object that predicts doom

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New Member
English - Australia
Is there a word for what I am trying to describe?

I wrote a story and there's a stone. The stone shows the main character how they will die. What would I call this device? A soothsayer? An omen? Portent? I think soothsayer is only used with people, so what do you call an object that predicts doom? Is there a word? It is, in essence, like a crystal ball, but it specifically forecasts death. I'm practising my writing for english and this is the sentence at which I found this difficulty:
"Nadia had seen herself in the future through this..." (I haven't written any more because I don't know what to call the stone)
I would like to call it something else, because otherwise I repeat 'stone' too much and it sounds plain and unimaginative. I'm sorry if this is out of place, but I have no idea where to go for help.
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I cannot recall any terminology that relates specifically to premonitions about death or precognition of such. A crystal ball could be said to be the most common version of a "scrying stone." Scrying is looking for visions, though for obvious reasons the usual targets of scrying are water, mirrors, and translucent or transparent materials. Note that "scrying" is not a widely used and perhaps not widely understood word these days.


    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    While I'm not totally pleased with it, my only suggestion is 'divining stone'. It's not idiomatic, just made up.

    Edit: didn't see above post while writing, 'scrying' and 'divining' in the same neighbourhood of meanings.
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