Aphisim Exerki

Aphisim Exerki is a brand placed on the hides of those that have served in the Trithian army. The brand is applied with a hot iron that burns into the deepest layers of skin leaving a permanent scar that has a raised texture and often will grow no hair at all or pure white hair. It's not uncommon for highly decorated individuals to shave any fur that grows on the scars and paint them with metallic paints.

When a Trithian first joins the army for service they are branded with a circle at the base of their collarbone that contains information such as their father's name, their name, any special skills or knowledge such as medicine or language, and lastly their years of service. This number is indicated by dash marks that run along the inside circle and are added each year on the name day of the individual. This is used to identify bodies for return to families. Once an Iasta (soldier) is given a base rank and an Ias this is branded in the topmost position above the central circle directly on the collarbone. Additional brands were given for special services or deeds that went above and beyond the usual call of duty. These start at the bottom of the circle and work their way up along either side as they gain more honorable brands.

Branding Process

The Initial Brand

The initial brand is done when an individual completes their formal training and were given their proper rank of Iasta instead of Roatio. It is done without much ceremony in the company of the other Roatio who were leaving their training.

Honor Brands

The process of branding is a very elaborate affair when they are honor brands. When an individual earns the right to one the Ias is gathered to witness the branding. If the deed is of sufficient renown or credit larger segments of the military come together to witness the branding all the way up from the Isa to the Egias. They gather for a day of celebration usually lasting only one night. While the celebration is going on the individual that is receiving the honor brand is pulled away when Apheilia is at her zenith to a tent, if on the battlefield, or a building, that has been set aside for use. Once inside the individual is bathed and robed in pure white robes. They sit in meditation until dawn.

When that time comes the other soldiers gather together with the Hephestious, or Battle Smith, who would have spent the whole night designing a unique brand to use on the individual. The individual to be marked is brought before the witnesses. The commanding officer will then give a speech about why the brand is being given and then the Hephestious will begin to cut the design of the brand into the individual on the appropriate position around their central brand. This is done with several superheated carving knives ranging in size from a small dagger to a tiny blade no bigger than a sewing needle. These cut the flesh at the same time as creating a third-degree burn. This allows for a very intricate design to be placed on the individual that can sometimes take a full hour to apply. Cuts range in depth depending on the level of scaring needed for the image but they are usually very deep and go down to just past the skin layer of tissue. The individual is expected to kneel or sit still and endure the branding without flinching away as they bite down on a strip of leather. Someone that does flinch away is outcast or killed on the spot.

Historical Details


Aphisim Exerki is seen as a status symbol within the population of the kingdom. The symbols and runes are used to depict many things about a soldier that is currently in or has served in the Trithian military. The more additional symbols branded on an individual the more they have done in service of their kingdom. These honorable brands tell stories and deeds of an individual and are displayed proudly in common daily life. Most Trithian males, and females, with large numbers of honorable brands, will go about their usual life without shirts or chest coverings that their brands may be seen openly. This is more commonly seen on males and females still use simple chest wraps to cover themselves lest they are too immodest in public.


The practice of Aphisim Exerki began in a splinter group of early The Vatheneum faith before the Kingdom of Trithia was actually founded. These individuals were seen as extremists within their faith and they branded themselves on the crown of the head with the symbol of their order- The Tutcha Hopithia. This order was highly militant and blessed with an unusual command of Imacla. They used this deadly combination to rise to the top of their faith and become leaders. It was this group that eventually split from the Kenima Hegemony sparking a bloody civil war. Over time as the mark evolved, it was moved to the center of the chest over the heart.

Public Reaction

Generally speaking the more brands an individual has the more impressive of an individual they are and the more respect they are shown in the civilian sectors of society. A high number of honorable brands will often gain an individual lower cost in trade, usually referred to as a Service Deduction, preferential treatment, and even a blind eye from some crimes. When eleven honorable brands are gained an individual is heralded as a hero of the people and eventually if all fifteen available honor brands are given they can become a Saint of their faith.

Report, Military
Vellum / Skin
Expiration Date
This brand is permanent and cannot be removed
Known Symbols and their Meanings
Interiors of the brand tell the story of the deed and so are completely unique individual to individual. Some specific consistencies of the outer design though are used to communicate the nature of the honor brand.   Outer Edge   Laurel Outer Edge- For going above and beyond the line of duty while engaged in action against an enemy of the Faith   Solid Outer Edge- For any general honor brand not specific to other conditions   Dashed Outer Edge- Awarded for wounds or loss of life in combat as the result of an act of any opposing force   Shape   Circle- Used for any general honor brand not specific to the below conditions   Oval- For service given to the civilian population in a time of conflict against any opposing force   Square- For valor and bravery while serving as a Builder on the Wall   Triangle- For bravery and exceptional service under fire and holding ground against impossible odds   Inverted Triangle- Given for outstanding service under fire to Medics and Smiths   Diamond- Used to indicate someone that has been honorably discharged from service due to their term being up or injury, but returning to service willingly

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Author's Notes

A sever rework of this article needs to be done in order to align with new style ideas as well as changing information that is now inaccurate when compared to the rest of the setting. Edit to be completed 7/11/21.

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3 Jul, 2020 13:19

Really interesting! Trithia sounds like a really intriguing culture.

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