Race & Gender Relations
Mostly depends on where you are.
Men and women are relatively equal, men being the traditional head of the household but it is not unheard of for a woman to do business on her own. Elves are viewed as exotic and dwarfs as stubborn but skilled. Gnomes are a novelty. Almost all orcs are seen as savages, but an occasional half orc adventurer might be different.Through merit, one can be raised in social class if recognized by sufficiently established nobility (normally awarded to an individual rather than a family line but it has happened both ways).
Magic is traditionally a man's role (as is government and business). There was a time when elves were commonly slaves and there are still many families that have elven servents as well as elven ghettos known as alienages. Dwarfs are relatively close to humans and good labourers so accepted as allies but you wouldn't want your sister to be seen in their company. Orc savages should be exterminated; after all, look at the havok they've repeatedly wrecked upon the Empire. Social classes are very strongly observed.
Very traditional and conservative. The Septum Patriarch would have it no other way. A woman should be seen on the way to her wedding and her grave and should be devoted to her household. They are largely xenophobic and susicpsious of outsiders. Orthodox faith is touted as very important though in practice certain regions are more lax than others in this and other 'conservative values', particualrly at the trading hubs along the coasts. They view their neighbours as immoral barbarians. They have no official contact with dwarfs and the elfs of Bora do not trade with them.
Dwarf Strong Holds:
Depends on the hold. Some like Kal Eisen are very open to whomever is willing to trade and contribute. Others like the current king of Karrok Dhul remain isolationists as much as possible. One of the current hot topics around the Council of Kings is how un-dwarf-like the king of Kal Eisen is. Dwarf females are just as likely to pick up a weapon or trade but their rarity leads to an overprotective streak in the males (at least until the female dwarf punches them into agreement with her). Though most dwarf females are capable of growing a beard, among the younger southern dwarfs a movement of "Her beard, her choice" has been emerging, accompanied by a number of other personal expressions of gender (more form fitting garments, facial make up) though still typically very functional over frivolity.
Elves: The Northern Elves of Bora are somewhat suspscious of the Archaens and their colonies. Merrovin had benefitted greatly from elf paternalism almost two thousand years ago but the actions of other humans have been a bitter betrayal, incluing the burning of Silver City by Dorikan of Arkea. The woodland elves of the east are less judgemental but still untrusting of outsiders.
Meanwhile in Vodarre, the elves are extremely cosmopolitan and recognized as full and equal citizens for their part in the Reconquest from foriegn powers. Elves are still held as slaves in Argea and Arkea and less commonly in Archea (though here they are treated as hereditary servants rather than strictly property as in the other two). The genders are relatively equal in most cases. Vodarre: Ever since the Reconquest, Vodarre has been under matriarchal rule, with women being the head of the monarchy and the household. Some suggest this is why so many of the moral and legal systems have broken down (leading to more than one Panrovian priest being deported or thrown in jail to rethink his position). Elves are less common but extremely integrated into the community at large. There has been some countercultural forces like Sidhe-Towns, a self imposed elven community where elves have attempted to better express their own rich cultural heritage untainted by human interference that have been a source of tension.
"Same rights for different heights" – the slogan of the more radical halflings and gnomes who are tired of not being taken seriously.