Light of the Lost Cost
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. This vastness and the sense of isolation have earned the region its local name.
This is the Lost Coast.
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 of areas 1–12. Most of these buildings 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 the southern half of town. 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 fairly deep natural harbor, 30 feet 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 saw mill. South of town rises another bluff on which Sandpoint’s most affluent 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 is known now as Chopper’s Isle, once the home to Sandpoint’s most notorious criminal. A remote outcropping accessible only by flight or by a skilled climber, 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 strikes all visitors to 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 , 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 to the tower’s true purpose remains.