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What is the difference between black and grand soul gems, aside from appearance?....I remember there was a quest in oblivion about them...and you could only get them by placing grand soul gems in alters in remote locations at midnight on a full moon or something......is
there any benefits to them over grand soul gems though?
This is a little of topic, however if you go to Azura Shrine, a mage will ask you to recover the The star of Azura (which is a reusable black soul gem).
Just make sure that you return it to Nelacar found in the Frozen Hearth in Winterhold and he will repair it for you after a small quest and you then have a reusable black soul gem that traps human souls.
(Don't return it to Azura as it will only be able to capture non-human souls).