The svartalfar, or “black elves,” are roughly equivalent to the standard Pathfinder drow, or “dark elves.” There are some significant differences, however, primarily in that the svartalfar are not matriarchal and do not have any connection to a spider goddess in particular. In the world of Midhgardhur, the split between the Light-Elves and Dark-Elves is believed to have begun when some of the lords among the svartalfar decided to reject the patronage of Lord Freyur and Lady Freyja (patrons of the elves), and in their bid to be free forged dark pacts with the brood of the Jotnar. They fled Alfheimur and besieged Myrkheimur, now known as Svartalfaheimur.
Elf-shot and the Svartalfar
The legends of the North a rife with tales of “elf-shot” – the arrows of elves, fired from hiding, that bring illness and unconsciousness to mortals. These legends have their origin in the fact that the svartalfar are skilled archers, and make extensive use of poisons and sleep arrows . . . the better to take slaves back to their underground kingdoms . . .
The Music of the Svartalfar
According to legends of the North, the svartalfar are obsessed with music – often an eerie, haunting music that sounds weird and terrifying to human ears. Svartalfar frequently bear magical instruments, such as pipes of haunting, and their larger hosts will contain unearthly battle-skalds who induce panic at the sound of their war-pipes and drums . . .
The World of Svartalfaheimur
The svartalfar of Midhgardhur, rather, are descendants of the alfar – the elves – who long ago rejected the rule and patronage of Freyur and struck out on their own. They eventually took over the realm (formerly known as Myrkheimur ) that has come to be known as Svartalfaheimur – “Homeland of the Svartalfar” – a brutal subterranean realm fiercely contested by the dvergar (who seem to believe that it was their original homeland before the svartalfar came to conquer and to try to drive them out).