The Great Oracle
The Great Oracle combines the most impressive architecture with the most beautiful art and riches beyond imagination. A least that's what they say, I've never been there.
Purpose / Function
The Great Oracle is where the gods talk to mere men—or at least to those who they chose to be their voice on Terenus. There is one so-called Herald per god—so thirteen in total. After being ordained, it is their duty to stay in the Great Oracle and listen to the prophecies of the Thirteen, as they are the only ones who can understand them. Besides them, only their scribes and the Holy Archivist are allowed inside the inner sanctum.
No aspect of the Oracle's design has been left to chance. That already starts with its location: It is situated on the Island of Gods, exactly so that its center axis aligns with the center of the world. From the outside, the Great Oracle is an enormous thirteen-sided building with bright white walls and a cupola of pure gold—the largest and heaviest cupola of the world. It has no windows as to not distract the Heralds from performing their holy duty. The entrance is an underground tunnel which leads to an emporium right under the center of the cupola. Said emporium is built of pure marble and from there a golden spiral staircase leads down to each of the thirteen walls. Each of the walls carries a painting showing likeness of one of the Thirteen. Thirteen feet in front of each of them is a marble throne embellished with ornate gold. This is where the Herald sits waiting for prophecies. In the cellar beneath is the library which collects all prophecies ever spoken. Its shelves are three stories tall and to the uninitiated seem to form a maze. But in fact, they are meticulously placed and ordered to allow the Holy Archivist to retrieve any prophecy within only minutes. In some distance to the outer walls of the building is a second set of high red walls that shield the Great Oracle from the eyes of all normal men as even that would already desecrate the holy ground.
To begin building the Great Oracle was the last order the Thirteen gave before they left Terenus to guard it from afar. Despite the tireless efforts of thousands of workers, it's construction only finished around 300 NV. Since then, it has been the center of the church of the Thirteen. These workers were also the last commoners to see the Oracle in all its glory. Only days later—as a consequence of the First Prophecy—the ban was instantiated. As such, all accounts of the Oracle's beauty were quotes of their tales. Within a few generations, this oral tradition led to the habit of finishing such stories by saying "A least that's what they say, I've never been there."
Temple / Religious complex
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild