From PathfinderWiki
See also: Mortality, soul, aether, and planar essence
A map of the River of Souls.

Quintessence is the aligned substance that forms the Outer Planes12 and is the metaphysical material from which souls are formed.2

Formation and dissolution

As souls pass from death to judgment and into the Outer Planes, they lose their individuality and become quintessence of the plane to which they arrive. After their existence in that plane ends, their spiritual material is recycled through the Antipode in the Maelstrom into pure, unaligned potentiality before reforming as new quintessence in Creation's Forge, becoming the protomatter of new souls and continuing the cycle.2345

Upon any outsider's destruction, its aligned quintessence—along with its compiled knowledge and beliefs—is absorbed into its home plane, or often into other planes if destroyed away from its home plane.45

As matter

Quintessence can take any form on the Universe and appear alive, if without inherent intelligence.1 Quintessence can also be a component in conjuration magic, particularly summoning.6

Some forms of quintessence can be fashioned into physical objects, such as warpglass formed from the chaotic quintessence of the Maelstrom.7 The axiomite sculptor Syndara used chaotic quintessence as a medium in his private demiplane.8

Component of outsiders

See also: Shade and outsider

When merged with a soul, a plane's quintessence assumes that soul's alignment and creates an outsider. Most become shades of a specific plane after judgment and assignment by Pharasma, taking a form consistent with that plane's templates. Souls particularly attuned to a plane become more specific types of outsiders related to the plane.15


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 F. Wesley Schneider. “The River of Souls” in Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh, 69. Paizo Inc.,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 209. Paizo Inc.,
  3. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Tools” in Gamemastery Guide, 141. Paizo Inc.,
  4. 4.0 4.1 F. Wesley Schneider. “The River of Souls” in Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh, 71. Paizo Inc.,
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 F. Wesley Schneider. “The River of Souls” in Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh, 73. Paizo Inc.,
  6. Logan Bonner, et al. “1: Essentials of Magic” in Secrets of Magic, 21. Paizo Inc.,
  7. Jim Groves, et al. “Player Rules” in Ruins of the Radiant Siege, 74–75. Paizo Inc.,
  8. James Case. “King of the Mountain” in King of the Mountain, 56. Paizo Inc.,