20 years ago, King Regis Lucis Caelum used the power of the Crystal to save his kingdom from the threats that plagued it: the impending invasion of the Niflheim Empire, the daemons caused by the Starscourge and most importantly, the prophecy which dictates that his unborn son would become the Chosen King destined to save Eos at the cost of his life.
How did he accomplish this task? By transporting Lucis to another world described to him by the Oracle Sylva Nox Fleuret as one where their problems would not follow them: Remnant.
Upon their arrival, Lucis builds diplomatic relations with the four kingdoms of Remnant: Vale, Vacuo, Atlas and Mistral. They also forge a fair and peaceful environment with the Faunus after years of being discriminated by their world's humans. In time, Lucis became officially recognized as Remnant's fifth kingdom, continuing to share the resources and culture from their time in Eos while learning more about their new neighbors.
In the present day, Lucis and the other kingdoms have established a cultural exchange program to continue building on the foundations of trust shared between them. As part of this venture, Regis' son Noctis and his confidants Prompto Argentum, Gladioulus Amicitia and Ignis Scientia are sent to Beacon Academy in Vale to study for two years. There, he reunites with childhood friends Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long after several years apart, and is subsequently introduced to fellow classmates Blake Belladonna and Weiss Schnee during their initiations.
Thus begins the adventures of the newly established teams RWBY and LAPI, as they learn how to become true Huntresses and Huntsmen and bond together in the process. However, the Lucians and their new allies are unaware that a few ghosts from their past have followed them to Remnant...
In summary, this is what happens when bits of FFXV's lore are integrated into RWBY, and while it may seem like a retread of that show's first few beats, the writers promise that it will become something unique by the end, and from the some of the story elements already included, it seems like they'll be set to make good on those.
According to Word of God, this will adapt the first three volumes of RWBY, with a sequel fic set for future seasons and other elements from Final Fantasy XV.
On May 15, 2022, Of Crystal Shards and Dust was rewritten with the subtitle [Royal Revisions], with the main goal of the rewrite being to deliver a better, cohesive narrative and fix some pacing issues. Of Crystal Shards and Dust [Royal Revisions] can be read here and here.
Tropes contained in Of Crystal Shards and Dust include the following:
- 15 Minutes of Fame: Not exactly fifteen minutes, but Ruby's actions in stopping Torchwick's theft were recorded by a bystander and was broadcasted. While it is only brought up by Weiss and Prompto so far, Ruby doesn't appreciate the attention whatsoever as she believes that it only contributed to her getting into Beacon on account of her luck rather than being deserving of it through her own merits.
- Adaptational Badass: Jaune, who became an apprentice of Kingsglaive commander Titus Drautos. While he still has the same attitude as before - he takes Ruby's place as the unfortunate soul who messes with Weiss' luggage to display that he's still a klutz, he's portrayed as a much competent fighter early on, easily winning against Cardin in their sparring match when he originally lost. His new backstory reveals that his Glaive training allowed him to enter Beacon legitimately without forging records, meaning that Cardin has even less of a reason to try and intimidate him like before.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Inverted. The Lucians meeting Ruby messes up some of the early character interactions in Vol. 1:
- Ruby is saved from messing Weiss' bags by Gladio. Those bags are instead messed up by Jaune, with Pyrrha now taking the role of the bystander who comforts him in the same way he did with Ruby originally. Because of this, he doesn't become formally acquainted with Ruby until initiation, leading to the rest of their canon friendship.
- Weiss and Blake don't meet the sisters until the initiation; aside from Ruby avoiding her original fate, she and Yang hang out with the Lucians during the sleepover, explaining why they don't encounter Blake.
- Team CFWY are introduced much earlier as the chaperones of Team LAPI when it takes them one more season to get introduced in RWBY canon.
- Qrow makes a very early return to Beacon way before he does in Volume 3, but it is for different purposes.
- Ilia shows up a whopping 4 seasons early as a new Kingsglaive initiate trying to beat her superiors in a drinking contest. She fails.
- Adaptational Heroism: Lucis' more peaceful relationship with the Faunus has led to some of them joining the Kingsglaive.
- Adam is much more noticeable given his very extremist views of humanity. Here, a White Fang rally he had participated in was attacked by the radical White Hoods. Years later, he's found by Cor while he was attempting to kill a Grimm. Cor then encouraged him to join the Glaives after a short conversation about the meaning of strength.
