Miracles of Ancient Wonder is a crossover AU between RWBY and Exalted written by GravelessUniverse and hosted on Archive of Our Own. The story takes place in a fused setting where the kingdoms of Remnant are threatened not only by the nightmarish Grimm but also by the dreaded Anathema, demons in human guise gifted with immense and terrifying power. To preserve their way of life the kingdoms have set up special academies to train huntsmen and huntresses to become superhuman warriors capable of fighting both the Grimm and the Anathema, and now Ruby Rose, aspiring heroine, has been invited to attend classes at Beacon Academy two years ahead of schedule... in spite of the fact that she possesses a power disturbingly similar to those of the Anathema. And so, for that matter, do all of her teammates.
So begin the adventures of Ruby Rose, Chosen of Battles and Scion of Mars.
On the 27th of May, 2017, the first book in the AU was completed after 60 chapters, and retitled "Miracles of Ancient Wonder Book One: Beacon". The second book in the series, "Miracles of Ancient Wonder Book Two: Remnant", started on the 8th of July, 2017. It picks up after a time skip from the last chapter.
The Miracles of Ancient Wonder series contains examples of:
- Blessed with Suck: Exaltations carry elements of both this trope and Cursed with Awesome depending on who you ask. Ruby, for example, is majorly bummed by the fact that people keep forgetting who she is (even her dad, but at least not Yang or the rest of RWBY), even as she puts her Sidereal charms to use saving lives and supporting her teammates.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Played with. Weiss at one point uses a powerful social charm while berating a cafeteria full of students for not springing to Velvet's aid when Team CRDL was harassing her, forcing them to reflect on their actions. In this case the brainwashing is being put to good use in eradicating racism and forging tighter bonds between Beacon's student body. Nora later compares the experience to when the Solar warlord who took over her village brainwashed people, herself included, into being her loyal warrior-cultists. Weiss is deeply disturbed by the comparison.
- Brainwash Residue: Blake can't help but refer to "humans" with a hateful tone even though she is no more prone to Fantastic Racism than she is in canon. She has to be careful to avoid using that word in conversation in order to hide this quirk; she'll talk about "people" or "faunus" freely, but never "humans." This is strongly implied to be the result of Adam's teachings, hinting that he's some kind of Exalt.
- Cursed with Awesome: Yang is not happy about being an Anathema. In her case it's completely justified: she's an Infernal, so she has very real reason to buy into the propaganda that she's a demon from the pits of hell.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Ren and Nora's village was once home to an Anathema-worshipping cult. It didn't end well for anyone.
- Darker and Edgier: It's not just the Grimm and the villains who are out to get the heroines; if they're ever exposed as Anathema their classmates, teachers, and the kingdoms themselves will be after them too. Luckily they're Exalted, so that just makes it a fair fight.
- Dirty Business: This is how the teachers regard the Anathema evaluations. Glynda, in particular, openly agrees with Ruby that the evaluations are deeply immoral but still believes they're completely necessary and has a logical and well-researched argument for her position. Further, if she wasn't doing the evaluations then someone else, perhaps someone less moral or humane about it, would be. Better that the Dirty Business be handled by someone who hates doing it than by someone who enjoys it too much.
- Dramatic Irony: Anyone who knows anything about Exalted knows that all the Anathema business is a load of propaganda concocted by the Sidereals after the Usurpation. The characters, however, have no such knowledge, and gradually tearing their way through the web of lies woven around the world is a major focus of the plot.
- Enemy Within: Yang has two of these: her Urge, and her Exaltation's past life incarnation, Tialeth. Her Urge is constantly nagging at her to overthrow society, wreck stuff, and punch out anyone who tries to tell her what to do, even when it's just Ruby trying to get her to open up about her problems. Tialeth, on the other hand, is a subversion: although Yang thinks of her this way thanks to very unpleasant memories of how she acted under the influence of the Great Curse, when Tialeth possesses her and is unleashed on Vale for a few hours she proves to be perfectly civil and reasonable in her dealings with Weiss, if also about as imperious as you'd expect a fallen god-king to be.
- Heel Realization: Something has caused Weiss to become an outspoken faunus rights advocate before she even came to Beacon.
- He Who Fights Monsters: This is a major component of Ruby's idealism: even when the situation is dire, becoming a monster in order to fight monsters doesn't help anyone in the long run.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Aura and essence are the same thing, just called by different names.
- More Than Mind Control: Social charms can range all up and down the scale. Most are just representations of an Exalt's superhuman social prowess, such as Weiss's ability to navigate political minefields and keep her thoughts and feelings hidden from her enemies (and friends), but some cross over into actual mind control or Emotion Control territory, such as the ability to force a person to reflect on their actions. Most successful social-focused Exalts, such as Weiss, use some combination of the two.
- Necessarily Evil: The professors are completely prepared to murder their students if one of them turns out to be an Anathema, and devise rigorous plans to test those students if they show signs of charm use beyond what huntsmen are normally capable of. Not one of them is in any way happy about this, but they are all completely convinced that it is necessary in order to prevent an Anathema from infiltrating Beacon and wrecking untold chaos on society.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ruby, as a consequence of not understanding how exactly her charms work, winds up triggering Yang's limit break, the Torment of Isidoros, right before a major fight. Specifically it's her use of Force Decision, which Ruby understands as "throwing her power at the world" to make what she wants happen, not realizing she's actually throwing it at people, which forces Yang to spend willpower and thus gain limit resisting her.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: A major point of contention between Weiss and Ruby. Weiss accuses Ruby of being a naive Wide-Eyed Idealist, while Ruby maintains that the opposite is true.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: A major element of the early story. Ruby gets seriously hung up on the paradox that huntsmen and huntresses are supposed to be heroes and heroes don't do the things that her professors consider necessary evils."If you become a monster to kill a different monster, then you haven't solved anything. There's still a monster running around, only now other people think that it's ok to do whatever you did which will just make them worse!"
- Super Empowering: Exaltations are this for anyone, but especially for huntsmen and huntresses who already have the training and skills to make the best use of their power.
- As for the specific types: Ruby is a Chosen of Battles, Yang is a homebrew Infernal caste called a Juggernaut, and while the other two haven't been pinned down for sure yet the betting money is on Blake being a Day-caste Abyssal and Weiss being either a Zenith or Eclipse-caste Solar. Adam is also implied to be some variety of Lunar.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: RWBY has serious issues coming together as a team for the first handful of chapters because everyone is hiding their Exaltedness from each other and nobody is willing to open up and risk being exposed as an Anathema. Eventually this transitions to Fire-Forged Friends once they start being each others Secret Keepers.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Ruby starts as this when she enters Beacon, having a very rosy and simplistic view of what being a huntress means. Those ideals are quickly challenged by the realities of keeping the world safe from the Grimm and the Anathema, but rather than break down when her beliefs are challenged Ruby doubles down on them and starts evolving into a Messianic Archetype.
- Witch Hunt: The evaluations are a low-key version of this trope. There's a very real and very serious risk of an Anathema infiltrating the Huntsmen academies by posing as students (case in point: there's three of them, not counting Ruby, all on one team together), so the teachers are required to keep close tabs on their students and keep an eye out for signs of charm use or strange powers beyond what huntresses are normally capable of, such as "multiple semblances." Unlike most examples of this trope the evaluations, when they are called for, are carried out as fairly and humanely as possible, with the witch hunters viewing the job as Dirty Business.