Gisela Saaur
Gisela Saaur is the Venerated Soul of the afflicted, injured, and dying. She is recognized by the Cult of Shallya.

History Edit

According to local legend, there was a healer in the small town of Ferlangen in the province of Ostland. A devout follower of Shallya, Gisela Saaur gave her life to easing the suffering of the afflicted, injured, and dying. In those days, there was much suffering to go around, since the world lay under the pall cast by the Black Plague, and the dead filled the streets. So many were the corpses that the living were outnumbered, and it was simply easier to burn the dead in their homes rather than to brave the dangerous vapours. Unfortunately, the fires claimed as many dying as they did dead, and some whispered that the living and healthy were also killed by the cleansing fires.[1a]

What made Gisela stand out from the other selfless clerics was her willingness to treat the sick directly. She helped many victims, venturing into the worst-hit neighborhoods even though the risk to her own life was great. Her treatments were unusual and met mixed success. Though remembered for her work lancing buboes with her sharp pins, she also experimented by rubbing rats against the afflicted victims, feeding them lye to cleanse their insides, and other bizarre treatments.[1a]

The healer never realized that despite her self-sacrifice and good intentions, she was actually spreading the disease. She was part of a small sect of Shallyans who believed it was wrong to remove one’s clothes, since their attire ensured that contagion could never come in contact with naked flesh. Since she wore the same garb, she never knew that her own body was covered in boils, weeping wounds, and corruption. Each time she pierced the victim’s flesh with one of her needles, she infected him with any number of ailments. The locals had no idea, and if someone told them, they would have refused to believe it anyway.[1a]

And so Gisela worked as the town died around her. It wasn’t until a Witch Hunter of Sigmar passed through the village and sensed something wrong in the kindly priestess that the truth was revealed. He clapped her in manacles and imprisoned her, while his interrogators inspected her body for signs of corruption. To the templar’s surprise, the woman was profoundly ill. To save the town, he had her burned at the stake rather than let the plague spread.[1a][1b]

Unfortunately for him, he never related his findings to the people, and they, in their despair and outrage over their healer’s execution, pulled the man from his saddle and tore him limb from limb. A few months later, when the plague ran its course, an educated noble happened upon the witch hunter’s journal and discovered the truth. When he spread word of what he had found, the townspeople refused to believe that the woman was actually the cause of their suffering, and suggested that it was her sacrifice to the purifying fires that saved them. To commemorate this act, they petitioned the Cult of Shallya to name her a Venerated Soul, claiming that her death spared the town—a true miracle.[1b]

The noble argued against this but was silenced. Since there were no other voices of dissent, the Cult of Shallya named the temple in the community after her, and installed a small shrine near the door. Gisela’s most ardent followers have left a number of long needles so they can prick themselves to invoke the blessing of their Venerated Soul.[1b]

Source Edit

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Salvation
    • 1a -- pg. 96
    • 1b -- pg. 97

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