In Svartalfheim live the dark elves. Cousins of the elves of Alfheim, these swarthy creatures are most similar to the high elves, being tall and sinisterly beautiful. However, unlike their light cousins, the dark elves are evil.
Their skin color ranges from darker shades of purple to lighter shades of grey, although many groups have skin as black as night. In fact, in the twilight dark elves are virtually invisible, almost undetectable unless they desire to be seen. Some have white hair and some black, some glowing red eyes while others have white eyes seemingly without pupils, and yet others have normal appearing eyes. Eerily beautiful, these elves exude a sense of wickedness cloaked in mystery.
Although associated with the dwarves by some accounts because their lands are adjoining, the dark elves really have very little to do with dwarves. While dwarves busy themselves with creating, dark elves have more to do with destruction. They make superb assassins and are said by many to derive exquisite pleasure from the torture of their captives.
In all fairness, it must be said that the majority of dark elves live by their own code of honor — much as giants do. If you bargain fairly with them, it is possible to survive an encounter with a dark elf. However, entering Svartalfheim is a risky proposition unless you are quite powerful, and even then you may well find that entering was much easier than leaving.
Female dark elves are universally attractive, beguiling men of other races easily. Their sexual capacity is legendary although their predilections and unwholesome appetites make such trysts difficult to survive. Still, men, dwarves, and elves are all fascinated with these dusky, erotic creatures.
Many if not most dark elves practice sorcery, although their magics are bent on thieving, assassination, warfare, and other dark pursuits. Some claim dark elves are necromancers, acquiring magical potency through the deaths of others. However, it is difficult to verify these claims as few survive their encounters with the dark sorcerers.
In public at least, dark elves eat what everyone else eats, normal food such as would be fit for humans as well. However, as giants do, it is rumored that dark elves dine on the flesh of the other races. It is even possible they are cannibalistic, although this is never been determined in any verifiable way.