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Mark of the Supernatural

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Those tattoos aren't there because of ink.

A unique physical trait a character possesses marks them as being magical or supernatural in some way like being an alien or a shapeshifter. This could range from having mismatched eyes, to unusual hair or eye colours, to any other odd features. These traits can be part of a Glamour Failure if they give away a character's true form.

Related to Distinguishing Mark which is a marking that personally distinguishes someone from others.

If the trait is supposed to denote evilness, it's a Red Right Hand.

Supertrope to Mystical White Hair and Supernatural Gold Eyes. Compare Power Tattoo for another meaning of "mark", for when the mark gives some power, and Claimed by the Supernatural for yet another.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pictured above is Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess. Goddesses and Demons have respectively blue or red facial markings on their foreheads and cheeks, with different shapes symbolizing their ranks. At one point Belldandy is temporarily turned into a demon and her blue marks are replaced by red ones to reflect that.
  • In Descendants of Darkness, gate keepers can be identified by their different colored eyes. Wakaba has an orange right eye and a brown left eye.
  • Neko from K has a green right eye and blue left eye in her human form, which makes her look far from normal. She's not, of course, and is quickly identified as a Strain, an individual with supernatural powers that were not given by a King. Her specialty is creating illusions and modifying the memories of the people around her with her presence.
  • In the manga Enchanter by Izumi Kawachi, if you become an enchanter, one of your eyes changes, turning deep red with a pinpoint pupil. Oddly, long-time friends don't seem to notice the change.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Lordgenome has spiral eyes, to signify his status as a user of Spiral power. Kittan also develops these eye spirals just before he dies, and Simon has just one in the Distant Finale.
  • In Yona of the Dawn, out of the Four Dragons, Kija and Shin-Ah possess more noticeable physical traits. Kija's right hand is a dragon claw and Shin-Ah's eyes are not only stunning but also have red markings underneath them. Jaeha has his leg, which is bright green and covered in scales, but that's usually well bandaged and hidden under his clothes. All three of them (and Zeno) also have the hair color of their corresponding dragon, but this isn't remarked upon by Muggles and appears to be a trait shared by all descendants of the original dragonsnote . For that matter, Zeno apparently had yellow hair before he became the original Yellow Dragon.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki and all other One-Eyed Ghouls only have a single Kakugan. This immediately marks them as different from regular Ghouls, but also not fully human. Some are able to control it, while others have one that is permanently active.
  • Wolf's Rain: Darcia's left eye is a wolf's eye. He can turn into a large black (possibly dire?) wolf because his family is descended from wolves that wanted to be fully human.
  • In Inuyasha, the half-demons look very human, but their skin, hair and eyes often have unusual colors. Many of them also have animal or demonic characteristics on their bodies.
  • In Claymore the female warriors are half yoma and half human, with silver eyes and light blonde or even white hair. Some of them also have pointed ears, like elves.
  • Dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid always keep their reptilian pupils, no matter how human they turn. In a more general example, Cool-Kyou Shinsha usually uses Gag Boobs to show that a woman is either a Cute Monster Girl or has some sort of superhuman ability.
  • Hajime in Danganronpa 3's Side:Hope story reveals that he now has mismatched eye colors as a result of the Split-Personality Merge between both Hajime Hinata and Izuru Kamukura at the end of SDR2. The right eye is Hajime's green, while the red eye represents Izuru's red.
  • In Otherside Picnic Sorawo's and Toriko's encounter with the kunekune leaves their bodies permanently altered. After Sorawo looks at the kunekune long enough to percieve its true form (and almost loses her mind in the process), her right eye turns a vivid shade of blue and gains the ability to perceive the true form of all Otherside phenomenon. Toriko, who pulled off the strange growths that appeared on Sorawo's face, ends up having her left hand gradually turn completely transparent, gaining the ability to physically interact with Otherside phenomenon. Combining their abilities gives them a fighting chance against all the strange threats from the Otherside.

