“Sanaki, my long life has shown me the people of this world deserve only destruction. The selfishness, the brutality... The disregard for others, the endlessly quarreling Laguz and Beorc. We have been given many chances to correct our behavior and ourselves, and have squandered them all.”
—Sephiran explaining to Sanaki the reason behind his actions
Sephiran (セフェラン Seferan) is a non-playable character in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and a boss/player character in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn as well as the true main antagonist of the latter. He is the Prime Minister of the Begnion Empire, the most senior member of the Begnion Senate, and the Duke of Persis. He first appears in Path of Radiance in the guise of a pilgrim, although he is later shown to stop the Black Knight; the reason for the knight's obedience is not revealed until later in Radiant Dawn. In the final fight with Ashera, Sephiran bears only the Ashera Staff, forsaking his powerful personal tome, Creiddylad.
Sephiran was once known as Lehran (エルラン, Eruran), the thousand year-old heron who supported the “Three Heroes” in their fight against the Dark God Yune. It was thanks to Lehran’s suggestion that the Goddess Ashera decided to seal Yune within the medallion that would one day be known as the Fire Emblem, rather than erase her entire existence. In exchange, he, along others, took a vow that there would be no war for a thousand years. The plan was that, after that period, Ashera would become one with Yune again, forming the original goddess of creation –known as Ashunera, or the Goddess of Dawn.
Since then, Lehran took great care in maintaining stability throughout the world while using galdr to comfort Yune. He also took the chance to grow more intimate with his partner Altina, one of the Three Heroes who became the founder of Begnion. However, upon she bore his child, the very first Branded, he discovered shortly after that he lost the ability to transform and sing galdr, becoming neither Beorc nor Laguz. If Radiant Dawn is completed more than once with both Nasir and Gareth surviving the fight against the dragons, it is stated in a conversation (involving Nasir, Gareth, Kurthnaga, and Micaiah) that Lehran attempted suicide many times.
This phenomenon –where a child of mixed beorc and laguz blood would lead to the laguz parent losing their power –was only known to the Three Heroes at the time. They feared that news of this getting out to the world would cause strife between the beorc and laguz, which would go against the covenant they formed. With that in mind, Lehran arranged it so that he faked a sudden death and hid himself away in Goldoa, while Altina took on a new beorc husband, and raised her child with Lehran as a normal beorc born of that husband.
Living secretly under King Dheginsea's care for seven hundred years, he met the infant prince Kurthnaga on a few occasions and sang to him; Observing and puzzled by the conflicts between beorc and laguz while living in Goldoa, it gradually took a toll on him, as he came into conflict with Dheginsea's insistence on neutrality and the extreme isolationism of the dragon kingdom, objecting to the dragon king's refusal to aid the many laguz suffering in slavery in Begnion. This leads him to depart less than one hundred and fifty years into the covenant, seeking to work on his own if necessary to help his brethren.
While in Begnion, Lehran held a secret visit with his descendant, Empress Misaha, at the Begnion capital Sienne. She recognized him as her ancestor and, trusting his word, revealed to him that she, along with every apostle before her, was a Branded and revealed the Mark on the back of her right hand, which she had been forced to hide from everyone. When Lehran, having not known that his descendants carried the mark, apologized for what she had to endure for her entire life, she forgave him, telling him that now she knew who her ancestor was, she no longer felt any shame in her heritage. She then told Lehran of her plan to reveal herself as a Branded to the world, in a bid to help free it of the prejudice against other Branded, even being fully aware of the dangers that she will face when doing so. Inspired by her courage, Lehran intended to return to Goldoa to tell everyone of this new hope.
Shortly after, however, he learned of Misaha's assassination from a group of Begnion peasants, of the senate's claims the herons of the Serenes Forest were responsible, and of the people's lust for revenge against them; he accidentally revealed his wings out of his anger at their claims, raising their ire too. By the time he reached Serenes, the Serenes Massacre had already occurred, and he found his medallion abandoned on an altar. Finally losing all hope for the world. He decided that people did not deserve to exist, and left Goldoa for Begnion, resolved to awaken Ashera prematurely and condemn the people of the world to her judgement for their crimes.
