Svartalves (sg. Svartalf)[Footnote 1] are north-European faerie craftsmen from the Svartalfheim kingdom in the Nevernever. They are first mentioned in Dead Beat and first appear in "B is for Bigfoot".
Svartalves are peerless artisans of the supernatural world. They are very private and independent and they "tolerate absolutely no nonsense". They are not very generous. "No one wants to get on the bad side of a Svartalf." They are very fond of beautiful things and creatures, including humans and other humanoids. In Lea's words "A svartalf lusts after beauty like a dragon does for gold." They look like grey little aliens, although the females are a bit more human looking, with attractive features and long silver hair, but they can and do wear a flesh human disguise much the same way the Red Court Vampires did.
Their craftwares are sold out of a shop in Norway. They are very powerful and skilled in the Magical Art.(reference needed)
Svartalves can be prickly about their territory, and take their honor very seriously and are very old school; they are known to react very badly to anyone violating guest right.(reference needed)
Svartalves covet beauty the way dragons covet gold; they also accept sexual favors as payment for certain favors, or compensation for certain transgressions. Thomas Raith is required to pleasure Svartalf females when he has been caught spying in their fortress, while Freya[Footnote 3] had to do the same with most if not all Svartalves to pay for the restitution of her necklace.
In Bombshells, they're described as craftmen providing the Norvgian gods with weapons and armor, and such fighters as having few opponents, including Harry Dresden, willing to tackle them. They also covet beauty the same way dragons covet gold; the goddess Freya had to ransom her jewels by sharing her bed with each and every Svartalf interested in doing so.
Waldo Butters describes them as being [Footnote 4] alien but looking human, since they're capable to wear flesh masks. The lore surrounding them is however very extensive and contradictory, and next to nothing is known for sure about their motivations.
In the seriesEdit
"B is for Bigfoot"Edit
- Main article: B is for Bigfoot
Under the guidance of Coach Pete Vogon, two scions of a human and a svartalf are harassing Irwin Pounder to hone their hunting skill. Though limited by Coach Vogon's injunctions, Harry Dresden takes Irwin under his wing, allowing the boy to stand up to them.
- Main article: Dead Beat
In Dead Beat,
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- Main article: Proven Guilty
- Main article: Changes
In Changes, the summoning ring in Harry Dresden's laboratory has been upgraded to a five foot hoop of braided copper, silver, and iron. It cost Harry three grand from a svartalf silversmith, mainly as a compensation for working with iron.
"Each metal strand in the braid was inscribed with sigils and runes in formulae that harnessed and controlled magical energies to a far greater degree than any simple circle. Each strand had its own string of symbols were so tiny and precise that only a svartaf or maybe an Intel could have pulled it off. Flickers of light slithered around each strand of metal, red light, blue and green dancing and intertwining in continuous spirals."
- Main article: Bombshells
In Bombshells, the center of their activity in Chicago is a fortress they have built themselves, where Molly Carpenter has tracked the presence of Thomas Raith. A party has been launched for the signing of a non-aggression pact with the Fomors.
- Main article: Cold Days
In Cold Days, Molly Carpenter's apartment was built for her by Svartalves. She said she bought it with honor. Harry thought they wouldn’t be happy if he dragged a personal fight with Fix at Molly Carpenter's apartment should Fix come looking for him there. Murphy said that Molly's place is "under aegis of “Svartalfheim” no one gets in without major assault." Molly has to go with Thomas each and every time he leaves or return to her apartment or they won't let him back in.