The Soothsayer is a support unit in Civilization VI, exclusive to the Apocalypse game mode introduced in the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack. It can trigger natural disasters at the player's command. The Soothsayer is also used to earn score in the Scored Competition Appease the Gods by using its unique action on friendly units near a volcano. It can only be purchased with Faith.
|Incantation||+1 Charge. Adjacent units gain +5 Combat Strength.|
|Inquisitor||+1 Charge, gains Stealth (only adjacent enemy units can reveal this unit).|
|Messenger||+1 Charge, +2 Movement Movement.|
|Plague Bearer||+1 Charge. Adjacent enemy cities are automatically Besieged.|
Soothsayers are quite handy for creating misfortune for rival nations without the action being traced back to you without a single Soothsayer even having to cross their borders. For example, just placing a Soothsayer beside a river (ideally on a floodplains tile) that one or more rivals have cities on or near and triggering his ability will create a flood that will generally devastate the area around those cities including those City Centers that don't have defences or other protection against such disasters. (Make sure you don't have any cities on that river, or at least ones that are not important!) However a more peaceful possible use for this ability lies in the unexpected synergy it has with the Great Bath wonder, thanks to being able to more or less create floods on demand for whichever of your cities hosts this wonder.
In times of crisis, people have long turned towards those that promise some form of deliverance. As the natural, political, or economic order breaks down, soothsayers emerge that might provide people a way to stave off disaster, to survive it, or to inflict it on one's enemies. While the Soothsayer unit here is not meant to reflect any particular culture or historical moment, we can find similar turns towards such figure across the world and across history, from the Mesoamerican reaction to the arrival of the Spanish, to European millennial cults, to present-day groups like Heaven's Gate.
For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, across Lao-speaking parts of Southeast Asia, new prophets emerged, the "holy men." They promised Lao people - who had seen their territory divided between French and Siamese forces, new systems of taxation, and the destruction of the city of Vientiane - that worse things were to come. Cows and pigs would transform into demons. Money would become worthless, while currently worthless gravel would become gold. A great wind would sweep through the land and carry with it anyone who would not hold on to a clump of lemongrass. Many believed those soothsayers, collecting gravel and killing their own animals, all awaiting the great change that was to come.
Soothsayers rarely end up well. The Lao movement was suppressed by Siamese troops, Aztec prayers did not stop Spanish conquest, and the end times seemingly never come.
- A years worth Civ 6 DLC coming! The New Frontier Pass! (YouTube Video)