Having lost his powers long ago, Lehran was incapable of using the galdr of release to awaken the goddesses and so resolved to awaken them through a continental war. He adopted the identity of Sephiran, who was said to be a member of a family of great mages. He took on the title of Duke of Persis and joined the Begnion senate; according to Lekain, Sephiran was the youngest senator in the nation's history. Fifteen years after the Serenes Massacre, Misaha's granddaughter, Sanaki, ascended to the throne at just five years old, but was emotionally unstable, due to having lost her family, until Sephiran intervened. The two eventually developed a mutual bond of trust, with Sephiran being the only person Sanaki could place her full faith in. As a result of Sanaki trusting and behaving around Sephiran, as well as the approval from the populace, the other senators elevated him to the rank of prime minister, intending to use him and Sanaki as puppet rulers. Instead, however, the two worked directly in opposition to the senators and fought for civil liberties, opposing and condemning numerous abuses thereof on the part of the senate where possible.
During this time, Sephiran continued to work on his plans to awaken Ashera. He learned of Ashnard, the young Daein prince, and informed him of the existence of the medallion, causing Ashnard to seek it out and desire the "dark god's" release, inciting the Mad King's War. He also paid a visit to the Daein barracks and encountered Zelgius, a Branded serving under Gawain, one of the Four Riders of Daein, and, after learning of his past, convinced him to come to Begnion and serve him in his cause once he abandoned Daein. In Ike's memory scene, it is revealed that it was Sephiran who sealed Ike's memories of his mother's death to spare him the pain of having witnessed Elena's death at the hands of her husband, Greil, Gawain's new name after he fled Daein years earlier, after he touched the medallion, which had been in Elena's possession since she left Daein. In addition, after discovering that Ike's sister, Mist, was able to touch the medallion without being affected, he decided to leave it with her for the time being.
It is also implied that he somehow brought Micaiah to Daein and dropped her off there to protect her from the senators since she was the Firstborn heir being the one to become Begnion's Empress and Apostle. Lehran was likely afraid that Micaiah will suffer the same fate as her grandmother did.
Path of RadianceEdit
At the onset of the Mad King's War, Sephiran set out to observe the state of affairs in Crimea, in the guise of a simple monk. During his travels, he arrived in a small village and found Brom and Nephenee, who had been injured in combat, and worked to heal their injuries, but for doing so, he was captured by Daein forces and imprisoned in Canteus Castle. He was scheduled for execution by the Daein forces, but was released a day before his execution date when Ike and the Greil Mercenaries led an assault on the castle to free its prisoners. After a conversation with Ike he left, and it was not until his arrival in Begnion that Ike learned from Sanaki of his identity as the prime minister. At the conclusion of the war, Sephiran arrived in Melior and met with Ike following Ashnard's defeat, where Ike told him of his (erroneous) findings about Ashnard's role in assassinating Misaha and causing the Serenes Massacre, had Mist pass on the galdr of release to convey to Sanaki, and in return Sephiran informed him of the identity of the "Altina" he sought, Sanaki.
Three years later, when word reached Sanaki of the abuses of Begnion's occupational army in Daein, she dispatched Sephiran to lead an investigation team to Daein to identify the nature of the conflict, and in doing so derailing Lekain's plan to lead the team himself and obscure the true extent of the operation. Seeing Micaiah as a branded with potential use, he also send the Black Knight to protect her in times of danger, though he was unaware she was actually Misaha’s successor –the true Apostle. However, the army was defeated by Micaiah and the Daein liberation army before he could arrive.
Later, when Begnion went to war with the Laguz Alliance, Sanaki and Sephiran recieved a letter from the Alliance telling them of the role of the Senate in perpetrating the Serenes Massacre and the assassination of Misaha, and sought to investigate and prosecute them for their crimes. But before they could do anything, at the height of the war Sephiran was subjected to a coup d'etat by the rest of the Senate, arrested and stripped of his rank, thus removing him as an obstacle to the Senate's wish to continue the war. Following Sanaki's re-emergence and the unification of Zelgius's faction of the Begnion army with the Laguz Alliance, Zelgius returned to Begnion and released Sephiran from jail, allowing them to take the next steps in fulfilling Sephiran's plan. When the two goddesses were awakened by Micaiah performing the galdr of release of Lehran's Medallion, Sephiran was in the Tower of Guidance and greeted Ashera upon her awakening, then delivered his condemnation of the two races' failure to resist war, prompting her to cast judgement upon the world.
