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World of Remnant
The World of Remnant is a place full of mythic tales, dangerous monsters, hidden threats and secret histories. While Remnant has recorded the exploits of heroes and sinners, as well as the lives of more ordinary people, clues to an ancient, secret history lie scattered throughout the world's many children's fairy tales.
This page is for the characters of history and legend, the fairy tales that hide greater truths, and for living beings that the world may not know even exist outside of myth.
Myths of Remnant
Remnant is a world full of legends and fairy tales, folklore that few believe could ever be true but which have influenced the development of the world in ways most humans will never realise. These are the stories, all of which contain a kernel of truth buried at the heart of the myth.
Some of the myths feature directly in the show itself while others have been collected from all over Remnant by Professor Ozpin and put together in a book called RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant.
The Silver-Eyed Warriors
Once upon a time, long before even the Kingdoms existed, children born with silver eyes were destined to become the greatest warriors in the world, capable of striking down the monstrous Grimm with a mere look.
The legends of what the Silver-Eyed Warriors are supposed to be capable of are so ancient that almost no one has heard of them, and even fewer believe in these powers. However, every so often, a person with silver eyes is born... and one of them is Ruby Rose.
- Born Winner: Silver-Eyed Warriors are born with the ability to be the best of all warriors and to be capable of defeating the Grimm with a single look. According to legend, it's their destiny.
- Deadly Gaze: According to legend, the Creatures of Grimm are afraid of silver-eyed warriors because the warriors are capable of striking the Grimm down with a single look. It's supposedly a ridiculous tale, but it is actually true. The legend does not clarify how the Silver-Eye power actually works, so even most people who have heard the legend don't really understand what to expect from the power.
- Legend Fades to Myth: The legend of the Silver-Eyed Warriors is so old that modern-day people don't even know the legend ever existed, never mind knowing that the legend is real. The legend doesn't just predate Huntsmen, it predates the concept of people living in Kingdoms. Ruby's power indicates that the core points of the legend are true but that there is no guarantee a Silver-Eyed Warrior will ever tap into their power; if they do, they still need to be trained, no matter what folklore claims their destiny will be.
- Light 'em Up: According to legend, Silver-Eyed Warriors possessed eyes that shone like mirrors, reflecting the light of the world onto darkness.
- Magical Eye: The Silver-Eyed Warriors are believed to have a supernatural ability that is linked to their eye colour. Silver is a very rare eye colour in Remnant and it means a person will be an exceptional warrior who may be capable of striking the Grimm down with a mere look.
- Superpower Lottery: The Creatures of Grimm are the most fearsome monsters humanity has ever encountered and they are so numerous that they dominate Remnant. However, Silver-Eyed Warriors are supposedly born with the ability to become the greatest of all warriors, and to be able to strike the Grimm down with just a look. Huntsmen are schooled to become powerful fighting machines that have mastered the extra power that well-trained Aura, Semblance and Dust provide. However, even they can't do the things that legend claims the Silver-Eyed Warriors can do.
- Technicolor Eyes: Very few people on Remnant have silver-coloured eyes or have heard the legend of the Silver-Eyed Warriors. However, people born with silver eyes are believed to have a warrior's destiny: they possess both the ability to become the greatest fighters and a supernatural power that can kill the Grimm.
The Warrior in the Woods
This is the tale of a mysterious hermit who keeps a nearby village safe without their knowledge, until a boy one day ventures too far into the forest and encounters her.
- An Aesop: Professor Ozpin observes that this fairy tale is often used as a cautionary tale by parents to discourage their children from wandering off on their own or relying too much on others to save them. However, Ozpin believes the true message of the story is that if a person is capable of helping others, it is their responsibility to try, regardless of whether that help takes the form of fighting evil or simply being kind to others.
- Arc Words: "Because I can. Because no-one else will." This sentiment is cited by the Warrior when the hero asks her why she keeps protecting people after what humans did to her. He also tells her that the reason he keeps offering to look after her is because he can and because no else will. At the end of the tale, he decides to protect the village in the Warrior's place because he can, and because no-one else will.
- Bittersweet Ending: Although the Warrior is gone, and he has no idea if she's alive or dead, he vows to protect the village in her place. However, he also knows the time is coming when the village will be forced to leave to find somewhere safer to live. He doesn't know how long he can keep protecting them, or what the future holds for them, but he'll do what he can because he's able to do it, and because there's no-one else to do it.
- Blade on a Stick: When the Warrior first appears to save the hero from the Boarbatusk, she is using a billhook that's attached to the end of a staff. She can fight with it in a variety of ways, from spinning the staff to using it to pole vault over the Boarbatusk and then use its reach to slice the creature while in mid-air. With every new appearance, the handle gets broken and worn down until she's left with only the blade itself.
- Deer in the Headlights: The hero is so stunned by the appearance of his first ever Grimm that he screams in terror, which only attracts it to him. When it charges him, all he can do is throw up his arms in front of him and close his eyes. Running away or climbing a tree never even occurs to him. The only reason he survives is because the Warrior arrives just in time to save him.
- Full-Boar Action: The hero's first encounter with the Grimm consists of him being confronted by a Boarbatusk. He has no idea what it is, he's transfixed by the huge tusks, the four glowing eyes and the huge size of the creature. Once it realises he's there, it doesn't hesitate to charge at him.
- False Utopia: The village dwells at the edge of a lush forest and is considered the safest place in the land to live. The Grimm don't attack, so the people live peaceful, care-free, and happy lives. What they don't know is that they're being protected by a reclusive warrior who is hiding in the forest. She doesn't want the village to know she exists, and the villagers have no interest in scratching beneath the surface of their unusual safety; they are therefore oblivious to the fact that their utopia is so fragile that it depends entirely on the life and dedication of a single person.
- The Hermit: The Warrior lives alone in the deep forest. Not only does she avoid the village, she doesn't even want them to know she exists. She eventually tells the hero that her home was massacred, and she's been living alone ever since.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Warrior's backstory is tragic. She lives alone because most of her people were killed long ago. Her family is dead and if there are any survivors like her, they're scattered all over Remnant. The hero assumes she's talking about a Grimm attack, but she tells him humans were to blame for her tragedy.
- Leave Me Alone!: The Warrior keeps telling the hero to leave her alone and stay out of the forest, to no avail. Because her clothes are torn, old and falling apart, he brings clothes his mother no longer wears to give to her. She initially rejects his gift, claiming she doesn't need anything and can't accept them anyway. She eventually accepts them just to get him to leave, but she is wearing them the next time he sees her.
- Light 'em Up: When the hero encounters the owl Grimm, he's grown into a young man. While he has a crudely made blade, he's not skilled with it and only manages to kill two of the three birds. Just before the bird can kill him, the clearing lights up with a brilliant white light that destroys the third owl. The light heralds the appearance of the Warrior. Although the hero asks her what the light was, she refuses to answer him.
- Love at First Sight: The hero is immediately taken by how beautiful the Warrior is and keeps returning to the forest over and over, even though she keeps telling him to leave her alone. He eventually admits to the villagers that he fell in love with her the moment he first saw her silver eyes.
- Meaningful Appearance: When the Warrior first appears, her cloak is torn, and her clothing is barely more than rags patched together. Even her weapon has seen better days, with the wooden handle cracked and beginning to split. She lives alone in the forest, constantly fighting the Grimm and thereby protecting the village. However, it's also a hint of where she comes from, and the tragic backstory that left her alone in the world with nothing to her name.
- No Name Given: Although the hero asks the Warrior to tell him her name, she refuses. From the time he met her as a child to the time he last sees her as a man, he never does learn her name.
- Ominous Owl: The third Grimm the hero encounters are three huge owls who are jet black and possess deadly stares. They have razor sharp feathers and deadly talons. He manages to kill two of them, but is unable to finish off the third without help.
- Only Friend: Although the Warrior keeps telling the hero to leave her alone and stop coming back, she eventually learns to accept the routine and even prepares tea in anticipation of his next visit. She still doesn't want him to tell the village about her, but she comes to accept him.
- The Pollyanna: The hero can't understand why she's willing to protect people after learning that humans destroyed her family and left her alone with nothing. She tells him that she protects people because she can and she's the only one who will. She also states that some people are good and that gives her hope.
- Savage Wolves: The hero's second encounter with a Grimm consists of a Beowolf attacking him. He again panics and freezes in fear because of its sharp fangs and claws, and spikes over the body.
- Secret Keeper: The hero never tells the villagers about the Warrior or that he keeps going back into the forest to find her. Only after she's disappeared and the village is in danger from the Grimm does he finally tell them about her and why their village is no longer safe.
- Take Up My Sword: When the Grimm return to the village, the villagers speculate that it's either because they're now cutting down the forest, or because their population is now large enough to attract the Grimm with negative emotions. The hero fights his way through the forest to locate the Warrior, but finds her home ransacked and her weapon left behind. He takes the weapon and vows to protect the village in her stead for as long as he is able.
- Technicolor Eyes: The Warrior has bright, silver eyes. This trait is what makes the hero fall in love with her and keep trying to visit her even when she doesn't want him around.
- Uncertain Doom: When the hero finds the Warrior's home has been destroyed, he can't tell if it was destroyed by Grimm or humans. Her weapon has been left behind, but there's no sign of her. He never finds out what happened to her, and doesn't know if she's alive or dead.
- Unkempt Beauty: Her clothes are almost rags, and she doesn't care about her appearance, but the hero thinks she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. He's particularly smitten with her silver eyes.
- We Have Become Complacent: The villagers have lived with their peaceful, good fortune for so long that they believe they will always live this way. It makes them complacement about the threat of the Grimm because they assume they have none. As a result, they don't understand why the Grimm leave them alone and therefore don't recognise the danger they're in when the Grimm finally start taking an interest in their existence.
The Man that stared at the Sun
A Vacuan folktale about a man who gets into an argument with the sun. To resolve their debate, they hold a staring contest where the loser will be the one who blinks or looks away first.
- Alternate Aesop Interpretation: The official moral of the tale is that the farmer losing his eyesight to win the contest teaches people that success is only possible if they're willing to sacrifice something important. However, both Copper and Ozpin prefer to interpret the moral as really being "don't stare at the sun".
- Bittersweet Ending: Lampshaded by the sun. The farmer wins the competition and gains the blessing of the sun on his crops and those of his descendents. However, he sacrifices his eyesight to do so. Although the sun is angry that victory was achieved through trickery, they accept the result because the farmer has lost the ability to ever again look upon his beautiful family or his crops, and can no longer use his Semblance to explore the world.
- Determined Homesteader's Wife: The farmer's wife only finds out about the contest when the farmer doesn't come home for dinner and the sun doesn't set. After failing to convince him to come home, she leaves and the sun tries to get the farmer to look away by observing how upset she is. However, the wife takes that as a challenge, brings food to the farmer, and then takes over running the farm. Thanks to her work and the help of the Determined Homesteader's Children, the farm thrives, which allows the farmer to concentrate solely on the sun.
- Refuge in Audacity: The sun is amazed to lose the contest since humans can't stare at them for more than a few seconds and demands to know how the farmer achieved it. The farmer reveals that he was blinded within seconds of looking directly at the sun. Since the damage was already done, he decided to keep his eyes wide open and fake it. The sun is angry to have been tricked, but honours the result because of how much the farmer has sacrificed to win.
- Staring Contest: The contest the farmer and sun engage in is to see who can outstare the other. If the sun wins, the farmer and his descendents have to worship the sun and encourage others to do so. If the farmer wins, the sun has to favour his and his descendents crops with optimal crop-growing conditions. The sun suggests this because they know they're too bright for humans to look at for more than a few moments and therefore assume it will be an easy contest to win.
- Super Speed: The farmer's Semblance allows him to cover great distances in the blink of an eye. It enables him to easily manage his extensive farmland, and allows him to explore the wonders of Sanus. The reason the sun turns down the initial contest suggestion of a race is because they've seen the farmer run faster than the wind.
