“This is proof that the blood of both beorc and laguz course through me. And so, I am anathema to both.”
The term Branded (印付き, Shirushi-Tsuki lit. Marked) is used to describe people in the world of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn who have both laguz and beorc ancestors and this shows itself with a mark on the skin. Branded often live longer than beorc and age slowly, although they do not live as long as laguz.
As the offspring of beorc and laguz, a Branded bears a physical resemblance to a full-blooded beorc, save for the appearance of a brand somewhere on their body. They also have extended lifespans, though they do not live for as long as a full-blooded laguz. Branded do not have the ability to transform as a laguz does, though they may bear hair and eye colors unusual to full-blooded beorc.
Historically, the Branded are often treated poorly by both of their parent races. The laguz refer to them as "Parentless" and pretend they do not even exist. If they sense that a Branded is in their presence, they will ignore or avoid the Branded. There also have been statements that the laguz will actively seek out Branded in hunts.
Beorc call Branded "Half-Breeds" and treat them poorly as well, going so far as to injure or even kill them. However, due to their physical resemblance to beorc, Branded are able to live among them for spans of time until their slow aging becomes noticed. Branded also often have powers which normal beorc do not. Micaiah's Sacrifice ability is an example of such a power. Other Branded simply possess incredible aptitude for what they do, such as Zelgius, Soren, and Stefan.
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.
After birth, the laguz parent of the Branded loses their ability to transform, regardless of whether they are the father or mother. Statements made about Lehran and Almedha's situations suggest that the mother may instead lose her powers at conception.
The vast majority of Branded do not actually have a laguz parent. In most cases, if a Branded has a child with a beorc, said child ages normally and shows neither a brand or any physical ability beyond other beorc. In this way, the original coupling can be completely forgotten until the brand reappears on an unlucky descendent decades or even centuries later. There are exceptions; however, why they behave differently is given no explanation except possibly certain attributes of the original laguz parent.
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.
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.
As stated above, Branded bear a physical resemblance to a full-blooded beorc, though some bear unusual hair or eye colors. Though all Branded bear a mark somewhere on their bodies, there is no consistency in terms of where the brand appears. Soren's brand, for example, is on his forehead, making it easy for anyone to see. Other Branded such as Zelgius, however, bear their brands on regions of their bodies that are easily concealed by clothes and are kept hidden from view.
- 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. However, since this chart contradicts statements made by Stefan and Nasir about how their respective races age, it is most likely a remnant of an earlier story build and not canon in the final script.
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