Mysteries of Golarion

Sandpoint Mirror
First Impressions

Sandpoint mirror

Hanging from a bent nail at both the gatehouse and the southern bridge is a sign and a mirror — painted on each sign is the message: “Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!”

Players: any one who writes in character about their first encounter with this sign earns bonus XP to be spent toward an XP Boon.

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Mountain’s Fang meets the Mirror

Finally, Roars with Thunder and I arrived in Sandpoint.

At the gatehouse, we encountered a strange sign, first welcoming us and then stating “See yourself as we see you”. The city folk I’ve met on rare occasions treat Shoanti like uncivilized imbeciles. Why should I see myself in those eyes and enter their town with that in my heart? Why would they greet me with such demands in the guise of a welcome? It’s so rude!

I turned my head to share my outrage with Roars, but was distracted by a reflection from a shiny plate above the sign. It appeared to be metal, but reflected the sun as even the unused axe cannot. As I peered closer, there was movement. Nothing from the gate itself, or behind me, but in the metal itself!

The face of a young warrior appeared, road-weary, but frowning in suspicion at me with the hawk totem above her eyes. I turned my head to point this out to wave Roars over, and she turned too… I peered back into the metal, investigating from various angles, and noticed the warrior inside wearing the same armor and shield as me, peering and reacting as I did. It was as though the surface of the calmest lake had been stripped from the land beneath and fastened to the sheet of metal through some strange magic. Was this warrior really what others saw when they looked at me? I reached out to touch the plate and called for Roars to see this mystery. Maybe a thunder caller would know of such things. The warrior’s finger met my own.

Perhaps this is what the sign meant, then, and not offense. Viewing myself from the outside, as the townfolk would. They would see me as a young warrior returning home from a great quest! I grinned with pride, and the woman in the plate bared fierce and chew-stained teeth in return.

Lani’s Lonely road home

Home. The notion espouses a sense of safety, security, peace. At least it should. This place was home for 3/4 of my life. Returning now, after so much has happened, I wonder, will it ever feel like home again? I have so many memories of this place – some good, but come to think of it, mostly bad. My family never appreciated the talents they taught me. I was never good enough, always falling short. I felt cut off, rejected, lonely and bitter. Looking back, did I ever really think of this place as home? I thought of the Grand Lodge in Absalom as my home for the last few years, but was it really? It held a little safety, but not much security or peace.

My heavy footsteps kick up dust along the road. In the distance I see the sign that should say I’m home. But does it anymore? I’m so tired. The sign that proclaims the town’s name as “Sandpoint” is only a hundred yards away from me. It says “Welcome”, but I wonder if I’ll ever be welcome anywhere. It takes me too long to reach the sign. My ravaged feet just don’t move as fast as they should. The mirror is still there, attached to the sign. The caption still says “Please stop to see yourself as we see you”. Do I dare lower my hood and take a look? I peer around and see no one within sight. I lower my hood. The bright noon sunlight stings my eyes, burns my skin. I look in the mirror. The ruin of a face that stares back at me is unrecognizable. The reflection shows me my skin still blackened, scarred and burned; my hair continually falling out in little clumps – it’s amazing I still have any left; the almost complete lack of a nose highlighting the devastation my face has endured. The only remotely recognizable features are my eyes. Even those I have a hard time recognizing. They were desperate for any kind of acceptance when I left. Now, they’re just weary, oh so weary.

I raise my hood and cloak my face in darkness again. I slowly walk past the sign, leaving its blasted mirror behind me. I wonder if my little house with the small front shop is still standing. I wonder what it will cost me to buy it back. Oh well. Maybe my cousin still owns one of the inns in town. I wonder if she’ll recognize me. At this point, I almost hope she doesn’t.

I feel so drained. I just want a place to call home.

Mal Comes to Sandpoint

“Welcome to Sandpoint” the sign read. I chuckled, though there was no mirth to it. Whatever drew me here, I don’t think it’ll be welcoming.

A fragment of mirror hung on a nail above some smaller writing. I drew closer to read it. “Please stop to see yourself as we see you.” That took me aback. I’ve never been a fan of mirrors – they only show you the truth.

I hazarded a glance, quickly averting my eyes as soon as I met my own pallid gaze. Nothing. I risked a longer look, taking in my face as I’d not for a very long time. How long had it been since I’d looked in a mirror really? A year? Two? Whatever it was I scarce recognized the face that gazed back at me. The tattoos were the same, the hoarfrost eyes, but they belonged now to a man, not a boy.

There was a movement behind me, a flash of something. I turned, expecting to find Kellus but there was nothing. Kellus was already a dozen yards down the path ahead, beckoning me to join him. I returned my attention to the mirror. Movement again, and again, but it seemed to flee and dart away as soon as I tried to focus on it.

I let my eyes relax, tried to look through the mirror rather than at it. Suddenly I could see it, as clearly as if it were walking past a window. It didn’t have a body or a real form, just a shape in the air like a heat-haze off a hot road – vaguely humanoid and darting around me erratically like a midge. Tearing my eyes away from the apparition I met my own gaze in the mirror and it was all I could do to stifle the scream that gripped my throat.

The face was my own, but at the same time a visage I’d never seen before. The eyes were narrow and slitted like a serpent’s, the ears long and pointed. The mouth, framed by a small black beard, split in a wide, cruel revealing a mouth brimming with sharp and jagged teeth.

A felt a hand grip my shoulder and spun, dropping in a feral crouch. Kellus seemed nearly as shocked as I, his eyes darting to my fist – raised and ready to strike. I stood, brushing off his concern with a forced casual laugh and a muttered a half-hearted excuse about the stress of the journey. As we moved past the signpost I risked a last glance at the mirror and saw only my own face looking back.

I didn’t know what to make of what I’d seen, but of one thing I was absolutely certain: if that was how the people of this town really saw me my time in Sandpoint is going to be very interesting indeed


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