Soul cage

From PathfinderWiki
Soul cage
(Magic item)
Caster Level (1E) Minimum 11th
Item Level (2E) Item 12
Type Wondrous item
Slot (1E) None
Usage (2E) Held in 1 hand
Affiliation Liches

Source: Bestiary (1E), pg(s). 188f. (1E)
Book of the Dead, pg(s). 51 (2E)

A soul cage[1] is a magical box that contains within various texts written on parchment created by a powerful arcane or divine spellcaster in order to house their soul in preparation to become a lich. The prospective lich must invest considerable time researching and building their soul cage, as it will house their soul and bequeath it functional immortality.[2][2] Soul cages are the most infamous of all phylacteries.[3]


Soul cages often take the shape of sealed metal boxes that house strips of parchment upon which magical phrases are inscribed,[2] but are also commonly gems, although any object can serve.[4]


Soul cages are incredibly expensive to produce, costing upwards of 120,000 gold pieces. If a lich is destroyed, but their soul cage is not, the lich will simply reform in one to ten days near their soul cage, most likely with an intense desire to kill the person or people that caused its temporary demise.[2] The lich, therefore, makes certain to hide the soul cage very carefully, as her immortality depends upon it.[4]

Other soul cages

In place of a soul cage, psychic liches create a physical object, called a memoir, which projects their personal accomplishments into the Astral Plane and tethers this astral echo through the planes. Psychic liches can only be destroyed by using their memoir as a focus to erase their astral legend.[5]

Phylactery of the failed

A phylactery of the failed is the vessel for the soul of a creature that failed in their bid to become a lich.[6]


  1. In First Edition, this item was called lich's phylactery, or phylactery for short. In Second Edition, this terminology is depreciated and the proper term is now soul cage.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Bestiary (First Edition), p. 188–189. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
  3. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2012). Ultimate Equipment, p. 252. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-390-3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Amber Stewart, Brandon Hodge, and Steve Kenson. (2011). Undead Revisited, p. 23. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-303-3
  5. Josh Colon et al. (2015). Occult Bestiary, p. 32. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-767-3
  6. F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0