The Oracles were the mouthpieces of the Demi-Pantheon, although cryptic and incomplete ones.
(Taken from Pre-Alexandrian Campaign Sourcebook. This very much reflects the view of the Oracles by their contemporaries rather than thinkers of the modern age. -ed)
According to legend, before the Eight retreated to their Ivory Towers, they took an active and direct role in the affairs of mortals and of the world. It is even said among some that the Eight spoke directly to the Goodly Races, giving aid and issuing edicts. The gods that watch over mortals now stand aloof from the comings and goings of their worshipers. The rationale behind such distancing is unknown, but the Deities now exert influence only through mortals, and display power only through their most devout and pious clergy. Never do edicts come down “from on high,” and never since the War of Sun and Shadow have mortals gazed upon the countenances of those they worship. Instead, gods and goddesses communicate to mortals through Oracles. The spokesmen of the Deities, divine plans are revealed to Oracles through dreams, omens, and portents. Even the Oracles, closest of all to the divine pantheon, are denied direct access to the gods and goddesses. Every Deity has one Oracle at any given time, usually (but not always) a member of the Deity’s own race. In addition, Oracles are always and without exception children, thus giving rise to the adage “only a child can understand the mind of the gods.” The Oracles are discovered, taught, and protected by the Oracular Phalanx, a body of spiritual warriors independent of any church body. Despite the position of influence Oracles possess, they should not be confused with the head of the church they represent. Although each Deity’s church is maintained differently, most are made up of a large and complex hierarchical bureaucracy headed by a high priest or priestess. The Oracles transmit the messages of the Deities, to the best of their abilities, and the church bureaucracy runs the actual organization to the best of theirs. Though the potential for conflict certainly exists, especially between the Phalanx and any individual church, actual instances of violent confrontation are rare.