The Ohalu Prophecies were a set of prophecies written by the Bajoran Ohalu in approximately 30000 BC. The prophecies foretold events, in incredibly accurate detail, throughout what would become Bajoran history, well into the late-24th century. Ohalu himself was considered a heretic by the leaders of the Bajoran faith as he claimed the Prophets were not gods, but an alien race; teachers, who learnt as much from the Bajorans as they did from them, and as a result the Vedek Assembly did their best to prevent knowledge of the prophecies becoming widespread.
The book predicted most of the major events in Bajoran history, along with some more obscure occurrences, including: the building of B'hala; a good kava harvest in 1423; the war between the Prophets and the Pah-wraiths for control of the Celestial Temple; the dissolution of the D'jarra caste system with the "coming of the grey warriors"; The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, or "domination of the land and its children"; the Founders and the outcome of the Dominion War.
The final prophecy in the book foretold the birth of Rebecca Jae Sisko, the second child of Benjamin Sisko, described as the "Infant Avatar" and the return of the former Kai Opaka Sulan, referred to as the "Herald":
- "...battles fall and fail, and there is a time of waiting, the space between breaths as the land heals and its children retire from war. The temple welcomes many home, the faithful and the Chosen.
- A Herald, unforgotten but lost to time, a Seer of Visions to whom the Teacher Prophets sing, will return from the Temple at the end of this time to attend the Birth of Hope, the Infant Avatar. The welcomed Herald shares a new understanding of the Temple with all the land's children. Conceived by lights of war, the alien Avatar opens its eyes upon a waxing tide of Awareness.
- The journey to the land hides, but it is difficult; prophecies are revealed and hidden. The first child, a son, enters the Temple alone. With the herald, he returns, and soon after, the Avatar is born. A new breath is drawn and the land rejoices in change and clarity."
- "...with the Herald attendant. A New Age for Bajor will begin with the birth of the alien Avatar, an age of Awareness and Understanding beyond what the land's children have ever known. The child Avatar will be the second of the Emissary, he to whom the Teacher Prophets sing, and will be born to a gracious and loving world, a world ready to Unite. Before the birth, ten thousand of the land's children will die for the child's sake. It is destined, but should not be looked upon with despair; most choose to die, and are welcomed into the Temple of the Teacher Prophets.
- Without the sacrifice of the willing, the Avatar will not be born into a land of peace. Perhaps the Avatar will not be born at all; it is unclear. That the ten thousand is the number, it is destined. Ten thousand must die."
History of the book and prophecies
Because of Ohalu's belief that the Prophets were not gods his prophecies were considered heretical by the Bajoran faith. Believers in Ohalu's predictions formed a cult that protected the prophecies.
For centuries the cult protected the book, and over time and successive generations they built up the sacrifice predicted in the Prophecy of the Avatar as each of the guardians was mummified and entombed in a massive tomb in B'hala designed to hold the bodies of the ten thousand necessary to die before the coming of the Avatar; hoping they would contribute to the eventual new age of peace and understanding on Bajor.
B'hala, and the cult with it, disappeared for thousands of years, and remained little more than a rumor amongst the Vedeks. In 2373 the lost city was rediscovered by Benjamin Sisko, and as excavations of the site commenced the Vedek Assembly kept an eye out for several things, including Ohalu's prophecies, ready to immediately discredit them and sweep them neatly under the rug should they ever be rediscovered.
In 2376 the book was found, by Prylar Istani Reyla, who realising its implications was horrified when the Vedek Assembly pronounced it heretical and stole out of the archives at B'hala. Before she left she pulled out a page of the prophecy of the Avatar which she believed referred to Jake Sisko and gave it to him.
Istani then traveled to Deep Space 9, but was pursued by Vedek Gamon Vell who at the behest of the Vedek Assembly was aiming to retrieve the prophecies and prevent them becoming public. Gamon killed Istani in trying to do that, but he was already too late, for as soon as she arrived on the station Istani had hid the prophecies and they were later discovered by Ro Laren in the course of her murder investigation.
Ro had the prophecies translated and was astounded by their accuracy and took them to Kira Nerys. Vedek Yevir Linjarin then visited the station hoping to retrieve the book, but Ro refused to hand it over, claiming it as evidence in the murder investigation. In the ensuing argument Kira became aware of the Assembly's attempts to suppress the book and later decided to upload the prophecies to the Bajoran comnet, to prevent the Assembly censoring the information and allow the Bajoran people to make up their own minds.
The next day Kira consulted the Orb of Memory, and energized by her orb experience led a party to B'hala where they rediscovered the tomb of the ten thousand - with one slot left for Istani to fill. However, this did nothing to satisfy the Assembly, and at the behest of Yevir, Kira was attainted for her defiance in making the book public.
Meanwhile, Jake Sisko had entered the Bajoran wormhole, interpreting the section of prophecy he had been given as an instruction for him to go into the wormhole and return with his father, who was at the time with the Prophets. After several days waiting in the wormhole nothing happened and Jake was preparing to turn around and go home when a surge of energy pushed him out of the wormhole and deep into the Gamma Quadrant. (DS9 - Avatar novels: Book One, Book Two)
Over the next few months Jake began to make his way home and after a series of adventures found his way to the planet Ee where he encountered Opaka Sulan. Seeing Jake's arrival as a sign from the Prophets it was time for her to return to Bajor, Opaka joined Jake and his associates as they traveled to Idran. There the group brought another race with an association with the Prophets, the Eav'oq, out of a millennia-long hiding before returning to the Alpha Quadrant, and in doing so fulfilling the prophecy to return with the Herald. (DS9 novel: Rising Son)