- Raven Brawnen, to some extent. In the main series, her relationship with her family is questionable. Here, however, she's shown attacking Ardyn while he's observing Noctis and others during Initiation. There are subtle hints that Raven is hunting Ardyn because he was the one who killed Summer.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Despite having almost the same personality as in her canon, Weiss has this in relation to her partnership with Ruby, although the latter's immaturity still does no favors. The awkward first day together is absent, as Ruby crashes into Gladio instead of Weiss' luggage, which leads to meeting Noctis again. Their first meeting is reserved for the forest initiation, which is under relatively better circumstances as Weiss identifies Ruby as the one who stops Torchwick in the Dust robbery. Ruby being bullied by Cardin causes Weiss to warm up to her faster than before, showing concern for her team leader which would not have happened had they met the same way they did initially.
- Overlapping with his turn to heroism here, Adam's relationship with Blake is more akin to the genuinely trusting partners he thought they were in RWBY instead of the more conflicted and abusive one they actually had. Blake even likens it to a relationship between a sister and her well-meaning yet overbearing brother.
- Age Lift: As this story's version of the FFXV plot has yet to happen, the Chocobros start the Remnant arc two years younger, bringing them closer to the ages of the main RWBY cast. The beginning of the Remnant arc has Noct state that he just turned 18 recently, putting him and Prompto three years older than Ruby and a year above Yang, Weiss and Blake.
- Always a Bigger Fish: The daemons, when compared to the Grimm. Commander Drautos explains that their brutal nature and more varied powers make them deadlier compared to the threats Remnant faces with the Grimm, and he admits that he has doubts about how the specialized fighting styles of the Huntsmen would translate to fighting daemons.
- Ambiguous Situation: The ending of Chapter 17 has Jacques Schnee meeting with the High Councilman of Atlas to discuss a new business venture. His accepting to fund the Magitek Project is referred to as his second greatest mistake.
- Ascended Extra: Stella Nox Flueret, the scrapped original design of the girl who would later become Lunafreya in the final version of FFXV, is an actual character in this fic. She is the youngest of her siblings and an aspiring Huntress who wants to attend Beacon. As with Iris and Yang, she also bears an unrequited crush on Noctis, but cannot act on it because of her older sister.
- Badass Longcoat: Instead of a breast plate with his Pumpkin Pete hoodie, Jaune instead has on the Kingsglaive jacket, complete with a detailed mask. It was a gift from Commander Drautos after he passed the practical exam to enter Beacon and take Initiation.
- Big Bad: Salem, carrying over her role from RWBY. Ardyn Izunia, FFXV's own main villain, has followed Lucis into Remnant, and he too is set to become one in the future.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: Among his friends in Beacon, Noctis is protected well by 4 of them; besides his personal entourage, he has the ex-Kingsglaive Blake, who is still honor-bound to protecting Noct despite not being an active member anymore.
- Breather Episode: What Chapter 17 is. Taking place sometime after the event at the docks and before the events of Volume 2, our main cast decides to take a much-needed vacation. Team RWBY visits Patch, leading to Weiss and Blake having a Meet the In-Laws moment with Taiyang. Team JNPR visits Lucis, with Jaune introducing his team to Titus and his daughter Zelda. Team LAPI also heads to Lucis: more specifically, New Tenebrae to visit the Nox Fleuret family.
- The Bully: Cardin is still this, but his primary target here is Ruby through mocking the stroke of luck that got her into Beacon with Ozpin. Ruby's teammates, Team JNPR and the Chocobros are none too pleased about it. This is mainly due to the fact that his original target Jaune is, as described above, less of a pushover.
- Bully Hunter: His harassment of Ruby is one none of her friends take lightly, although this does bring out this trope in Noct specifically when he actively retaliates on her behalf. Ignis notes to Weiss that above all else, Noctis hates bullies, let alone seeing one pick on a close friend.
- Butterfly Effect: Those expecting a simple retread of both RWBY and FFXV will not find one here. Long story short, Lucis' appearance in Remnant is set to cause major changes to the timeline that will leave the story an entirely different beast than when it started. On a smaller level, the addition of Noctis and his bros mean that many of the original character dynamics present in RWBY have been fundamentally changed.
- Canon Immigrant: Merlot, who was a villain in the RWBY video game Grimm Eclipse. He was a Mad Scientist, and still is here, though he now also experiments with Daemons and is working with Ardyn.
- Childhood Friend: The new backstory establishes this as the relationship between Noctis, Prompto, Luna, Ruby and Yang. Six years before going to Beacon, the sisters accompanied Qrow to Insomnia and lost their pet Chocobo Eins in the gardens, only for Luna and the boys to find it for them. Because of this, Ruby and Yang are the only RWBY characters to refer to Noct by his nickname; a trait shared only with his personal Crownsguard and Luna. It is later revealed that Iris is close friends with the half-sisters from Patch too.
