Azura’s Star is one of the earliest available Daedric artifacts in Skyrim and is also one of the most useful. Having an infinite Soul Gem from the start of the game is extremely valuable and can save you a lot of time, and money when it comes to getting a head start on your Enchantment skill.
I’ve put together this Azura’s Star guide to help walk you through the quest you need to complete to get the star, and how to use it. It’s one of my favorite Daedric artifacts in all of Skyrim purely because of how useful it is. It’s one of the rare unique items that I actually use rather than lock up in my trophy room, and that’s really saying something.
The sooner you get the star, the more use you get from it. So, try not to waste too much time before you go to get it.
Key Details Up Front
- Location: Ilinalta’s Deep
- Cost: None (quest completion).
- Features: Acts as a refillable Grand Soul Gem.
- Related Quests: The Black Star.
- Related Characters: Azura, Aranea Ineith, Malyn Varen, Nelacar.
- Item Type: Soul Gem.
Very little is known about Azura’s Star, including its origin and creation. All we really know about it is that it’s the artifact of the Daedric Prince Azura and that it returns to Azura in Oblivion every few hundred years or so.
Beyond that, and the star’s ability to house White Souls, we know next to nothing about it. There is a loose timeline of the star’s owners, but it does not appear in any major historical capacity in Tamriel. It is, perhaps, one of the most mysterious Daedric artifacts for this reason. However, whether this mystery is intentional, or simply a result of a lack of worldbuilding, is unclear.
White Grand Souls
Azura’s Star’s big selling point is that it acts as a reusable Grand Soul Gem. With regular Soul Gems, you only get one use before the gem breaks. However, using a soul trapped in Azura’s Star empties it rather than breaking it, allowing you to refill it indefinitely.
However, its counterpart The Black Star is capable of trapping Black Souls, while Azura’s Star cannot. This means that your only source of Grand Souls will be high-level animals like Mammoths.
The Black Star
Speak with Aranea Zenith at the Shrine of Azura
The quest tied to Azura’s Star is called The Black Star. To get this quest, you’re going to need to take a quick trip to the Shrine of Azura. The shrine is just South of Winterhold, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. You can head there right at the beginning of the game, too, although you’ll struggle to complete the quest on higher difficulties without some decent stats and gear.
When you arrive at the shrine, you’ll be greeted by a Dark Elf named Aranea Ienith. She’ll tell you that your meeting is faith and that Azura has chosen you as her Champion. Yes, it sounds suspicious, but the Dragonborn is perhaps the most naive person ever to grace the land of Tamriel. So, naturally, you believe her.
Aranea will send you off to Winterhold in search of an elven mage capable of working on Azura’s Star, which as of right now isn’t in any working state.
In Winterhold, you have a couple of options. If you head to the college, you can speak with Faralda or Sergius. Either of these will point you towards a High Elf named Nelacar that is currently living in the Frozen Hearth Inn. Alternatively, you can head to the Inn first and speak to the innkeeper. He will also point you towards Nelacar.
Lastly, you can just head to Nelacar directly. He’ll be wandering around the Frozen Hearth Inn, inside the town of Winterhold rather than the college.
Speak with Nelacar
Speak with Nelacar. He’ll be hesitant to tell you anything about Azura’s Star at first. So, you’ll have to either persuade him, intimidate him, or bribe him into giving up the information you’re after.
Once you get him to open up, Nelcar will tell you that his former master, Malyn Varen, was experimenting with Azura’s Star. He’ll also tell you that the last location of both Malyn and the star is Ilinalta’s Deep. So, that’s exactly where you’re going.
Fight Through Ilinalta’s Deep
Ilinalta’s Deep is no easy dungeon, especially for low-level players. You can find the dungeon in the big lake South of Whiterun and North of Falkreath. It’s towards the Northwest part of the lake and is so big you shouldn’t be able to miss it.
Ilinalta’s Deep is broken into two sections. The second section, Ilinalta’s Deluge, is blocked by a boulder prior to starting The Black Star. Given that it’s the location of Azura’s Star, this means you can’t just head there directly before speaking to Aranea of Nelacar.
Inside, you’re going to have to fight a bunch of Conjurers and Necromancers. These guys are no pushovers, and there are a handful of high-level ones at certain points in the dungeon. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to fight an Ice Mage at level five, but I promise you it’s not a fun experience. If you’re not prepared for this quest, the enemies will kill you in literally seconds, from range.
Keep your eyes open as you make your way through the Deep. There are a few flooded sections with locked chests underwater, as well as some valuable loot like a Breathing Water Arcane Tome. The loot inside the chests will be random, but there are some decent static goodies lying around the place. Plus, the Deep is home to a ton of Soul Gems. You won’t need many of these after this quest, but you can always sell them on for some easy cash.
Ilinalta’s Deluge is no different from the Deep. You’ll have to take care of some more Conjurers and Skeletons, which again will give you trouble if you’re not adequately leveled and geared up for fighting magic users.
At the end of the dungeon, you’ll find Malyn Varen looking a bit worse-for-wear. Specifically, you’ll find his skeleton. Next to his skeleton is his Grimoire, if you want to give that a read. Next to the Grimoire will be the Broken Azura Star. Take the star and make your way back outside.
Bring the Star to Nelacar or Aranea
During your earlier conversation with Nelacar, he will have told you about how all the Daedra are evil and how Azura’s Star drove Malyn insane.
Now, anyone that knows their lore will realize that Azura is actually one of the three “good Daedra” and used to be worshipped as such by the Dunmer, with many of them still revering her as a goddess. Still, good and evil are terms that mean nothing to the Daedra, so it’s not like Nelacar is lying exactly.
