Area – Varisia and Sandpoint

 

While the region known today as Varisia has long been inhabited (all the way back to the
Age of Legend, when powerful wizards known as runelords ruled the region as the Empire of Thassilon), it wasn’t until relatively recently that it came to the attention of the nations of the Inner Sea. Cheliax to its south made an aggressive attempt to colonize Varisia, but conflict with its native peoples (the Varisians and Shoanti) and the remote location made such attempts difficult. By the time of Aroden’s death and the Chelish Civil War, Cheliax’s colonies in Varisia had already become independent. While the inland highlands of Varisia remain wild and untamed, a fair amount of its coastal lowlands are now civilized. Three cities in particular – Korvosa, Magnimar, and Riddleport – represent civilization’s three greatest modern triumphs in the region. Each of these cities has a number of smaller village and caravans travel frequently between the three cities and their outlying villages. (section in italics from Pathfinder #49: The Brinewall Legacy, p. 63)

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 an limestone escarpments. This vastness and the sense of isolation have earned the region its 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 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 had become the Lost Coast’s largest town: Sandpoint. (above two paragraphs in italics from Pathfinder #1: Burnt Offerings, pp. 58-59)

Founded in 4666 A.R. just a day’s ride north of Magnimar, Sandpoint has grown into a rustic and prosperous town of just over 1,200 citizens. The town has dealt with a number of disasters in the past 5 decades, including several powerful storms, goblin uprisings, trouble with dragons, devastating fires, and deranged serial killers. Yet Sandpoint weathered these trials and emerged stronger after each one. Today, the town hosts several thriving industries (including lumber, fishing, farming, and glassblowing) as well as a number of unique businesses and entertainment venues. The town seems comfortable in its transitory position between rural charm and urban convenience, and is a healthy and vibrant settlement despite its slow growth. (section in italics from Pathfinder #49: The Brinewall Legacy, p. 63)

As one approaches 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. (section in italics from Pathfinder #1: Burnt Offerings, pp. 59)