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EX Branding

EX Branding”, also sometimes called “EX Promotion”, is the process by which a Pokémon with supernatural (eg.: Ho-Oh) or divine (eg.: the Lake Trio) power, usually a Legendary Pokémon, bestows one of their followers with a special mission or purpose, as well as a portion of their own power, thus branding them a Pokémon-EX: a specimen branded as sporting a higher-level mission or right out a role as an envoy of the specific deity / Legendary.

Branding a Pokémon always requires the branded and the branded to be in close proximity and requires them to commune in understanding of a common mission, for the branded Pokémon must accept their mission willingly.

History

The first recorded EX Branding in history occurred near the end of the Third Era, during a time of general Pokémon-Human hostilities in which Lake Trio sought out to capture and farm humans, and the Warring Triad was set out to break havoc in the world; a truce was reached by youth who had gone to the Grass Safehaven and the Lake Trio who had reeled back from their intended mission after witnessing the Breaking of the Sword.

Seeing that the Warring Triad was the only thing keeping the world on the current spiral of strife, the Lake Trio gave the EX Blessing to the Pokémon accompanying the First Trainers, who then went out to use this power to defeat and seal Rayquaza, Groudon and Kyogre in that order. As with most history regarding this time period, the original story has been lost to time and survives mostly as a myth narrated primarily by Ghost Pokémon.

Over the various Eras, there have been several instances where Pokémon have been branded, but except for the first time against the Warring Triad, all recorded instances featured wild Pokémon, who were set out to follow and protect certain Legendaries of the time. Before the current times, the last record of a trained Pokémon EX points out to the branding of a Gym Leader and their Pokémon in Dalacia ca. 1700 Present Era, with the mission of helping break a siege near the borders of the region, but the identity of the brander has remained a mystery.

Metaphysics

Unique to EX Branding compared to other alterations to Pokémon power such as Shadowification or Mega Evolution, this process does not alter or harm the identity or the physiology of the Pokémon, who retains their full mind and control of their body except for a noticeable increment in stamina and lifespan. EX branded Pokémon are still identified as their base species by sensors such as those of a Pokédex, their aura is only barely distinguishable from other specimens of their own species, and they can still breed with their own species.

Just like a normal Pokémon, a Legendary Pokémon can be EX Branded. The result is a power increase more notable than the branding of a common Pokémon, although at the same time the differences in aura or physiology are less discernible.

It is unknown/undetermined if the position of “chosen” specimens of Legendaries such as the Protector Ho-Oh and Lugia are an instance of EX Branding or a similar but unrelated phenomena.

When targeted by techniques that dispel energy or seal such as Haze or Spite, the foreign energy slides off a Pokémon EX's aura, casting off an after-image of appearance not much unlike that of a hologram. This is a reference to the fact that EX cards from the TCG, where the Suocéverse concept draws from, have holographic borders.

Pokémon capable of EX Branding

In the Suocéverse, at least the following Pokémon are confirmed in-universe to be capable of EX Branding their followers:

FIXME to be completed.

Meta

The concept of EX Branding draws from WAAPT, where the idea of adapting Pokémon variants such as Pokémon EX, and in particular interpreting Pokémon EX as the marking or blessing of one's “deity” was first introduced during the Orange Islands Arc; the base idea of Pokémon-EX shared with the WAAPT-verse as an adaption of the concept of Pokémon-EX from the Pokémon Trading Card games, although the Suocéverse interpretation and the WAAPT-verse interpretation differ in the fine print.

The idea behind branding is similar to the concept of Focus ("Mission") in the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy sub-verse: a character's “deity” or “maker” can brand their chosen ones with a mission to fulfill, and extra powers to that end; similarly, the branded creature wears a mark of some kind, not obviously identifiable. However, Suocéverse's EX Branding skirts away of the negative connotations Focus has in FF in-universe, such as the enforced subservience and slavery to one's “deity” and the different forms of “death” resulting from the branding.

See also: Pokémon EX.