Originally High Elf blood. A band of warrior type high elves moved north to the “Settlements” where they could fully exploit their warrior natures. Intermixed with a dwarven and gnomish tribe, with tales of several half-orges.
In some regions, various occupations might be exclusively staffed by members of a particular race or ethnic group. As examples, a city's butchers might tradtionally have orcish blood, or all the dwarves in an area could be expected to join the miners' guild (even if they personally have nothing to do with mining). Those who violate these stereotypes may find themselves in conflict with local customs or idiosyncratic laws.