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Soul Gem (Skyrim)

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For this item in other games, see Soul Gem.
Soul gems

From left to right: Petty, Lesser, Common, Greater, Grand.

Soul Gems are naturally-occurring magic stones that house the souls of the dead. Used for enchanting weapons and armor at an arcane enchanter or for recharging previously enchanted weapons, soul gems come in various sizes and strengths: petty, lesser, common, greater, grand and black. Capturing souls in soul gems is typically done with the Soul Trap spell of the Conjuration school of Magicka, or with a weapon that has received such an enchantment. With the exception of Azura's Star and The Black Star, using a filled soul gem destroys it.

Acquisition

Soul gems can be obtained by slaying mages, magically-affiliated enemies, by purchasing them from magic shops and court wizards, mining geode veins or found as randomized loot in containers.

Mining

In Blackreach, the Dwemer underground realm, there are geode deposits. These yield soul gems with random values ranging from petty to black soul gems.

Purchasing

Filled and empty soul gems can be purchased from general goods merchants, court magicians and some members of the College of Winterhold. Filled gems are three to four times the price of empty ones.

Dungeon loot

  • In Dwemer ruins, most Dwarven automatons contain soul gems, ranging from petty to grand. They may or may not be filled.
  • Vampire Lairs
  • Nordic ruins
  • There are also a number of soul gems that can be found at the College of Winterhold, most of which cannot be taken without stealing. Becoming Arch-Mage revokes this crime, unless the soul gems are owned by another member of the college.
  • During a quest for Drevis Neloren, one to three free, empty soul gems of any size can be obtained.
  • Several unmarked locations on the world map.
  • The enemies in the Soul Cairn always drop soul gems, ranging from petty to black, which may or may not be filled.

Mechanics

Azura's Star

Azura's Star, a special soul gem.

Soul trapping

Trapping souls in soul gems requires the conjuration spell Soul Trap or a soul trap enchanted weapon. Killing an enemy with the spell cast upon them or using the enchantment draws their soul into one gem of the appropriate size. If no gem of the appropriate size exists in the inventory, the soul is captured by a higher-capacity gem. If there is no empty gem large enough, the soul is lost. An example of a weapon enchanted with the ability to capture souls is the Mace of Molag Bal. In Dawnguard, souls can be captured by activating a soul fissure in the Soul Cairn, so long as an empty soul gem is in the inventory.

Bound weapons

Bound weapons such as the bound sword or bow can automatically soul trap attacked enemies if the Conjuration perk, Soul Stealer, has been taken.

Soul size

Soul size is determined by enemy type. Generally, smaller or lower-leveled creatures possess lesser, petty, or common souls, such as foxes, Falmer or chaurus. Larger or higher-leveled creatures possess greater or grand souls, such as mammoths (grand) or giants (greater).

Humanoid races possess grand souls, but can only be trapped in a black soul gem or the Daedric artifact the Black Star, which is obtained through the quest of the same name. Falmer, draugr and Rieklings are an exception, as their souls may be captured in standard gems.

Types

Soul gems are separated into types based on the capacity they can carry. The soul gem types are petty, lesser, common, greater, grand and black.

Name Weight Value Capacity Trappable souls
Azura's Star 0 1000 3000 Can hold any soul, excluding those of Humanoids. (e.g. Argonians, Khajiit, Men, Mer, etc.)
The Black Star 0 1000 3000 Is said to only hold souls of humanoids, but in fact can hold any soul.
Petty Soul Gem 0.1 10 250 Can hold creature souls below level 4.
Lesser Soul Gem 0.2 25 500 Can hold creature souls below level 16.
Common Soul Gem 0.3 50 1000 Can hold creature souls below level 28.
Greater Soul Gem 0.4 100 2000 Can hold creature souls below level 38.
Grand Soul Gem 0.5 200 3000 Can hold any soul, excluding those of Humanoids
Black Soul Gem 1 500 3000 Can hold any soul, including those of Humanoids.
Soul Gem Fragment 0.1 5 0 Cannot hold souls.

Souls

The following are creatures that give souls:

Petty Souls

Chicken
Cow
Deer
Dog
Draugr
Elk
Fox
Frostbite Spider
Goat
Horker
Mudcrab
Rabbit
Sabre Cat
Skeever
Skeleton

Slaughterfish

Wisp
Wolf

Lesser Souls

Alpha Wolf
Bear
Chaurus
Draugr Overlord
Draugr Wight
Falmer
Falmer Skulker
Flame Atronach
Giant Frostbite Spider
Horse
Ice Wolf
Ice Wraith
Restless Draugr
Spriggan
Troll
Werewolf
Wounded Frostbite Spider

Common Souls

Cave Bear
Chaurus Reaper
Curalmil
Draugr Deathlord
Draugr Scourge
Draugr Scourge Lord
Falmer Gloomlurker
Falmer Nightprowler
Falmer Shadowmaster
Frost Atronach
Frost Troll
Hagraven
Hulking Draugr
Riekling

DB

Snow Bear
Spriggan Matron
Udefrykte

Greater Souls

Chaurus Hunter
Draugr Deathlord
Giant
Storm Atronach
Wispmother
Burnt Spriggan

DB

Grand Souls

Corrupted Shade
Daedra
Dragon Priest
Draugr Death Overlord
Falmer Warmonger

DG

Guardian Saerek
Guardian Torsten
Mammoth
Riekling Charger

DB

Black Soul Gems

In addition to the creatures above, black soul gems can be used for gathering humanoid souls such as:

After a black soul gem is used, the soul used is sent to the Soul Cairn, a plane of Oblivion where only the dead and the undead can exist, under normal circumstances.

Trivia

  • The soul gem designs appear similar to Aura Quartz, special quartz crystals that are put in a high temperature vacuum and have had either gold, titanium, iron or other metals fused on in powdered form. It gives the crystal different colours of metallic sheen, varying from transparent to opaque.

Bugs

This section contains bugs related to Soul Gem (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  •  PC   360   PS3 Soul gems that have been self-filled (using the Soul Trap enchantment or spell) can lose their souls when dropped or stored in containers. They also will not stack (i.e. each one appears separately in inventory). This happens regardless of whether the soul is the "proper" size for the gem (e.g. a common soul in a common soul gem).
    • The only workaround for this is to keep all self-filled soul gems in inventory. Despite claims to the contrary, this has not been fixed in any patch.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Soul Gem (Skyrim)

  • Ethics of soul gems?

    41 messages
    • Smoking.Chimp wrote:How are you sure that wasn't at night? Or while it was cloudy. It is often cloudy in Skyrim.
    • I think it is worth being careful about what we choose to accept about the Falmer. For example, something which is rather more telling about ...
  • Gem of the (insert land formation here)

    6 messages
    • So what is the mod and what do the gems do? (If anything)
    • Well, if you know the Legend of Zelda, there's a mod that adds in the Terminan Shield & I did find out that there's two more gems to grab. ...

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