The Branding, or "Ilia's Blessing" in certain circles, is a curse placed upon the clergy of the Church of the Divine Light by the Goddess, Ilia.
As our power comes from the gods, we must ensure that it is used to further their causes. To shine the light. For if we do not, we shall be consumed by it.All clergy persons that choose to take the oath to follow the Church of Divine Light are given divine magic by their faith and their gods. This gift does not come freely, however. Gods expect all clergy to follow the tenets of the church. Ultimately, spreading the light to fight the Darkness. Those who choose to utilize the power of the gods to aid the Darkness face the wrath of their gods' anger. The power that was given to them begins to slowly and painfully burns within them, consuming them and their soul. Once their soul is completely consumed, the being is transformed into a large, hulking fire monster. Completely devoid of emotion or empathy, the monster will leave nothing but destruction and death until it is stopped. Those who follow the true Sun-Touched faith believe this transformation is to act as a reminder of the gods' will and power on allkind.
At first, the Branded individual undergoes "cracking". Their skin slowly becoming charred with deep, emberous gashes in their flesh. These gashes feel warm to the touch but are not so hot that they can burn clothing. This "cracking" continues until the Branded either confesses their evils and begs for forgiveness or until the power within them ignites and consumes their body in holy fire. Once their form is completely on fire, their soul withers and their former mind slowly fades into one wanting senseless violence and wanton destruction. At this point, the creature, known as a "Consumed." They will seek out other living creatures to consume, adding to its own fire to fuel its madness. As it does so, the body will grow in mass, fires spreading across an expanding form until it becomes an "All-Consumed". At this point, even with divine intervention, the soul and mind are completely lost and cannot be returned to their former state. All that was their former life is gone and all that exists is rogue divine energy running rampant with destruction.