- Deconstruction: Chapter 20 features slightly altered events of Painting the Town..., which ends with the girls getting arrested for their actions on the highway. Unlike in the show, the damage done on the highway is severe, with the following chapter revealing that four people died in the incident and over twenty others were severely injured.
- Diplomatic Impunity: Ardyn's new role as a high-ranking Atlas official prevents Regis from directly confronting him as Atlas trusts Lucis the least out of the kingdoms. Ozpin and James believe the stories about Ardyn and Niflheim, but they too cannot afford risky movements against Atlas.
- Distant Prologue: The first five chapters are set shortly after the Kingdom of Lucis enters Remnant, 20 years or so before the events of Volume 1 take place.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": Noct hates being referred to as a prince in casual conversation and even formal ones if it can be helped, and is slightly irritated by Ruby reflexively calling him "Your/His Highness" when his nickname can suffice.
- The Dragon: Wraith to Ardyn. He heavily respects him, and almost always refers to him as His Majesty.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Plague. Despite being a high-ranking member of the Anti-Lucian Federation, he orchestrates an attack, or as he calls it "a message" against the White Hoods, who are allied with the Feds. The purpose behind the attack is unknown, but if Merlot's meeting with Devil is to be believed, Plague is also working under Ardyn alongside the latter.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Ozpin recalled that when Summer died, the Glaives who befriended her began doing this with Qrow, alternating with hunting down monsters to vent their rage against.
- Easily Forgiven: Deconstructed. After the events of Chapter 20, Team RWBY has been given detention for as long as they remain students of Beacon Academy, rather than being expelled. This ends with Ozpin earning the ire of several people who want the girls responsible for the chaos to be punished properly.
- Expy: The White Hoods prejudice and aggressive stance on Ghira's White Fang makes them Remnant's version of the KKK.
- Foil: The two main protagonist teams are this to each other, to the point where the Lucians' team name (LAPI, as in "lapis") follows RWBY's (Ruby) gemstone name convention, and fit a Red Oni, Blue Oni color scheme. As Noctis notes, Team LAPI was formed between four friends who have been close since childhood, and are thus more unified compared to Team RWBY, who have all been randomly connected together save for Ruby and Yang. Not only that, but while roughly similar in age, the Lucians have real-world combat experience in fighting the Daemons in their part of Remnant, which Team RWBY lack even with their native Grimm sans the ex-Kingsglaive Blake. Conversely, as this is still primarily based on early RWBY arcs with the events of FFXV still far away from occurring, Team RWBY ends up being the more proactive quartet in trying to investigate the mysteries in Vale, whereas Team LAPI is often brought in as backup to support their crusades. However, the girls are still set to gain the same united front they are known for originally, in order to help Noctis fulfill his role in the future, even if they do not know it yet.
- This even applies to the individual members too: Ruby and Noctis are the leaders who want to maintain a low profile despite their reputations preceding them, Weiss and Ignis are the resident prim and proper noble figures, Blake and Gladiolus are the most combat-oriented members of both teams and have ties to the White Fang, and Yang and Prompto are the blonde light-hearted jokesters.
- Food Fight: Teams RWBY and JNPR have a small scale one (in that Weiss and Ren choose to sit it out) during the first day of school, likely acting as a precedent for their future encounter one semester later, in which the Lucians instead to keep it safe and stand idly by. The sheer insanity of it all makes Noct question if his coffee was spiked that day.
- For Want of a Nail: Lucis in Remnant has changed a lot thus far, as seen here.
- Friendly Rivalry: Team STRQ develops one with some of the Kingsglaive (in particular, the members seen in their self-titled movie), resulting in quick sparring match between the two groups. Their close relationship continues up to the present day, which makes them indirectly responsible for the friendship shared between Noctis, Prompto, Luna, Ruby and Yang.
- Fun with Acronyms: Under Remnant's colored team name conventions, the Chocobros are named Team LAPInote , pronounced as "Lapis" - a blue-colored gemstone, which gives them a similar Red Oni, Blue Oni name theme with Team RWBY.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: The fic's main protagonists are two teams with four members each, one being all-male and the other all-female. Even adding in Team JNPR - split evenly between genders - keeps the ratio even.
- Heroic BSoD: Poor Ruby. She gets two of these, the last of which is shared with the rest of Team RWBY.
- Her first BSOD is during the events of Volume 1 where she's the target of Cardin's ridicule instead of Jaune. His ridicule makes her question why Ozpin allowed her to enter Beacon two years early, and it takes Weiss and Yang to help cheer her up. By the events of Forever Fall, she's gotten better.
