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Oracular Order

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Urns02

Urns containing the ashes of the two High Oracles.

The Oracular Order is a division of the Abbey of the Everyman that consists entirely of women. Though its chapels are not as numerous as those of the Overseers, the Oracular Order is spread far and wide, with operations in Gristol and Serkonos.[1]

Informally known as the "Blind Sisters", the focus of the Order is the interpretation of prophecies and divination of the future. Described as "intellectually vibrant within",[1] the true culture surrounding the Order remains a secret to the non-initiated. Though it is believed that the Sisters have "prophetic visions, which guide the Abbey of the Everyman",[1] in truth the "intellectually curious" and "ruthlessly analytical"[2] women spend their time studying history and politics, using the knowledge they have gained through their academic pursuits to make decisions, as well as enriching their understanding of these topics by debating them among themselves.[1]

Oracles have great influence over the Abbey, as advice given by the Order is endorsed with "complete confidence" by the High Overseer.[1]

High Oracle

Just as the Overseers of the Abbey are led by a High Overseer, the Order is headed by a High Oracle. The process by which this leader is selected remains a secret of the Oracular Order. The location of this unnamed individual is kept hidden as well, some even believing that she does not stay in one single place, but travels among the various chapels of the Isles.[1]

Known High Oracles:

  • Gwen Horncroft - Founded the Oracular Order. Lost to insanity in her later years.[3]
  • Dalia Somonos - First Serkonan inducted to the Order, and founded a chapel in her homeland. Killed by followers of the Outsider.[4]

Practices

Cloistered Gathering

Decisions are made during a Cloistered Gathering, a practice none besides the Sisters are permitted to observe. A room is prepared with heavy incense and blessings from the Strictures in a circle sit thirty or more Sisters until the room is completely packed. No topic will be heard until every Sister has time to research. Several outcomes are discussed and some Sisters are tasked with advancing less popular or unlikely scenarios. At which point every Sister voices her opinion, as none are permitted to be silent. It may take some time but by the end every Sister is quite versed in the myriad consequences and may have lengthy advice for all contingencies. When an opinion is written, it may be as short as a sentence or fill twenty pages, yet even then the High Oracle must approve it.

Trivia

  • In their "pursuit of wisdom", some Sisters choose to meditate or to ingest hallucinogenic substances along with their studies.[1]
  • According to developer Harvey Smith, though some believe that the Sisters are literally blind, as evidenced by dialogue heard from civilians around Karnaca, in actuality they are "blind to the diversions of the world", meaning their vision is clearer than that of the non-initiated.[1]
  • Like the Overseers, the Sisters of the Oracular Order are trained in combat, wielding "maces, terminating in a single open eye".[1]
  • The Oraculum allows its user to listen to the Sisters' prophecies.

References

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