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.
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", 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", in truth the "intellectually curious" and "ruthlessly analytical" 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.
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.
Known High Oracles:
- Gwen Horncroft - Founded the Oracular Order. Lost to insanity in her later years.
- Dalia Somonos - First Serkonan inducted to the Order, and founded a chapel in her homeland. Killed by followers of the Outsider.
- Pelagia Themis - The High Oracle of the Order by 1851.
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.
The Return of Daud
In 1851, High Oracle Pelagia Themis asked Sister Kara to perform a Ritual of Prophecy in order to detect any heretical influence that seeks to distort the Order's prophecies. The plan worked, confirming Themis' theory, as an inexperienced Kara was transfixed and almost killed by a twisted vision:
- "I see... I see it! I can see it! I... I see... I see... I see shadows. Many shadows, blue and dark. I see light, blue and bright. I see... there is a path, a way forward, but it is blocked. There is a curtain. A veil. A veil of blue. The veil... it moves. I can see... hands? I can see hands. There are many hands. They move behind the veil. Pushing. Clawing. Pulling at the veil, reaching out, reaching out... I see a veil... I see a veil... I see a veil. The hands that reach... The hands that reach... I see a veil... I see a veil. The many hands! The many hands... The many hands... The blue light that is blue..."
- "No, no, sister, that's not what he intends to do. He will carry them to the harvest market, as he swore he would. But the harvest... the harvest will fail. I see it now, all is withered with blight. Now the rot is upon all the fields east of Potterstead, and to the south... to the south the fields are burning. We must warn them. Burn the fields. Make a black line across the map to stop the blight..."
- "What is the black glass knife, sisters? Something crafted by apostate hands? I see stains under the fingernails. Long, fine fingernails. Not blood, no. Not wine, either. It is the ink from a squid... a squid caught in the cold, cold waters above the world, the western corner of Tyvia, by sailors from Wei-Ghon. Caught on a long line of red silk, drawn up from the dark waters below. No! Not useful... not useful at all. But I see the long, lovely hands again, stained by the ink, raising the knife above a box made of colored paper. I cannot see what is contained within, but the King of Morley is there, in the room with the others, while the Queen sleeps in their bed..."
- "They are at the gates of Dunwall Tower, and they are dying. Delilah and her coven are not alone, but they are with the clockwork men. High Overseer Khulan orders the ancient music played, but it does no good... the clockworks are not things of heresy, sisters. The music has no effect. The Overseers are falling. The High Overseer is dragged away. He fights while there is strength in his body, even while the tears from his eyes... his eyes grow dull as the blood runs from his body. He waits to surprise the one who returns to Dunwall Tower. Only one of the Overseers still breathes, and he had a mission, given by one of us, by one of the sisters, but he will fail, and he will never know the answer."
Death of the Outsider
During the mission The Stolen Archive, prophecies from the remains of the Blind Sisters used for the Oraculum can speak more prophecies if the censers in the room are broken:
- "What is this darkness? What is this end to all sight?"
- "What does she hold in her hand? Her fingers grasp it greedily."
- "Fine bones and fine threads of hair. She keeps both close. It is dead, yes, long dead. It is repulsive heresy."
- "Tell them to cull the rats. Place poisons in the streets. These vermin carry secrets and disease."
- "It is fading, sisters. I can see no further."
- "Five red strings pulled taut over some unknown instrument. My sisters could not make sense of it. Perhaps it will reveal itself again."
- "More political unrest in Morley. Useless squabbles to no end. At Lord Kerrington's next feast, they will display the head of a bloodox as a centerpiece, and assassinate their rival at the dinner table. I have consulted my sisters: we will write to Vice Overseer Hanlon before the Month of Rain."
- "Our sight shows us the Isles, from the trivial to the calamitous. A baker using sawdust instead of flour in Karnaca, a fishing net tangled around a dead child in Pottershed, a whisper between lovers in Dunwall Tower. Tonight, I witnessed the Outsider's final moments in the Void. I've imparted the danger to my sisters, but I could not divulge the true nature of my vision. It would only invite the Errant Mind. Some may greet the Outsider's death with exultation. Others would show more wisdom. I have not yet written to the High Oracle. I fear the event will come to pass before my message could reach her. No. I know what I must do to prevent this dissolution."
- "Everything in this place reeks of terrible magic.
- "Every day we find more blasphemies to burn.
- "What's going on?"
- "Sister? Is that you?"
- "No! My sister... Dead!?" (when a body of an Oracular Sister is detected)
- "How dare you touch a sister of the Oracular Order!" (when a body of an Oracular Sister is detected)
- "That creature from my vision... She did this!" (when a body of an Oracular Sister is detected)
- "Heretics skulk in the shadows of this place. Find them out."
- "There is heresy at hand. I feel a disturbance."
- "Something disturbed my trance."
- "I’ve seen her, I know she's coming. Is she here?"
- "You could never hide from us."
- "By the High Oracle!"
- "Did you think you could walk amongst us?"
- "You’re just another witch to purge from this place!"
- "The Overseers will use the sacred music to cut your mind to pieces."
- "Oh, we can cure you of that sickness you carry!"
- "We will burn that blasphemous arm off your body!"
- "We will tear out that black eye!"
- "Ahhh! I'll do worse to you!" (taking damage)
- "Have this!" (throwing hyperbaric grenades)
- "Grenade! Stay clear, sisters!" (dodging grenades)
- "Get back, my sisters!" (dodging grenades)
- "You will never reach the Void." (Lena Rosewyn only)
- "No! My sister!" (when an Oracular Sister is killed)
Reaction to Supernatural Abilities
- "She wields black magic!"
- "What witchcraft is that!"
- In their "pursuit of wisdom", some Sisters choose to meditate or to ingest hallucinogenic substances along with their studies.
- 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.
- Like the Overseers, the Sisters of the Oracular Order are trained in combat, wielding "maces, terminating in a single open eye", and hyperbaric grenades.
- The Oraculum allows its user to listen to the Sisters' prophecies.
- Six months after the Death of the Outsider, the Oracular Order was dissolved and all of the sisters were hunted down and killed.