Through the vast history of Caelon, there is no more well-known symbol of healing than the outstretched arm of Lady Gailavira, the mender. Of the original companions of the First Son, known today as the Ten Saints, Gailavira’s legacy has traveled far and wide throughout the years, with portraits and statues in her honor in many cities throughout the land. But what makes Saint Gailavira such a revered figure in the lore of both Torian and Warathi beliefs?
A Life of Servitude and Great Loss
Prior to the return of the First Son, Saint Gailavira dedicated most of her life to the Hospital in the White Walled City. There are only a few details that we know about her life prior to her journey out of the city, but the information we do have helps us understand exactly who she was and what may have driven her to embarking on such a dangerous mission.
Many refer to Gailavira as the Great Matron, a title that, in the time before her journey would have not been appropriate to attribute to her. Prior to her dedicating her life to medicine, she was married a wealthy man with whom she intended to raise a family. Alas, the cruel hand of fate dealt blows to her dreams of a happy life that would ultimately shape the woman she would become.
After many failed attempts at a successful pregnancy including a still birth, Gailavira ultimately gave birth to a son with a terrible disability. It is not known what precisely the boy suffered, only that he was in pain much of his short life of only six years. To Gailavira’s husband’s credit, he loved the boy as best as he could, though he resigned himself to the fact that his bloodline would likely end. They were never successful in having any more children together.
We cannot know for certain what happened in the events that led to Gailavira’s husband’s suicide, though we can make some assumptions about the great pressure placed on men in their time to continue their lineage, toppled with the great loss of their son. All within the same year, Gailavira had lost her only son and her beloved husband, and was all alone.
The widow Gailavira submitted herself to a sect of women known as Mujeres que Curan, where she studied and devoted her life to the passion of healing those in pain. She always had a special affinity toward parents who have lost a child, and children suffering from ailments beyond their control.
A Matron on an Impossible Mission
When the First Son returned to the White Walled City and requested the aid of brave men and women to assist him on a journey outside of the walls to vanquish the evil that prowled the land, nobody expected an unarmed woman in her forties to stand up to be counted among their number. Yet, seeing the overwhelming danger that the men would face and knowing that they would be needing someone skilled in surgery and field medicine, she insisted that she join them.
The years that went by on the first mission outside of the walls are well documented in several sources, including in the most famous epic poem Cantar del Primer Hijo, but her worthiness as a companion was proven time and time again, even saving the life of the First Son himself after a terrible battle that ended the life of several of the Ten Saints. Because of her bravery and selflessness, she earned accolades from the masses once the tales of their journey had reached the masses in the White Walled City upon their return.
Gailavira did not accompany the First Son on any subsequent missions, but remained in the city. News of the success of the first mission and the stories they brought back with them built enough momentum for there to be legions of new volunteers to set out with the First Son and the remaining Saints once they were properly trained.
During the time the First Son had returned to the White Walled City, he famously became very prolific with many of the women who lived there. When he left on the next expedition, he put Gailavira in charge of leading this new harem of his wives so that the children would be influenced by her goodness.
Although the bloodlines of the children produced at that time eventually went on to sit on thrones throughout the land, for as long as Saint Gailavira lived, she helped raise them to live to the highest standards, using their gifts to the benefit of mankind. Because of the nature of the gifts and the potency of the blood of the First Son, it is clear that Saint Gailavira played a pivotal role in the development of these children. Who knows what may have happened, had these children not have gotten guidance with their special abilities.
The Prayer to Saint Gailavira
Saint Gailavira, mother of compassion
Heal us from all that ails us
Provide for us the nectar of revival
And extend your hand that we may take it
Guide us safely through lands where demons dwell
And provide to us relief from all suffering
In the name of the one who named all things