The Shallow Sea
A Faunus creation myth about how the God of Animals chose special Humans to be transformed into the first Faunus so that they could live together on a magical island where animals can go but Humans cannot.
- Ambiguous Gender: Whether the god has a gender or none, or whether gender is even relevant to a god, isn't covered by the tale. Instead, the tale is written in a way that ensures no firm conclusion can be reached.
- The Chosen People: When the God of Animals went looking for Humans, they wanted only the special ones, the ones who seemed a little bit more than Human. They selected the misfits, the outcasts, those who felt they didn't belong or didn't feel comfortable in their own skin. They took them on a long journey and, at the end of it, asked them for a leap of faith. Those who completed the final test became the first Faunus, the people chosen by the God of Animals to join them on their magical island. The God of Animals is therefore regarded as the god of Faunus as well.
- Creation Myth: This tale explains the origin of the Faunus and why they came into being. It also explains why Humans treat Faunus so badly. However, it also mentions an island haven that has a lot in common with the Faunus island of Menagerie. The harsh reality of Menagerie and the fact it represents the continued fight for equality with Humans has soured Faunus on this tale, and they've stopped telling the story to Faunus children.
- Fantastic Racism: The origin of humanity's racism against the Faunus can be traced back to the Humans the God of Animals chose to come to their island. Some Humans couldn't make the leap of faith to cross the Shallow Sea and join the god on the island. Instead, they were horrified by the changes they witnessed happening in the other people. The god declared their disappointment in them and sent them back home. However, they were left with envy and resentment of the Faunus for being what they could never be.
- Gender-Neutral Writing: Although the word "god" is masculine, any pronoun use is always in terms of "they". The entire tale therefore describes the god in as gender-neutral terms as possible.
- God Is Flawed: As wise, noble and beneficient as they believe the God of Animals to be, the Faunus also regard them as being prone to boredom. In fact, Faunus actually regard it as a natural consequence of just how wise, insightful and honest the god is. It's the god's boredom that makes them go exploring humanity to see if any Humans can be brought to their island haven, which is what leads to the creation of the Faunus.
- Humans Are Flawed: The God of Animals is fascinated with humanity's creativity, adaptability and changeability. However, Humans are too ruinous to be allowed onto their island haven, so they can't allow just any old Human to set foot on it.
- Irony: Ozpin discusses the irony of Menagerie in terms of this tale because it's the reason Faunus have stopped telling what used to be a favourite tale. The island haven in the tale bears a striking similarity to Menagerie, which was given to the Faunus as a sop by Humanity instead of dealing properly with the racism. The island is mostly inhospitable desert, filled with dangerous wildlife, so Faunus have to squash into the single, overcrowded habitable region. The bitter political reality of Menagerie has destroyed the magic of the tale.
- The Maker: The God of Animals hand-picked Humans to come and live on their island haven, but transformed them into part-animal beings to temper the ruinous nature of humanity. This created a brand new race on Remnant that was neither animal nor Human, but contained elements of both. The God of Animals is therefore regarded as the creator of the Faunus.
- Oral Tradition: Discussed. Ozpin comments that many Faunus tales are never heard by Humans and are never written down. As a result, this is the first time this particular tale has ever been recorded in writing for mass consumption. Part of the reason why Ozpin decided to do it was the discovery that this tale has fallen out of favour with Faunus and seems to be dying out. By writing it down, Ozpin hopes the tale will never be lost.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The God of Animals is twice described as being "sagacious, perspicacious, and most veracious"; once when describing their decision to protect an island as a safe haven from Humans, and once when observing that the God of Animals is easily bored.
- Utopia: Subverted. The tale initially mentions a special island, the only place in the world Humans can't be found because the God of Animals protects it as a haven for all animals. When the god decides to bring Humans to the island, the first thing the Humans are shown are the downsides to living there. The island appears to be a harsh desert from coast to coast, and filled with countless wild animals. They're only shown the paradise on the southern shore last. The god makes it clear that this is a place that can be their home only if they work hard for it. The people who accept the god's offer do so because they realise that, while the land is no more hospitable than any other place, what they're being offered is control over their own fates, free from the influence of others.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The God of Animals was able to take the form of any animal they desired, whenever they desired. They could transform from a ram to a shark on a whim, and their travels around the world is described in terms such as "cantered and burrowed and fluttered over the earth". They can also take the form a Human if necessary, and can also transform into a combinations of creatures, taking different pieces of different animals to become something entirely unique.
The Hunter's Children
When a hunter of Grimm dies, his four children disagree on how best to live their lives and go their separate ways. Through their individual trials they become wiser people and learn the importance of uniting together as a team.
- An Aesop: The message from the tale is that no-one should be fighting the Grimm alone. Strength lies in unity and working together as a team. Ozpin speculates that the lesson of this tale is something the leaders of the four kingdoms need to learn because working together will ensure they can accomplish more than each of them alone.
- Badass Family: The hunter defends the village from Grimm until he dies. Although she's dead in the story, his wife is the one who taught the four children how to fight. Once the hunter dies, the four children take over as protectors of the people against the Grimm.
- Detect Evil: The hunter's Semblance allowed him to detect the presence of the Grimm.
- Emotion Suppression: The youngest daughter has the ability to calm both Humans and animals. Her ability is extremely useful for protecting people from the Grimm by helping suppress the negative emotions that attract the Grimm in the first place.
- Guilt Complex: One of the reasons why the hunter keeps going out day after day to fight the Grimm and keep them away from the village is because they killed his wife. He hates himself for not being there when she died and so hates the Grimm as well.
- Heartbroken Badass: The hunter lost his wife to the Grimm. One of the reasons he keeps fighting them when no-one else does is because he hates them for killing her. On the nights when he admits this reason to his children, the mood in the house tends to become somber.
- Invisibility with Drawbacks: The youngest son has the ability to hide in plain sight. However, he has to close his eyes to do it, which means that he can't move around without getting lost and tripping over. His power also doesn't hide his emotions, so if he uses it on the Grimm, they can still sense his presence through his emotions and therefore can still surround his location even if they don't know exactly where he is.
- Secret Identity: Ozpin mentions how the four siblings embody the traits Huntsmen need and how their story can be seen as a template for the four-man team system in the Huntsman Academies. He then speculates that the King of Vale had this very tale in mind when designing the Huntsman Academies. The hunter in the tale is very strongly implied to have been one of Ozma's previous incarnations, and the King of Vale has been all but confirmed to have been Ozma. Ozpin, however, can't publicly reveal that he's a reincarnating immortal whose previous lifetimes have included both this hunter and the King of Vale; instead, he emphasizes the link between this tale and the Huntsmen Academies by using his personal experience with Huntsman team-work while consigning the motives of the King of Vale to "speculation" that makes sense to him because of this experience.
- Sibling Team: By the end of the tale, the four siblings have figured out that the reason their father died was because he was fighting the Grimm alone, and that their own limitations make it harder to protect themselves and other people as well. As a team, they compensate each others flaws and become a much stronger and more successful force.
- Super Empowering: The oldest brother has the ability to link Auras when people are in physical contact, even if that physical contact is something like a rope tied between people. This allows him to boost the Aura and abilities of himself and other people. It can even turn a person into a one-man army against the Grimm if necessary.
The Indecisive King
Once upon a time a wise king received a mysterious crown that leads to him making some bad decisions. With the help of an even wiser widow, he is able to resolve the matter and move on with his life.
- An Aesop: Ozpin comments that there are several messages in this tale. Magical items can help, harm or do both at the same time. They tend to be cautionary tales warning how thin the dividing line between good and evil really is. He also observes that the tale is a message that bad things can happen to good people. However, the most important lesson of the tale is that the king learns that, while knowledge is power, too much knowledge can make people powerless. What matters, therefore, is what you choose to do, or don't do, with the artefacts, knowledge or power you do have.
- Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Ozpin again finds an alternative aesop in the story that's just as important as the established one. No matter what hardships you face in life, or how hard the decisions you face are, you must always keep living. Ozpin thinks this message is an uplifting one.
- Blessed With Suck: The silver crown has the power to give the wearer knowledge of the future. However, the king is shown a vision of a moment when he faces a choice that appears to have no favourable outcomes. He becomes obsessed with trying to find a decent solution because he assumes that the crown is giving him time to find an answer before the moment arrives. The widow, however, believes the crown is a curse that has burdened him with future knowledge before he's ready to handle it. She encourages him to abandon the crown and instead trust his own instincts to make the best decisions that he can on the basis of the knowledge that's available at the time.
- Determined Widow: Once the widow recovers from her initial grieving period, she begins watching the king at court. Over many months she becomes familiar with his personality and behavior. So, when his court is left confused and worried, but still obedient, upon his behavioral changes after receiving the silver crown, she takes it upon herself to figure out what the problem is and how to help him solve it. Thanks to her, the king is able to resolve his dilemma and return to being the good king that he used to be.
- Foreshadowing: The crown is heavily implied to be the Relic of Choice. The silhouette of the Relic is revealed in Volume 6, a crown with marking indicating where jewels or some kind of stones might be located. The book also includes an "artist's rendition" of the crown. It's the exact same shape as the Relic's silhouette and the markings of the stones or jewels are the same shape and in the same location; the artist's image also makes it the same shade of gold as both the Relics of Knowledge and Creation.
- The Good King: The king is renowned far and wide for being a wise, kind and generous man. People come to him from all over the land to ask for his help in solving their problems. He doesn't turn anyone away. When he receives the grieving widow, who has lost everything, he even lets her stay in the castle for as long as she needs to get back on her feet.
- The High Queen: The Widow becomes this at the conclusion of the story, finding happiness and marrying the King that she saved. The King was once more renowned for his wisdom, and for the "even wiser" Queen that ruled at his side.
- Meaningful Echo: The widow asks what she should do after the Grimm destroy her village and family. He tells her to keep living and lets her stay in the castle for as long as she needs to get back on her feet. Months later, the king is throwing his life away over an impossible dilemma the crown has presented him with until she intervenes. He asks her what he should do and she tells him to keep living. It helps end his obsession, allowing him to move on.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: Discussed. The king believes that the crown is a gift, revealing a future moment in which he's faced with an impossible choice that has no favourable outcomes so that he has the time to find a good solution. Every time he returns to the crown to try a solution, however, he always fails. It makes him moody, paranoid and indecisive in the process. The widow tells him that the crown is a curse that has burdened him with future knowledge he's not ready for and that he needs to accept that sometimes there are no favourable outcomes. Instead, he should simply rely on his instincts and knowledge to make the best decision he can or to accept making a mistake knowing he tried his very best.
The Grimm Child
A little girl dares her brother to go into the scary forest. What comes out is one of the greatest horror stories in all of Remnant.
- Adaptational Badass: This is the most famous and notorious fairy tale on Remnant. A single Chill goes unrecognized for what it is, hopping from human to human until it wipes out an entire town in a single night. However, Professor Ozpin warns that the real Chill is incapable of this feat. It cannot control its victims for more than a few minutes, and it is incapable of speech; the most a possessed human can do is repeat the last word they spoke before they died. Chills are also heavily reliant on people being hesitant to harm a loved one. As a result, real Chills are incapable of the feats the story claims.
- Big Sister Bully: Oak is very young, terrified of being alone and always wants to do what his big sister does. Poppy thinks of him as a whiny, clingy, dirty scaredy-cat. When their parents leave them alone for a bit, she tries to dare Oak to enter the forest their parents forbade them from going near. Oak tries to obey his parents' order, but Poppy is relentless about bullying him into the forest. She terrifies him, pretends to abandon him, and then promises she's never play with him again and spend all her time with her friends. She gets her way in the end... and it dooms the entire town.
