oracles Condition in Scarterra | World Anvil


Rules of Acquisition #208 stated "Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer."   -Star Trek Ferengi Rules of Acquistion
    An oracle is a mortal who can ask a direct question to one or more of the Nine and occasionally receive a mostly direct answer in return. Some oracles are born and some oracles are made.   If an anointed or favored soul acquires the Divination domain and masters all five levels of it, he or she can become an oracle. These are the oracles that are made.   Most oracles are born not made. Certain individuals are either born with or given the gift of prophecy at some point later in life, usually but not always developing their Second Sight at a young age though some have gotten their Second Sight as old men or old women.  Whether they receive their Second Sight at a young age or an old age, it is very common for oracles to receive their oracular gift after suffering a traumatic event.   These sorts of oracles rarely have any supernatural abilities beyond their Second Sight and are often otherwise completely unremarkable people outside of their oracle status.       Oracles of either type can go into a trance to ask a question from above.  The nature of this trance varies from person to person and from deity to deity.  An oracle of Maylar is likely to have to suffer some kind of hardship or pain to receive a vision, or perhaps the petitioner must go through an ordeal instead of or in addition to oracle.  An oracle of Mera may require fasting or simple meditation.  This process usually takes at least ten minutes but can take hours or days.  Even then, it's possible that the deity in question refuses to give an answer to the question.   Other times, oracles can get visions with no ritual preparation, seemingly at the whim of their divine patron they will blurt out answers to questions that were not asked.  Thus, many decide it is wise to keep someone near an oracle at all times just in case.     Most oracles have a line of communication to only one god or goddess.  NamiKhemra, and Korus have the most oracles, but each of the Nine has at least a few oracles at any given time.   The most respected and feared oracles are the oracles that channel all of the Nine and not just one deity.  Most of these oracles are born, not made though a rare few theurgists of the Cult of the Compact manage to become oracles.  Oracles of the Nine collectively tend to receive fewer divine visions than other oracles but the revelations they do receive are usually of a grander scale than other oracles.  

Are the Nine Omniscient?

  No, they are not omniscient.   They are really wise and they know far more than even the wisest mortals but they don't know everything.  An oracle can not answer a question that her divine patron does not know.   Even if the Nine know something, they don't have to answer something just because an oracle asks the question.  They can always refuse to answer a question.  If an oracle (and by proxy a deity) does not answer a question it is near impossible to tell if it is because the deity can't answer the question, or because the deity won't answer the question.     Deities can also use their oracles to lie, but this is exceedingly rare.  They only lie if they believe this can advance some very important plan of theirs for the "greater good" (however the deity in question defines the "greater good").   It is believed that the Nine can eavesdrop on the oracles of other deities fairly easily if not constantly. If a deity catches another deity telling a lie via an oracle, this is practically an open invitation for the rest of the Nine to interfere with the lying god's or goddess' machinations.

Transmission & Vectors

Born oracles appear seemingly at random, though they are more likely to be born to pious families than impious families.  Sometimes family lines are said to be have the oracle trait in them, but these lines often have the Second Sight skip one or more generations.   Made oracles, usually become oracles after prestigious adventuring careers.

Cultural Reception

As a direct embodiment of the Nine's power, oracles are often both respected and feared.     Some oracles have curses or handicaps seemingly unrelated to their Second Sight, but too many oracles have handicaps for this to be a pure coincidence.  Some believe all oracles are cursed, just some are cursed more subtly than others.  Some believe these curses are contagious or at the very least they recognize that sometimes they won't like what the oracle has to say.   Oracles are usually allowed to go where they please or to set up a place of residence to allow petitioners to visit them freely.  In the past kings and warlords have tried to imprison oracles to monopolize their source of divine knowledge, but princes who try to do this often meet very grim fates so in the current era, very few princes try to bind an oracle.

Scaraquan Oracles

    Oracles, while still rare, are moderately more common in Scaraqua than ScarterraDalgariMangcha, Heekma, and Taedi have the most oracles but every deity in Scaraqua has at least a few.   Superstitions around oracles are even more extreme in Scaraqua, they are even more respected and feared.  Scaraquans will often go to great lengths to not harm an oracle but they will also often go to great lengths not to socialize with an oracle.   There are no Scaraquan oracles that channel of all the gods but there are rare few that collectively channel the three Seeyirah
Chronic, Acquired & Congenital

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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