“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 one of the main antagonists of the latter, although his actions are arguably of good intent. 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.
Sephiran was once known as Lehran (エルラン, Eruran), the thousand year-old heron who accompanied Ashera in her battle against the dark god, and imprisoned Yune within the medallion that would one day be known as the Fire Emblem.
Upon marrying Altina, the founder of Begnion, she bore his child, the very first Branded, thereby creating the Apostolic dynasty. Every member of this dynasty was blessed, as was Lehran himself, with the ability to hear the voice of the Goddess Ashera. Shortly after the birth of his child, Lehran 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.
Following his transformation, Lehran retreated to Goldoa, where he lived secretly under King Dheginsea's care for seven hundred years. He later departed Goldoa in search of a means by which he might end the mistreatment of laguz slaves due to the extreme isolationism of the dragon kingdom. While in Begnion, Lehran met Misaha, the Apostle who would become the grandmother of the Empress Sanaki, and convinced her to reveal her Brand to the world. The Begnion senators then assassinated Misaha and framed the Herons for it. This event led to the Serenes Massacre, in which Begnion citizens burned the Serenes Forest down. All of the herons were killed, save for the royal herons Reyson, Leanne, Rafiel, Lillia, and their father, Lorazieh. This led Sephiran to believe that the continent of Tellius deserved nothing but destruction. At this time, the villagers he spoke to in his memory scene learned of his identity as a laguz. 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 Radiance and Radiant DawnEdit
Sephiran is not revealed to be a major antagonist until the end of Radiant Dawn, at which point it becomes apparent that he is the orchestrator of many events transpiring in both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.
Through both games, his final goal, the revival of Ashera for the destruction of the world and the purging of both Beorc and Laguz, is nearly fulfilled, as all those not under the protection of Yune are transformed into stone with the outbreak of war across the continent. In Sephiran's eyes, the Beorc and Laguz are unable to change, and will continue their path of violence and destruction for as long as they are permitted to do so. For this reason, he wishes for Ashera to cleanse the world of violence and reconstruct the world into a more peaceful place.
Sephiran is fought by Ike and his chosen companions in the Tower of Guidance in Part IV Endgame IV of Radiant Dawn. At this point in time, Ike has figured out that Sephiran is behind many of the past events, alongside his identity as the master of the Black Knight, Zelgius. He openly admits to all of the tragedies he has wrought, much to Sanaki's dismay and Ike's anger. Ike then vows to make Sephiran's death as painful as possible, whereupon the party defeats him in order to fight Ashera. During the player's first play-through of the game, Sephiran will breathe his last at the end of the battle, an outcome that may be changed in subsequent play-throughs.
In subsequent playthroughs of Radiant Dawn, Sephiran's death may be prevented if certain conditions are met. These conditions include using the Black Knight in Part I Endgame, as well as sparing Pelleas' life towards the end of Part III. Furthermore, Ike must engage the Black Knight in a fight in Chapter 3-7, with the both of them surviving the battle. In order for this set of criteria to be fulfilled, the game must have been completed at least once.
Prior to meeting Sephiran in the Tower of Guidance, it is revealed in Ike's "memory scene" 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 beloved. This causes Ike's motivation to defeat Sephiran to be altered, as he wishes to gain more answers about that event instead of simply killing him.
After Sephiran's defeat, another special "memory scene" will be triggered. It is revealed that his decision to awaken the Goddess was largely influenced by the Serenes Massacre, during which all but a few of the heron royals were brutally murdered by Begnion citizens. Micaiah then manages to save him from the cold embrace of death, whereupon Ike convinces him to try to make up for his past actions and help them defeat Ashera. While Sephiran is reluctant at first, he eventually sees the error of his ways, and joins the army as a playable character. When the game ends, Sephiran will lie in Serenes Forest by Lorazieh's urging, allowing the galdr of the Herons to heal his worn and ragged soul. It is here where Lehran welcomes the return of Ashunera a thousand years later, and appears with his black wings. It is revealed that humanity has been living peacefully for the past twelve hundred years, but tensions are beginning to mount once again. However, he believes that Ashunera has the ability to put an end to it.
As the expanded epilogue greatly involves Sephiran, it may thus be considered to be the canon ending of the game.
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.