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Ysgard Layer
Order: Third
Realms: Svartalfheim

The third layer of Ysgard is Nidavellir. It is an “underground” realm crisscrossed by warm tunnels, heated by hot springs and geysers. The wild regions are crowded with underground forests of strange woods that need no sun, only heat, to grow. Vast caverns run through veins of clear quartz, and deep holds are studded with shining mica and pyrite. Precious and semiprecious minerals are strewn across the floor of some lengths of runnel and even entire caverns. Dwarven and gnome kingdoms divide up most of Nidavellir. Most of the layer's inhabitants are mortals, but petitioners are common as well. It is a place of fiery furnaces, ringing anvils, and constant striving for perfection in the crafts of smithing, runecrafting, and magic. Its halls resound with the chanting voices of dwarves and the lilting songs of gnomes. Though the two races are rivals often given to war, they unite when confronted by their underground enemies: the dark elves of Svartalfheim.


Called Svartalfar, the dark elves of Ysgard are similar to drow in abilities and appearance. They live beneath the earth and shun the light. They do not use javelins or crossbows of any type, do not carry adamantine maces, do not use poison, or have any of the cultural or religious particulars of drow. The svartalfar live in underground communities organized much like normal human communities. Though the gnomes and dwarves think the worst of the dark elves, the allegiances of the Svartalfar are not as evil as many travelers might think. They are neutral to evil in behavior, in general preferring to remain out of human affairs. Like others of this layer, they merely wish to be left alone and they don't take kindly to unannounced visitors or trespassers.

Ysgard Layers

Ysgard . Muspelheim . Nidavellir