The first book was set during the reign of King Tamaros of Vinnegael, the most powerful Human kingdom and the father of Prince Helmos and his younger half brother, Prince Dagnarus. The next two were set approximately two hundred years later and followed Dagnarus in his bid to take over the world as well as the story of his allies and those who would try to stop him.
There are four races on the main continent, Loerem, with fifth and sixth races that appear in the second and third book, one from a distant continent or world. The main four races are each primarily dedicated to one of the four elements. The Humans are associated with earth/stone, the Elves with air/wind, the Orks with Water/the Sea, the Dwarves with fire. The fifth race, the Taan, are associated with the void. The sixth race, the Pecwae, apparently rely on earth magic drawn from stones such as turquoise. Each race's magic-users are able to draw power from their element, as well as outside their racial element. However the vast majority stick to their primary element.
The races each have their own god or gods. The Humans worship a pantheon always referred to as a group "the gods" not as individual gods. The Orks worship the gods who live in their holy mountain and pay special attention to signs read by their shamans. The Elves worship the Father and Mother, and the Dwarves worship the Wolf. The Taan also have a pantheon of gods, however, unlike the other races, they seem to separate them as individuals representing or having power over various events. The Pecwae are never really discussed, but frequently refer to simply the gods, similar to humans. It is not made clear in the books if all the gods are one group or separate groups. However, since the gods gave the Sovereign Stone to all the races through the King of Vinnegael it is likely that there is one pantheon perceived differently by the different races.
The gods had originally rewarded King Tamaros for his faith by giving him the power to create Dominion Lords, a group of holy warriors who were to promote peace and understanding among the four main races. As strife continued, the King went to the gods and asked them for something to help with peace among the races. They gave him the Sovereign Stone which could be split into four portions each representing one of the four elements. The King took this gift and gave one portion to each of the races so that they could create their own Dominion Lords. A fifth portion of the Stone that was unseen, save by the young Prince, Dagnarus, was the Dagger of the Vrykyl, representing the void in the center.
Humans: In this world Humans are in tune with the magic of earth. This power is controlled through the church. While once having been a largely unified race in the nation of Vinnengael, war and time have split them apart into varying nations and ethnic groups, such as the Nimoreans.
Orks: In this world Orks are excellent seafarers in touch with the magic of the water. They are master engineers and are dedicated to the reading of omens. The authors specifically stated that they wanted the Orks in this world to be more then the "usual cannon-fodder", and thus made several changes to the average fantasy orc.
Dwarves: In this world the Dwarves are associated with the element of fire. They are master horsemen, living as nomads on the great plains. Any dwarf who is unable to ride with the tribe or is convicted of a crime is sentenced to be "the Unhorsed" and cast off in one of the three "Cities of the Unhorsed". The dwarf god is "the Wolf" and they believe that if they lead a good life their soul is reborn in the body of a wolf, so they can run in the pack of their god.
Elves: In this world, Elves segregate themselves from the rest of the world. They are ruled by the Divine, the religious authority, who is aided by the Shield of the Divine in all matters relating to military. Power struggles between the Shield and the Divine are frequent. There are Twelve noble houses of elves of which everyone is either a member or a follower of, as well as an exiled house that appears in the second and third books. The Elves live in very dense family homes where generations of elves will live in one home. Elves practice a form of ancestor worship, and seem to have a faintly Asian feel to their culture.