- Body Horror: In the fairy tale, each possessed human becomes icy cold to the touch. When they die, they're left with snow white hair and skin, black eyes and red or black veins covering their bodies. Ozpin observes that real Chills don't actually do this and the original version of this tale didn't do this either. The appearance of the victims in this tale were conflated long ago with the appearance of a witch who appears in an ancient fairy tale about a white witch who lived in the woods, and it has become by far the most popular version of the tale in Remnant. The description exactly matches Salem's appearance, something Ozpin is well aware of but doesn't outright state.
- Body Surf: Chills can possess a human with the slightest of touches, and it only needs these very slight touches to be able to move from one victim to another. There's very little most people can do to defend against these Grimm, but they're limited to shadows and can only control a possessed human for a few minutes at most.
- Darkness = Death: In regions where Chills dwell, going near shadows can get humans killed. Chills live in the shadows and a human only has to barely contact one to be instantly possessed. The act of possessing a human kills them. Where Chills roam, darkness and shadow needs to be avoided.
- Dead All Along: Poppy wakes up from a bad dream right into a waking nightmare as she discovers her family dead. Searching the town reveals everyone's dead. She returns home to pack and flee the town, only to discover a dead body where her suitcase should... underneath the bed she woke up in. When she looks at herself in the mirror, she realises the truth: she's been dead all this time. The demon left her for last and then let her think she was still alive until she had come to understand what she had unleashed. What she doesn't know is whether the Chill did this to torment her or to thank her.
- Dirty Coward: Oak is very young and fearful. He doesn't like being alone and is terrified of entering the forest. She tries to portray him as a coward for not wanting to go into a place their parents told them to avoid.
- Don't Go in the Woods: The tale is triggered by Poppy daring her younger brother to go into the woods that their parents have forbidden them from entering. When she first enters, she's scared back out by shadows seeming to close in on her. When she goes back in to find her brother, the woods takes on an eerie, otherworldly feel. By the end of the tale, she's realised the horrifying significance of why the forest was dangerous to enter and exactly what monster they brought back with them when they left.
- Heel Realization: When Poppy realizes the entire town is dead, she begins to understand that Oak died in the forest. Forcing her brother to enter the forest just to defy her parents had doomed the entire town to destruction... and her along with it. She doesn't know if the Grimm possessing her is tormenting her or thanking her, but it knows she's the one responsible.
- Madness Mantra: Ozpin warns that, unlike in the fairy tale, a Chill-possessed human is incapable of normal speech. They either cannot speak at all or they can only say the very last word the human said at the moment of death. In these cases, the possessed human will repeat this word over and over and over again.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Forcing Oak to enter the forest unleased a Grimm that destroyed the entire town in a single night. Poppy only begins to understand the full scale of what she's done as she races from house, finding every single person dead. By dawn, she's found so many bodies that she's functioning on autopilot, completely numb and utterly certain that it's her entire fault.
- Propaganda Piece: The appearance of the victims in the tale are part of the reason why this version is so popular across Remnant. While Ozpin claims this popularity is why he chose this version of the tale, it's implied that the real reason is because the appearance of the victims perfectly match Salem's physical appearance; he goes to great lengths to make it clear to the reader that the origin of this appearance comes from a white witch who appeared in her own fairy tale about a white witch in the woods. Ozpin may not have wanted to openly tell the world Salem existed, but he still managed to find a way to let the entire world know what she looked like.
- Sole Survivor: Subverted. Poppy doesn't understand why the Chill left her alone in the forest, and why she was spared. As it becomes increasingly clear that the entire town has been decimated, she becomes increasingly puzzled. It's only when she's searching for her suitcase to pack and flee the town that she realises the truth: she didn't survive; she's been Dead All Along.
- Staking the Loved One: Chills can only control a possessed human for a few minutes so they depend heavily on people's hesitation to harm loved ones. Even the slightest contact allows a Chill to move to a new person, usually almost always a loved one or close friend of the possessed.
- Tainted Veins: In the fairy tale, the Chill leaves its victims with dark veins covering snow white skin. Ozpin makes it clear that real Chills do not do this and that the appearance comes from a different origin, a fairy tale about a white witch in the woods; in other words, Salem.
- Touch of Death: It requires only the slightest touch for a Chill to be able to move from a possessed human to a new one. The act of possession instantly kills the victim.
The Judgment of Faunus
A Faunus creation myth about how a god's attempt to end a great war between Humans and animals created a brand new set of problems for the survivors.
- Ambiguous Gender: Despite the masculine term, the god is never given a gender and is described in gender-neutral terms, using gender-neutral pronouns.
- Chilly Reception: The Faunus seek the sanctuary of the Human settlement some of them came from when they were still Human. Instead of being welcomed home by their friends and relatives, they're confronted by cold, stone-faced villagers who close their doors and hearts and trying to drive them away. This makes the ex-Human Faunus begin to understand why the ex-animal Faunus think Humans are so narrow-minded and heartless.
- Convicted by Public Opinion: The Faunus were seeking protection from the Grimm, but the Humans are so horrified by their appearance they decide the Faunus were coordinating an attack with the Grimm. The Faunus can't do or say anything to change their minds, and when they're all forced to flee to find a safe haven, the Humans make sure that the safe haven they find is completely closed to the Faunus. The Faunus are forced to continue searching for a safe haven to call home... to this very day, they haven't found it.
- Creation Myth: This tale explains that the Faunus came into being as a god's attempt to end a war between Humans and animals. Unfortunately, most of the newly created Faunus were promptly wiped out by the Grimm and chased from Human villages by people who had once been their friends and family. The Faunus haven't stopped running from Humans and Grimm ever since, and still haven't found a place they can call home.
- Demonization: Ozpin observes that the Faunus depict their god as wise and noble. However, Humans tend to depict the same god as a trickster who cannot be trusted. He considers it quite telling, given that this is how Humans have also demonized the Faunus.
- Downer Ending: Discussed. The tale doesn't really end because the Faunus are still struggling with the Humans and the Grimm, and still searching for a place to call home. Ozpin observes that most Faunus fairy tales are open-ended, being either bittersweet or downright depressing. It's a reflection of how the Faunus feel their story is still unfolding and that they have yet to find their true purpose.
- Fantastic Racism: Humans and animals are deeply prejudiced against the other, with animals believing Humans are destructive and untrustworthy while Humans while Humans resented animals for being stronger and refusing to help them fight the Grimm. However, once they're turned into Faunus, they all become subject to prejudice, fear and loathing from Humans.
- From Bad to Worse: The god was stopping a war when they turned the animals and Humans fighting it into Faunus. They were trying to bring the two sides together to recognize their differences. However, this hasn't stopped Faunus from fighting each other — they simply fight over philosophy and ideology instead of appearance. It also created a brand new set of problems: the Faunus took after Humans, rather than animals, in terms of being vulnerable to the Grimm; Humans also couldn't accepted the Faunus because of their appearance, and so prejudice and racism against Faunus was born. The Faunus may no longer be fighting a war over Humans and animals, but they're on the run from both Humans and the Grimm, and thay have no safe haven to call home.
- Irrational Hatred: When the newly formed Faunus are attacked by Grimm, they flee for protection to the Human towns the ex-Humans came from. However, as soon as the Humans see them, they are horrified. With the Grimm descending on the settlement, the Humans immediately conclude that the Faunus and the Grimm are in league with each other and turn on the Faunus in hatred. Even though the Faunus point out that they're the Humans' own friends and relatives, the Humans don't care: the Faunus look different, the Grimm attacked at the same time, and that's all they need to reject and loathe the Faunus.
- Not So Different: Humans and animals are at war because of what they fear and envy in the other. This blinds them to their similarities, which the god spots as soon as he starts talking to them. To teach them how they can be so much more together than divided, he transforms them all into something that's part-Human, part-animal.
The Infinite Man
- A God I Am Not: People who know the man can wield magic and other abilities, are utterly convinced he's a god, especially when they hear he can reincarnate and so is immortal. Every single time, he tries to refute this by insisting that he's not a god, he's just a very flawed human being, and doesn't think of himself as being a very good person at all.
- An Aesop: The moral of this tale changes with the teller. It's one of the most used tales for propaganda in the world, so more versions of this tale exist than any other. The version Ozpin tells has been put together from many versions to try and create a balanced story. Its moral is to not put all your faith into a single person and set your expectations of them too high, a mistake he feels both the man and the girl made in equal measure.
- Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Ozpin admits that this tale teaches him a new lesson every time he reads it. However, in general, he regards the tale as being a message about the power of belief and how it can move people for good, for ill, or for a mixture of both.
- Arc Words: Several phrases are repeated throughout the tale for significant reasons.
- The man constantly describes himself as being only a man, and not a very good one. Many characters don't seem to believe this because of his magical abilities and the fact that he can reincarnate. However, at the end of the tale, his most devoted follower has been broken by tragedy and has come to believe that he truly wasn't a good man, after all. As much as he wanted people to understand this, he is still deeply hurt by her rejection.
- Every time he makes a decision, it's followed by a statement declaring it to be a mistake, and not his last. Throughout the tale, it isn't explained why his decision is a mistake until the very end, and his very final mistake. What was a thriving organization of people dedicated to bettering the lives of humanity, unifying humanity in peace and harmony, and teaching people how to fight the Grimm, ends up being wiped out of existence by a group of powerful, mysterious warriors who want to destroy the man and everything he stands for.
- The Day of Reckoning: It's only very vaguely mentioned in the tale, but the Circle is working towards uniting humanity in peace and harmony in preparation for the day when the gods return and subject humanity to their final judgement.
- Despair Event Horizon: A young girl he saves at the beginning of his tale becomes his most devoted follower and an excellent leader of the cause after he dies. Although she encourages him to remain when his next reincarnation visits, it leads to a tragedy where warriors hunt them down to wipe their movement out of existence. She loses an arm and an eye, but is permitted to live — solely as a warning to the world never to place their faith in a single person again. When she and the man's next reincarnation meet, her faith and hope have been broken and she now completely believes he was indeed not a very good man.
- Downer Ending: Although it started by accident, the man accomplishes something truly beneficial for humanity through his teaching of peace, harmony and how to fight the Grimm. His most devoted follower becomes a great leader in her own right after he dies, and when he catches up with her in his next reincarnation, he is truly amazed at what she's achieved. However, a band of mysterious and powerful warriors arrive one day, seeking to kill a "god". Even though he points out he's not a god, they pursue the confrontation anyway. To protect his people and everything they've worked for, he allows the warriors to kill him. The warriors don't keep their promise and destroy the organization so completely that, by the time the man reincarnates again, no-one has ever heard of it. Only his most devoted follow remains alive, a bitter old woman who has had her faith and hope completely broken.
- Guilt Complex: Although the man repeatedly insists that he's just a man, that he's not a god, that he's deeply flawed and people who tend to rely on him end up regretting it, people keep flocking to him anyway, thinking his honesty is just a sign of how humble and unassuming he is. Although he's deeply disturbed by the situation, he also sees it as an opportunity to try and complete his mission to unite humanity in harmony. Although it's eventually wiped out by what is implied to be agents of Salem, the man clearly blames himself for how things turned out, especially as the girl comes to blame him, too. In his notes, Ozpin talks about presenting the man as both a hero and a fool, and how he and the girl placed impossible expectations on each other. However, the notes indicates that Ozma is still be feeling guilty about it to this day, and just wants someone, somewhere, to forgive him.
- Humble Hero: Deconstructed. The man keeps insisting that he's just a man, not even a very good one, and that he makes many mistakes; he even warns them that people who get close to him and follow him will end up regretting it. However, people think he's just being humble and unassuming and this is why he would make an excellent leader for them. They don't understand that he's telling them the honest truth. By the time they understand, it's too late. After he's killed and the people massacred, only his most devout supporter is allowed to live: a broken, old woman who is left believing it was folly to put so much faith into one person and that he truly wasn't a very good man, after all.
- No Name Given: The tale never reveals what the man's name is. Every time the girl asks, he refuses to tell her. He simply says he's had many names. The reason their group gets given the name "The Circle" is because the girl wants to create a name for people to rally around, something the man himself does not want. Since he refuses to reveal his name, even after years together, the girl comes up with the Circle as a solution to her dilemma.
