|The Oracle of Sunken Valley|
|Chronological and political information|
The Oracle of Sunken Valley is a sarcastic, rambling, and irritating kobold, who offers anyone an answer to a single question per visit about the future, granted that they can afford payment in cash(no electrum), immortal souls, magic beans, or their voice, but absolutely NO personal checks or credit cards. However, the prophecies are often laden heavily with multiple meanings and ambiguous language.
The Oracle worships Tiamat and uses her powers to grant him his visions of the future. However the Oracle is not a cleric, merely having visions granted to him by Tiamat through the use of "Kobold Dust". He also can apparently hear and see ghosts, or at least Roy's ghost, and is always seemingly prepared due to his constant awareness of what will happen to him.
In order to keep out pesky adventurers, the Oracle hired QuestGuard to establish a series of moderately challenging tests, including a heart test to prevent him from getting sued if a questioner with a weak heart had a heart attack induced by the awe of Tiamat.
He often breaks the fourth wall, speaking to and interacting with the readers and making references to "footnotes" of the comic strips. He easily understands Haley's crytogram speech because he is apparently able to look forward in time and reads the published book's translations of what she said. He also clears up any misunderstandings about the timing of Belkar's foretold death.
Years ago, Eugene Greenhilt tracked down the Oracle and asked him who killed Fyron. The Oracle responded that it was Xykon but then refused to provide more details because of his one question per person per visit policy.
Since Eugene failed to fulfill his revenge, the Oracle was sought out again by Roy and Durkon to locate Xykon's lair. The Oracle had answered the question 'Where is Xykon?' with the unhelpful answer, 'In his throne room,' prompting Roy and Durkon to dangle the Oracle out of the window until he agreed to give them a useful answer.
Later, during the quest for the Gates, Roy worded his question carefully this time, to keep the Oracle from being too ambiguous; however he ended up making it too precise, eliminating Xykon's actual next target from consideration. Despite the kobold's attempts to hint that the question was too specific, Roy insisted that the Oracle had to answer the question as stated, and thus the Order was mistakenly led to believe that Girard's Gate was Xykon's next destination. This mistake was corrected when Miko Miyazaki arrived in Azure City a day ahead of Xykon's army, informing them in an angry tirade of Xykon's impending invasion.
While Roy did figure out where he went wrong before leaving the valley, the magic associated with the Oracle causes all visitors to forget everything about their visit except the answer to their question, so his realization of the truth was quickly lost. This magic effect also means that nobody is able to remember the nature of the Oracle, so Roy was surprised to find out that the Oracle was a kobold, despite his previous visit.
The Oracle was visited again by Haley, Celia and Belkar thinking that he is a cleric. Prior to being killed by Belkar, the Oracle founded a kobold village around his tower, apparently for the specific purpose of activating Belkar's Mark of Justice. After the Oracle's death, Celia looked out a window and saw the village along with a sign identifying it as "the village of Lickmyorangeballshalfling", founded "last week" and with a population of "just enough" (to be considered a village). Immediately after Belkar realized the significance of the village, the Mark activated and caused him intense pain.
At some point, Xykon attempted to visit the Oracle, only to be met with a sign saying "The Oracle is OUT".
Other questions asked of and answers given by the oracle include:
- "How will I return to my dwarven homeland?" asked by Durkon Thundershield. "Posthumously." Durkon has since been killed and transformed by the vampire Malack.
- "How will I achieve complete and total ultimate arcane power?" asked by Vaarsuvius. "By saying the right four words, to the right being, at the right time, for all the wrong reasons." This is presumably predicting Vaarsuvius accepting the demons' offer for the Soul Splice in order to gain the power to save his/her family over the proposed alternative, motivated by his/her desire to avoid having to admit that his/her magic failed again, and said "I...I must succeed." while accepting. The "being" in the prophecy is V him/herself
- "Will I cause the death of any of the following: Miko, Miko's stupid horse, Roy, Vaarsuvius, or you?" asked by Belkar Bitterleaf. "Yes." "Cool, which one?" "Next." (Belkar's second question was refused due to the oracle's one question per person per visit policy) The Oracle states that Belkar is responsible for Roy, Miko and Windstriker's deaths in that Belkar later lent Roy his Ring of Jumping, after which Roy was killed by falling from a great height, Miko's fall as a Paladin and circumstances leading to her death were fueled in part by her obsession with the Order of the Stick, and Belkar in particular. Miko's horse Windstriker is likely unable to reach the mortal realm without Miko. Soon after telling him such facts, Belkar, upset that he himself does not directly kill any of them stabs the Oracle and kills him (but not for long). The Oracle also hinted that Belkar's action will have a hand in Vaarsuvius' end. This may refer to the fact that, without Belkar, the Linear Guild wouldn't have spotted the Order after the dungeon of Dorukan, so they never went to retrieve the starmetal, so Vaarsuvius didn't kill the black dragon there, so his mother didn't came after him, so he didn't have to undergo the Soul Splice, which resulted in him being `trapped in the afterlife' due to his deal with the directors of the IFC.
- "Will this story have a happy ending?" asked by Elan. "Yes, it will--for you, at least." The party wound up trapped in an illusion in Girard's pyramid. The title of the strip after this becomes obvious is "Happy Ending," and one reason Elan cites that it must be an illusion is that most of the images it showed were things he wanted. Elan does not believe that the prophecy has been fulfilled, however; he still believes he is going to have an actual happy ending.
- "(How can I restore my speech?)" (in cryptogram) asked by Haley Starshine. "When the gift horse comes calling, don't look it in the mouth." This presumably refers to Nale's (impersonating Elan) offer of a date; Haley's acceptance despite her suspicions led to the circumstances that broke her mental block, not to mention her declaration of love to Elan.
- "Caw caw CAW caw caw caw" asked by Blackwing. "Try using ginko bilboa [sic]" Presumably the raven was asking how to prevent Vaarsuvius from forgetting it existed.
- The Oracle predicted that Xykon will go to Girard's Gate before Kraagdor's. After Soon's gate was destroyed, and the Phlactery was recovered, Xykon started to head off to Girard's Gate. He arrived there just before Roy destroyed the gate.
- The Oracle gave the following unsolicited "answer" to Roy Greenhilt's ghost: "Belkar will draw his last breath - ever - before the end of the year" but says (directly to the readers, who he refers to has "Oracle Fans") that it is an "in-comic" year, not a real time year.
- At some point, (implied to be shortly after the clerics raise him) the Oracle told the Black Dragon Mother Vaarsuvius' name when she presumably asked who killed her son.
The Oracle has a tendency to ramble on and release information while not in a trance. Such prophecies include:
- (about Belkar) "Well, I'm just thinking he should savor his next birthday cake. 'Nuff said." This refers to the unsolicited prediction to Roy's ghost.
- (To Elan and Roy) "...the two of you are running late for a pair of family reunions." This refers to the fight with the Linear Guild in Cliffport city, where Nale used Julia Greenhilt as bait (This also, in the longer run, could be a reference to Roy having a reunion with his Father, Mother, and Baby Brother... which is a bigger family reunion, and Elan reuniting with his own long-lost father... and could in fact even be a reference to the potential reunion of Haley with her father and uncle as well and Vaarsuvius' brief reunion with his family to save them from the dragon, as they family reunions were just directed at Elan and Roy who were present, but could actually be any pair of family reunions at all, since the Oracle likes to be vague at times).