Sephiran remained in the upper levels of the tower, having sealed the doorway to Ashera with magic tied to his own life in preparation for the arrival of Ike, Micaiah and Sanaki. When the group arrived, Sephiran initially acted friendly and loyal to Sanaki, but as soon as Ike challenged him on his words and actions he revealed to them group his plan and servitude to Ashera, and that to proceed to Ashera herself they would have to kill him. He was mortally wounded in the ensuing battle, and with his dying breath he gave his Rudol Gem to Sanaki as a final gift. Before he could die properly, however, Micaiah used the full extent of her magic to revive and heal him, timed to trick the doorway into thinking Sephiran had died, whereupon Ike convinces him to accompany his group in fighting Ashera to rectify his mistakes. While Sephiran is reluctant at first, he eventually sees the error of his ways and accepts, arriving just as Ike's group began the battle.
In the aftermath of Ashera's defeat, Sephiran returned to the Serenes Forest at the request of King Lorazieh, and had his emotional wounds healed by the songs of his fellow herons. He continued to live as Lehran for at least one millennium further, and was present to greet the newly-reunified and awoken Ashunera 1,200 years after Ashera's defeat, resuming his role as her companion.
Path of RadianceEdit
*Enemy only; joins unequipped
Endgame (Part 4)Edit
Sanaki: ...Sephiran... Everything you've ever told me, every time you gave your hand to me, every time you smiled... They were all lies? ...You're the most appalling fraud I've ever known!
Sephiran: No, Lady Sanaki... I've actually lied to you very little. What I have done is hold things back. I've also twisted the truth from time to time... But I have only told one blatant falsehood. That one lie has weighed heavily on me. It makes me hate myself sometimes.
Sephiran: I always care deeply for you, my little Lady Sanaki... You are my sun and moon. I never wished to harm you. Please... You must understand...
Sanaki: ...No! Sephiran, no!
Leanne: (You...it...it can’t be...)
Sephiran: (Go back to the forest. This is not where you should be.)
Leanne: (No! I’m staying here with everyone! These people are my friends... my family! I will not leave them!)
Sephiran: Has the heron clan changed so much? They’ve always been so passive and accepting of their natural fate...
Sephiran: Go back to your forest, heron. You are like me, an avatar of order. You understand what I must do. Bask in the light of Ashera's Judgement. It holds no fear for you!
Reyson: I refuse to save only myself. Such an act would be an unforgivable betrayal. I will stand by my companions, and fight to the end.
Sephiran: Are you sure you're of the heron tribe? I've never met a heron like you... Your will is extraordinarily strong.
Rafiel: It is you... Now that I've seen your face... I know that you once went by another name.
Sephiran: You are mistaken. I am known as Sephiran, and nothing else.
Rafiel: You have closed your heart. Why?
Sephiran: ...I have nothing more to say. Nothing...
Endgame (Part 5)Edit
Kurthnaga: You're Lehran...
Lehran: Prince Kurthnaga... How you've grown.
Kurthnaga: You know who I am?
Lehran: I resided in Goldoa for more than seven hundred years.
Kurthnaga: I... I had no idea.
Lehran: That's because I was kept in hiding. But I did meet you several times, when you were just an infant.
Kurthnaga: I remember a...a mysterious man with black wings. Was that you? I always thought it was a dream...
Kurthnaga: I was always so fascinated by that man and his songs... I remember him well, and fondly.
Sanaki: You finally made it, Sephiran.
Lehran: Sanaki, I...
Sanaki: I was starting to wonder how I would punish you.
Lehran: I'm sorry?
Sanaki: You are my subordinate, after all. I have decided that leaving one's empress to die is punishable by drowning in a pool of rancid butter.
Lehran: Of course it is, my empress.
Sanaki: I hope you're a strong swimmer.
Micaiah: You're Lehran, aren't you?
Micaiah: You... Forgive me for asking, but... Aren't you my--
Lehran: Can we talk about this later?
Micaiah: What? Oh, I mean, of course... Sorry to bother you...
Lehran: Child, you couldn't possibly bother me. It's just, the talk you and I must have is going to take a long time. I don't think Ashera would wait for us to finish.
Micaiah: Oh... Very well.
Lehran: What is it?
Micaiah: Oh, nothing... Never mind.
Lehran: Looks like you could use some backup. I'm good with a staff, too, you know.
Micaiah: Th-thank you.
Ike: Sephiran... I mean, Lehran...
Lehran: I can't apologize enough. I was so terribly mistaken, and now there's nothing I can do to help.
Ike: Don't worry.
Ike: Wanting to do something that matters is enough. Sometimes, how you feel is more important than how you act.
Lehran: Ike, I... There's no one that I think more highly of..