- Propaganda Piece: Ozpin talks about this tale being one of the most used tales for propaganda in Remnant history. He then admits to putting together this version from multiple accounts to try and create as fair and balanced story as possible, including "embellishing" the story slightly to attribute motives to the man that he confesses may be coloured by his own assumptions and prejudice. Unlike his notes for the other fairy tales, he's somewhat defensive in his reasoning; he can't publicly admit to being the Infinite Man, but he clearly wants the opportunity to finally tell his side of the story.
- Resurrective Immortality: The man describes his life as a circle. He has lived countless lives, reincarnating every time he dies. The girl meets three of his incarnations over the course of the tale, first as a young girl, then as a middle-aged woman, and finally as an elderly woman. This is Ozma's form of immortality because the Infinite Man is one of his previous incarnations.
- Spare a Messenger: After killing the man, the mysterious warriors went back on their agreement and slaughtered the members of the Circle. Many years later, he meets an elderly woman and recognizes her as the most devout of his followers. She theorizes that they might have spared her life, to serve as a warning to others.
- Stop Worshipping Me: The man wants to help people and has a mission to unite humanity. However, people keep mistaking his abilities for the power of a god, and form a cult-like organisation around him called the Circle. No matter how many times he tells them that he's not a god, that he's a deeply flawed man, and that they're doing really good work even without him, they just think he's being humble.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: It's only briefly mentioned in the tale, but one of the reasons the man gives in to the Circle, despite his misgivings, is because this accidental movement is the closest he's ever got to uniting humanity in harmony and completing his mission. He desperately wants to complete his mission because only them will his immortality end and allow him to finally rest in peace. This man is one of Ozma's previous lives. The events occurred a long time ago, even before most people knew about Aura, Semblances and how to fight the Grimm. Ozpin is still trying to achieve that mission to this very day, and still with no end in sight.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: The man never lies to people. At the beginning of the tale, he hesitantly confirms the girl is right about seeing him use magic to defeat the Grimm; on his deathbed, she asks him if he told the truth about his ability to reincarnate. He tells he that he's never lied to her; the problem is that people create their own truths. He spends much of the tale trying to correct people's misconceptions about him and his abilities, warning them repeatedly that he's a flawed person who makes mistakes and honestly revealing his fear that they will suffer if they keep following him because people who follow him tend to end up regretting it, or worse. Events unfold exactly as he feared and the tale ends with him dreading the girl (who is now an old woman) asking him to confirm his identity. He won't be able to lie to her even though he knows the truth will be extremely painful for both of them. She doesn't ask him, which hurts him even more because he knows she's doing that to reject him and everything he stands for.
The Two Brothers
Legend tells of a God of Light, who created the forces of life, such as water, plants and wildlife, and his younger brother, the God of Darkness, who created the forces of destruction, such as drought, fire and famine. In response to Light's creation of animals, the God of Darkness created the Creatures of Grimm, destructive beings of malice and hate. To stop the God of Darkness's destructive ways, the God of Light suggested they create something together that they could both be proud of. That final masterpiece was humanity, gifted with the powers of Knowledge, Creation, Destruction and Choice.
Unknown to most of Remnant, these four gifts exist in a physical form known as Relics. The four Huntsman Academies were created to separate, hide and protect the Relics from being misused.
- An Aesop: Ozpin notes that the moral of this tale is quite a heavy one for a children's story. People are burdened with responsibility for the world and will be the final arbiters of their fate. People must come together and live each day as if the gods will be arriving to judge them tomorrow. Humanity has a choice: they can either create a beautiful, peaceful world or they can destroy themselves and their planet. Even if they don't believe in gods, people have a responsibility to share in this common destiny and make life better for everyone.
- Creating Life: The God of Light possessed the power to create forces of life, producing such things as water, plants and wildlife. No matter how his younger brother tried to destroy his creations, life always kept returning to Remnant.
- The Day of Reckoning: In the full tale, the two gods get so tired of each other, they want to go their separate ways. However, they gave so much essence to the creation of Remnant and its lifeforms that they don't have the power to leave without taking back their essence. That would mean destroying everything. The God of Darkness wants to do this, but the God of Light isn't so eager. They compromise by coming up with a test. If humanity can prove itself worthy, they will remain and let humanity live. If humanity isn't worthy, they will destroy the planet, take back their essence and go their separate ways.
- Destroyer Deity: The God of Darkness possessed the power to create forces of destruction, such as drought, fire and famine. Qrow says that, every night, he would see his older brother's creations and become disgusted. Eventually, he creates the Creatures of Grimm to share his innate desire to destroy everything they encounter. However, the full fairy tale states that Dark found Light's creation to be dull, so he created earthquakes and volcanoes to make things lively.
- Dimensional Traveler: When the old god finds himself alone in the universe, he begins travelling through other realms and planes of existence, searching everywhere for signs of life.
- Equivalent Exchange: Even gods can't create something from nothing. To create a companion, the old god had to destroy himself so that the two beings left in his place were both brand new entities. When the two brothers decide to create a world and populate it, that had to do it from their own essences. In the end, they use up so much essence to create the world that, when they want to leave, they cannot unless they start destroying things to take back their essence.
- Hates Being Alone: The old god was so overcome with loneliness that he decided to split himself in half and create a companion. However, this act destroys him as an entity and the two beings that exist after the split are both brand new beings.
- Have You Seen My God?: According to one legend, the Gods of Light and Darkness used to live on Remnant. However, they eventually decided to leave the world and depart for destinations unknown. They left behind humanity and the four Relics of Knowledge, Creation, Destruction and Choice to help guide humanity in their absence. In the full fairy tale, they realise they can't leave the world because they've given too much of their essence to it. They decide to rest and leave humanity to its own devices, each brother forming a new continent that takes the shape of a dragon. When The Day of Reckoning comes, they will wake up and decide whether humanity is worthy of living.
- Humans Are Special: To end their feud, the two brothers created humanity as the great masterpiece that they could both take pride in. As a result, they gave them a combination of abilities not seen in any previous creations: Knowledge, Creation, Destruction and, most importantly, Choice — the ability to choose what to do with their gifts.
- Hypocrite: When they first started creating Remnant and life, the God of Light was very troubled by the God of Darkness's habit of wiping out his creations with destructive forces and told him to stop doing it. Much later, when the brothers realise the Grimm are killing too many humans, Light tells Dark to get rid of the Grimm. Dark angrily points out that Light found it intolerable when his own creations were being killed so shouldn't be asking Dark to do the same. Light defends himself by stating there's a big difference between wiping out lifeforms and wiping out the Grimm: Light's creations are living beings but the Grimm are an unliving force of malice and hate.
- The Maker: While the God of Light created the plants and animals and the God of Darkness created the Creatures of Grimm, only humanity is created by both gods, ending their feud by combining their powers to create a work they can both take pride in. Humanity possesses each god's ability to create and destroy, so the two brothers also gave humanity two other gifts: Dark gave humanity the knowledge of how to create and destroy while Light gave them the ability to choose how to use that knowledge. The one side-effect of Dark's gift is that humanity also knows fear.
- The Multiverse: The story opens with a lone dragon travelling through the universe, trying to find other life. He searches all the worlds and realms, and through every plane of existence, but finds nothing. The story doesn't mention how many other realms and planes exist, it simple hints there are multiple.
- Not So Different: The God of Darkness believes that he and Light are essentially the same. They both have creations and have both challenged the other and different times to destroy the other's creations. Light, however, disagrees.
- Not So Similar: The God of Light believes that he and Dark are fundamentally different. They only share similar powers and forms. Beyond that, they have nothing in common.
- Our Gods Are Different: Remnant has dozens of gods, but most of them aren't real. According to Qrow, Ozpin believes the Gods of Light and Dark really did once exist, with the God of Light being responsible for the creation of all living things and the God of Darkness being responsible for the creation of all forces of destruction, including the Grimm. These two brothers were themselves created from an even older god, who was so lonely in an empty universe that he split himself in half just to create company for himself, giving rise to the two brothers.
- Sadist: Light asks his brother to stop destroying his creations, but Dark argues that he's making things more lively. He enjoys watching living things flee and die from the disasters he creates. Light becomes increasingly frustrated with Dark's desire to make life suffer and comes up with a plan for them to jointly create humanity in the hope Dark will learn to use his power responsibly. However, Dark becomes fascinated with humanity's resourcefulness in adversity and so sends increasingly difficult challenges their way to help them grow, such as natural disasters and Grimm attacks.
- Secret Test of Character: The God of Darkness is fascinated by humanity's resourceful and how adversity seems to make them grow. He therefore believes that the God of Light is overprotecting them and begins sending them challenges to help them develop, such as natural disasters. He even begins making more Grimm to give them even stronger challenges. The God of Light does not approve.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: One brother is a being of pure light, the other a beling of unfathomable darkness. They have separate personalities and desires, but complementary abilities. The God of Darkness is a dark reflection of the God of Light. When they create a world, their creations reflect each other: Light creates the sun, Dark the moon; Light creates a land of lush vegetation, Dark creates a land of desert and mountains; Light creates plants and animals, Dark creates the Grimm.
- Space Isolation Horror: The old god finds himself in a universe where there is absolutely nothing: initially, he searches for other beings like himself. Not only does he find none, he finds nothing. He searches every world he can find, every realm he can access and every plane of existence he can cross into. Nothing else exists. To cope with the isolation, he decides to split himself in half to create a companion. However, the act of doing so destroys him. The two beings that exist in his place are not his original self and a copy, but two completely brand new beings. Unwilling to face the continued isolation, the two new beings decide to create a world filled with life.
- Stronger Sibling: The images accompanying Qrow's telling of their fable depict the God of Light standing triumphant over a prone God of Darkness, after the former had had enough of the latter destroying his creations every night. It implies that the God of Light is more powerful than the God of Darkness. However, the full tale says the old god split himself in half, with the two new beings having complementary abilities. In the fairy tale, when the two fight, there is no clear winner, they stop because they're tearing the world apart and humanity begs them to stop.
- The Un-Favourite: In the full tale, the Grimm hate humanity because they're jealous that their creator, the God of Darkness, is so fascinated with humanity that he's forgotten all about the Grimm. They therefore hunt humanity relentlessly.
The Story of the Seasons
The Remnant fairytale, The Story of the Seasons, tells of four sisters who travelled the world helping people. One day, they came across an reclusive old wizard and decided to help him overcome his isolation. Their kindness was rewarded with the gift of magical powers representing the four seasons and which could be used to benefit the whole of mankind.
What most of Remnant doesn't know is that the legend has a kernel of truth to it, with the powers of the Four Maidens being passed to new guardians when the old ones die.
- All-Loving Hero: When the Old Wizard asks them what made him so special that they'd go out of their way to help him, they tell him he's not special at all: he was a person in need of help, so they helped him, as they help every single person they come across. He is so impressed with their compassion, that he gives them the gift of his magical powers so that the sisters can use them to help humanity.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Spring walks around in bare feet, unlike all her other sisters who wear shoes. It completes the nature theme that is associated with her, as she also wears a crown of leaves and carries seeds, fruits and flowers in a basket.
- Elemental Powers: The four sisters obtained the powers of the elements, with legend suggesting that Spring could make plants grow, Summer could produce fire, Fall could produce wind, and Winter could create ice.
- Genki Girl: The third sister, Summer, announces her presence with a giggle. When she introduces herself to the Old Wizard, she starts giggling again. She spins and twirls as she reveals she finds him funny for not stepping outside his door, and encourages him to join them in the sun. When he does so, she tags him and encourages him to join them in playing games and just having a good, fun time.
- Green Thumb: Spring, the second sister to appear, restored the Old Wizard's garden, fixing the fences and sowing seeds. The story strongly implies the plants were growing within the span of a day, suggesting she had some kind of supernatural ability to grow plants even before the Old Wizard rewarded her with elemental magic.
