the "Late Unpleasantness"
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The "Late Unpleasantness," as the locals in Sandpoint refer to it, was a series of violent and tragic events which shook this peaceful coastal town seven years ago. Although no one really knows what brought these events about, all agree that the town was lucky to survive.


THE CHOPPER MURDERS
Sandpoint was no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once every few years, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were imbibed; someone would end up dead. But when Sandpoint became the site of a series of grisly murders, the townsfolk had no idea how to react.

At that time, Sandpoint's Captain of the Guard was a no-nonsense man named Captain Avertin; himself a retired Cyrendari soldier and a skilled man-at-arms. Yet even Avertin was ill-prepared for the crazed murderer who came to be known as the "Chopper."

Over the course of several dark, winter months, the count of victims grew. Each was found in the same terrible state; bodies bearing deep cutting wounds to the neck and torso, with both hands and feet severed and stacked nearby and the eyes and tongue missing entirely, plucked crudely from the victim's head.

Over the course of his killing spree, the Chopper claimed two-dozen victims. His uncanny knack at eluding capture quickly wore on the town Militia, and took a particular toll on Avertin, who increasingly took to heavy drinking. By a bitter twist of fate, Captain Avertin himself became the Chopper's last victim; slain when he finally caught the killer mutilating his latest victim in a darkened street that would come to be known as 'Chopper's Alley.'

Yet in the brief, but vicious skirmish that followed, both Avertin and his partner; then-Sgt. Berec, managed to seriously injure and drive off the killer. Unfortunately, before he fled, the Chopper slew Avertin and grievously wounded Berec during their fatal encounter. But, by his bloody trail, the other Guardsmen were easily able to follow the killer. That trail of blood led straight to the stairs of Stoot's Rock; a prominent stone outcropping just north of the Old Light.

At first, the guards refused to believe the implications, and feared that the Chopper had come to claim the poor homeowner; Jervis Stoot, as his last victim. Yet what the Militia found in Stoot's modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and the Chopper were one and the same. The eyes and tongues of all his victims were all found there; atop a horrific altar to some terrible demon, whose name none dared speak aloud.

Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked out his own eyes as a final, macabre offering. The newly appointed Captain Berec ordered his men to collapse the entrance to the underground chambers, then burned down Stoot's house. Stoot's mangled corpse was burned on the beach atop a pyre, his ashes were scattered, and the entire area was magically sanctified by Zathros; all in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit from beyond the grave. In the months that followed, Sandpoint's townsfolk did their best to forget the horrors they had witnessed. Although even today, local children who remember the dark times of seven years ago, sometimes wake with nightmare visions of the Chopper hiding under their beds.

THE SANDPOINT FIRE
Only a few months after the horrific murders finally came to their tragic end, another terrible tragedy struck the town; this time not in the form of bloodied and mutilated citizens but in that of a conflagration that claimed several lives and part of the northern part of town. The most notable loss was the Sandpoint Temple and its beloved priest; Ezekien, although the Temple had to be completely rebuilt; a process that has taken nearly seven years.