The Physician

“Wherever there is true pursuit of medical knowledge, there is, at the heart of it, love.” – from Ethics of Medicine by Surfei Abnhald

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Known as Surfei Abnhald in life, “The Physician” was a pioneer in the field of medicince, a prolific writer and natural philosopher who hailed from Charco, the human-populated region of Cairnaythiel, but came to call Khanjivoram her home. She herself was a nun bound in service to The Philosopher-King, and served well in the order. While in the order, she took to exploring methods of using Tuning to not only knit flesh—a practice long ago mastered by those familiar with the art of Tuning—but also of treating and preventing disease. She went on humanitarian missions to treat varieties of pox, and wrote extensive works on the course of the diseases, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and treatment. She developed and perfected the apparatuses still used by apothecaries today, isolated various vitriols and tinctures critical in the creation of medicines, and developed Tuning techniques that, when combined with a good knowledge of mundane medicine, anatomy, and disease, allow for the treatment of some diseases. In particular, she developed the means for those who have access to the Loom with a nĂ˝thmaeg string to, in a sense, peer into the bodies of patients and find tumors. This allows for surgical intervention, most successfully amputation.

Her theories directly challenged older theories of medicine and anatomy, something which garnered great ire and ridicule in her time. One of her texts wrote specifically about how contemporary scholars and natural philosophers are better equipped and capable of finding useful truth, and that the ossification of knowledge through the reverence of older works has killed more with iatrogenic afflictions than the whole history of honest experimentation. Some in the church wished to censor Surfei, and indeed her access to materials was limited after her publications reached the eyes of the Grand Cleric. She began publishing almost exclusively on medicine for the ailments of children, making her the first to write on pediatric medicine, and she was much more free to talk on the subject because it was not seen as overstepping the bounds of her gender.

Surfei died in the nunnery, having never gathered much rank within it, from a bout of fever. Her Ascension was witnessed by one of her students, who later became the pediatrician to the High King of Ackenzal.

Those now in her priesthood are some of the only women allowed to be students and teachers in Khanjivoram Collegium’s medical school. Her nuns and priestesses are master healers, especially of children and the infirm, who have knowledge of both the Tuning arts and herbal remedies.

The Physician

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