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The Orectic Oracle, or Fred the Semi-Immortal 1 as his poker buddies call him, is a man who has been walking along the Jugular Way continuously for several centuries, stopping only for the occasional meal and poker game.
Nobody is certain how the Oracle came by his longevity. Stories suggest he may have been an early Beaker of Grayson Dawes and achieved his extended life through some experiment. Others speculate that he found a combination of different colored Fengaks to lick that made him almost immortal. Yet others think that the Orectic Oracle position is an inherited one where a new person takes up the position every five or so years, just to give the appearance that he does not age. 2
Regardless of how he came to be, the Oracle’s title is somewhat of a misnomer. The word Orectic comes from the ancient Dornialan word Orectic which translates into Self-Help. So while most people go to the Oracle for insight into the deepest and darkest mysteries of their own lives and the lives of others, those who are familiar with ancient Dornialan know to visit him only to find validation.
I have had the opportunity to witness the Orectic Oracle in action and it is amazing to watch. In the span of a day, he answers well over sixty-seven questions 3, all of them with one of two answers: “Yes” and “Maybe.” Yet even with these monosyllabic responses the person asking the question is still filled with a sense of wonderment and awe at the Oracle’s vast knowledge and experience.
After a long hard day of asking questions, the Oracle usually finds a waystation to rest, eat and play poker. Even when he is off the clock he still only answers questions with the same two answers, which has made him a superb poker player, since nobody knows whether he is bluffing or not. Between his earnings from being an Oracle and poker winnings, he has likely accumulated enough wealth to purchase a small country. 4
1: Semi-Immortal simply because there isn’t a way to prove that he is truly Immortal, just long-lived.
3: I was only present for sixty-seven questions as I had to step away a few times for personal hygiene reasons, during which I knew more questions would have been answered.
4: Based on the payments and poker winnings that I witnessed, the Oracle would have enough money to retire after only 5 – 6 years, lending credence to the retirement theory owing to his long life.