|I'm a medic. I tend to know what I'm doing when I prescribe something.|
|- Shani, Hearts of Stone expansion|
Shani (d. 1340) was a medic, having studied at Oxenfurt Academy. She participated in the Battle of Brenna as part of the staff of Milo "Rusty" Vanderbeck's field hospital and, many years later, she became the Dean of the Department of Medicine of her alma mater.
She died in 1340, 72 years after the Battle of Brenna, at 90 years old.
Studying at the Academy
In 1267, Shani was a 17 year old, third year medical student attending Oxenfurt Academy. It's unclear how she and Dandelion met, but the two were friendly enough that when the bard came by to visit that year, he called her over from where she was sitting and the two pretended to flirt as Dandelion was being followed by some of Sigismund Dijkstra's spies. He then asked her to go and deliver a message to the witcher Geralt, who was hiding in Oxenfurt in his hunt to find the mage, Rience, and the two split off.
While she successfully found and delivered the message, she and Geralt also proceeded to engage in sex before being interrupted by Dandelion and then Philippa Eilhart. As the group discussed the reason Geralt was in the city, the conversation turned to Rience and Shani spoke up, asking if he had a really bad burn mark on one side of his face. With everyone looking at her in wonderment, Shani explained that tuition was too costly for her stepfather to cover all of it so she'd been stealing supplies from the school and selling on the side to a local named Myhrman. One day when conducting such business, Myhrman had been entertaining a guest he called "Master Rience" with a burn mark on his face and who'd made unwanted advances at Shani before Myhrman told him to cut it out as he still wanted to do business with the medical student. With this new information, the group asked Shani to take them to the local, who was now Geralt's best lead in finding Rience.
That same night, Shani led them to Myhrman's home: a small tower out in the waters that was only accessible with a draw bridge that Myhrman controlled. However, Shani convinced Myhrman to lower it and the group entered before Geralt and Philippa began to interrogate him on what he knew of Rience. Shortly after, Geralt was able to send a message to the mage and the two met out on the streets, though Rience had brought several hired killers. After the mage ran, letting the Michelet brothers fight Geralt, the witcher quickly cut all four of them down. Shani, who'd been standing on the bridge with Dandelion, saw the men fall and screamed out, attempting to rush over and save them, but Dandelion held onto her due to the dangerous situation. However, Geralt had been badly wounded and while he almost succeeded in killing Rience, Philippa cast a paralyzing spell on the witcher, letting Rience escape. With Geralt suffering from a great loss of blood, Philippa asked Shani, who'd now joined them, to be ready to help as the witcher was going to pass out soon and would need to be patched up quickly.
The following year, in March 1268, the Battle of Brenna took place and she worked in one of the field hospitals under Milo "Rusty" Vanderbeck. Despite Rusty believing Shani was too young and would soon keel over from either exhaustion or from the gruesome operations, she proved she was quite capable of helping out. Even if she wasn't fully trained in other areas, like sewing up a patient, Rusty simply told her to sew "red to red, yellow to yellow, white to white" which eventually became a famous joke of hers many years later as the dean of the Department of Medicine at Oxenfurt Academy.
After she left Vizima in 1270, she returned to Oxenfurt to finish her doctorate before opening her own practice within the city. However, as the city was part of Redania, this also meant she had to be ready when called upon by Redania's Army with various urgent matters. By 1272, she was doing well for herself when she was ordered to assist with finding a cure for those being poisoned by something in the city's waters. This eventually led to her entering the sewers with a full army unit to try and find the unknown monster within, while she went to get fresh samples to make an antidote. However, they were attacked by the monster and Shani barely escaped with her life thanks to several of the men's sacrifices to get her to safety.
As she fruitlessly tried to save one of them, Geralt, having been sent on a separate contract to kill the monster, ran into her here and together they explored the sewers to try and find the monster's lair, as that was where Shani would likely find a clean sample. After they found it, Geralt then sent her to hide, with strict orders to run if the monster appeared. Following the witcher's instruction, she did run back home, thankfully not being spotted by Ofiri soldiers who'd also entered the sewers to try and rescue their cursed prince.
