When people think of the epic RPG and novel series The Witcher, many tend to think of the cool and rebellious protagonist, Geralt. With female characters within the lore, the fiery redheaded sorceress, Triss, may come to mind. Yet, the healing guru known as Shani, another redheaded friend and love interest of Geralt, tends to get overlooked. It's a shame, considering her unique and interesting background; though it's somewhat understandable given how little she's featured.
During her long and influential life in Witcher lore, there have been a number of significant and/or strange events having to do with this war medic, healer, and Surgeon. She's played a key role in aspects of the story, despite not always being from the frontlines. Hers is a tale of enduring and existing as a source of warmth and positivity in a rather cold and unstable environment.
So, let's take a look into some of the lore regarding this rich Medieval-influenced fantasy world and hone in on Shani as we go over 10 largely unknown facts about her.
10 Became The Dean Of Faculty At The Oxenfurt Academy
There's a reason why Shani was called upon to deal with the crisis of Oxenfurt residents being poisoned by sewer waters—she knows her antidotes. She's kept quite busy in this field, which at least partly explains her absence in The Witcher 2. Her eventual climb to the top in the field of medicine didn't come overnight but took plenty of studying and hands-on work.
At the young age of 17, Shani was already working her way through her third year of medical school at the Oxenfurt Academy. She would eventually come full circle and become the dean of the Academy's Department of Medicine. She'd go on to open her own practice in the city.
9 Played A Role In The Second Nilfgaard War
Shani has quite a bit more depth and significance in The Witcher series than just a healer and passing love interest for Geralt. She actually played a pretty significant role in the Battle of Brenna in 1268, where she worked in a field hospital and proved effective in tending to the wounds of soldiers at an impressively young age.
Despite the carnage and squeamish nature of many of the injuries she would tend to, she'd hold firm. Shani thus proved a key player in what was to be one of the most famous battles of the Second Nilfgaard War, a pivotal event for the Northern Realms. She also took a neutral stance, caring for soldiers of both sides of the war.
8 She's Pretty Forgiving
Many have at least heard of the rather precarious spot Geralt finds himself in, being in something of a love triangle between Triss, Shani, and himself. On the one hand, you've got the innocent and warmhearted nurse, Shani. This is contrasted with the firecracker, and powerful sorceress Triss.
The original Witcher game gives you an option as to who you'd like to romance. Players have found that, even if you decide to be with Triss and bamboozle her by delivering her patient, Alvin, to Triss to raise, Shani eventually comes, around you'll be able to speak and reconnect with her. While it doesn't occur until the end of the game, the friendship knows no bounds, so it's "water under the bridge" with Shani regardless of the path you take.
7 She's One Of The Very Few Women Who Plays Gwent
No, Geralt, in fact, is not alone in taking a break from slaying monsters in The Witcher and enjoying a nice relaxing game of Gwent. After finishing up the DLC content in the 3rd Witcher, you'll have the option to play Gwent with Shani, after which she hands you a useful Olgierd card upon winning.
As it turns out, Shani is one of the very few women who play this enjoyable card game. As she says herself, "what else is there to do come evening when one's among soldiers?" Despite her tough work as a medic, there is bound to be plenty of downtime when on the battlefield. What better way in the Middle Ages to help pass this time than with this fast-paced Polish card game?
6 She Achieved Some Posterity With Her Famous Quote
As an effective and respected healer and Doctor, Shani had eventually solidified her place in Radanian history, particularly within the halls of Oxenfurt University, where she retired as a Professor of Medicine.
Future generations of Surgeons would repeat a famous quote associated with her, which her tutor "Rusty" Vanderbeck had told her to sew wounds "red to red, yellow to yellow, white to white." This simple but sentimental line always invoked emotion when repeated to her, bringing a tear to her eye.
5 She's Not As Innocent As The Games Make Her Seem
Part of Shani's background, which often gets overlooked, helps explain how a young girl of humble origins was able to afford to study at an academy like Oxenfurt. As it turns out, Shani has, or at least had in her past, a bit of a dark side.
At one point, she mentions that, since the tuition was sky high, she had been stealing supplies from the school and selling on the side to a local by the name of Myhrman. Unfortunately for this Charlatan, Myhrman had key information about Rience which was "thoroughly and painfully extracted" by sorceress Philippa Eilhart.
4 Shani's Obscured Relationship With Dandelion
Some have speculated that Shani was part of a bit of a love triangle of her own involving the fellow Oxenfurt University student and bard named Dandelion. He and Shani had met under strange circumstances. As the story goes, Dandelion was being shadowed by Redanian spies and met with the medic-in-training as a way to throw them off.
Luckily for him, Oxenfurt students like Shani were not fond of these agents, and she was more than happy to help him out. But this led to Dandelion "pretending" to flirt with her while the spies were hunting him, leading some to think there may have been more going on. After all, at least according to book lore, Geralt was not her first relationship.
3 She Lived To Be 90 Years Old
Yes, as it turns out, being a medic who's well-versed in antidotes and tending to physical ailments can prove beneficial in one's own life. Despite her abstaining from that Witcher life, unlike Geralt, she manages to live to a ripe old age of 90.
In that long span of time occupying Redania, she'd played a positive role and lived a fulfilling life along the way. She's certainly made good on her credo to "use every bit of it wisely." Despite telling Geralt that she's "not likely to live 150 years," making it to 90 in the turbulent and often treacherous lands of the late Medieval period is pretty impressive.
2 She Almost Made An Appearance In The Witcher 2
According to developers CD Projekt, Shani was close to being included to one degree or another in The Witcher 2, but they had ultimately decided to leave her out. The reasoning seemed to be that she simply didn't quite fit in the scope of the larger, epic story taking place, or to Geralt's story, which was becoming less personal and more grandiose.
Her more humble and innocent nature was also likely a factor, as it would have clashed somewhat with the grittier and darker atmosphere of the sequel. She does get a mention in a journal entry in the second game if you end up with her, however. It claims that their "romance had blazed bright, but burned quickly," establishing the follow-up romance with Triss.
1 She Makes An Appearance In 2 Witcher Books
It's no secret that Shani's history and appearances have been light, considering she only pops up again in The Witcher 3 during the Hearts of Stone DLC and is absent from the 2nd game altogether.
This is largely true in the books as well, though she does make a brief appearance in both Blood of Elves from 1994 and The Lady of the Lake in 1999. In the former, Rani, Geralt, and Dandelion work together to try to chase down Rience, eventually leading to a brief but "passionate" romance with Geralt. While she didn't have a major showing, fans of Shani tend to agree she's a well-written and dynamic character, similar to the first Witcher game.