Worldbuilding: Rise and Walk

Oracle jars are a living necromancy; half stasis pod, half organic computer.

The Jars

They jars are made from raw river clay mixed with blood and powdered amber. The mixing and shaping of the pots requires no magic, but is traditionally done by those who are not of House blood. Some Houses forbid their family from even watching the construction, fearing (sometimes rightly so) that a person with the ability to both shape and bottle an oracle jar would do so without House approval.

Once the jars have been shaped, they are fired-hardened by the same magics that create the occupants.

Bottling

The method for creating an oracle jar is the same no matter the species being bottled. The practitioners will start with the feet or the hind limbs, slowly removing the bones either by knife or by magic. The muscle and flesh are careful kept alive and are melded together inch by inch as they are fed into the jar. (It is customary to use some of the extra mass to fuel the bottling magics, depending on the size of the creature being interned and the number of practitioners fueling the spell.) The occupant is fed into the jar this way until the head is reached. At this point the jaw bone and all covering flesh and features are removed, leaving only the bare skull with the brain intact inside. The skull is used to cap the jar, at which point the magics are complete.

Maintenance

Once the bottling has been completed, the body inside the jar is kept alive in a sort of stasis. Oracle jars do not eat or drink, nor do they age. The jars are extremely durable and there are oracle jars that are known to be centuries old. The magic feeds off the energy of the body itself, and thus does not require and outside power source. Because of the self-sustaining nature of the jar, the only way of ‘killing’ an oracle jar is to destroy the skull and the brain it encloses.

Use

Oracle jars shared a magic mental connection with all other jars, and are used as the name implies. Questions asked of the jars are answered not by divine response, but by magical enhanced information collection and retrieval. Not all oracle jars are human, some hold dogs or foxes, hawks or cats, but only human oracles can speak with questioners. Thus human oracle jars are highly prized, and are carefully protected once created.

Since the jars are interconnected, House geases are placed on them so that they only talk to approved people. The older jars have learned workarounds to most of these restrictions, and while they will not directly answer questions from a non-approved source, they have been know to give nonlinear solutions.

Random Oracle Jar Facts

When talking, oracle jar’s eyes sockets will glow, but the skull itself will not move.

Fox jars are prized for their ability to sense deception.

Oracle jars tend to be abnormally heavy, regardless of the contents. Moving human jars takes a six people, or a horse cart.

Locations of the appropriate river clay are under constant guard and removal of the clay is only allowed with full Council approval.

Powdered amber, on the other hand, is common as it’s used in a variety of magics that require a time suspension element.

Human oracle jars are almost never volunteers. (99.999%)

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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