- The Hermit: The Old Wizard lived in an isolated cabin in the middle of a forest. He received no visitors and hadn't even left the house to step outside in centuries when the sisters encountered him. Through their compassion and persistence, they encouraged him to accept their presence, their help and to even step into the sunlight, transforming his life for the better. The Old Wizard is one of Ozpin's previous incarnations.
- Legend Fades to Myth: The Story of the Seasons is based on truth as the Four Maidens really do exist, and they do indeed have Elemental Powers. However, the story has taken on such mythic properties that the accuracy of the tale is hard to unravel. Pyrrha learns that this is deliberate. People sought the incredible power of the Maidens for nefarious purposes, requiring the protectors of the Maidens to hide them away, letting them fade into legend and fairytale just to keep the Maidens safe.
- Nature Lover: Spring is a cheerful, spry girl who carries a basket of fruits, flowers and seeds. She leaps around the Old Wizard's garden, sowing seeds, planting, and fixing his fence. She's heavily associated with nature, wearing a a crown of leaves and having bracelets made out of plants. She also doesn't wear shoes even though the rest of her sisters do. When she's given her magical powers at the end of the tale, she uses it to supernaturally grow plants.
- The Shut-In: Not only is the Old Wizard a hermit, he doesn't even step outside his door. He hasn't left the cottage in so long that it doesn't even occur to him to open the front door; he communicates with the sisters from the window he was sat beside when they arrived. The third sister, Summer, has to coax him outside to enjoy the sunshine with them.
- The Stoic: Winter is described as a calm, sedate girl who simply sits quietly under a tree while the Old Wizard watches her in confusion. The serenity she exudes makes the Old Wizard start wishing he could share it, too.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Fall is the sister who asks the Old Wizard who he is. When he tells her that he's not very interesting because he has no-one to love and nothing to his name, she shows him where he lives, the views from his cottage and the garden that Spring has created. Although he's been alive for centuries, she's the one to open his eyes to what her sisters have done to show him what he does have so that he no longer obsesses over what he doesn't have.
The Girl in the Tower
Once upon a time, there was a lonely girl who lived in a lonely tower because she had been imprisoned there by her cruel father. While countless heroes died trying to free her from the castle in the hope of winning her hand in marriage, she simply longed for her freedom.
One day, the greatest hero in all the land came to her rescue. They fell in love and lived happily ever after...
Except, what the world doesn't know is that living happily ever after is the one thing they didn't do.
- Abusive Parents: The girl is locked away the day she is born by a father who is grieving the loss of his wife through childbirth and the fact the child left behind is not a son. He rarely visits her in her tower and is extremely strict about what items she's permitted, to ensure she can't attack him or commit suicide. It's only when the girl is old enough to fully understand that her father does not love or treat her the way a parent should that she begins planning her escape.
- Big Fancy Castle: In Jinn's version of the tale, Salem is imprisoned in a huge, isolated, fairy tale castle that bears a striking resemblence to Beacon Academy. However, in the fairy tale itself, the artistic depiction of her prison is a single, lone tower.
- Damsel in Distress: In Jinn's version of the tale, the maiden in the tower was capable of wielding magic. However, all humans could wield magic, so it didn't give her any advantage. She remained locked away for years while countless heroes tried, and failed, to rescue her. Jinn confirms the maiden was Salem.
- Damsel out of Distress: In the fairy tale, the girl was imprisoned since birth. She was educated in secret by her nanny, and figured out for herself the weaknesses of the magical barriers trapping her in the fortress: people couldn't pass through them, but inanimate objects could. So, she started writing stories about herself and her plight with the intention of inspiring people to come and rescue her, and promising her rescuer all her father's lands and wealth if they succeeded. She would throw them through the window, where the wind would carry them far and wide. She was successful in inspiring men to try and rescue her, although most of them died in the attempt.
- For Great Justice: The hero of the tale was the greatest warrior in the world, famed far and wide for having a pure heart that fought only for justice. While countless other heroes had tried to save the maiden in the hope of being rewarded with her hand in marriage, he decided to rescue her solely to correct an injustice. His name then was Ozma, the original form of Professor Ozpin.
- Genre Savvy: The girl grew up reading fairy tales in secret, dreaming of a day when she would be rescued by a fairy tale prince, become a great and noble queen and have daughters of her own. It inspires her to turn her situation into a fairy tale, that she sends to all the lands, relying on the power of fairy tales to inspire attempts to rescue her. It succeeds.
- Girl in the Tower: When her mother died in childbirth, her father locked her away in an isolated castle and barely ever visited her. Twisted by his grief, he became cruel, obsessed with wealth and willing to manipulate others to achieve his goals. The girl eventually figured out a way to tell the world of her plight and convince many people to try and rescue her. Only one succeeded.
- Happily Ever After: Subverted. When the maiden and the hero escape the tower together, they're reluctant to part ways and quickly fall in love. They decide to travel the world together, plan adventures and live happily ever after. Professor Ozpin hints in his notes that the "happily ever after" ending is not an honest conclusion to the tale and that the reality is much more tragic. Jinn confirms to Ruby's group that the real story definitely did not end happily ever after.
- Ideal Hero: The man who finally rescued the maiden was a famous hero, brave and gallant. He had a pure heart and always fought for justice. Unlike other heroes, who only fought to save her because they hoped for her hand in marriage, he only fought to save her because he wanted to correct an injustice. One of the reasons why she falls in love with him is because she's surprised to meet a real-life fairy tale hero.
- Love at First Sight: From the moment it took the hero to reach the damsel's chamber to the time it took them to fight their way out of the castle and escape wasn't very long... but it was all they needed to fall deeply in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.
- Once Upon a Time: This fairy tale is written in a very traditional way, beginning with the standard "A long, long time ago..." and ending with "happily ever after". Ozpin deconstructs this story in his notes, observing that it was a classic piece of propaganda, written by a protagonist who understood the power of fairy tales to inspire.
- Propaganda Piece: Ozpin observes that this fairy tale is unique; the protagonist is the architect of her own rescue and the tale is self-aware because she uses the power of storytelling to transform her own plight into a fairy tale that moves people into trying to save her. Her knowledge of the power to shape reality and influence readers led countless men to their deaths in their attempts to rescue her. Ozpin therefore wonders how much of her tale is actually false, hinting that the version that appears in his book is the very version Salem herself wrote to inspire men to rescue her.
- Rage Against the Heavens: The girl's father is devastated when his wife dies and he never gets over her death. He blames the gods and takes out his anger against them on the people around him: he locks his daughter in a tower, abuses his staff, and overtaxes his people.
- Rescue Romance: The maiden wasn't interested in anything other than obtaining her freedom, and the hero who eventually rescued her was only interested in correcting an injustice. However, by the time he'd finished rescuing her, they'd both fallen deeply in love.
- Standard Hero Reward: When she writes her stories of her plight in the hope that people will come and rescue her, she offers whomever succeeds her father's land and wealth, as well as her hand in marriage. Although she's deliberately creating a manipulative narrative to achieve her goal of freedom, when a hero finally succeeds in rescuing her, she does offer to honour her promise to let him have her father's lands and wealth. The hero, however, was only rescuing her to right an injustice, so refuses to accept the reward.
The Gift of the Moon
A fairy tale that tells the story of how the world ended up with a broken...
- Despair Event Horizon: The broken sun never recovered from its shattering. It now sits in the dark sky with a dim light, forced to pull the fake sun that replaced it through the air. Doing twice the work it used to while shining so dimly and being broken, means the sun has never recovered and continues to mourn. In fact, it was so notorious for "mooning" over its lost splendour that humanity renamed it the "moon".
- Detonation Moon: Averted. Originally, the world had a sun which bathed half the world in light. At night, there was no moon and no stars, and therefore absolutely no light at all. When humanity decided to try and light the night, they convinced the sun to race faster and faster across the sky, hoping that it could move so fast all the world would be constantly bathed in light. This exhausted the sun so much that it collapsed, falling out of the sky to crash onto the earth. This shattered the sun and spilled all its light. Humanity was forced to make a brand new sun and fill it with the broken sun's spilled light. With the new sun doing a better job, the broken sun got stuck as the moon, lighting the night sky but never bright enough to make it day. As a result, this fairy tale is really a Detonation Sun story.
- Endless Daytime: One of the plans Humans employed to try and have less darkness is to convince the sun to move so fast, it'll always be light. Unfortunately, the sun exhausted itself very fast and crashed out of the sky, breaking it in the process.
- Light Equals Hope: Ozpin uses this tale as a symbol for what humanity can achieve when it works together. He says that the world used to be divided between light and darkness. However, humanity overcame its flaws to unite together and make the darkness brighter for all.
- Melancholy Moon: The moon is a symbol of melancholy because it is itself melancholy. It was originally the sun until Humans accidentally broke it. They managed to collect all the spilled light and create a brand new, even brighter, sun. This left the old sun a broken shell of its former self, skulking through the darkness with a much dimmer light. Unable to stop brooding over its changed circumstances, the old sun was renamed "moon" because it wouldn't stop "mooning over its golden days".
- Weird Sun: When humanity accidentally broke the original sun, they managed to get it back into the sky, but it was a broken shadow of itself, unable to do more than shine dimly. Its rays also scattered, creating stars. Humanity collected up the spilled sunlight and built a huge glass sun to contain it. They then hoisted it into the sky and tied it to the old sun with rope. The original sun was renamed the moon, and now the Remnant is lit with a fake sun by day and the darkness is lit with the real, broken sun by night as it drags the fake sun through the sky behind it.
History of Remnant
Throughout Remnant's history, there have been men and women who have left a footprint on history — for good or for ill.
One of the commanders of the human armies during the Faunus Wars, he's remembered only as an inexperienced general who had poor knowledge of the enemy and even worse strategy.
- An Aesop: His strategic failure is used in class by Dr. Oobleck as an example of how people who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and as an example of why research and tactics are absolutely vital to Huntsmen. Lagune's lack of knowledge about Faunus' night vision led to a single disastrous strategy that changed the entire outcome of the war.
- General Failure: Lagune was inexperienced, had poor knowledge of the Faunus strengths and weakness, and wasn't good at strategy. Yet he was put in charge of a massive army of men, enabling him to make the single most disastrous decision for the human side of the Faunus War.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The humans were doing well in the war against the Faunus until the Battle of Fort Castle. General Lagune came up with a plan to use his massive army against the smaller Faunus force to achieve a decisive victory — by attacking at night, a time when Faunus could see clearly and humans could not. It did achieve a decisive victory — for the Faunus instead of the humans. The humans never recovered from this battle, and Lagune is only remembered now as a failure.
The King of Vale
The unnamed ruler of Vale during the time of the Great War. An apparently wise and benevolent ruler, he tried to avoid the conflict with Mistral and Mantle when the former began to settle territory that Vale was expanding into. When the inevitable happened, however, he stepped up to challenge the invaders... and did so decisively.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: During the Great War, the Vacuo campaign consisted of Mantle and Anima attempting to take control of Vacuo's resources, forcing the King of Vale to take to the front line to save Vale and Vacuo. The King of Vale, who until then had been only a reluctant participant in the war, entered battle with only a sword and his royal sceptre. However, he single-handedly laid waste to the battlefield and all four armies, raining down the wrath of nature itself. The Great War immediately ended because the leaders of Mantle, Anima, and even Vale's ally, Vacuo, were so terrified that they didn't simply surrender, they offered the King of Vale their crowns; instead of taking over the world, he used the opportunity to bring global peace. While Remnant historians debate the veracity of what the King of Vale was capable of, Vacuo still has not recovered eighty years on.
- Cool Sword: During the Great War, he entered battle armed only with his sword and sceptre. "World of Remnant" artwork of the king shows the sword was a large weapon that was styled like a sabre and is implied to be either golden in colour or connected to the yellow-themed Vacuo. When legend speaks of his most terrible battle that ended the war, it's the sword and the damage he dealt with it that gets mentioned most, which is later implied to be because that sword was none other than the Relic of Destruction itself.