Ike: No time for compliments. We still have work to do here.
Lehran: Yes... Yes, we do.
Sephiran: The laguz and beorc have doomed each other with their mutual hatred. You have brought extinction on yourselves!
Micaiah: You... I've heard about you. Have we... met before?
Sephiran: The Silver-Haired Maiden. It's taken so long to finally meet you. If I had known you still lived, I... I... No, it's too late. This changes nothing. I cannot falter.
Micaiah: What is the matter with you?
Sephiran: I'm just overly sensitive. Don't feign concern over me.
Ike: I have to ask, Sephiran. What are you after? What's this all about?
Sephiran: Why do you wish to know? You would achieve nothing by learning my reasons. You would help no one. I lost faith in lesser beings, and desire an end to them. That's all.
Ike: So why did you save me on that day?
Sephiran: May I ask you a favor, Ike? Tell me how you feel about it now. Can you bear recalling those horrific memories?
Ike: Yes... I'm fine, now. But I supposed at the time I wouldn't have been able to take it.
Sephiran: All beings endure tragedies for as long as they continue to live. It has always been the case that suffering is unavoidable. And this grim reality plays out over and over, in every country, under every ruler... As long as there are beings who feel, they will feel pain.
Ike: So what? We should all just give in and die? Put it behind you. Deal with it.
Sephiran: Do not make light of this...
Ike: I'm not, Sephiran, I'm extremely grateful that you once helped me through a terrible time. But I have accepted that occasionally we all have to deal with hard times. I've had pain, I've had suffering, and I have gotten up and moved on. I don't try to forget what happened that day. I just accept it... And neither that or anything else will ever stop me.
Sephiran: You are a strong man, Ike, son of Gawain. But not everyone is as strong as you...
Sothe: Here goes...
Sephiran: Hello, child... I'm a little surprised to see an ordinary boy like you, fighting for the world. This day is full of surprises!
Sothe: No one's more surprised than me. I can't read people's feelings like Micaiah... I'm not invincible in battle like Ike... Between all these laguz kings and great beorc heroes, I don't really belong here.
Sephiran: Then why are you here?
Sothe: Because there's one thing that I can't afford to lose. Micaiah. I've come all this way just to protect her... I won't lose her now.
Sephiran: The depth of your feelings... Might I ask your name?
Sothe: Sothe. Now if you want to stand in our way, I'm prepared to cut you down.
Sephiran: King Pelleas, correct? Aren’t you brave, coming all this way!
Pelleas: If you’re the one who’s been pulling the strings behind all this, please tell me... Who... Who am I?
Sephiran: ..I don’t know. All I know is that you are a powerful practitioner of magic... I know that you were an orphan born and raised in Daein. But that is all Izuka ever told me.
Pelleas: So... I’m not Ashnard’s true son?
Sephiran: No, you’re not. Ashnard’s son is of dragon tribe blood and is thus branded.
Pelleas: I think I’m going to be ill...
Sephiran: Be assured that you were essential to Daein’s reconstruction, which was a vital step toward waking the goddess. Fortunately, Izuka was able to use you to execute my plan.
Pelleas: You are going to pay! You are going to... BLAAARRRGH!
Sephiran: King Naesala, it seems as if everything went well with the pact.
Naesala: Yes, for which I am thankful. The blood pact yoked Kilvas to your country's control... But we no longer suffer the curse for opposing the tyrannical edicts of your corrupt, bloated senators. Present company expected, of course.
Sephiran: I'm quite glad to hear it.
Naesala: You shouldn't be. You're not like the other senators, but your insane agenda has turned my nation to stone! Freedom means nothing to a statue.
Sephiran: My goal was simply to save Sanaki. With your help, she is safe. The mutual benefit to your country was a happy accident, so don't feel indebted to me.
Naesala: So you won't object when I tear your lungs out here and now?
Sephiran: By all means. Be my guest.
Nailah: Who would've guessed that a madman on the other side of the desert would somehow threaten Hatari?
Sephiran: Hatari. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see it. The wolf tribe has survived all this time in the far corner of the world. Only the goddess could have known that.
Nailah: Perhaps even she didn't know it. Your goddess isn't perfect, you know. Does an imperfect goddess have the right to judge imperfect beings?
Sephiran: I see your point. Does the creator retain the right to destroy her creations when they are no longer what she envisioned? I imagine we could discuss this sometime... if only we had more time. I believe you alone might be able to sway my opinion on this, Lady Nailah, Queen of Wolves.
