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. 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 has become the Lost Coast’s largest town: Sandpoint.
You find yourself in this small town on the first of Autumn, when the Swallowtail festival, meant to inaugurate and consecrate the town's impressive new cathedral, commences in the bustling town square. Maybe it was chance that brought you here. You might have lived in this area your entire life, or perhaps you're passing through with a trader's caravan. Whatever the reasons that brought you here, the events about to happen on this small town square set you on a path you could never predict.