Back in her clinic, she successfully created an antidote to heal those sickened by the toad's poison before Geralt approached her once more, this time requesting help in learning the location of the Von Everec family crypt. As it was a place known for beautiful architecture during its prime, and as the witcher needed a censer only she could acquire from the academy, she invited herself along to see the crypt. However, to complete his task, this meant Olgierd's dead brother's ghost, Vlodimir, took temporary possession of Geralt. As Shani needed a date to a friend's wedding, she offered Vlodimir/Geralt to accompany her and he heartily agreed, not holding back on flirting with her.
With Vlodimir/Geralt by her side, the two had a good time at the wedding. However, she had to go think things over about where she and Geralt stood and concluded to just remain friends, as she needed someone who'd be home at the end of everyday. Geralt then requested if she could look into Olgierd some more to learn exactly who he was. While she didn't find anything in the books, she did learn of a Professor Premethine Shakeslock who had known Olgierd.
- If Geralt talks to her to learn more: Shani helped Geralt into the locked down academy so he could talk to Shakeslock, while she returned home.
Shortly after, she packed up her clinic and left for the eastern front in Kaedwen, as the Redanian Army had called on her to help tend to their wounded there.
In The Witcher, Geralt meets Shani in the Outskirts of Vizima, trying to get into the city in order to help treat victims of the Catriona at St. Lebioda's Hospital. She is surprised to see him, because, as she tells him, "I heard you died". While in the Outskirts, Shani stays at the Inn, healing Geralt whenever he enters, and looking after Alvin until Abigail takes him under her wing.
Once in Vizima, Shani can be found in St. Lebioda's Hospital during the day (roughly from 9:00 to 18:30), and in the streets or at home during the evening, night and early morning. If Geralt visits her at the hospital, Shani will heal him.
She lives near the statue of the aesculapian snake off the merchant's area in the Temple Quarter of Vizima. Her apartment upstairs can be difficult to get to because of Grandma who stands vigil downstairs. It seems that Grandma has lived a full life but now, in retirement, she prefers to play sentry.
To get past Grandma, Geralt can use sweet talk, gifts (alcohol or a pair of gold gloves), some orens, or a particular ring. Sometimes this will gain him entry only that one time, other times permanent entry is gained.
Old Friend of Mine takes place almost completely in Shani's house. Over the course of the evening, we learn that years ago, Dandelion interrupted something between Shani and Geralt. After the party ends, and Geralt's thank-you or apology, Shani reveals just what it was that the bard had so rudely interrupted. If you give her a red rose, sex will ensue.
The medic is also an invaluable resource during the witcher's investigation in Vizima. As the only medical professional, she is the only one who can conduct an autopsy. Luckily for Geralt, she is a friend.
In Chapter III, Geralt is forced to choose a guardian for Alvin, his only options being Shani and Triss Merigold. If he chooses Shani, he gets a second chance to know her better. If not, he neither sees nor hears from her again until Chapter V, where she relocates to create a field hospital of her own, treating plague victims and the casualties of the battle, regardless of race or affiliation.
- I dragged Shani into the business with Salamandra, and although the girl was in danger, it all ended well. Shani finished what she had to do in the Outskirts and returned to Vizima, to her house in the Temple Quarter.
- Shani works at Saint Lebioda's Hospital during the day and spends evenings at her lodgings in the Temple Quarter. She hates it when people disturb her at work so it's best to visit her later in the day.
- During the party Shani recounted her experiences during the Battle of Brenna, where she tended to the wounded. I have a feeling Shani has come to like me a lot.
- if Geralt left Alvin with Triss:
- I left Alvin in Triss' care. Shani decided that I don't trust her and that I prefer the sorceress. She is angry with me, and it seems our affair is over.
- if Geralt left Alvin with Shani:
- I've decided to leave Alvin in Shani's care. The medic took my choice to be a proof of my trust. She decided that I like her more than Triss, which only improved our relationship.
- Dandelion delivered a letter from Shani. The girl asks me to find Alvin, who has gone missing. Her letter exudes worry for the boy and me - Shani hopes to see us both soon and also hopes we can become a family.
- I answered Shani's letter and explained my feelings.
- Shani has moved back to rebellion-torn Old Vizima. She is tending to the wounded of both factions in a makeshift field hospital.
- I met Shani, or actually a vision of her created by my mind, in the Ice Plains. The medic aided me as I pursued the Grand Master.
