Many temples and sanctuaries have oracles. These give more-or-less cryptic advice on the future, usually in return for valuable offerings, although some of the better ones prefer arduous service to material returns. The advice given by oracles is at best based on the information available to the daimon who gives the oracle, which can be woefully incomplete. Daimons get their information from their favourites, from overhearing conversations near that which they are daimon of, from other daimons, and, best of all, from the questions and explanations of those who seek oracles.

Taking an oracle can be a dangerous step: some daimons are not above meddling in affairs to force their prophecies to come true. When a person seeks a prophecy and then attempts to prevent it from coming true, the daimon almost always intervenes to uphold its oracle. They are often rather cruel about it, usually indirect in their means, and always make sure that their opponent in this little game knows that the prophecy has been fulfilled and how.

In the Archaic Period oracles were often consulted for political advice. The results of this practice were disastrous, either because the daimons were ignorant of crucial factors, or because Pontus lobbied strongly for Thekla among the daimons.

Oracles are more reliable on matters within the scope of the daimon giving the oracle: sea-daimons can give good advice on sailing and fishing conditions, field-daimons/ are authoritative on agricultural matters, land-daimons are good advisors on the siting of homes and settlements. In addition to this, some oracles have special interests within which they are fairly expert. A certain oracle near Korfyra, for example, delights in helping romances.

Some people in the Classical and Decadent Periods still consult oracles for inappropriate matters, just as some people on Earth in the twentieth century still take guidance from astrology.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.