- Dual Wielding: He went into battle armed with only his sword and his royal sceptre; legend claims that was all he needed to lay waste to entire armies and end the Great War.
- The Good King: As a ruler, he tried to avoid going to war with two other powerful kingdoms; knowing that it would be a long, brutal, and bloody struggle, he tried peace until it became impossible. The Vacuo Campaign ended the war with huge loss of life, and the leaders of three kingdoms all subjugating themselves to him and offering him their kingdoms. Instead of ruling the world, he turned down the offer and instead forged an alliance between the kingdoms designed to bring humans together to fight for each other instead of against each other; the treaty ended the Vale kingship, restructured the governments, and founded the Huntsman Academies to keep the kingdoms safe. It also gave birth to the peace-celebrating Vytal Festival.
- Legacy Character: To create unity after the Great War, the King of Vale designed the four great Huntsman Academies, in the process installing his four most loyal and trustworthy lieutenants as the headmasters. When Ozpin is trying to convince Oscar that he's not imagining Ozpin's voice inside his head, Ozpin mentions that he helped build Haven Academy. He later gives Team RNJR similar information to the King of Vale's story: the Academies were designed to function via the headmasters taking orders from Ozpin because they're his chosen, most loyal lieutenants whom he is supposed to be able to trust, especially in times of reincarnation. Raven reiterates to Yang and Weiss what Ozpin admitted to Oscar: that Ozpin is the man who designed the schools in the first place.
- Offered the Crown: Vale's king was offered the crowns of every single other kingdom involved in the war, giving him the opportunity to rule the entire world. He refused and used the moment to forge a peace and mutual-defence treaty between all the kingdoms, rebuilding the kingdoms, allying them all together as a unified people, founding the Huntsman Academies to protect everyone and even ending the Vale kingship forever.
- One-Man Army: He wreaked terrible death tolls on the armies of Mistral and Mantle, to the point that the battle in Vacuo was so deadly that both of his opponents surrendered due to the massive losses they took. Even Vacuo surrendered in the wake of the devastation wrought to its territory. The Vacuo World of Remnant episode states that, eighty years after the end of the Great War, Vacuo still hasn't recovered.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Once Vale's king was forced to accept the inevitability of war, he was more than willing to fight on the front line and put in his share of work to end the war... single-handedly, legend claims.
- Staff of Authority: On the battlefield, he may have wielded a mighty blade in his right hand, but in his left hand he wielded his royal sceptre.
Malik the Sunderer
The first king of Vacuo, a legendary figure that lived hundreds of years ago.
- Distinguishing Mark: It is said that his descendents have a birthmark. One member of the family in every generation will be born with an upside-down crown somewhere on their body. Nobody knows if there's anything truth to the legend.
- Founder of the Kingdom: The Kingdom of Vacuo only exists because he founded it. It was originally a lush paradise when he created the kingdom but it's now a harsh desert kingdom where people struggle to survive.
- Red Baron: When referenced, he isn't known as King Malik, he is always called 'Malik the Sunderer'. There isn't much detail on why.
The founder of the Schnee Dust Company, he is the grandfather of Weiss and her siblings, Winter and Whitley. He did not pass his company on to his daughter, instead passing it to his son-in-law, Jacques Schnee (né Gelé).
- Badass Beard: As seen in his portrait, Nicholas boasted a beard that combined with his long hair makes him look very similar to Noctus Lucis Caelum.
- BFS: Like the armors he inspired, Nicholas evidently wielded a massive greatsword; the handle alone was as long as his torso.
- Disease by Any Other Name: Nicholas was forced to retire and hand over his company to his son-in-law because he had an illness that was caused by years of working in the Dust mines. In real life, coal mines were notorious for giving miners Coalworker's Pneumoconiosis or "Black Lung". Although the Remnant disease isn't given a name, the conditions associated with Dust mining are shown to be very similar to those for coal mining.
- Foil: Jacques and Nicholas, Discussed Trope. Jacques is a man who assumed control of the Schnee Dust Company at the height of its fame solely by marrying into the family. He uses shady business practices to maximize profit, drives rival Dust companies out of business, exploits company workers, and keeps the people of Mantle in poverty by driving down wages. Burying his unsavory business practices with aggressive PR, he forces his family to remain with him even at the cost of their own happiness. In contrast, his father-in-law Nicholas was the son of a miner who trained in combat and learned everything he could to better himself. He was motivated by the determination to lift the people of Mantle out of poverty and personally led any risk-taking expeditions in search of lucrative Dust mines, risking himself to protect his men. He built his company from scratch to become a global brand respected for its quality and trustworthiness; giving up adventuring to spend more time with his family, he was a man who was respected for his ethics and whose family loved having him with them.
- Honest Corporate Executive: He worked extremely hard to obtain the skills required to locate and develop Dust mining to reverse the economic decline that Mantle was suffering from after the Great War ended. With his combat skills, he personally led the expeditions to locate dust deposits and risked his life to protect the men under his command. He was a highly respected man and when the company started becoming successful it quickly gained a reputation for quality and affordability, triggering an industrial renaissance. Anything stamped with the Schnee logo was therefore highly trusted.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He allowed Jacques to take over the Schnee Dust Company because of his business acumen. Sadly, he overlooked Jacques' serious lack of moral fiber; Jacques turned out to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and has turned against everything Nicholas stood for by, among other things, using shady business practices to maximize profit, driving rival companies out of business, exploiting his workers, and keeping the people of Mantle in poverty, all while hiding his unsavory dealings with aggressive PR.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Portraits of Nicholas in the Schnee Manor depict him in knightly armour. The design of the armour can also be seen in the Knight statues that decorate the house and forms the basis for the Arma Gigas that Weiss defeats in the White Trailer and later utilizes as her primary summon. Nicholas was noted as being a man of the people, who became wealthy only as a result of his quest to create a better economy and living conditions for the people of Mantle. He personally led miners on dangerous quests to find new Dust mines and they had a great deal of respect for his willingness to risk his life for others. He only gave up his adventuring lifestyle when it became clear to him just how much his wife and family missed being with him.
- Prospector: Nicholas established his company with expeditions into the wilds of Remnant, using his skills as a soldier and his experience as a miner to locate new Dust veins. His hard work paid off, and his company became famous for its quality Dust at reasonable prices.
- Red Is Heroic: The World of Remnant short depicts Nicholas, an honest businessman and trained huntsman, wearing a red scarf, while family portraits depict him with a long red cape. The Schnee family is typically associated with the colour white, to the extent that the current patriarch, Jacques, adopted the color when he married into the family. The family these days has a reputation for ruthless business dealings and unethical labor practices but Nicholas forged a reputation as a compassionate leader who looked after his men and worked hard to lift the people of Mantle out of poverty. He is the only member of the family currently associated with red as the dominant color motif.
- Scarf of Asskicking: The World of Remnant short depicts a heroic figure with a distinctive red scarf. Nicholas was an accomplished soldier and Huntsman, personally overseeing dangerous expeditions and exploring potential Dust mines. His hands-on approach earned him considerable respect, and helped in establishing the Schnee Dust Company as a global brand. That legacy of heroism inspired his granddaughter, Weiss, to follow in his footsteps and become a Huntress. Actual portraits of the man in-show instead show him wearing a red cape with a fur collar.
- Self-Made Man: He was the son of a Dust miner who became a soldier. He went to combat class and voraciously studied anything he didn't know. Determined to help restore the ailing Kingdom of Mantle's fortunes, he used these skills and what little he inherited from his father to arrange Dust expeditions, seeking out untapped Dust seams. When he finally succeeded, the company he set up snowballed into a global monopoly because he ensured a quality product at an affordable price that people came to trust and value highly.
People of Remnant
Most people never have fame or a place in the history books. However, even if history and legend don't know their names, some people do make a local impact... or a more secret one.
Voiced By: Laura Bailey [EN], Ayako Kawasumi [JP]
The latest inheritor of the Fall Maiden's power, who was assaulted and had half of her power stolen by Cinder. Afterwards, she was placed inside an Atlesian cryogenic life support machine in the vault underneath Beacon Academy where she could rest while remaining hidden from her enemies. She fights with a retractable staff that has two Dust crystals on each end.
- Action Girl: Even when she's blasted out of the sky, she's extremely skilled at hand-to-hand combat, single-handedly fighting off three opponents all at once before continuing to use her Fall Maiden powers.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The first thing she does when she sees Cinder about to sap her powers is to plead "no".
- Ambiguously Brown: Amber does not have the darkest skin in the show, but her skin tone is noticeably darker than many of the characters. There is no reference to any nationality in the show that might indicate an ethnic reason for her skin tone.
- Barehanded Blade Block: One of the techniques Cinder "inherited" from her, she blocks her assailant's projectiles with her bare palms.
- Barrier Warrior: She can simply let Emerald and Mercury's shots bounce off either her Aura or a force field she projects.
- Beauty Mark: She has a dark spot just below her left eye.
- Blow You Away: When using her Fall Maiden power, she utilises wind more than any other elements and sometimes in combination with other elements. She surrounds her attackers in tornadoes, she throws them back with blasts of wind, she uses wind to kick up leaves where she encases the leaves in ice to create blades and then uses the wind to hurl them at her opponents as a Flechette Storm. The in-universe fairy tale of the Four Seasons implies that a wind affinity was associated with the very first Fall Maiden.
- Elemental Powers: Although she initially fights using Dust, when she does use her Fall Maiden powers, she can summon thunderclouds to create lightning attacks, she turns leaves into lethal blades by encasing them in ice she creates, she can create tornados and blast people back with wind attacks and she can create fire to throw fireballs at opponents.
- Fireball Eyeballs: When she taps into her maiden power her eyes become surrounded in fire.
- Friend to All Children: This is used against her by Cinder: they set up a trap for Amber by having Emerald use her powers to create the image of a crying child, in order for her to be led into an ambush.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Amber was lured into a trap because of her kindness, and she got her scars when Cinder's parasitic Grimm drew her powers out from her face. The scars left on her face look only like stains.
- Legacy Character: When one Maiden dies, her power will pass on in a way determined by her dying thoughts. If her last thoughts are of an eligible girl, the power will pass to her; if the dying Maiden's last thoughts are of a male or an ineligible female, the power will pass to a random eligible female who could be located anywhere in the world. If a Maiden is murdered by an eligible female, and her dying thoughts are of that killer, then the killer themselves can inherit the power. Each new Maiden will interpret and express her powers in a way that is unique to her, so no two Maidens will be ever be alike, even when comparing Maidens of the same Season. Amber was a young and inexperienced Maiden, who seemed to favour wind and fire, but who was willing to fight with all the elements in very naturalistic ways. Her murderer and successor is Cinder, who overwhelmingly favours using the fire element instead, even though she will sometimes use other elements as well.
- Magic Knight: Even with powers that are referred to as magic, Amber's fight against Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald shows that she's not adverse to mixing it up hand-to-hand and integrates her powers into her close-combat skills for good measure.
- Meaningful Name: Amber is a substance composed of tree sap that's prized for its ability to perfectly preserve bodies without them decaying. This is exactly the state that Amber is in when she's introduced to the audience, being maintained indefinitely in stasis due to having been attacked in a way she could not recover from.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Her want to help the crying child that was made as an illusory trap is what leads her into being ambushed.
- No Last Name Given: She is only ever referred to as Amber or Autumn, even in secret.
- Petal Power: She summons a storm of leaves from a nearby tree before freezing them into razor blades, attacking Mercury and Emerald with them.
- Playing with Fire: Aside from wind, ice, and lightning, she also has fire powers, and starts using them when Cinder enters the fray.
- Power Floats: When she activates her Maiden powers, she begins to float into the air, before unleashing massive blasts of wind and lightning.
