|Brand of Sacrifice|
|“||You have now been marked with the Brand of Sacrifice. The lives of those who bear the Brand, from the last drop of blood, to the last moment of your agonizing death, will feed life to the new Child of Darkness.||”|
The Brand of Sacrifice marks those for a sacrificial ceremony in which an Apostle or God Hand is created. The sacrificed, usually someone close and dear to the summoner, is then ritualistically murdered, with the deceased's life force used to complete the summoner's transition into either an Apostle or a member of the God Hand. On a minor note, those sacrificed cannot be sacrificed again, as was shown when the Count tried to sacrifice en already-branded Guts.
Branded humans who are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to survive reside in the Interstice between the Physical and Astral worlds, forced to fend themselves against creatures of darkness and the nightly attacks by the restless souls of the dead who desire flesh. In response to these fell entities, the brand will bleed and cause pain. Around ordinary evil spirits or apostles, the blood will only trickle out, and the pain will be relatively minimal. Around a member of the God Hand, the brand will shoot blood out in huge gushes, and the pain inflicted will be truly agonizing. And if the evil is too great, it can supposedly kill the Branded.
Only the leader of the God Hand, Void can administer a Brand of Sacrifice and only he can remove it as well.
Guts and Casca are the only known branded survivors to date. When the two traveled together, they attracted an unusual amount of evil spirits, causing catastrophe to every human settlement that they passed by. The witches Flora and Schierke are able to mitigate the effects of the Brands by inscribing temporary seals over them.
- Guts' Brand is on the right side of his neck near his jugular vein.
- Casca's Brand is on the upper-middle part of her left breast.
- Judeau's Brand is on the frontal side of his left hand.
- Corkus's Brand is on his forehead.
- Pippin's Brand is on his right arm.
- The Egg of the Perfect World's Brand is on his tongue.
- It is unknown if the Brand can be severed if on an extremity, like in Judeau or Pippin's case, by severing the limb. Guts and Casca's Brands are located over vitals, however.
- Given the Brand is consecrated on an individual on the Astral plane, and it has been shown living creatures have an astral body, this seems unlikely, as the Brand would continue to exist in all planes of existence.