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.
The Petty Kingdoms is a region consisting of hundreds of small states. Some are kingdoms, some are city states, some are large farming communities, some are duchesses and baronies and so on and so forth. Within a few miles the PCs might reach a new "country" with completely different rules and norms than the one they left behind. "What do you eat here? Humans ye say? Lets turn around fellas."