A RWBY story by Coeur Al Aran, Arcanum is an Alternate Universe fic with Ruby as the protagonist. Unlike in the original show, Ruby is not a huntress but a messenger in the slums of Vale, barely managing to make ends meet. However, after a meeting with an Arcanist — a member of a special cast distinguished by their magical abilities — she discovers herself to be one of the rare and feared Wildmages. Hoping to learn how to better control her newfound abilities, Ruby joins Arcane Collegium, a place for Arcanists tohone their skills. Once there she resolves to master her abilities, protect her identity as a Wildmage... and eat as much as she possibly can.
Currently ongoing. Can be read here.
This work contains examples of:
- Adaptational Superpower Change: The system of aura and semblances from the show got completely scrapped in favor of the magic system and characters' powers reflect that. Ruby is a Wildmage, an unusually powerful magic user with a wide range of abilities. Weiss is an Arcanist with similar, but somewhat weaker powers. Yang, Jaune and Sun are neither and only have a regular combat training to their advantage.
- Ambiguously Evil:
- Blake. She set Ruby up under false pretenses and nearly caused the girl to get imprisoned in Sanctum, but we don't know her motives for doing so or how much of what transpired was a part of her plan.
- Cinder is given a sympathetic backstory and appears friendly towards Ruby, but harbors resentment towards the Arcanists and desires revenge for putting her in Sanctum. It is left ambiguous just how far her hatred goes and how she really views Ruby.
- Big Eater: Deconstructed. Having lived in poverty for entire life, Ruby got used to eating as much as she possibly can for fear of going hungry later. Once she is presented with an abundance of food, she not only weirds everybody out with her absurd appetite, but also gets sick and ends up vomiting out most of said food.
- Gilded Cage: The Sanctum Estate. The prisoners there have good food, separate rooms and access to things like library and gardens. Still, it is a prison, and not all residents are happy with that arrangement.
- Hypocrite: Weiss insults Ruby on regular basis under the pretext of constructive criticism, but gets immediately offended when Ruby talks back.
- The Magocracy: It is mentioned that, in the past, the Arcanists held a great amount of power over the rest of Remnant's people. The current system was set up specifically to avoid something like that happening again, as Arcanists are not believed to be reliable rulers.
- Sticky Fingers: Ruby will gladly steal anything that isn't attached and won't be immediately noticed as missing, from money and jewelry, to mundane things such as clean robes.