"The country of Lescar was born out or civil war. Carved out of the collapse of the Old Tormalin Empire, the land has long been laid waste by its rival dukes, while bordering nations look on with indifference or exploit its misery. But a mismatched band of exiles and rebels are agreed that the time has come for change, and they begin to put a scheme together for revolution." from the cover of Irons in the Fire.
This series has an usually rich mixture of swords, sorcery and politics. The six dukes of Lescar are each convinced that he is the rightful high king, and they beggar and devastate the lives of their subjects in endless warfare. Many families smuggle at least one member out to neighboring countries such as Ensaimin, a collection of city states, including the city of Vanam.
Magical persons are divided into the trained wizards, proper, who practice elemental magic, and are under the leadership of Archmage Planir the Black. In addition, there are practitioners of Aetheric or Artifice magic. People generally cannot practice both elemental and Aetheric magic, and these people are technically not under the control of the Archmage. There are also Mageborn, people with a natural skill for elemental magic, who may try to stay under the Archmage's radar.