Elves, dwarfs, humans, and orcs all have miraculous origin stories that come off more as creation myths than plausible beginnings for their respective races. Despite superficial variations, they do share similar physiologies and traits—indicative of common ancestry in the prehistoric past. We can trace our lineage as far back as the first fish to wield a set of functioning lungs, and this may also hold true for the races of fantasy realms. But if that’s the case, then why are dwarves short and stout while orcs are sinewy and clawed? Simply put, that’s the result of evolutionary adaption in response to their environmental circumstances, inspiring the features necessary for survival.