Rise of the Runelords
Easily the largest building in Sandpoint, this impressive cathedral is also the town’s newest structure. Built over the foundations of the previous chapel, Sandpoint Cathedral is not dedicated to the worship of a single deity. Rather, it gathers under its eaves the six most commonly worshiped deities in the region: Abadar, Desna, Erastil, Gozreh, Sarenrae, and Shelyn. The building provides chapels for all of these deities in a communal forum—in a way, Sandpoint Cathedral is six different churches under one impressive roof. The Cathedral was dedicated on the same day as the Swallowtail Release, a celebration of the goddess known as the Great Dreamer, in 4708 AR
The original chapel built here was a collection of six different shrines, each its own building and connected to the others by open-air walkways. Desna’s worship was incorporated into these shrines as part of the peace accord with the local Varisians, but the original builders included five other deities as well. Four of these (Abadar, Gozreh, Sarenrae, and Shelyn) were patrons of the original founders of the Sandpoint Mercantile Consortium, while the fifth, Erastil, was the most popular among the initial settlers.
When that chapel burnt to the ground several years ago, during The Late UnpleasantnessMayor Deverin set into motion a bold initiative. Not only would the chapel be rebuilt, but it would be rebuilt on a grand scale. A cathedral would be constructed in place of the chapel, and it would be made of stone and glass. Funding for this project came partially from the founding families, partially from Sandpoint businesses eager to earn favor in the eyes of the gods, and partially from the respective churches. It took years to finish the cathedral, but the end result is truly impressive. To the south, facing Sandpoint’s heart, are the shrines of civilization: Erastil and Abadar. To the west, offering a view of the Old Light and the sea beyond, are the shrines of Shelyn and Gozreh. And to the east, offering a view of the Sandpoint Boneyard and the rising sun, are the shrines of Sarenrae and Desna.
The previous chapel hosted fewer than a dozen acolytes, led by a well-loved cleric named Ezakien Tobyn, who sadly perished in the fire that claimed the church. The new high-priest of Sandpoint is his most accomplished student, a pleasant man named Abstalar Zantus. Himself a worshiper of Desna, Abstalar is very open about matters of faith and has slipped into the role of advisor for worshipers of other gods of Sandpoint with ease.
Yet even the previous chapel wasn’t the first holy site in this location. The core of both the original chapel and the new cathedral is an open-air courtyard surrounding a set of seven standing stones, which themselves surround a circular stone altar. These stones served the Varisians for centuries as a place of worship; although they generally venerated Desna and various Empyreal Lords at these stones, the stones themselves have a much older tradition. Unknown to anyone alive today, the seven standing stones once represented the seven Thassilonian schools of magic and served as a focus for wizards who wished to direct the destructive power of the nearby Hellstorm Flume. No one in Sandpoint suspects the standing stones are anything more than an ancient site of worship. Varisian oral tradition maintains that the seven stones represent the seven towers of Desna’s otherworldly palace, but this is merely a story perpetuated by early Varisian seers eager to hide yet another bit of their homeland’s destructive history.