The Soul Cairn as seen in Dawnguard.

The Soul Cairn is one of the many planes of Oblivion. The realm houses the souls of beings trapped by Black Soul Gems. Rather than belonging to a Daedric Prince, it is controlled by a group of beings known as the Ideal Masters.

By game[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

A Crystal Tower, the corporeal form of the Ideal Masters

The Ideal Masters are enigmatic entities that lord over the Soul Cairn, little to nothing is actually known about these Ideal Masters; what they are, where they came from, or even what they look like, they control every aspect of the Soul Cairn. It is believed that the Soul Cairn exists so that the Ideal Masters can collect souls and feed on them;[1] some hypotheses even suggest they use the souls as a form of currency to an even higher power.[2]

According to Valerica, many Necromancers make deals with the Ideal Masters in hopes of getting immense necromantic power. Unfortunately, these Necromancers are usually tricked by the Ideal Masters and end up trapped in the Soul Cairn forever.

Physical appearance[edit | edit source]

Inside the Soul Cairn.

The Soul Cairn is a gloomy and dark area. The sky is perpetually bleak and cloudy, and lightning strikes constantly throughout the realm. There is no sun in the sky, but instead a single moon and a huge black circular void. The whole land is covered by a blueish and purple misty aura and is filled with graveyards, burial chambers, mausoleums, chapels, a great wall and a few castle structures. The Soul Cairn is barren and dry, with only dead trees, bushes and soul fissures scattered throughout the realm.

Souls and Creatures[edit | edit source]

A Wrathman.

During the events of An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, while journeying through the Soul Cairn, The Apprentice is confronted to Ghosts, Morphoid Daedra, Skeletons and Wraiths.

Much later, during the Fourth Era, in the quest "Chasing Echoes" the Dragonborn will meet many souls, one of them is the soul of Jiub, from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind; there is also, the soul of the merchant Morven Stroud. The Dragonborn may also help a frantic soul, who asks to find and free Arvak, a skeletal horse. The Dragonborn met Durnehviir, an undead dragon, and a vampire, named Valerica. The Soul Cairn is populated by many other less friendly creatures, such as the Bonemen, the Wrathmen, the Mistmen, the Keepers, and hidden in its lair, the Reaper.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dialogue with Valerica
  2. Dialogue with Serana
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