- Simple Staff: Her weapon has two large Dust crystals affixed to either end that allow her to produce jets of flame or gusts of wind.
- Shoot the Mage First: Despite Cinder being the only one who can touch her and having just knocked her unconscious, Amber is smart enough to try to kill Emerald first, who was creating the illusions.
- Temporal Theme Naming: Females with seasonal names are all very plot significant. Amber is also known as Autumn, the current wielder of the mythical Fall Maiden's magical power. Cinder has stolen half her power and left her comatose, leaving the protectors of the world with an unprecedented crisis on their hands.
- Weather Manipulation: In her battle with Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald, Amber was shown to be able to conjure lightning, summon powerful winds, and freeze objects in the air around her.
Debut: Beginning of the End*
Mercury Black's father and a famous assassin. Cinder sought him out with the intent of hiring him, but Mercury kills him before she can do so.
- Abusive Parent: Marcus was a complete bastard to his son, and Mercury never speaks of his father in a positive light. When Cinder arrives at his house, she finds a seriously injured Mercury, who has just killed his father. Mercury also compares him to Qrow in that he smelled of whiskey, implying he was an alcoholic. He tells Emerald that his father hated him, and being trained by him just meant that every day was a beating. When Mercury discovered his Semblance, Marcus "stole it" with his own. He claimed Semblances were a crutch and that it would make Mercury weak; while he said that Mercury could have it back when he was strong, he never did return it.
- Family Theme Naming: Roman gods. Marcus refers to Mars, the god of war, while his son Mercury's name refers to the messenger god.
- Misery Builds Character: Marcus trained Mercury from birth to become an assassin. Mercury states that his father hated him and that the training he received was "a beating" every single day. Marcus claimed that Semblances make people weak and that they should train without them. When Mercury discovered his, Marcus immediately stole it with his own Semblance, stating it would just become a crutch for Mercury. Instead, he forced Mercury to endure harsh training to become as strong and skilled as possible without one.
- Posthumous Character: In the show's timeline, he's already dead. He is only shown during a flashback of how Cinder recruits Mercury, and he's just been killed at that point.
- Professional Killer: He was an assassin by trade and had a reputation as having the skill required by Cinder for the mission she had in mind. When she arrives as Marcus's house, it's to find that Marcus has just been killed by his son, whom he trained to be an assassin like him.
The main villain of the video game RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. A scientist and former student of Ozpin's who is fascinated by the Grimm, seeing them as a perfect life form and desiring to further increase their power.
This video game is treated as canon.
- Admiring the Abomination: He believes that while the Grimm are individually flawed and damaged, as a species they are beautiful and full of potential.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He once studied at Beacon under Ozpin, but even then the teachers thought something was very wrong with him. Ozpin in particular saw his studying of Grimm as a futile, if not blasphemous practice, causing Merlot to reject Ozpin and Beacon, and continue his studies on his own.
- The Beastmaster: He has direct control over the Grimm, to the point where they even act as a security force to protect his labs.
- Been There, Shaped History: The game all but states that the reason Mountain Glenn was overrun and destroyed by Grimm was this man's experiments. At the very least, he made the situation far worse than it could have been.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Has a very obvious cybernetic eye, along with what appears to be a cybernetic right hand. Whether or not he got these before he became evil is unknown, however.
- Evilutionary Biologist: He believes the Grimm are a more perfect lifeform than humanity, and wishes to see just how powerful they can become with his help.
- A God Am I: As his Sanity Slippage furthered, he went from a scientist desiring to make use out of the Grimm for humanity, to a man seeing himself as the god of the Grimm.
- Gratuitous Latin: The title of his Villain Song "Lusus Naturae" is, roughly, Latin for "freaks of nature". Merlot however uses it as a term of endearment, seeing the Grimm that he studies as untapped potential that he wants to make use of.
- Mad Scientist: His ultimate goal is to fulfil the Grimm's potential by using science to improve them where nature failed, a goal that got him labeled as a madman. The various mutant Grimm that appear in the game prove that, whatever else, he isn't wrong about their capacity for improvement.
- Mecha-Mooks: He uses heavily-armed combat robots as his main security. They consist of a mixture of red warrior machines with a double-bladed staff, and white gun-toting droids that can alternate between grenade launchers and rapid-fire energy cannons.
- Never Found the Body: He was presumed dead after the fall of Mountain Glenn. Again at the end of the game, when his laboratory is destroyed but his fate is ultimately unknown.
- Never My Fault: Dr. Merlot asks if Ozpin would believe him if he said the fall of Mountain Glenn wasn't his fault. However, the only thing Ozpin is willing to believe is that Merlot never takes responsibility for his actions.
- Oh, Crap!: Starts to lose his cool when Team RWBY begins hacking into his computers with Ozpin's help due to a security oversight.Dr. Merlot: Did you just... oh no... how could I be so stupid?!
- Sanity Slippage: Dr. Merlot initially desired to turn the Grimm from forces against humanity into forces for humanity. After being written off as insane and condemned by Ozpin, he slowly began to become as insane as they said he was, focused solely on continuing his research.
- Smug Snake: He initially comes off as very secure in his power and is dismissive of Team RWBY's attempts to foil his plans. This self-assurance gradually breaks down as nothing he throws at RWBY manages to stop them.
- Taking You with Me: Upon the destruction of his prize specimen, a mutated Deathstalker, he decides to just blow up the whole facility. Fortunately, Team RWBY escapes.Dr. Merlot: No! Nooooo! My one of a kind specimen! This is inconceivable!
Professor Ozpin: It's all over, Merlot. You've got nothing left.
Dr. Merlot: There is something I can do. Let's end this with a bang.
- Villain Song: "Lusus Naturae", played in the credits of Grimm Eclipse. The song talks about how much Dr. Merlot admires the Grimm and what potential they might have if he uplifts them through his science. He wants to be seen as more than just a madman and boasts about how his master plan is to create the perfect beast and give it a useful existence.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once Team RWBY starts doing some actual damage to his labs and his experiments, he starts losing his cool and demanding to know why they aren't dead yet.
Beings of Remnant
Not everyone who has walked the face of Remnant has been human. Some have been gods, and some have been created by gods.
Voiced by: Colleen Clinkenbeard [EN]
When the name "Jinn" is spoken by a person who is holding the Relic of Knowledge, a woman forms out of the mist it emits. Jinn was gifted by the God of Light with the ability to answer any question she is asked, but only three times every one hundred years.
- Awful Truth: When Ruby asks Jinn what Ozpin is hiding from them, Jinn tells them a story that leads to a significant revelation that devastates them all. She reveals that Salem was cursed with immortality; Salem attempted to take her life by mortal and supernatural means. In a battle with a previous incarnation of Ozpin, that incarnation actually managed to obliterate Salem, but she only reformed moments later in the same spot. When a different incarnation of Ozpin finds the Relic of Knowledge, he asks her how can he destroy Salem. She replies "you can't", devastating him. Her vision stops at that point leaving them to cope with the knowledge that Salem cannot be killed as best they can.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: When she forms, she is completely naked. After a moment, decorative chains and jewellery form on her body, but absolutely no clothing. However, she has no defined features such as nipples, genitalia, intergluteal cleft or belly button. Although there is blue fog swirling around her, akin to a dress, it's very thin and doesn't hide enough to explain the lack of anatomical markings.
- Chained by Fashion: She has chains incorporated into various pieces of the jewelry she wears, as well as long lengths of chain hanging from her braces. The circlet she wears is also made out of chain links. This is likely a nod to her inspiration, as genies were often enslaved by their masters.
- Early-Bird Cameo: A statue of her is seen at the entrance to the Haven Vault in Volume 5 before she is introduced in person in "Uncovered".
- Genie in a Bottle: The Relic of Knowledge is an ornate lamp that can change its size and float in mid-air. However, when the name 'Jinn' is spoken by the person holding the lamp, blue mist spills out of it that reforms into the shape of a naked, blue woman.
- Giant Woman: Production notes put her at 12 feet tall, making her easily the tallest (humanoid) character in RWBY.
- Loophole Abuse:
- When Ruby struggles to activate her silver eyes against the Leviathan, she summons Jinn knowing that Jinn's mere appearance will stop time. After Ruby apologises for using her to buy more time without wanting to ask a question, Jinn admits she's impressed by the tactic before warning Ruby that she will never again permit herself to be used this way and that she will only manifest in future for the third and final question.
- When Jinn reveals the story behind Ozpin and Salem's Forever War, the heroes learn that Oz once asked "How do I destroy Salem?" and that Jinn told him "You can't." During Volume 7, Ren is concerned that they don't have a plan for properly stopping Salem, leading to a discussion of what Jinn told Oz. Nora speculates that perhaps Jinn was suggesting that someone other than Oz can destroy Salem.
- Master of Illusion: To answer questions, she creates illusions to visualize the information that she shares.
- Ms. Fanservice: Jinn is very curvaceous, with a classic hour-glass figure, and the chains draped around her waist are balanced against the curve of her hips. She wears jewelery on her body, such as braces, anklets, earrings and necklaces, but she is otherwise completely naked. When she first manifests, Qrow doesn't know where to put his eyes and tries to avoid staring at her.
- Obvious Rule Patch: While impressed with Ruby's usage of her passive ability to stop time when summoned, Jinn makes it clear she won't let Ruby pull the trick off twice, and will only heed the summons of someone who will ask her a question.
- The Omniscient: Jinn cannot answer questions about things that haven't happened yet, but she can answer any question put to her about current or past events. She is limited to only being allowed to answer three questions every hundred years.
- Our Genies Are Different: When someone holds the Relic of Knowledge and speaks the name 'Jinn', blue mist spills from the Relic and manifests the form of a blue woman. She has long pointed ears and is completely naked except for golden chains and jewellery. She refers to herself as a 'being' that was created by the God of Light to impart knowledge to humanity. Rather than granting wishes, she can answer a total of three questions every one hundred years.
- Time Stands Still: When summoned, Jinn freezes time outside of herself and those seeking her knowledge, so that she can deliver her knowledge without interruption. Ruby takes advantage of this by summoning Jinn to give herself extra time to activate her silver eyes. She apologises to Jinn for summoning her without wanting to ask a question and Jinn makes it clear that she won't permit this kind of Loophole Abuse to ever happen again... even if she admits to being impressed that Ruby came up with the plan.
The Gods of Light and Darkness
Debut: The Lost Fable*
Long ago, two gods used to live with humanity on Remnant. They dwelt in separate domains that could be visited by humanity, and were known as the Gods of Light and Darkness.
They eventually left Remnant and exist solely in the memories of humanity as a fairy tale known as "The Two Brothers". Only a few humans on Remnant known the reality that lies behind the myth.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: When they take humanoid form, the Brother Gods are naked, their bodies only forming the outline of a humanoid shape. The God of Light's body is formed from shades of gold, as if he's made of light while the God of Darkness's body is formed from shades of purple, as if he's made from darkness. There are very few anatomical structures on their bodies, including a lack of facial definition that leaves them with no eyes, nose or mouth. The only facial structures they do have are eyebrow ridges.
- Cruel Mercy: Their solution to Salem's attempt to manipulate them into resurrecting her dead lover is to give her Complete Immortality, a punishment designed to prevent her from being able to reunite in death with her lost love. When she raises an army against the gods in revenge, the God of Darkness wipes out the entirety of humanity, asking Salem if she thought there was no further punishment the gods could bestow upon her. The two gods then abandon Remnant completely, leaving Salem to live alone on an empty world, unable to die.
- Final Solution: When humanity rises up against the Brother Gods at the Domain of Light, they attempt to use magic to win. The God of Darkness is so insulted that they'd attack him with the very gift he granted them that he destroys every human alive except for the woman who led the uprising. Although the God of Light does not contribute to the destruction, he allows it to happen and then justifies his brother's actions.
