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On Nirn (or at the very least in Tamriel), soul gems seem to be extremely common as they're found in almost any shop anywhere.

As I remember, the only source of new soul gems is the geode mining nodes in Blackreach.

Is this (and similar areas across Nirn) the sole source of soul gems in the world?

How come there are so many in circulation if they're only found in such remote locations (and seeing how they're destroyed upon use)?

Official quotes and sources much appreciated

  • Soul gems are used to trade souls for power with the ideal masters, rulers of the Soul Cairn, which a plane of Oblivion dedicated to housing the souls trapped by soul gems. I don't have any lore to back it up, but given the nature of soul gems and their relationship to the ideal masters, the ideal masters are likely the original source of soul gems. Soul gems are certainly plentiful while traversing the Soul Cairn. – msg45f Jul 4 '15 at 23:20
  • The player needs plenty of them. Thats why they sell many to you. I dont think that it was important to the developer to consider this fact you pointed out. – BlueWizard Jul 5 '15 at 6:04
6

Soul Gems where originally created by Molag Bal (Full text). Whether he discovered how to shape the crystal or created it is not clear.

Beside that, it seems that the consensus is that they are mined from the ground around Blackreach and Solstheim, where magical ores (Aethernium, Ebony and Heart stone) are found. Maybe they are also found in other parts of the world and imported in Skyrim. Keep in mind that Nirn is built from the bodies of gods, so unusual crystal formations and extensive caverns can be expected.

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  • Right, so that's one indication of the original source. It's possible as you say that they're just so plentiful that the market is oversaturated (perhaps enchanters (people) are in reality quite rare, and only certain people, such as the Dragonborn, actually consume them). – Svj0hn Jul 8 '15 at 7:09
6

Well, I can answer part of your question. Pretty much, soul gems are crystallized formations of energy, they form in oblivion, they then bleed through into the physical world, through weaker spots in reality, the weakest places are in blackreach. I do not, however know how the shopkeepers are somehow able to have access to them so readily. This probably didn't help, but I hope it did.

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  • Well, it clarified some things. Still, the mystery of the abundance of soul gems puzzles me. – Svj0hn Jul 6 '15 at 7:00
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    Is there a source for this information? – Deltharis Jul 8 '15 at 7:35
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Shopkeepers have plenty of them because the Player needs plenty of them. The story of the gems exists ro make them sound cool and mysterious.

It might be completely wrong from an logical point but logical when you consider that the deleopers want you to have as much fun with them as possible

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