle of overgrown swampland is inhabited by giant insects, hungry amphibious monsters, and the Licktoad goblin tribe, each of which largely keep the others' numbers in check. The marshes are mostly unexplored despite their proximity to the Lost Coast Road – travellers between Sandpoint and the south generally have little reason or desire to wander from the relative safety of the road into the treacherous depths of the swamp.
This limestone escarpment extends for roughly three miles to the south and east of Sandpoint and is a rather more forbidding landmark than the smaller Ashen Rise. Goblins of the Birdcruncher tribe are known to make their lairs here, especially in caves along the Platter's western edge; stories of devil-worshipping bugbears, hungry ghouls, and worse horrors dwelling amidst a labyrinth of caverns beneath the Platter are less well-grounded in the personal experiences of the locals, but persist nonetheless. There aren't many routes to the top of the Devil's Platter that don't involve a difficult and dangerous climb.
This bowl-shaped island amounts to a series of stony ridges surrounding a small lake. Despite its name there have been no confirmed sightings of anything more fearsome than the occasional hungry wyvern making its roost here.
This forest consists predominantly of redwoods with little undergrowth close to the forest floor, and would make for excellent logging country if not for the tenacity of the Mosswood goblin tribe that infests the woods. The Mosswood tribe is large enough that it would probably have torn itself apart into several smaller, squabbling clans if not for the brutality of its leader, Big Gugmut, who claims to be the offspring of a hobgoblin and a wild boar, though the tribe spends enough of its energy on barely-constrained internal bickering that it's less of a menace to outsiders than it otherwise might be.
Clinging tenaciously to the hilly terrain and stony ground along the Lost Coast, the trees of the Nettlewood tend to grow stunted and twisted, and beneath the canopy, the forest is an unwelcoming tangle of nettles and thorny underbrush. The Lost Coast Road separates the Nettlewood from Mosswood to the south, but goblins of the Mosswood, Seven Tooth, and Thistletop tribes, as well as bandits and outlaws,
This ominous cave mouth lies toward the centre of the Devil's Platter and sinks vertically into the heart of the plateau, its walls riddled with narrow ledges, treacherous stairs cut shallowly into the rock, and gloomy fissures hinting at tunnels twisting deep into the subterranean darkness. If the stories of a labyrinth of monster-infested caverns beneath the Platter are true, then the Pit gapes like an open wound straight into that labyrinth's heart. Rumours claim that the notorious Sandpoint Devil makes its lair in the Pit's deepest reaches – not that anyone foolhardy enough to delve into the Pit in search of the truth of the matter has ever returned to tell their tale.
The are between Nettlewood and what would eventually be dubbed Shank's Wood has served as a graveyard for generations of Varisians. During the construction of Sandpoint, those labourers and settlers who died before the town's own graveyard could be established within its walls were instead buried here.
Before Sandpoint's founding, the local Varisians used this promontory for many of their rituals and gatherings, including their yearly Swallowtail Festival, but in the decades since the town was established, the site has fallen out of use.
Really little more than an overgrown copse of pine and eucalyptus, this small forest is the domain of the Seven Tooth goblin tribe, and gained its rather coarse name from the presence of a hermit – some say, a fugitive from justice – who dwelt there before the arrival of the goblins.
This small island lies just a short distance off the Nettlewood coast, its sheer cliffs rising to a defensible summit claimed by a ferocious tribe of goblins who have taken the island's name as their own. Sailors along the Varisian Gulf report that the goblins have strung a rope bridge connecting their island lair to the nearby coast, allowing them to come and go without risking their lives scrambling up and down the slick and dangerous cliffs. Curiously, some say that when the light of the afternoon sun strikes the western side of the island just so, the faint and worn outlines of a face can be seen in the rock, the features of a man gazing impassively out across the Varisian Gulf.
These three groups of stony hills – Leb's Tors, Rigg's Tors, and Task's Tors – lie to the east of Devil's Platter and are named after the trio of adventurers who explored many of the nooks, caves, and old Varisian tombs to be found here, in the years before Sandpoint's founding.