Journal entry (Enhanced Edition)
if Geralt left Alvin with Shani:
- Some of you have surely heard the rumors about the relationship that bloomed between the young medic Shani and Geralt. I hasten to inform you that they are all true. I consider Shani a friend both true and old. We go back to the days when I lectured in minstrelsy at Oxenfurt University, and I was the one to introduce her to the witcher. Upon Geralt's return to the living, they were reunited in Vizima, where the red-haired medic competed with Triss Merigold for Geralt's heart. She emerged victorious from the rivalry. The flame of their romance blazed bright, but it burned out quickly. Though a very young woman, Shani proved more mature than the witcher, who had always found relationships puzzling and difficult. Geralt would dodge his obligations towards her, preferring instead to pursue the missions King Foltest assigned him. The medic quickly realized this flour would yield no bread. She had a serious conversation with the witcher, and they parted amicably. Shani accepted an offer to teach at Oxenfurt and left for that city, whereas Geralt followed Foltest to the lands of the La Valettes. After splitting with Shani, the witcher needed comforting and quickly found solace in Triss Merigold's arms.
Hearts of Stone expansion
- Geralt entered the Oxenfurt sewers expecting to hunt down a hideous monster – so you can imagine his surprise when down one of those dank, slimy corridors he ran into Shani, an old and dear friend. Geralt and I had first met this extraordinary young woman years earlier, when she was just a coltish coed, but by this time she had grown into a dignified doctor and a fearless field medic for the Redanian Army.
- This latter role had led her, and a unit of soldier escorts, to descend into the sewers. Their goal was to gather a sample of the venom spewed by the monstrosity squatting there. Geralt, a gentleman through and through, agreed to help her in her task.
- Geralt's encounter with Vlodimir von Everec reminded him that he and Shani had once shared passionate (though passing) feelings for each other. He also became aware some remnant of these feelings was still lodged in his heart...
- At times fate composes tales so shocking no poet would dare put his name to them, for fear his public would mock them as overly outlandish. Such was the case when Geralt and the ghost of Vlodimir von Everec shared a body for an evening and accompanied Shani to the wedding of Aldona, her friend from the Academy. Some might have let this unusual escort interfere with their enjoyment of the evening – but not Shani. Looking around at the tasteful wedding decorations, smelling the rich odor of berry-laden rowan – a plant near and dear to her heart, one which summoned up fond childhood memories – Shani felt the heedless abandon of her younger years return and, overjoyed, threw herself into the thick of the festivities.
- One thing is certain – Shani was not bored by the company of Vlodimir von Everec, who showered her with professions of burning desire and swept her off her feet with his maniacal energy. Yet when the hour came for him to return to the netherworld, she breathed a sigh of relief, for now she could spend some time alone with Geralt, who was much more sensitive and predictable (though Vlod would probably just call him boring).
- A pleasantly-begun evening blossomed into a night of rapture, then settled into a golden dawn on the shores of a lake, serenaded by nature's first awakening murmurs. Though Shani seemed delighted by this course of events, the morning air had put her in a reflexive mood. She parted ways with Geralt, explaining she had to think through what had just happened.
- Fate decreed Shani would not linger long in her hometown of Oxenfurt. For as long as the war lasted, she was the Redanian army's to command, and her commander had decided to send her to Kaedwen, the conflict's eastern front. Before setting off she managed to inform Geralt about a certain Professor Shakeslock, who might be able to help with Gaunter O'Dimm. Geralt thanked his friend and they parted ways, hoping they would meet again, later or, quite preferably, sooner.
- Shani is a common name in Hebrew which means Kermes (a type of red dye). Another possible meaning is that her name is driven from the Hindi name to Planet Saturn.
- The Witcher:
- In Chapter II, she can be found at St. Lebioda's Hospital during the day (9:00 to 18:30), and at her place or en route otherwise.
- In Chapter III, she pretty much stays at home.
- In Chapter V, she is at the field hospital. If Geralt chooses the Witcher / neutral path, then later she will be in the Druids' cave.
- In her first romance card she is reading what appears to be an illustrated erotic text. In the censored version, the text is also censored and devoid of images.
- During the development of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Shani was considered for an appearance in the game, but ultimately didn't make the cut.
- In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, she's mentioned during Carnal Sins by Joachim von Gratz.
- Shani is one of the few women who plays gwent and you can win the Olgierd von Everec card from her.
- Correspondence addressed to Shani in Hearts of Stone indicate she has a family name, however both the wedding invitation and the Redanian army orders curiously render the detail unintelligible.
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Shani