Apologies for reviving an older topic, but I just got my forum account, and this really interests me. So, I'd like to add a few notes.
Sorry for the length, but I wanted to touch on all 6 races at once. Thanks for your patience.
All the races in EL seem to follow their European folkloric origins, except Draegoni and Orchans, which are modern inventions, though there are still traditional/IRL sources that can be used for them. So, starting with the official race descriptions and looking at traditional lore:
1) Humans are human. We know how they operate (I guess). Relating to the other races, Humans traditionally have a little distrust but also a fascination and willingness to learn and make friends. The Humans of EL belong to the medieval world, which covers all races and many religions, but generally prefers a strong social structure based on class and hierarchy. Humans will tend to be either "civilized" -- living in towns, following laws, belonging to official groups like army, government, or church -- or they'll be "barbarians" -- living in the wilderness, outside the law, forming tribes or bandit/mercenary gangs. Humans like order and structure and tend to impose it on anything that feels too wild or uncontrolled. Sometimes Humans will get into vicious fights, even wars, over what kind of order is best. In general, Humans are curious, adventurous, inventive, and ambitious.
2) Dwarves are small statured people intensely connected to the earth and its energies. They have magical/semi-magical abilities to find ores, mineral deposits and buried treasure. As a result, Dwarves are usually rich or getting rich. Dwarves are masters of manipulating the earth's resources, so they are master smiths and crafters. They have amazing physical strength and muscles as hard as rocks, but their attitudes can also be set in stone. They are often stubborn. They are proud of their heritage, and clan means everything to them. They are powerful warriors, preferring melee combat with a good solid axe or hammer in their hands. They enjoy drinking, feasting, fighting, and hard work for good pay. Their culture is solidly nordic/germanic, based on personal achievement, amplified by ale-fueled boasting (a cultural tradition).
3) Elves are connected to the spirits of nature. They are mostly tall, ethereal-looking people, but sometimes there are extreme variations in how they look -- in EL, this shows in their different skin colors. They see themselves as the stewards of the natural world. They protect the environment, and sometimes can be vindictive against someone they think treats the land badly. Elves have keen senses, especially sight and hearing. They can be judgmental and arrogant, but they can also be honorable, loyal, friendly, and fun-loving -- it kind of depends on their mood. In war, Elves are deadly archers and skilled swordsmen. I think, for EL, the Celtic culture is best for Elves, especially the Welsh Mabinogion tales. It has them living close to the land, involved with weather and the elements, keepers of secret lore/knowledge/history, and using magic in their daily lives, especially in the building of their towns and castles. Elfen social structure is based on aristocratic families.
4) Gnomes, in folklore, are a kind of urbanized pixie/elf/dwarf type character, small and light in stature, often wearing glasses or appearing very studious. They are the tailors, cobblers, tinkers, etc. -- semi-magical masters of all the basic (non-magic) skills and trades that humans also use. Gnomes are inventive and energetic, into science, technology, and education. Their cities are bustling little hubs of commerce. Usually, their only interest in warfare is the invention of new weapons, armors, castle defenses, etc. When they do go to war, they'll have all the newest, state of the art equipment. Their social structure is democratic, without a class system, maybe a meritocracy at most. They like life to be comfortable and easy -- small, round little homes with all modern conveniences, comfy clothes, etc. A good culture model might be the medieval trade guild system, or later 18th century trade associations, social clubs (like freemasons), and Protestant societies (like the Quakers) in Scandanavia, Britain and North America. I'm not sure, but I think Gnomes come from Scandanavian folklore.
5) Draegoni are associated with dragons, so their culture could be based on dragon lore. If we mix a little of Europe and Asia, we could say the Draegoni are wise. That would be their most outstanding attribute. They are philosophers, scientists, keepers of libraries and schools where highly advanced skills are taught. Legends say they are descended from dragon gods and that they have vast wealth and know where all the treasures of the world are hidden. Very tall, strong, exotic looking, Draegoni have magic in their very bones, even if they're not as into using magic as the Elves. They are pacifist in general, but maybe that's only because they do not care about what they see as the petty disputes of the other races. When they do go to war, they are strong, fierce and deadly. You do not want to make enemies of the Draegoni.
6) Orchans are kind of the ultimate "foreigners." People who come from a different land and a very, very different culture. The other races (the "mainstream") tell speculative tales about them (half human/half orc, etc). I see Orchans as the people who are native to the places the humans call "wilderness," which isn't wilderness to the Orchans at all. Since the Orchans come from the tropical islands (SRM and NRM), maybe the Pacific island cultures could be their model -- Hawaii, Samoa, etc. A big, strong, robust race of people who live in small clan-based villages supported by hunting and small farming, lead by warrior chieftans and shamanic religious leaders. Leadership is based on personal achievement, bravery, honor, and skills, with regular testing and trials to prove it. Warfare is a kind of sport to the Orchans, in which villages vie for social status against each other. Despite their warlike appearance, Orchans are generally friendly people who enjoy life's pleasures.