Nailah: You have too many opinions. I'm done talking.
Sephiran: Hello, King Tibarn. I thought I might see you. Only the strongest reach the top. It's only natural that you would be among them.
Tibarn: You know what? I don't believe you're the big, bad, evil guy you want us to think you are.
Sephiran: What could you be talking about?
Tibarn: Ah, I was right! I see it in your eyes. I've been around for a while, and learned a bit about spotting fakes. So now that your secret's out, maybe you'd like to open up to me: Who are you really?
Sephiran: Duke of Tanas, imagine seeing you here!
Oliver: Lord Sephiran, as lovely as always. But has it come to this? Must we fight to the death, and deprive the world of one of our beautiful countenances? Can other lovers of beauty endure such a loss?
Sephiran: I confess that your presence has me bewildered. Could this be part of Yune's plan? I simply never would have imagined you here. Your presence proves that Tellius is unraveling at the seams. Judgment cannot come soon enough.
Jill: It's your fault what happened in Daein! Every pointless death in this war is on your head! Sephiran, Duke of Persis... History will remember you as the worst kind of man.
Sephiran: Everything. It's all been my fault. You should know one more thing, however. I also had a hand in the death of your father.
Jill: ...Die, monster!
Astrid: Lord Sephiran:, your every action in office earned you the trust of millions of Begnion citizens. I can't believe that you could stab every one of them in the back like that.
Sephiran: Young lady... Actually, I should address you properly... Astrid of the Crimean Royal Knights. Did you happen to stop by your home on the way here?
Astrid: No, I didn't.
Sephiran: Aren't you worried about your family? Perhaps you should check on them...
Astrid: No. Everyone's fine. Even if they're frozen solid, I'm going to save them. I have nothing at all to worry about.
Sephiran: You've grown stronger. But your heart hasn't changed. Good.
Haar: We never spent much time together when I was in Begnion. But, Sephiran... I think I know you pretty well.
Sephiran: I haven't forgotten you, Haar. Shiharam's hotshot young protege. You were both exemplary soldiers. Your defection from the Begnion dracoknights was a huge loss.
Haar: Hmmm... Sort of like the huge loss when the senators managed to defeat all those great changes you proposed?
Haar: I suppose if any of those changes had happened, we wouldn't be here now. Am I wrong?
Sephiran: An interesting question... I'm honestly not sure, but that's all I can say about that.
Haar: Too bad. For you, and for me.
Tanith: So as long as you're alive, the doors don't open? I've got an easy solution to that problem.
Sephiran: Tanith, you are a kind woman.
Tanith: Don't flatter yourself. I do this only for Lady Sanaki.
Sigrun: Lord Sephiran, explain yourself! Your reasons for deceiving our empress may prevent me from striking you down as an enemy of the crown!
Sephiran: I have nothing to say to you. I am merely an obstacle. Do what you must do.
Sigrun: Sanaki trusted you! And so did I. You've turned your back on us, and on the empire. How is that even possible?
Sephiran: Sigrun, do with me what you will. Promise me that you will look after Lady Sanaki from now on.
Sigrun: I will. I will protect her from the likes of you.
Sephiran: At last... I'm dying.
- Light of Creation - Lehran (創始の光, Sōshi no hikari)
At Lorazieh's urging, Sephiran lay himself down within Serenes, and was healed by the songs of the herons.
- In Path of Radiance, Sephiran is known both as the Duke of Belsys and the Duke of Perseus (Persis in Radiant Dawn). This is a mistake in the translating process.
- In Radiant Dawn, Sephiran has bond supports with both Sanaki and Zelgius, but loses them as Lehran.
- Sephiran has the distinction of being one of the few playable characters who have an SS rank in more than one weapon type (Light, Dark, and Staff).
- Sephiran is the second playable character in Radiant Dawn to be able to use Dark tomes, Pelleas being the first.
- In Endgame of Radiant Dawn, neither Sanaki nor Sephiran is able to directly attack each other. This is because he has played the role of a father and a teacher to her all her life. Sephiran will also not target or counter Micaiah, due to being one of the few individuals to know of her true heritage.
- In Chapter 10 of Path of Radiance, Sephiran possesses the skill Mantle, which, as in Radiant Dawn, negates any damage done to him. He may be rescued by any large unit and placed in doorways to block enemy attacks.
- Sephiran is the first main antagonist of a Fire Emblem game to become a playable character in the same game.