    Comic Books 
  • The principal rival to Josie James in Archie Comics' She's Josie series is Alexandra Cabot, who is an unremarkable bobbed brunette with witchcraft powers. When the characters were adapted by Hanna-Barbera Studios into Josie And The Pussy Cats in 1970, Alexandra was remodeled into a raven ponytail with a distinctive white Skunk Stripe; however, the cartoon Alexandra has no magical powers. The success of the cartoon show compelled Archie Comics to Retcon their Josie characters, resulting in the current Alexandra having the distinctive Skunk Stripe and witchcraft powers.
  • In Grendel, characters who are heavily under the influence of the "Grendel" entity tend to develop a white Skunk Stripe.


    Film — Live-Action 
  • In 28 Weeks Later, the mother and her son have heterochromia. When she becomes a vector for The Virus, it serves as a clue to her and her son's shared biological resistance to the virus, and an indicator of when they become exposed but remain unturned: one eye becomes bloodshot like a normal zombie's infected would, the other remains clear.
  • The strange white cat in Mountolive's mansion in The Legacy has differently colored eyes, which is a first hint that it is actually a shapeshifter.

  • Aurora Cycle: Aurora Jie-Lin O'Malley's Skunk Stripe and white-irised right eye indicate her status as the Eshvaren's Trigger, intended to fight the Ra'haam.
  • The Belgariad: All sorcerers have a special mark somewhere on their body that marks them as a disciple of the god Aldur. Belgarath has a mark over his heart and Polgara's black hair gained a lock of white hair when Belgarath touched her head just after she was born. Poledra has strange golden eyes that are described as 'amber', which acts as a clue to her true nature (she is a sorceress who was born as a wolf that learned how to take human form). Unlike the other sorcerers, Garion has a dual-purpose mark: the palm of his hand contains a shimmering mark which identifies him as both a sorcerer and the rightful king of Riva, as all the Rivan kings possess this mark to establish their connection to the Orb of Aldur.
  • Farideh, heroine of Brimstone Angels, has one silver eye and one gold eye and her twin sister Havilar has two gold eyes because they are tieflings (humanoids with devil ancestry).
  • Cradle Series: Whenever anyone becomes a Gold-stage sacred artist by capturing a Remnant or contracting a sacred beast, they gain a "goldsign," a mark of their power. These signs include burning eyes, a poison-spitting ghost on the arm, a cloud around the head, or an arm with an attached sword sprouting out of the back. As the sacred artist gains power, their goldsign will evolve, and they will usually gain the ability to hide it. Because your goldsign is directly connected to your chosen Path, there are a lot of common goldsigns, and most of the greater houses have identical ones. On the other hand, it's also possible to reach Gold through sheer power, which does not produce a goldsign. This is more difficult, though, so it's more rare.
  • The Girl With The Silver Eyes: The protagonist is telekinetic, and she and other children who received strange powers because of a medical experiment performed on their mothers all have this eye color.
  • In Kristin Cashore's Graceling, all "Gracelings" have this as a distinguishing characteristic. It becomes important to the plot when you find out that one of the kings is missing an eye, and it later turns out that he is Graced with a very effective version of Charm Person, as it can work even second- and third-hand, via rumors.
  • In The Half Life Trilogy, witches have “glints” in their eyes.
  • All royal-blooded witches in Magical Annals have markings and physical features that denote them as such. Their features (sometimes referred to as atavisms) differ from family to family since they are all descended from different supernatural beings. The markings can be anything from marks on their skin, fangs to claws and more.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, warlocks have a distinguishing mark that's unique to each one. Magnus Bane has cat eyes, Catarina Loss has blue skin and white hair, and Ragnor Fell has ram horns, green skin and an extra joint in each finger. In the spinoff The Infernal Devices, Tessa, despite being a warlock, does not have a mark because her mother was a Shadowhunter. This is basically her distinguishing mark.
  • Journey to Chaos: If you see someone with Pointed Ears, then they are related, in some way, to chaotic energy and/or trickster gods.
  • Septimus Heap: It's explicitly stated that wizards always develop green eyes as soon as they start practicing it. This makes it impossible for them to hide.
  • Shades of Magic: Antari are humans born at random with one all-black eye and powerful magical abilities. After a magical catastrophe consumed Black London, the mark made antari targets for fearful mobs who thought them somehow connected. Delilah has been missing one eye all her life, and starts to develop antari magic in the second book.
  • In The Shattered Kingdoms, Meiran/Lahlil's mismatched eyes are a consequence of her magical illness, which originates from having been "blessed" by both Nomas deities instead of just one. Both eyes still work, but not when she uses both at once, so she uses an eyepatch. In conjunction with other unusual features (Norlanders are generally considered to look corpse-like anyway, and she has a mess of non-supernatural burn marks on her forearm) she is quite distinctive in her appearance.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy hides a black eye behind an eye patch. His other one, called his smiling eye, is blue. There's an implied connection between his eyes and his magic.
    • Minor character Shiera Seastar has one blue eye and one green eye, supposedly due, in part, to her rumoured black magic.
  • In Tea with the Black Dragon, Mayland Long is a dragon who has become human. The main sign of his strange origin is his hands, which are unusually shaped, with very long fingers. Most of the people who pay enough attention to him to notice find them disconcerting; Martha merely comments that with hands like that he has the potential to become an remarkable piano player.
  • In Terminal World, all tectomancers have a large red birthmark in the shape of a six-pointed star on the back of their heads.
  • The main character of Ann Downer's Spellkey Trilogy has one green eye and one blue (which is a sign of magical power in that world).
  • In the Roger Zelazny book This Immortal, protagonist narrator Conrad Nomikos has heterochromia, among other odd features. But then he is probably a mutant and is definitely hundreds of years old. His unique appearance is an important plot point.
  • In Wings of Fire, NightWings with actual mind-reading powers have a silver scale under each eye.
  • In A World of Wonder, The Chosen Many are called "the Runed" because of the tattoo-like symbol of a card suit people and animals gain after chosen by a caterpillar. Gabriel has the heart on his left palm, Renata has the spade on her chest, and Professor Chimes has the diamond on his back.
  • Sabina Kane: All vampires have red hair (and all humans with red hair have a bit of vampire ancestry). All mages have a birthmark of the sigil of the goddess Hecate somewhere on their bodies.