Either way, you’ll be presented with a choice here. You can either bring the Broken Star back to Nelacar in the Frozen Hearth Inn or to Aranea at the Shine of Azura.
Bringing the Star to Nelacar
For the Oblivion Walker achievement, it doesn’t matter who you bring the star back to. While the rewards for each are different, both count towards it.
For the more practical people out there, you’ll want to bring the star back to Nelacar. Once you finish the quest with him, you’ll get the Broken Star back as The Black Star. This version of the star is capable of capturing Black Souls. Black Souls count as Grand Souls and they are extremely common. Otherwise, you’ll get Azura’s Star. Azura’s Star isn’t capable of capturing Black Souls, instead relying on regular Grand Souls.
You’ll have much better access to Grand-level souls with The Black Star, but the choice is ultimately up to you.
Bringing the Star to Aranea
If you bring the Broken Star back to Aranea at the Shine of Azura, you’ll be presented with Azura’s Star at the end of the quest. As I’ve just said, that means you lose out on access to Black Souls. Objectively, it’s a worse variant of the star in all conceivable metrics. However, for roleplay purposes, this does mean you’ll be Azura’s Champion.
As a consolation prize, however, you will get access to Aranea as a follower. She’s pretty competent in combat, so that might be a deal-maker for you.
Defeat Malyn Varen
Regardless of who you bring the Broken Star back to, you’ll be transported inside the star to confront Malyn Varen. Malyn managed to transfer his soul into the star and has gone a little bit nutty as a result. This fight is more difficult than any you faced in the Deep. Not only do you have to deal with Malyn’s spells, but he also has three Dremora Churls that you’ll need to deal with.
If possible, you should try to rush down Malyn and kill him as soon as possible. As soon as he’s dead, you’ll be pulled out of the star regardless of what state the Dremora are in. Otherwise, you’ll have to take your time, picking off each of the Churls one by one. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed here, so don’t be afraid to try multiple different approaches.
Regardless of how you deal with Malyn, you’ll be pulled out of the star once he’s defeated. You’ll then be rewarded with your star of choice depending on who you gave the Broken Star to, and The Black Star quest will complete.
Azura’s Star Ability
Infinite Soul Gem
So, what does Azura’s Star actually do? Well, it effectively acts as an infinite Grand Soul Gem. It can store a trapped soul, like any other Soul Gem, but it doesn’t break when you enchant or refill a weapon with it. Instead, it empties, allowing you to refill it indefinitely.
Needless to say, this is incredibly powerful. It allows you to, more or less, maintain 100% uptime on all of your enchantments. It does have some rules attached to it that you need to be aware of, though.
First, Azura’s Star will fill up before any Soul Gem in your inventory. This means that you can end up trapping a pretty mediocre soul in it if you’re not careful. If you’re only aiming for high-level souls, you’ll either need to prioritize those targets, or you’ll have to switch to a non-soul trapping weapon.
Secondly, while it can trap Grand Souls, it can’t trap Black Souls. Black Souls are a special type of soul in Skyrim commonly associated with humans. Black Souls are always Grand-level, making them incredibly powerful and much more abundant than White Grand Souls.
Given that Azura’s Star can only trap White Grand Souls, that means you’re limited to creatures like Mammoths for your high-level souls. Azura’s Black Star counterpart, on the other hand, is capable of storing Black Souls, making it the superior version of the star.
How to Obtain
Complete The Black Star Quest
To get your hands on Azura’s Star, you’re going to need to complete The Black Star quest. This is Azura’s Daedric artifact quest and can be accessed right at the beginning of the game. It’s easy to find, too, being located at the Shrine of Azura just south of Winterhold. I included a complete walkthrough of The Black Star earlier in this Azura’s Star guide.
The quest brings you to Ilinalta’s Deep, the location that houses the broken version of Azura’s Star. However, the room that the star is located in is blocked off until you progress through The Black Star, making it mandatory to complete if you want Azura’s Star.
Question: Should I bring Azura’s Star to Azura or Nelacar?
Answer: Ultimately, the choice depends on your approach to playing Skyrim. If you bring the star to Azura, she will name you her champion, reward you with Azura’s Star, and you will be able to recruit Aranea Ienith as a companion. However, bringing it to Nelacar will reward you with The Black Star, a superior version of Azura’s Star. Both options count towards the Oblivion Walker achievement. So, if you don’t mind not being Azura’s Champion, then Nelacar is the better option.
Question: Which is better, Azura’s Star or The Black Star?
Answer: Objectively, The Black Star is better than Azura’s Star. While Azura’s Star can only capture White Grand Souls, The Black Star can trap Black Souls. These souls are always Grand-level and are much more common than White Grand Souls.
Question: How do you use Azura’s Star?
Answer: You use Azura’s Star the same way you would use any Soul Gem. When you kill an enemy with a Soul Trap weapon or cast a Soul Trap spell on them, their soul will fill Azura’s Star upon their death. Then, in the enchantment menu, you can use it to either enchant a new piece of gear or refill a currently enchanted weapon. Unlike regular Soul Gems, however, Azura’s Star will not break after use, allowing you to refill it.
Azura’s Star Guide: Conclusion
That’s all I have for you in this Azura’s Star guide. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most useful items in Skyrim, it’s got a distinct lack of backstory or lore. That’s a shame, too, given that Azura is uniquely situated as one of three “good” Daedric Princes.
It’s still an incredibly valuable item, though, and one that you should definitely search out during your playthrough. Hopefully, this guide will make the process of obtaining and using it as simple as possible.