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That's kind of the big one, isn't it. Without some serious imagination engine to engage, I'm afraid I'm stuck with the oldies but goodies. In short, I don't think I can pull off originality well enough and in a captivating enough manner (diggles?) to even attempt it - so the fallback is to maximize player recognition and familiarity with the setting.
Fortunately however, I'm approaching this from the other side of the alignment scale, so there is SOME room for creativity - but it won't be because of the world's inhabitants, just the side that you're on. So:
Militarized, tribal orcs and goblins. Chaotic demons and abyssals. Pack-oriented werewolves and other weres. Mindless skeletons and other mostly subservient undead. Close-knit and xenophobic deep dwarves. On the other side the ever favorite versatile humans, lofty elves, nosy and surefooted halflings and hulking, half-magic eloi. Finally, elusive dragons still haunt some deep places.
A player's corner of the world will be populated by whatever type of overlord settles there. Not only their chosen profession (archmage, warlord, dragon or alchemist) will determine the populace, but also their race.
As to invaders, they will be totally random. There is no restriction on where a quester may hail from in their attempt to overthrow your boss, as mentioned before - despite travel being limited and settlements isolated, questers do get some serious help from Above, so distance is not a problem for them.