    Live Action TV 
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Every witch possesses a mark somewhere on their body, which looks like a black, symbol-shaped birthmark though it changes, becoming shiny, after the person's had sex. Tally and Abigail get theirs on places easy to show, but when Raelle's asked by Tally to see hers, she replies that they'll need to know each other better for that, since it's by her vagina.

  • In the world of Marus, as depicted in Adventures in Odyssey's Passages tie-in episode, different-colored eyes are recognized as a sign of prophecy. Interworldly interloper Alice physically goes from having brown eyes to blue and green, then loses them again when her time as The Unseen One's messenger is up.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: This is an iconic trait that defines the "Planetouched", who first appeared in 2e's Planescape setting. Be they Aasimar (Celestial ancestor), Genasi (Elemental ancestor), Tiefling (Fiendish ancestor), or any of the other varieties, they always have markings that reflect their ancestry. Exactly how marked they are varies hugely from individual to individual; aasimars are usually more subtly marked than tieflings, but even the humanlike ones generally have at least one identifying mark that belies this. An aasimar descended from a solar frequently has vestigial feather patches at the shoulder blades, and one descended from a celestial serving a deity may have a birthmark in the shape of that god's holy symbol.
    • Pathfinder gives extreme amounts of variation with its "Blood of Angels" and "Blood of Fiends" sourcebooks, which include sizable 2e-esque random trait lists and fully detailed explanations of traits typical to aasimar who strongly connect to their celestial ancestor.
    • In the Eberron campaign setting the Dragonmarked manifest vibrant blue-and-white Draconic sigils somewhere on their skin when their spell-like abilities appear.
  • Wraith: The Oblivion: While all wraiths are supernatural by definition, those wraiths who specialise in one of their magical arts (Arcanoi) generally develop markings that identify them as a practitioner - black eyes (Argos), stained black fingers (Castigate), never closing their eyes (Lifeweb), etc.
  • In Sorcerer, the Telltale is a specific attribute that gives a sorcerer or a human-looking demon away to those in the know.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: As they grow in power, Collegiate wizards gain physical traits to match their magical specialty, like fiery Glowing Eyes for a Bright mage, Mystical White Hair for a Celestial mage, or semi-transparent skin for a Light mage. These may be seen In-Universe as a Red Right Hand due to the setting's general distrust of magic.