- Have You Seen My God?: The God of Light is frustrated that his 'beautiful experiment' has been failing for some time and the God of Darkness is angry that humanity would dare rise up and attack them with the very gift of magic that he gave them. The uprising is the final straw. The God of Light tells its leader that he and his brother need to reflect on their failure, and she must do the same. While he departs by fading away into nothing, the God of Darkness is angry with the demands made of humanity's creators and departs more violently. He leaves the planet as a burst of raw energy that shoots into space and smashes through the moon. The God of Light later recalls Ozma from the afterlife with a mission to unite humanity and then use the four Relics together to summon the gods back to Remnant. This will trigger a Judgement Day where the gods will decide if humanity is worthy of being reunited with the gods or whether they are irredeemable, in which case the entire planet will wiped out of existence.
- Horned Humanoid: When the Brother Gods take humanoid form, they both possess horns on their heads. The God of Darkness possesses the large, curled horns of a ram or goat while the God of Light possesses a large spread of antlers like a stag.
- Jerkass Gods: The two brothers created the world of Remnant as an experiment but descended into quarrelling over how the world would manifest by using their own creations as weapons against the other: the God of Light would create things that he liked, such as plants and animals, but his brother would destroy everything he disliked and eventually created the Creatures of Grimm to help him do that. When they settle their feud by creating humanity together, they lose pride in their experiment over time. They punish Salem for demanding the resurrection of her dead lover, but only after they squabble with each other about it via resurrecting and killing him multiple times in front of her. When she seeks revenge by inciting a rebellion against them, they destroy humanity, declaring it a failed experiment, and deliberately leave her alone on an empty world, unable to die. When they do finally reincarnate her dead lover, it's only to prepare the second evolution of humanity for Judgement Day. On that day, they will decide whether humanity will be restored to its full potential or whether they will destroy the entire planet after deciding humanity is irredeemable.
- Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Light is the older brother and responsible for the creation of life, which Dark despised and set about destroying, even creating the Creatures of Grimm to achieve this. While they formed a truce by creating humanity together, Light receives the worship and adoration of humanity while humanity fears and avoids Darkness. The two domains in which they dwell reflect their differences. Light lives atop a mountain, surrounded by golden plants, and is a welcoming place to visit. Dark's domain is in a realm of endless darkness where fearsome Grimm roam and skeletons of humans who died lie scattered. The God of Darkness's jealousy over the God of Light's relationship with humanity leaves him vulnerable to Salem's manipulations, setting the world of Remnant on course for a tragic catastrophe.
- The Omnipotent: They are the most powerful beings in the setting, shown to be able to create and end life at will, give and take magic from mortals, and travel freely between the worlds of life and death. However, Salem is able to trick them because they are not all-knowing.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Brother Gods have the ability to transform into dragons, which they use when anticipating conflict. The God of Darkness takes on a lizard-like form with four strong limbs and bat-like wings. His face has the appearance of a sheep's skull, his ram's horns grow in size, and he has a preference for standing on the ground rather than flying in the air. The God of Light transforms into a serpentine dragon with tiny limbs and no wings. His face sports long barbels like a catfish and he retains an expansive head of antlers. Despite the lack of wings, he tends to float in the air instead of settling on the ground.
- Our Gods Are Different: The Brother Gods live on Remnant with the humans they created together. The God of Darkness dwells in the Domain of Darkness and represents destructive forces. He created the Creatures of Grimm which are spawned from pools of annihilation deep within his domain. The God of Light dwells in the Domain of Light and is responsible for the creation of life. His domain contains a single lake that is known as the Pool of Creation and Life. Their last act on Remnant is to destroy humanity for rising up against them, an act carried out by the God of Darkness and justified by the God of Light. The God of Darkness smashes the moon when he leaves the planet but the God of Light resurrects Ozma to a newly created form of humanity with a mission to unite humanity, whereupon he must summon the gods for Judgement Day. On that day, the gods will decide if humanity is worthy or irredeemable. If the former, the gods will return to live among them, if the latter, the gods will destroy the entire planet.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: The God of Darkness represents destruction and annihilation, and his domain contains the Pools of Grimm from which come forth the Creatures of Grimm. He is an impulsive, impetuous god, easily prone to acting in anger or jealousy. His brother, the God of Light, represents creation and life, and his domain contains the single Pool of Life. He is more thoughtful and patient than his younger brother.
- Thicker Than Water: When the God of Light explains to his brother how Salem tricked him into resurrecting Ozma, the God of Darkness apologizes to his brother for lashing out and attacking his character; and when the human armies rallied by Salem invade the sanctuary of the God of Light, the God of Darkness immediately rushes to his brother's side.
The God of Light
Voiced by: Chase McCaskill [EN]
A god that once dwelt within the Domain of Light, an isolated mountain vale where a beautiful golden tree overlooked a serene lake. The path towards his domain was littered with votive offerings from the many humans who came seeking his wisdom and blessing.
He was the older brother of the God of Darkness.
- The Chooser of The One: To address the absence of the gods from Remnant, the God of Light chooses a single human to act as a guide that will help humanity achieve its potential. That guide also has been given the knowledge required to summon the gods back to Remnant. Ozma is brought back from death to carry out this mission, which requires him to be constantly reborn into the body of a living man so that his immortality will never leave him alone. If Ozma manages to unite humanity in harmony, he is to bring the four Relics together and summon the gods back to Remnant. If the gods deem humanity worthy, they will restore humanity to its full potential and live among them once more. However, if they are summoned to Remnant while humanity is in a disunited and fractured state, they will deem humanity irredeemable and destroy the entire world.
- Gold-Colored Superiority: The God of Light takes forms that appear to made of golden light. He is the elder brother, the one gifted with the power of creation and the one who wins the long battle with his younger brother, the God of Darkness. He receives much worship and votive offerings from humanity, who often seek his blessing and support. The God of Darkness, by contrast, has a terrifying reputation among humanity, none of whom seek him out for blessings or to leave him offerings. As a result, he is so happy when a mortal finally seeks his help that he breaks the rules governing life and death without a second thought. When his brother intervenes to correct the mistake, the God of Darkness bitterly accuses his brother of having stacked the rules against him.
- Light Is Not Good: The God of Light is a being of creation, not Goodness. The God of Light created all the things that are beautiful in the world, such as animals and plants; he also helped the God of Darkness to create humanity, giving humans the Gifts of Creation and Knowledge. He is the god humans prefer to seek blessings and help from, and his shrines are filled with the votive offerings of the faithful and grateful. However, when the God of Darkness decides to destroy humanity for daring to use his gift of magic against him, the God of Light stands by and lets it happen; when Salem objects to what the God of Darkness has just done, it's the God of Light who justifies it by describing humanity as an 'experiment' that was failing and had been reduced to just a fragment of the original intention. He suggests that Salem should consider it a lesson she needs to learn something from. While the God of Light later restores a vastly weakened form of human, and offers Ozma the chance to redeem humanity, he makes it clear that failure will result in him declaring humanity irredeemable and destroying the entire world.
- Magical Eye: When the two brothers confront each other over the resurrection of Ozma, the God of Darkness transforms into his dragon form and his Grimm move forward to attack the God of Light. A burst of white light erupts from the God of Light, destroying all the Grimm within range but leaving all humans and gods within range unharmed. When the light recedes, he is revealed to have transformed into his own dragon form and his eyes are glowing. Maria believes the power of the Silver Eyes is a gift from the God of Light because Jinn's vision of the confrontation made it clear to her that the light was coming from the God of Light's silver eyes, which is exactly how the power of the Silver-Eyed Warriors works.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When he is asked by a distraught young woman to restore her lost love back to life, he initially tries to reason with her. When she fails to accept his position, he ends the discussion with a calm, but stern, "Let. Him. Rest." Salem's persistence in bringing Ozma back to life results in cursed immortality for both of them, locking them into a never-ending battle for the fate of humanity that allows neither one of them to be able to rest in peace.
- Tranquil Fury: Even when the God of Light argues with his brother over the importance of maintaining the rules of life and death, his voice remains calm and even-toned. When he lectures Salem on his decision to punish her selfishness and arrogance by inflicting immortality on her so that she is forever separated from her deceased love, he remains soft-spoken. When Salem leads an army of humans to attack the gods, while the God of Darkness lashes out in anger to destroy all humanity, the God of Light explains why Salem's mistakes have resulted in humanity's destruction in an almost soothing tone.
The God of Darkness
Voiced by: Bruce DuBose [EN]
A god that once dwelt within the Domain of Darkness, an isolated realm that was shadowed by constant night. Few humans dared to venture to his realm as they all knew what horrors were birthed in his inky black pools of annihilation.
He was the younger brother of the God of Light.
- Body Horror: When a mortal visits the Domain of Darkness, the God manifests from his pools in a laborious fashion. He thrashes around, body loudly cricking and contorting into the correct alignments for the human form. When he starts moving across the surface of the pool, his body is still contorted in a ways that are impossible for the human form until he finally sorts himself out and stands straight and tall. His entire manifestation is almost identical to the way the Nuckelavee moves during the Volume 4 battle with Team RNJR.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The God of Darkness is a being of destruction, not Evil. The things he creates are forces of destruction, such as fire or famine or the Creatures of Grimm. However, he helped the God of Light to create humanity and it upsets him that his terrible reputation means humans don't ever seek him out for help or blessings. He is also the god that gave humanity the ability to use magic, which is a powerful tool in their ability to fight the Creatures of Grimm. It's also noteworthy that when Salem visits him and asks for Ozma to be revived, the God of Darkness grants this because he's happy to be able to create something for once.
- Destroyer Deity: The God of Darkness reigns over a domain that is filled with many pools of annihilation. These pools spawn the Grimm, creatures that share the God of Darkness's innate desire to destroy. He also wipes out humanity after Salem leads them in rebellion, taking back the magic he had gifted humanity and using it to annihilate every living person.
- Everyone Hates Hades: The God of Darkness was feared by his creations, and myth continues to portray him in a negative manner compared to his more beloved brother. The tale of the "Two Brothers" presents him as malicious and inferior to the God of Light, despising Life and only tempered when his brother defeated him. In reality, Darkness was not a malicious being and granted the gifts of Free Will and Magic to humanity. Because they feared him, he never received visitors to his realm and was so delighted when one finally visited that he granted Salem's request without a thought. When humanity turned against the Gods, he was deeply hurt by them using his blessing against him.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The God of Darkness has a terrible reputation among humanity. His domain is lifeless and eternally night, spawning only the Creatures of Grimm and death for anyone who travels there. As a result, he receives no worshipers; no one seeks his blessing, asks for his help or leaves him votive offerings — they always seek out his brother instead. As a result, when a mortal woman comes to him seeking his help to save her lost love, he's thrilled to have the opportunity to prove he's just as worthy of human faith as his brother. He therefore does exactly what the woman asks of him with no strings attached. When his brother shows up to chastise him and undo the resurrection, the God of Darkness bitterly claims that the rules they live by are stacked in the God of Light's favour, leaving him jealous and angry with the adoration and reverence and power that his brother receives compared to him.
- Purple Is Powerful: The God of Darkness seems to be made of darkness whenever he forms. His form is dark purple edged by much brighter purple, and whenever he uses his powers, it has the same motif. His domain is a land of night, surrounded by strange purple crystals. He created the destructive forces of the world, such as famine, fire and the Creatures of Grimm. However, he was also the god who gifted humanity with the ability to use magic. When humanity tries to use their magical power to destroy the brothers, the God of Darkness captures his gift back and crushes it. That act sends out a wave of purple power across the entire world, reducing all of humanity to ashes.
- Reverse Arm-Fold: The God of Light normally clasps his hands in front of his body when communicating with mortals in his humanoid form, and always presents an air of patient wisdom. When the two gods unite together to pronounce their judgement upon Salem for her actions, the God of Darkness clasps his hands behind his body. While it lends him the same air of timeless, patient wisdom as his brother normally exudes, the reversal of his stance compared to his brother's still emphasises that he and his brother are not alike.