Final fantasy xiii / events / chapter three / branded
After being caught in the destruction of the Vestige, the group awakens directly under the Hanging Edge on the expanse of a solidified Lake Bresha. An aftereffect of the energies released by the dying fal'Cie, the waters of the lake are now frozen in crystal splendor.
Despite having survived a fall from an incredible height, the companions are unable to appreciate their luck as each one of them now bears a brand of alien design. The mark seared on their bodies signifies their servitude to a fal'Cie and the "gift" of magical power.
It is the brand of a cursed l'Cie. Worse, they must now complete their assigned Focus if they are not avoid becoming monstrous Cie'th, though none can say for sure what their mission actually entains. Their only clue is the vision they all witnessed of the great beast laying waste to Cacoon.
Though all signs point to a bleak and tragic destiny, Snow alone remains optimistic. Convinced that his Focus is to grant Serah's wish and save Cocoon, he sets off full of confidence.