On Zetacron, the nature goddess Gaia did not create the elves, but wished to claim them as Her own (it seemed fitting to her, somehow, that elves should be bound to Nature). Thus, she used her divine powers to create a bond between Herself and the elves.
Context: The gods of Zetacron are physically present in the world. You can go and meet them if you like. Additionally, they are very human, with flaws and quirks—possibly more than regular people.
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.