These are the relevant references from the Books where Haruspexes are mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people.
The haruspexes, the readers of bosk blood and verr livers, surely would not be unaware of these, let us say, larger, graver omens.
I heard a haruspex singing between the wagons; for a piece of meat he would read the wind and the grass; for a cup of wine the stars and the flight of birds; for a fat-bellied dinner the liver of a sleen or slave.
The Tuchuk, incidentally, like others of the Wagon Peoples, prays only when mounted, only when in the saddle and with weapons at hand; he prays to the sky not as a slave to a master, nor a servant to a god, but as warrior to a Ubar; the women of the Wagon Peoples, it might be mentioned, are not permitted to pray; many of them, however, do patronize the haruspexes, who, besides foretelling the future with a greater or lesser degree of accuracy for generally reasonable fees, provide an incredible assemblage of amulets, talismans, trinkets, philters, potions, spell papers, wonder-working sleen teeth, marvelous powdered kailiauk horns, and colored, magic strings that, depending on the purpose, may be knotted in various ways and worn about the neck.
The street was lined by throngs of Tuchuks and slaves. Among them, too, were soothsayers and haruspexes, and singers and musicians, and, here and there, small peddlers and merchants, of various cities, for such are occasionally permitted by the Tuchuks, who crave their wares, to approach the wagons.
At that time Kutaituchik and other high men among the Tuchuks, doubtless including Kamchak, would be afield, on the rolling hills surrounding the Omen Valley, in which on the hundreds of smoking alters, the haruspexes of the four people would be practicing their obscure craft, taking the omens, trying to determine whether or not they were favorable for the election of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, who would be Ubar of all the Wagons.
There were a large number of tethered animals about the outer edge of the circle, and, beside them, stood many haruspexes. Indeed, I supposed there must be one haruspex at least for each of the many altars in the field. Among the animals I saw many verrs; some domestic tarsks, their tusks sheathed; cages of flapping vulos, some sleen, some kaiila, even some bosk; by the Paravaci haruspexes I saw manacled male slaves, if such were to be permitted; commonly, I understood from Kamchak, the Tuchuks, Kassars and Kataii rule out the sacrifice of slaves because their hearts and livers are thought to be, fortunately for the slaves, untrustworthy in registering portents; after all, as Kamchak pointed out, who would trust a Turian slave in the kes with a matter so important as the election of a Ubar San; it seemed to me good logic and, of course, I am sure the slaves, too, were taken with the cogency of the argument. The animals sacrificed, incidentally, are later used for food, so the Omen Taking, far from being a waste of animals, is actually a time of feasting and plenty for the Wagon Peoples, who regard the Omen Taking, provided it results that no Ubar San is to be chosen, as an occasion for gaiety and festival. As I may have mentioned, no Ubar San had been chosen for more than a hundred years.
As yet the Omen Taking had not begun. The haruspexes had not rushed forward to the altars. On the other hand on each altar there burned a small bosk-dung fire into which, like a tiny piece of kindling, had been placed an incense stick.
Kamchak and I dismounted and, from outside the circle, watched the four chief haruspexes of the Wagon Peoples approach the huge altar in the center of the field. Behind them another four haruspexes, one from each People, carried a large wooden cage, made of sticks lashed together, which contained perhaps a dozen white vulos, domesticated pigeons. This cage they placed on the altar. I then noted that each of the four chief haruspexes carried, about his shoulder, a white linen sack, somewhat like a peasant's rep-cloth seed bag.
"This is the first Omen," said Kamchak," the Omen to see if the Omens are propitious to take the Omens."
"Oh," I said.
Each of the four haruspexes then, after intoning an involved entreaty of some sort to the sky, which at the time was shining beneficently, suddenly cast a handful of something - doubtless grain - to the pigeons in the stick cage.
Even from where I stood I could see the pigeons pecking at the grain in reassuring frenzy.
The four haruspexes turned then, each one facing his own minor haruspexes and anyone else who might be about, and called out, "It is propitious!"
There was a pleased cry at this announcement from the throng.
"This part of the Omen Taking always goes well," I was informed by Kamchak.
"Why is that?" I asked.
"I don't know," he said. Then he looked at me. "Perhaps," he proposed, "it is because the vulos are not fed for three days prior to the taking of the Omen."
"Perhaps," I admitted.
"I," said Kamchak, "would like a bottle of Paga."
"I, too," I admitted.
"Who will buy?" he asked.
I refused to speak.
"We could wager," he suggested.
"I'll buy it," I said.
I could now see the other haruspexes of the peoples pouring with their animals toward the altars. The Omen Taking as a whole lasts several days and consumes hundreds of animals. A tally is kept, from day to day. One haruspex, as we left, I heard cry out that he had found a favorable liver. Another, from an adjoining altar had rushed to his side. They were engaged in dispute. I gathered that reading the signs was a subtle business, calling for sophisticated interpretation and the utmost delicacy and judgment. Even as we made our way back to the kaiila I could hear two more haruspexes crying out that they had found livers that were clearly unfavorable. Clerks, with parchment scrolls, were circulating among the altars, presumably, I would guess, noting the names of haruspexes, their peoples, and their findings. The four chief haruspexes of the peoples remained at the huge central altar, to which a white bosk was being slowly led.
Meanwhile the Omen Taking, even with the participation of the Tuchuk haruspexes, continued for the haruspexes of the people would remain behind until even the final readings had been completed.
In my flight I could see at one point the Omen Valley, where the haruspexes were still working about their numerous, smoking altars.
Eventually, after several days of uneasy encampments, the haruspexes of Port Olni, Ti and Ar, meeting on a truce ground, had determined, by taking the auspices, read from the liver and entrails of slaughtered verr, that it was propitious for both armies to withdraw. In this sense, no honor, on either side, was sacrificed. The readings on these auspices had been challenged only by haruspexes of Vonda and Cos.