Characteristics[edit | edit source]
As their name suggests, a Branded is marked with a special brand somewhere on their body. This brand is the result of their beorc and laguz parentage. Despite the racial mixture, Branded mainly appear like normal beorc, lacking the chimeric features of the laguz as well as their ability to transform into an animal form. Branded individuals however retain the laguz's longer lifespan, but to a limited extent. Branded individuals also tend to have unusual eye and hair colors for a beorc. Unique to the Branded are special abilities that make them superior to normal beorc. Micaiah's Sacrifice skill is a result of her Branded heritage and Zelgius, Stefan, and Soren's incredible aptitude for their respective fields of combat.
After their birth, the laguz parent of the Branded loses their ability to transform, regardless of the gender of the parent. The special abilities of some races, like the Galdrar of the Herons are lost as well. Statements made about Lehran and Almedha's situations suggest that the mother may instead lose her powers at conception.
The children of a Branded may or may not inherit the Brand themselves, suggesting that the Brand is a side effect of the laguz parentage. Beorc children of a Branded retains their beorc traits and lifespans. However, the brand may resurface many generations later in an unwitting descendant even if they have two beorc parents with no brand themselves.
One of the more curious features of the Branded is that they were completely unaffected by Ashera's Judgement. It is believed that Ashera was unaware of their existence, and thus her judgement passed over even the weakest since they are neither beorc nor laguz. Amy was unaffected even though Largo, a strong warrior in his own right prior to his injury, was turned to stone. Stefan, who leads a colony populated entirely by Branded, was unaware of anyone being turned to stone.
History[edit | edit source]
The Branded are often treated poorly by both of their parent races. The laguz refer to them as "Parentless" and generally refuse to acknowledge their existence if a Branded individual stands before them. In some cases, laguz have been known to hunt down the Branded. The Branded are often referred to as "Half-Breeds" by beorc, leading to harassment and even execution if their Brand is known. Because they closely resemble beorcs, most Branded tend to live among them, though most live quiet, private lives to hide their decelerated aging.
The lost kingdom of Hatari is the one country on Tellius where the Branded are not persecuted. Hatari's isolation left them ignorant of the edict claiming that beorc and laguz should not interbreed. As a result, the Wolf-Branded remain few in number, but they live peacefully among their pure-blooded kin, completely free of the discrimination faced by their brethren in the rest of Tellius.
However, despite the general belief that the union of beorc and laguz is a crime against the Goddess, Yune told Stefan that such a notion was "silly", and that she had "never heard anything of the sort." It began as a lie spread by the three heroes to prevent people from discovering Lehran's fate and triggering another war between beorc and laguz. In later years it was continued by the church to justify bigotry against the Branded.
The Branded are also sometimes mistaken for Spirit Charmers; people who have made a pact with the Spirits in order to gain exceptional magic power, as these people also receive a mark on their skin that symbolizes the pact and the Spirit inhabiting his or her body. Soren and Micaiah have been mistaken for Spirit Charmers due to their Brands. The reverse is also true. The brand Pelleas received from his pact was sufficient to trick Almedha into thinking that Pelleas was her son. His mark also initially left Micaiah hopeful that she had finally met another Branded for the first time, until he unknowingly corrected her.
Despite being the source of the claim that the birth of a Branded is an abomination to be avoided at all cost, each of Ashera's Three Heroes is direct ancestor to a line of Branded. Altina was the mother of the very first Branded, whose own daughter, Yoram, was the first recognized Apostle. Their direct descendants include the first Empress Meshua, Misaha, and Micaiah. For an unknown reason, their brand always appears on the firstborn daughter of each generation. Dheginsea is the maternal grandfather of Soren, the only modern Branded known to have a laguz parent rather than a more distant ancestor. Soan is heavily implied to be an ancestor of Stefan. It is unknown if Soan himself fathered a Branded child as Lehran did, or if it was a later descendant as in the case of Dheginsea.
Known Branded[edit | edit source]
- Soren - Ashnard's true son. Black Dragon Heritage. His brand is on his forehead.
- Stefan - The leader of the only known community of Branded. Lion Heritage. His brand is on his forehead.
- Micaiah - The fifteenth ruler of Daein. Heron Heritage. Her brand is on her right hand.
- Misaha - The Apostle of Begnion whose murder eventually led to the Serenes Massacre and the grandmother of Sanaki and Micaiah. Heron Heritage. Her brand was on her right hand.
- Meshua - The first Empress of Begnion. Heron Heritage. Her brand was on her right hand.
- Amy - The adopted daughter of Largo and Calill. Unknown Heritage.
- Zelgius - Commander of the Begnion Central Army who serves under Sephiran. Implied Raven Heritage. His brand is on the left side of his back.
- Petrine - The lone woman serving as one of the Four Riders and hostile toward laguz. Tiger Heritage. Her official artwork shows a green mark on her right breast, which is likely her brand.
- Yoram - Granddaughter of Altina and the first Apostle of Begnion. Heron Heritage. Her brand was on her right hand.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The first volume of Tellius Recollection goes into some detail to the average lifespan of Branded based on which laguz tribe they share heritage with. It states that Branded with black dragon heritage have an average lifespan of 185 years, those of lion heritage 94 years, and tiger heritage 65 years.
- The marks of the Branded bear a similarity to the Brand, a concept that appears in Genealogy of the Holy War, Awakening, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.