The Empire - To put it simply, they are aliens. They come from a different planet but their society regressed back to a fantasy setting. They also control the "AI" a super intelligent computerized "teacher" that is programmed to "terraform" a society. Slowly over the generations it teaches them things and advances them to star faring cultures. Right now the empire is in an American civil war era. They have black powder guns, electricity and metal war ships. They generally feel that they are above the other races and are more than happy to take slaves. They even have human breeding farms to cultivate the magic genes. (These guys are kind of a mix of the Japanese and Romans)
Humans - Medieval style culture. Less war and religion focused though. Egotistic, loves their money and takes slaves. (European)
Asians - They belong to a special order of warrior monks that use every ounce of power they have to keep the main body of the "Taint" contained in a small island near the volcanic ring the Asians call home. They keep their fighting talents a secret, only training their own kind. They are also protected by a dragon guardian (Water). This dragon teaches the monks how to fight the tainted people. They send out assassins to hunt them down. (Buddhist monk influences)
Dragon Guardians - Four of the oldest and most powerful dragons. Each being well over a thousand years old. Able to easily control each of the four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.) Only one is ever awake at any given time. They work with the Asians to keep the Taint contained. sleeping allows the dragons to maintain their power and keep it locked away. The Earth and Fire dragons are the main ones needed for this. The last time all four were away was when the Taint landed. (Mix of asian and euro dragons)
Barbarians - Nomadic warriors who live in the cold regions no other races are willing to live. They use nature magics and animal communication, preferring to use the help of the giant polar bears and mammoths. They are a typical shamanistic society, hunter gatherers and prizing strength above all. And like most fantasy barbarians, they quite large. (Little bit of the Hun mixed with Vikings)
Dwarves - Steampunk versions of the dwarves we see in most fantasy stories. They have steam powered engines and electricity. They are still the best crafters around. (Other then the steam punk these guys are typical fantasy dwarves)
Wood Elves - Hippies on steroids, its all about the threes. They have a general ban on harvesting wood except in select places. They don't like strangers either. They will attack people chopping down trees as well. (No earth influence)
High Elves - They are kind of the justice and virtue of the world. Paladins that cant be corrupted, and they run the world prison. (No earth influence)
Dark Elves - They are pretty typical of the fantasy Drow. A long time prior to the events of the story, they tried to take over a lot of the surface and even chased the dwarves away from a few of their mountain homes. However they were eventually defeated and now they hide away. (No earth influence)
Halflings - They grow their own trees so the wood elves let them sell lumber. They are the only source to get wood for housing or other things like that. (Generally most housing is made from metal or stone) They also sell tobacco and other smokables. They also retain some of their fantasy roots, a love for food and drink.
Gremlins (Also known as Foxilian) - They are a race of primitive but lovable fox people. They stand around a foot tall, thin boned. And they love everything shiny. Their society is based around, who ever brings back the biggest and best "shiny" gets all the respect. They lived in a small cave system in the desert (ancient hollowed out granite under the sand dunes.) They are kind of a myth to the desert dwelling travelers. They will robe them blind, but take the oddest things. A rock, some string, or the case of ale they were hauling. They attack by means of summoned sand storms, which gain in power the more gremlins there are in the area. They feed off each others power. They have also been known to give water to stranded travelers, right after they steal their stuff. In most cases no one ever sees them coming or while they do their work.
Dragon Riders - On the one hand they are half breeds, half dragon and half human. They live in a society of aristocrats, lords and ladies, high society. However they also play the police and protection force. The rider has the ability use strong elemental magic and do does the dragon they ride. Some combining their elements for stronger attacks. They are at war with the empire but their numbers are small, so they stick to hit and run tactics. Their dragon Lords are able to control multiple elements and transform into full dragons. They take on the role of kings and queens. (No earth influence but has a bit of Pern mixed in.)
Fog Walkers - Large (10 to 13 feet tall) yeti/ gorilla styled primitives, also not on the map. They weave jungle junk (leaves, branches and vines) into their fur to camouflage themselves from the native baboon hordes that enjoy eating them.
The Taint - The taint is the main evil force in the world. A long long time ago, there was two races in the galaxy, one learned to ascend and became god like. They actually became the gods the races listed above worship. While the other old race tried to force ascension, rather than becoming wisps of energy, they became bacteria. Broken down into single celled organisms that are all connected. They are pure evil, tainting and corrupting every one that gets infected. Their goal is to spread. They can infect objects as well and any one that touches it will be corrupted. They love kids, turning them into serial killers or other crazy masterminds. Adults they use hard and throw away.
The Dark Lady - Controls everything below the surface and anything the light cant touch. She isn't evil, however, just dark. Resembles a young attractive woman.
Magic - her magic is stealth, fear, illusions and she admires assassins the most.
Healer Type - Necromantic voodoo type healing. Potions, hexes and soul transference. Can sacrifice someone else to resurrect the dead.
People she influences - Dwarves, Dark Elves, Thieves and Assassins
Champion - Undead assassin - Can shadow step, and feed on others life energy.
The Mother (or Old Lady) - The balancer, she controls everything that grows on the surface and values life. Resembles an old lady.
Magic - Nature magic, plant growing, conjuring elements, and healing. She likes the wood elves the most.
Healer Type - Healers that follow her have the ability to take the pain of the wounded into themselves. Then they transfer some of their own life in to the wounded. They can resurrect the dead at the cost of their own life.
People she influences - Wood Elves, Barbarians, Hobbits
Champion - Druid - Ability to resurrect and heal without injuring herself, and strong control over the elements around her. Can transform into multiple animal forms for longer periods of time.
The Light - The protector, Protects the planet from asteroids and meteors. Resembles an old wizard.
Magic - Holy power. Localized time reversal.
Healer Type - Can resurrect the dead without killing the caster. Can create shield of light that reflects damage.
People he influences - High elves, Humans, Dragons Riders, Paladins
Champion - Top Dragon Lord - Super intelligent, can read any language. Has mastered three of the four elements. Dragon abilities are stronger then average.