Tales of a GM is hosting this month’s Blog Carnival, the theme of which is Prophecies & Omens. So, I thought I would write a little on how prophcies and other foretelling fit into the Sea of Stars.
While a wide range of forms of divination are used in the Sea of Stars, by far the most common is Astrology as the stars are so visible both above and below. The consensus amongst the astrologers is that the stars provide guidance and signposts to people, and some would say destiny, but do not force it. However, by aligning oneself with the path laid out by their stars, success is more likely. Work with, not against, the currents of your horoscope, is the simple form of their advice.
Equally, if you can learn the horoscope of a rival, you can try to maneuver them into acting against their best guided path throwing them off-balance and making them vulnerable to ill-fortune and existential unease. While the ability to seriously harm someone by this method is nearly impossible, most dragons keep the date their egg was laid and their hatching time well protected, no need to take chance. Successful venturers and wizards often try to do the same, though the more public one’s birth, the more difficult such is to accomplish.
Most courts maintain an astrologer or group of such to choose auspicious times to begin major works, wars and marriages. A little extra luck never hurts after all. Most towns will have a astrologer and even a village may have a part-time one, there is quite a network of astrologers exchanging notes and observations, devices and charts, it is a popular hobby among city-dwellers and country folk alike.
Many other forms of divination exist, the elves are fond of dream-trance visions and augury (or ornithomancy divination by studying the flight of birds), while the practical dwarves use runestones and lithomancy by which the future is told using stones or the reflected light from said stones, in the Jade Pillar Dynasty the oracle bones are consulted (dragon bone being preferred when available), while the Necrourgist of Laccini turn to the dead, practicing necromancy as well. Somewhere in the Sea of of Stars you will find every variant of divination practiced. But, again, they are generally regarded as guides and aid to planning rather than fixed predictions of the future. because , to a certain extent divination and prophecy suffered a serious blow by the Gods War, the Sundering and ascension of the Draconic Imperium because none of it was predicted. Even scholars who have searched through what ancient prophecies survive have been able to find one that even comes close to what happened. It is said that when asked about this, the Empress replied that it is simply proof of her philosophy of Dominae, that one’s own will is paramount.
Notes: Telescope photo by Thomas Quine and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.