The Summer Heroes
The largest island in the Penwith chain, apart from Penwith itself, is Liria. Liria is some distance away, to the northwest, from Penwith, but is still considered part of the Penwith chain. Three small islands dot the channel between Penwith and Liria and are known as “The Sentinels”, primarily because of the ruined watchtowers that sit atop them. The watchtowers were built to guard the Lirian Empire, an ancient Elven civilization that pre-dates everything else in Penwith; Liria, its capital, is thought to have been founded around -2000 BR.
In -114 BR, several hundred years before the arrival of the Sorian Empire in Penwith, the Lirian Empire was overrun by an enormous invasion of hobgoblins. The cause of this invasion—and the origins of the hobgoblins themselves—remain unclear, not least because of the peculiar unity of the hobgoblins’ purpose. The political fracturing of Liria that was underway at the time left the elves divided and unaware of the true danger the hobgoblins posed until it was too late.
No one ventures very close to Liria anymore, but the splendid cities crafted by the elves are no longer visible from the sea. It is rumored that a small group of elves may yet survive, clinging to life—and the remnants of their culture—on a series of tiny islands to the extreme northeast of Liria, but the viciousness of the hobgoblins—despite their disunity since the invasion—discourages travel to Liria by even the most weathered of seamen.
The fall of Liria resulted in a massive influx of elven refugees to Penwith, which was previously populated mostly by humans. This is now known to historians as The Resettling, and had the effect of raising the technological and cultural capacity of the people of Penwith, as well as helping the first few Penwithan city-states to coalesce around more sophisticated political cores.
Almost all of the extant noble families in Penwith have elvish blood at some point in their family trees, and most of the current noble families (as well as all of the families that died out for one reason or another) trace their foundation back to the time of the Resettling. This significant intermingling of human and elven heritage and blood—at all levels of society—has also helped to create a culture among the Penwith islanders that is very tolerant of most races.