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PhysicianProfile4th
“My, what an interesting infection. Does it always ooze like that?”
—Anonymous Physician[3a]

Physicians are practitioners of the healing arts who study the mysteries of illness and anatomy. The science of medicine is relatively new and still distrusted by the majority of Old World citizens. Many regard unknown Physicians as either trumped up Apothecaries or dangerous quacks until they’ve proven themselves. Skilled Physicians, however, are often well-respected members of their communities. They are capable of dealing with most minor ailments and a number of more straightforward injuries, such as major cuts or crushing wounds. Physicians are often eager to seek out new medicines and learn about more effective treatments.[1a]

Overview

“Beware the Brass Doktor.”
—Reikland proverb warning against cheap Physicians[3a]

Physicians study patients’ symptoms and prescribe remedies and surgeries. While the healing arts are ancient, many deriving from Elven practices, the formal science of medicine is relatively new and not-entirely-trusted. Due to the Empire’s history with necromancy and the safe-guards imposed by the Cult of Morr, studying cadavers is forbidden, making learning of anatomy hard. Medicine’s reputation suffered further from swindlers selling ‘miracle cure-alls’ that do nothing or cause actual harm. Physicians learn their profession at a university or while apprenticed to a Guild Physician. Most cheap surgery is undertaken by back-street Physicians known as Barber-Surgeons whose training is informal. Trained doctors with strong stomachs are in demand for the State Armies. The most famed Physicians almost exclusively tend to wealthy merchants and the nobility.[3a]

Physician’s Guild fees are notoriously expensive, which can cause newer Physicians without steady clientele to seek alternate sources of income. Some Physicians consistently search for more effective treatments and new medicines, which can take them far afield. Others like to expand their knowledge of anatomy by studying grievous wounds first hand, and there are few better ways to do that than by travelling with adventurers.[3a]

Little Known Facts

PhysicianProfile
“They’re bastards, all. I can’t so much as give you a proper bloodletting without their leave. “Practicing medicine without a license” my arse. I know you can’t afford them, deary. Here, luv, take this nice tea. What? Oh no, just tea is all. Just tea. And if you feel better, why, thank Shallya, eh?”
—Jana Palner, Part-time Surgeon[3a]

Physicians are very skilled with small blades, due to their training in surgery. Although they usually use their blades to save lives, it is not wise to get into an altercation with a seasoned Physician, as their knowledge of anatomy means they know exactly where to strike to cause serious injury.[2a]

Before becoming a member of the Physicians' Guild, Physicians swear a solemn oath pledging before Shallya that they will use their skills to preserve life, never take it.[2a]

Physicians often look down on "uneducated" practitioners of the healing arts. While an Apothecary or village Wise Woman may brew poultices that heal wounds, the Physician is quick to dismiss any results from such practices as mere coincidence.[2a]

Some might assume Physicians would tend to be pacifists or at least disinclined toward wars and confrontation, since none know better the gruesome effect of war on the frail mortal body. However, often the opposite is true. While the Physician may be among the last to take up arms in a conflict, a Physician's skills are always in demand come wartime.[2a]

Some less-than-scrupulous Physicians have been known to enter into agreements with the local Jailer to provide them with test subjects for their potions and concoctions, in return for a small bribe.[2a]

Notable Physicians

  • Bloody Maria – Maria gained the moniker, Bloody, during her time as Torturer. She could make a grown man weep for his mother after but a few minutes of her tender ministrations. Though she did her duty, her reasons for doing it was to learn more about the Mutants. She figured she could help control the Mutant population by severing the offending parts. But, to do so, she had to learn more about them. So, with every criminal she tortured, and with every turn of the thumbscrew, she learned a little more, until, eventually, she uncovered the location of the Night Market. That very day, she quit and set up shop in the heart of the Maze. She told the malformed urchins to spread the word she would help any who came to her, for a price. Starting with a trickle, the first afflicted souls came to her place, revealing a mess of tendrils, eyestalks, bird claws, beaks, and worse. And, each time, she hacked off the part, collected her coins, and sent them on their way.[7a]
  • Skitter-dark – The leader of the Thirteenth Claw was a gnarled old Plague Monk, Skitter-dark. Though a creature of Chaos, Skitter-dark had a fastidious and statistical mind. He believed that knowledge would not come to the Skaven through wanton destruction and slaughter, but through calm, detached collation of statistics. Skitter-dark’s methods were a world away from the frenzied devotion with which Plague Monks normally do the work of the Horned Rat, but Skitter-dark was a long way from Skavenblight, and he paid no mind to the opinions of his fellow senior rat-men. Skitter-dark was an intelligent rat, and though he was not a skilled fighter, he was protected at all times by the Claw’s complement of Stormvermin and rarely left the Orphan Hills laboratory. He had obtained so much information on the spreading of disease that his collected papers could be used by Human scholars to greatly advance the understanding of medicine should they be able to translate them from Queekish. Skitter-dark, of course, intended to return to Skavenblight and present his knowledge to the Council of Thirteen so they can kill even more pitiful Humans with their diseases.[5a]
  • Ulrich Fischer – A squat, balding man, Fischer was a lower-level member of the Ordo Fidelis. He was apprenticed to Hoffer, who was grooming him for a career as a Witch Hunter. He started out as a Jailer in Talabheim, working his way up through the ranks to the grim position of Interrogator. Not satisfied, he began to study medicine in order to perfect his knowledge of the Human body and refine the persuasiveness of his art. After extracting a number of confessions where others had failed, he was recruited into the Ordo to assist with their investigations. His medical knowledge also made him the group’s main healer. He stuck close to Hoffer, both because of his superior rank and because of the physical protection he offered. While he was not afraid of combat in a good cause, Fischer was much more comfortable inflicting very precise violence on helpless victims than dealing death in the press of battle.[4a]
  • Ulthvas Daubler – A robust man in his late forties, Daubler was swift to laugh and poke fun at himself. His bright blue eyes often seemed a little too wide, as if he was perpetually surprised, and he frequently smoked a long-stemmed pipe filled with tobacco imported from the Moot. Daubler was a merry soul who genuinely enjoys helping people, though the money is nice, too. He travelled extensively in his youth, training in an Altdorf university as well as studying with one or two knowledgeable old peasant women. Daubler is a rare soul for an Empire citizen: a cosmopolitan individual who tries to see the world as it is, not as the deluded make it out to be.[6a]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Core Rulebook (2nd Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 80
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Career Compendium (2nd Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 162
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Core Rulebook (4th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 57
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Ashes of Middenheim (2nd Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 54
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Barony of the Damned (2nd Edition)
    • 5a: pg. 44
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Terror in Talabheim (2nd Edition)
    • 6a: pg. 56
  • 7: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Tome of Corruption (2nd Edition)
    • 7a: pg. 22

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