The goal of Legions of Lore is to control at least 2/3 of the territories on the map. Once someone in the game controls 2/3 of the map, the game ends. That player wins. Everyone else loses. There is no second place.
Most games are set so that turns end at 10:30 PM EST by default. You can give your orders at anytime during a turn's duration, and playing your turn does not affect other players until the turn ends, so there's no disadvantage to playing early or late in the allotted time. The only interactions which happen in real time are chat, sending messages and trades. When you're done with your turn you can designate this by clicking on the "End Turn" button and confirming. If everyone in the game ends their turns, then the turn will process immediately and the next turn will start. However this doesn't affect the end time of the next turn. The default end time for a turn is at the next midnight which is at least 24 hours after it started, so ending your turn early can't cost you time to play the next turn. (In other words, if during turn 2 everyone designates they're finished at noon, turn 3 will begin immediately, but you'll have 34.5 hours to play it.) Even after you've marked that you're done with your turn you can still give orders or change your orders, and even un-end your turn if you change your mind, up until the turn actually finishes.
The first turn is exceptional in that recruiting units and building buildings happen instantly, while normally these things don't happen until the turn ends. This allows you to build an army right away and take new territory on the first turn. Everyone starts the game with no army (with the exception of Adventure which begins with two adventurers) and only one territory, and every player starts a distance of at least 2 from every other player, so you might not have any direct contact with other players on the first turn, but it's a good opportunity to begin planning your strategy, discuss diplomacy with others and start forming your army. It's also in your best interest to send an attack of at least one unit against all the available surrounding territories so that you can start getting your resource production up.
Legions of Lore maps are randomly generated and so every game map is different. The default number of territories on the map is roughly 7 times the number of starting players (for custom games you can set the number of territories to be generated per player and the percent of them to be removed as water). Each player begins with one territory. Territories which are not controlled by anyone are listed as being owned by "Barbarians," but they're undefended (with the exception of Tartarus), so they can be captured by attacking them with as little a single unit. In order to capture defended territories, such as those owned by your opponents, you must defeat the defending army. Controlling territories is also how you get resources in order to build your army. Each territory you control grants resources based on its terrain type at the end of the turn.
There are 4 types of standard resources, which are gold, crystal, ore and wood. Gold is used primarily for recruiting units and crystal is used primarily for buildings, research and spells. Ore and wood are used for both units and buildings. The approximate conversion values are
10 gold = 1 crystal = 10 wood = 10 ore
These resources can be traded with other players in the game along with artifacts and diplomatic relationships. Each genre also has some types of resources specific to them, which are obtained and used in various ways and can't be traded. These are detailed in the genre specific sections.
There are 5 basic terrain types, which are plains, mountains, rivers, forests and swamps. Each of these produces 70 gold worth of resources each turn in some distribution of the four standard resources. Note that gold is approximately twice as abundant as the other 3 main resources. There are also 5 high level terrain types, each of which is a combination of two of the basic types and grants the resources of the two combined. These are taiga (forest and mountain), spring (mountain and river), flood plain (river and plain), tar pit (plain and swamp) and bayou (swamp and forest). Each terrain type also has a defense bonus, which is added to the strength of armies defending there. High level terrains get the defense bonus equal to the greater of the two base types. When the map is generated, the territories are randomly assigned terrain types, with the base types being more frequent than high level terrain. Starting locations are always base terrain types.