    Video Games 
  • In the Command & Conquer Tiberian series, people who have survived Tiberium exposure and have become mutated have green Tiberium crystals embedded in their bodies. They are often referred to as "shiners" because of the way the crystals glow.
  • MapleStory's Luminous starts his story off with two blue eyes, then one of his eyes turns red when he absorbs the Black Mage's energy.
  • In the Soul Series, Zasalamel has one normal-colored eye and one golden eye, possibly as a result of his immortality curse.
  • In Ragnarok Online, the pope of Arunafeltz and her twin brother have opposite-color heterochromia. Apparently, this was one of the reasons she was chosen as pope. The other reason was her hair and skin color.
  • In the original Fable, the most magically powerful characters gain Prophet Eyes and glowing patterns under their skin. The wizard Maze has had his develop to the point of Volcanic Veins.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, the royal family of Yllise has the Mark of Naga on their bodies, distinguishing them as the wielders of the legendary sword Falchion and who can awaken its power via the Awakening ritual. Chrom has the mark on his shoulder, while Emmeryn has it on her forehead. Lucina, Chrom's daughter, inherits the mark as well, which is located in the iris of her left eye.
  • Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda each hold a piece of the Triforce. Link's is Courage (the lower right triangle), Zelda's is Wisdom (the lower left triangle), and Ganondorf's is Power (the top triangle). It shows up on the backs of their dominant hands.
  • In Dishonored, any person empowered by the Outsider gets a tattoo with its symbol on the back of one of their hands. It glows everytime they use their powers.
  • In Dark Souls, the Undead are all branded by the "Dark Sign", a small, circular mark with what appear to be tiny flames coming off of it. Where the Dark Sign came from and why it exists are some of the driving questions of the series: it appears to be a force of nature. Undead afflicted by it do not turn evil... most of them are just regular folk; good people, bad people, stupid people, etc. However, as time goes on, and they "die" more and more, they gradually lose their minds, until they become "Hollow", a state in which the Undead has lost all humanity and reason, and mindlessly attacks anything that comes near. There is no known cure for it, though many in the series search for one.
    • Dark Souls III finally gives us an answer on where the Darksign came from in The Ringed City; it was created by Lord Gwyn as a "seal of fire" meant to deny mankind of their innate access to the power of the Abyss and the Dark Soul. Thus cut off from that which makes them what they are, the dark began manifesting itself as the Undead curse in those with little Humanity, and as an all-consuming power that drives those possessed by it stark raving insane for those with too much, and the lack of control over their souls compared to bearers of light souls only made the problem worse for mankind.
  • In Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, some children are born with scars known as the Mark of the Dead God, which generally indicate a high degree of magical ability. Alita, the protagonist, is such a person.
  • There are several examples in Warcraft and Worldof Warcraft.
    • Fel magic is corruptive in nature, being a perversion of life magic. People exposed to fel magic or wield it often mutate in some way, usually something in the same sinister green color as the fel. When the orcs drank the blood of demons, their naturally brown skin turned to green and their eyes turned red. After the demon who gave them the blood was slain, their eye colors returned to normal, but the green skin was permanent. If a green skin orc drinks even more demon blood, they can wind up with red skin and become near demons as fel orcs.
    • Druids who advance far enough in the study of nature magic can grow animal features to symbolize their ties to nature. For Night Elves, the highest ranking druids often grow the antlers of a stag like their mentor and patron Wild God Cenarius. Malfurion Stormrage, the eldest and greatest Night Elf druid, has even more animal traits to show his powerful ties; claws of a night saber, legs and fur of a bear, and feathers of a bird.
    • Dragons are able to shapeshift and disguise themselves as other sapient life to interact with them on more even footing. If a dragon isn't trying to hide among other races, they often leave signs of their true nature on their smaller forms. Alexstrasza and her sister Ysera both keep their draconic horns while in their elven bodies, for example.
    • Draenei who are empowered by the Holy Light to become Lightforged have their skin brighten to metallic colors, gain Supernatural Gold Eyes, and glowing glyphs and PowerTattoos.
  • Huln Highmountain of the Tauren fought in the War of the Ancients. During the battle, he was given a blessing by the Wild Gods for his aid, which manifested as changing his horns into the antlers of a moose. His blessing spread to the Tauren tribe he lead, creating the Highmountain Tauren.

