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What are the advantages and disadvantages of each version of Azura's Star?

I am starting The Black Star Quest and I see that the reward is a Broken Azura's Star.

SPOILER ALERT

Bringing it to Aranea Ienith makes it Azura's Star that can capture only creature souls. Instead, bringing it to Nelacar makes it The Black Star that can only capture black souls i.e human souls that are always Grand. (Are there other type of black souls?)

From my search I see that, black soul gems are not rare but I have played Skyrim for a few hours (reached Level 30) and still found just one! Where as Grand soul gems are easier to find but very hard to fill with 'grand souls'.

At first glance The Black Star sounds much better as there are a lot of humans, like bandits, available to full it with. In comparison, to fill Azura's Star one doesnt need to go looking for humans to kill, also morally good, as there are all kinds of creatures available to slay specially during fights.

Interestingly, if one goes for The Black Star then we dont get the option to have Aranea Ienith as a follower.

Overall, it seems like that Azura's Star is better for recharging stuff and The Black Star for enchanting.

My question is, which choice is better in the long run?

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Apparently The Black Star can capture any kind of soul at the moment. –  agf Nov 30 '11 at 10:20
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marked as duplicate by Mr Smooth, The Communist Duck, OrigamiRobot, z -, Ian Pugsley Nov 30 '11 at 14:27

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Depends on what you want.

In the long run, you're going to have a TON of money left. I'm about level 36, yet to complete any major storylines except the Thieves Guild, and have 78,000 gold (and 80 iron daggers to enchant for 900 each, and 50 dwarven bows for about 1500 each)

Money stops becoming a huge issue and you can simply buy more from vendors.

Also, the amount of creatures you can actually get grand souls from are very small - I believe it's giants, mammoths, dragons (maybe?), and maybe some high level daedra. In comparison, you can get the same soul from bandits, sneak killing guards, or killing sprees.

In the long run, I would choose the black star - soul gems become so common in the later game in comparison to black ones (I have found 2 black ones, and 60+ others).

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I've personally found plenty of grand and black soul gems, so I don't need either of those.

However I find the Black Star more useful, since every simple bandit, foresworn or whatnot has a grand soul that fills the Black Star fully with tasty soul energy.

Whereas white souls usually come in smaller sizes: most random encounters are petty or small souls. Those could still be useful for recharging items, but why go with the smaller ones when you'll get attacked by sentient humanoids often enough anyway?

So unless you really want that follower, I'd suggest going for the Black Star.

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