The Old Light is the most visible landmark of the western Varisian town of Sandpoint. It is believed to have been a lighthouse during the ancient Thassilonian empire, though much of the structure has crumbled over the ages.1
The Old Light is built into the side of a cliff in the northwestern section of town overlooking the Varisian Gulf. The cliff face is about 120 feet in height, with the tower stretching up another 50 feet, making the total height of the Old Light approximately 170 feet over sea level. Its crown is a tumble of weather-beaten stones, ruined long ago. Various Thassilonian markings and writing near the top of the tower seem to indicate that it was once crowned by a very bright light, leading to the assumption that it was once a lighthouse. This assumption, however, is incorrect.2
One of Sandpoint's sages, Brodert Quink, goes against the common wisdom, correctly believing that the Old Light was in fact a war machine of the ancient empire of Bakrakhan, capable of spewing forth fire over long distances.3
In the time of the Thassilonian Empire over 10,000 years ago, the current coastline of Varisia was simply a series of tors and bluffs overlooking a lower plain. Known as the Rasp, this geological feature marked the boundary between Bakrakhan, the Domain of Wrath, to the west, and the Empire of Greed, Shalast, in what is modern-day Varisia.
Violent conflicts were common between the two nations and both fortified their mutual border heavily. Karzoug, Runelord of Greed, built enormous granite sentinels through which he could spy on his neighbor, while Alaznist, Runelord of Wrath, built massive towers called Hellfire Flumes. Each of these Flumes were staffed by a contingent of her soldiers, in addition to numerous powerful sorcerers and thaumaturges. These mages maintained a vortex of arcane fire atop of the towers, which, upon command, could bombard the nearby countryside with destructive force.
The Old Light is the last of these Flumes, the rest having been destroyed by the fall of Bakrakhan, or the slow passage of time. It survives at only a quarter of its original height, which means that it must have once been over 700 feet tall.2
After the Fall
The native Varisian people passed on stories about the Hellfire Flumes through their complex oral traditions, although like most stories, they became confused and elaborated upon over the following thousands of years. Beams of destructive fire became beams of light, and the Old Light's position on the Varisian Gulf made it seem as if it must have once been a lighthouse. No stories of its true nature remain.
The Old Light Today
Since the founding of Sandpoint, the Old Light has became somewhat of a magnet for curious academics interested in Thassilonian lore, Brodert Quink being the most well-known living there.1
During the failed stone giant raid on the town in 4707 AR, their leader Teraktinus was tasked by his master, the stone giant wizard Mokmurian, to retrieve stones from the Old Light. Mokmurian had planned on using magics cast on these stones to divine the location of the grave of Xaliasa, a turncoat servant of his master's, the Runelord Karzoug. Thanks to the intrepid assistance of a group of heroes, these plans were foiled, however.4