  • Among the Cubi of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, one reclusive, mysterious clan all have different-coloured eyes, along with wings that are both feathered and leathery. The trait can appear in other clans, and is regarded as a good omen. Since Cubi can shapeshift, this applies only to their default forms. Abel, a central character, has both traits, and his father considers them important to his plans.However, by the time they can shapeshift, they will have a clan mark, which can't be hidden, staying visable whatever form they take.
  • In Doomsday My Dear the main character has one blue and one green eye because this is a trait of a carrier of the Blood Plague. Several other characters turn out to have this undesirable trait as the comic progresses.
  • In Penny Blackfeather, the Adventurer has mismatched brown and blue eyes, with the blue eye appearing in color even in the Deliberately Monochrome parts of the comic (that is, everywhere outside of the Goblin Valley). Similarily, the magical parrot Princess is blue and so is the magicked-up Adventurer - it seems blue is the colour of magic in this world.
  • All the Ravens (servants of the Raven) in Archipelago are inflicted with a left eye with a black sclera and a glowing red pupil, regardless of species. At least some of them can hide this to pass in normal society.
  • Eyes are commonly used for this in The Sanity Circus. Fletch's are mismatched, one being black with a gold iris (shapeshifter residue from turning into a seagull frequently), and Sammy Talbot's have two pupils and a doubled iris in each.
  • Magical Girls in Sleepless Domain have a unique Power Tattoo called a Mark, or Sigil if you're feeling fancy. These marks can appear anywhere on the girl's body, and it's common for girls who are already close, such as Team Alchemical, to have matching "thematic" symbols and form teams. When a Magical Girl's power leaves her in adulthood or for other reasons, the mark remains, but as something of a scar rather than a vibrant symbol.

    Web Original 
  • Several human SCP items from the SCP Foundation have these.
    • SCP-073 has a mark on his forehead of unknown origin and Artificial Limbs (specifically arms, legs, shoulder blades and spinal chord).
    • SCP-040 has pink hair and a Black Eye Of Crazy (although she herself isn't crazy).
    • SCP-134 has pitch black eyes (which actually act as windows to another point in space).
    • SCP-076-2 has tattoos all over him of occult iconography.
    • SCP-239 has her radiation emitting grey eyes.
  • In Polyhistor Academy, the Thrice-Cursed all possess an obviously magical deformity/mutation, that grants them a magical ability, and is usually blatantly obvious.

    Western Animation 
  • On Futurama the only outward physical difference between alien Leela and all the humans is she only has one eye. Subverted later though, as we learn that she's not an alien - she's just a mutant. Since mutants are an oppressed minority and aliens aren't, her parents left her as a Doorstop Baby at an orphanarium, leaving a note saying she was an in order for her to have a better life.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: After Zhao kills the Moon Spirit, Tui, Yue becomes despondent believing there's no longer any hope for her people. However, Iroh takes note of her hair color and recognizes its significance.
    Iroh: (in realization) "You...! You have been touched by the Moon Spirit!"
  • Alicorns in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic possess both the wings of a pegasus and the horn of a unicorn, as well as whatever vaguely defined traits an earth pony has, just in the name of species equality. Possessing the traits of all three kinds of ponies makes them stand out as a Master of All. They also are Large and in Charge, with Celestia in particular towering over ordinary ponies - and even Twilight, who was originally the size of any other pony, appears to be growing.note  Luna and Celestia also possess magical sparkling manes which flow on their own, with Luna's looking like a starry night sky.


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