Rabiah was the healer of Siwa, Egypt in the 1st century BCE. In this capacity, she undertook the burden of treating the injuries endured by the people of Siwa under the reign of Ptolemy XIII even in spite of constant harassment and threats by his soldiers to relent.
Healer of Siwa
The main healer of the village of Siwa, Rabiah was a family friend of Bayek, the son of the Medjay Sabu, and his later wife Aya. In the couple's younger years, Rabiah often found herself making excuses to their parents to alleviate their worries and protect the two from too much trouble. As both Aya and Bayek often suffered injuries from their training as Medjays, Rabiah was often sought out by both of them to treat their wounds.
- Bayek: "Hepzefa tells me you are healing the villagers as best you can. It would give me much pleasure to help you."
- Rabiah: "That is kind of you. May your ka(soul) be blessed. I can always use help. The soldiers are brutes. Almost every villager has cuts, bruises, broken bones."
- —Rabiah confiding in Bayek on the problems she faced, 48 BCE.[src]-[m]
In 49 BCE, Bayek and Aya departed from Siwa in their hunt for the members of the Order of the Ancients responsible for the death of their son, Khemu. In the meantime, with the rise of Ptolemy XIII and his appointment of Medunamun as the Oracle of Siwa, the local authorities became far more brutal and oppressive. Villagers were often subject to arbitrary detention and torture, threats, harassment, extortion, and even murder by the soldiers for the slightest perceived offense. As the village healer, Rabiah's role became even more paramount in light of these affairs; she was the one chiefly responsible for treating her fellow villagers of their frequent—and sometimes critical—wounds.
Notwithstanding this, she also saved the life of Bayek's eagle companion, Senu, who had been presumed dead by Bayek. To manage her work, she established a makeshift House of Life in the ruins of the old local temple to serve as a clinic, paying the local nomarch for permission to operate there. Nevertheless, every few weeks, the same group of Medunamun's soldiers would stop by to pillage the House of Life of its medicine and food stocks, calling it a tribute for the Pharaoh's Royal Army.
The following year, when Rabiah barged into the house of Hepzefa, a friend of Bayek, to alert him of more trouble with the soldiers, she was delighted to find that Bayek had returned at last after assassinating Rudjek of the Order of the Ancients. She patched the Medjay of his wounds, and in doing so, helped him pass out for some much needed rest he was reluctant to take. Erstwhile, Rabiah had been depending on the far-off village of Yamu for her supply of medicine. However, Medunamun's soldiers blockaded Siwa and began seizing all goods brought in by outside traders, disrupting Rabiah's medical operations. When Rabiah and her healers attempted to circumvent this by bringing in the medicine by boat instead, the soldiers sank the last shipment just before Bayek's intervention.
With Bayek's return, the tide of affairs shifted; when the Medjay visited Rabiah at her home, she revealed to him Siwa's predicament, and he was swift to help by retrieving the lost medicine jars at the bottom of the Siwa Oasis. As instructed, he met with her at the House of Life that evening to give her the jars, only to find her and her patients crowded outside the entrance, having been thrown out by the authorities entirely. These were the same soldiers who had been constantly raiding the House of Life, and the Medjay acted decisively, entering the premises and single-handedly killing all the pillagers. This victory, reinforced by Bayek's subsequent assassination of Medunamun, freed the temple for Rabiah and her patients to resume operations of the House of Life.
Storming of the Siwan Vault
- "The objects they carried opened it as if by a god's hand. Hepzefa tried to stop them, but they rendered him helpless. They entered the vault, a blue fire seemed to emerge. I fled to no avail. The entire village lost its reason and fell to the ground like dolls."
- ―Rabiah to Aya and Bayek on her counter with Flavius and Septimius, 47 BCE.[src]-[m]
In 47 BCE, the Order of the Ancients members Flavius Metellus and Lucius Septimius visited Siwa in search of the Isu vault beneath the Temple of Amun. With the Apple of Eden in his possession, Flavius used its power to cripple and disable the Siwan residents including Rabiah, leaving only Hepzefa able to pursue.
After Aya and Bayek arrived at the village in pursue of the Order members, Rabiah directed them to the vault, where they found a deceased Hepzefa and the Order members had left the area. Rabiah and the villagers would later hold a funeral for Hepzefa, burying him in the Mountain of the Dead. After the funeral, Rabiah handed over Hepzefa's prized sword to Bayek before he left for Cyrenaica to pursue Flavius.
Personality and characteristics
A compassionate woman, Rabiah was truly devoted to her role as the healer of Siwa. Even in the face of abuse by local authorities, she would not be discouraged from her work, instead persevering in finding whatever way she could to best fulfill her duty. Well aware of the vengeful quest of her friend, the Medjay Bayek, she did not judge him harshly for it. Instead, she looked upon it with patience and concern while reminding him not to be consumed by it.