My “high fantasy” setting was essentially in a very Tolkien-like world, only the Mideavel battles and the infamous war with the Orcs a thing of the distant past. The world is in modern day with machines and computers. Magic, a sort of wave-particle radiation, permeates the Earth which much technology and organisms depend on (notable exception of humans…).
Humans were Homo Sapiens as we know them. The most populous of all sapient species which most forms of magic. like fibre, is unabsorbable and goes right though our bodies.
Dwarves are our closest relatives, a light magic using decendant of Neanderthals and the Denisovan hominins. Ranging from 4′6″-5′4″, Dwarves ate a diet heavy in meat and tubers and often lived in underground cmplexes, tho many now use “human-style” architecture. Humans and Dwarves could interbreed easily and produce fertile young.
“Halflings” were a critically endangered species descendent of Homo floresiensis who prefers to stay out of global politics. Originally of no “use” there has been a boom of “interest” in them from Humans and Dwarves due to their possible connection with their mysterious extinct “progenitors” (Homo erectus)
Elves were high magic using decendants of Ardipithecus. Extremely lithe and vaguely gibbon-like, their high intelligence and extended lifespan of the elves is due to their heavy dependance on magic. Like the relation of Humans and Dwarves and Hobbits, Elves are actually a genus consisting of several species, notibly the High elves, Drow, and Wood elves (as humans call them). Elves were resistant to use modern technology and in general the tech of other people, older elves are still more likely to use cervine as transport then own a car, tho the hip younger generation of Elves take far more interest in other species.
Orcs were a sapient offshoot of Australopithicus. While often portrayed to be 8 foot tall, in life Male Orcs are only a bit larger then the average man (tho considerably stronger). Orcs hate how the Human-Orc conflicts are taught and treated, wars that had a incredibly diminishing impact on their people and ended up driving them to poverty for decades.
Trolls had no relation to other species, instead being a mysterious race of sapient terrestrial echidnoderms. Going though highly complex life cycles, Troll larva start off as mouse size bilaterally symmetrical creatures, to the squat “lopsideders” and eventually becoming their 8 foot tall sexually mature adult form. Trolls are nocturnal, and make a thick mucus “cast” around their bodies when they rest that hardens during the day.
The “High Ones” are somewhat the equivalent to the Maiar, mysterious highly powerful entities seemingly like no other creature on earth. They mostly live in the Arctic (and Antarctic) circle, and have. They have curiosity in other species (and manipulating them), but are secretive of their own lives and tech, killing those who come near their settlements. (They also may or may not of been aliens…)
Ogres existed as a Homo habilis-like species that are raw meat and had the intelligence of dolphins. Dragons are semi terrestrial lobe finned fish that like elves were also highly dependant on Magic.