- The second BSOD is arguably much worse. The events of Painting the Town... where Team RWBY is after Torchwick and Blake and Sun have to go up to the highway is very much Played for Drama, as the damages done are very real. The aftermath of the battle had four people killed and over twenty injured. None of the girls are happy, with Ruby being the worst affected out of all of them. Blake feels that the whole thing is her fault because she was the one who lured Torchwick into the freeway in the first place. While Noctis manages to knock them out of it, Gawain had to give Ruby a non-malicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech to help get her fully out of it.
- Hopeless Suitor: Akin to Iris from FFXV, Yang had a crush on Noctis since they were kids, something that Prompto and Ruby joke around with at both of them by saying it was Love at First Sight. Although she claims to be over and Noctis himself thinks nothing of it, she still harbors conflicting feelings to an extent, and is ashamed of it knowing that he is with Luna. Both of them do enjoy prying into Prompto's crush on Cindy to mess with him as payback.
- Hypocritical Humor: Ruby spends her first real conversation with Weiss explaining how she doesn't like the idea of being famous, or as she puts it, the "bee's knees." When her relationship with Noctis is brought up, Ruby - in order - proceeds to call the Crown Prince of Lucis by his nickname, casually explains that she and Yang have known him since they were kids, brings up how her uncle has Lucian friends which led to the day they visited Insomnia, met Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae the same day (while also using her nickname) and wonders out aloud if she and Noct are together to really set in their friendship... all while remaining oblivious of Weiss being utterly shocked at how this supposedly normal girl has been childhood friends with two of the most important individuals in Lucian history and thinks nothing of it.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: For both Noctis and Ruby; the former took the transfer to Beacon as a way to escape his royal duties for a while while the latter is uneasy about her newfound fame from foiling Roman Torchwick's heist and wants to lay low while she studies.
- Interspecies Romance: Implied to be the case with Gladio and Sienna Khan, if Ghira's teasing is to be taken at face value.
- It's Personal: Weiss' vendetta against the White Fang here is because of a twin brother named Blanc that she has in this canon. His death at their hands makes her grudge a lot more personal. Since she's now affiliated with the Kingsglaive instead of the Fang, Blake takes the news a lot more horribly, which temporarily leads to the same brief awkward spell where she or Weiss do not talk to each other until foiling Torchwick's second heist.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": One of the biggest points of diversion from RWBY canon is the surprise appearance of a Behemoth from Eos during the Emerald Forest initiation. As it was not factored in at all, it elicits this reaction from students and faculty alike. The students manage to survive thanks to the Lucians' familiarity with it.
- Info Drop: Regis and Ozpin do this about Eos and Remnant respectively when meeting for the first time.
- My Greatest Failure: If the conversations between Ozpin with James and Qrow is of any indication, he clearly holds himself responsible for Summer's death.
- Never Found the Body: Blanc Schnee, but after seven years, he's been officially declared dead.
- New Transfer Student: Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis are stuck in Beacon for two years thanks to a transfer agreement between Vale and Lucis; under it, the two are considered second years, which makes them Team RWBY's upperclassmen by a year. In an unusual case due to the details of the transfer, Gladio and Iggy aren't technically considered students and do not take classes due to their older ages, but are otherwise still teammates and allowed to live on campus with them.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ozpin's decision to give detention to Team RWBY for their entire time at Beacon Academy, rather than expel them after accidentally killing and injuring several people during the battle with Torchwick, has had some serious negative reception. It's heavily implied by Gladio who overheard a conversation with Glynda involving the Council that the higher ups are considering removing Ozpin from his position after the Vytal Festival is over. Ardyn was actually counting on this, which was why he purposely released the girls from custody and went so far as to hide their identities from the media so no one actually knows who was responsible for the chaos. He needs there to be someone to blame and collect negative thoughts, no doubt in preparation for Cinder's plans for Volume 3.
- O.C. Stand-in: On the antagonist side. Taking Adam's place as the leader of the Vale Branch in the White Fang is Devil, who was hand-picked by Sienna Khan, and somehow hates humans even more than Adam does in canon.
- One Steve Limit: Pronunciation-wise, there's Crowe Attius of the Kingsglaive and Qrow Branwen of Team STQR, which serves as a bit of confusion between the two.
- Original Generation: A few original characters make appearances here. Most notable is Gawain, the leader of a team from Atlas who Ruby takes a liking to. His teammate Leonidias is Velvet's pen pal, which Coco is quick to tease her for. Blanc Schnee also counts, though he is also a Posthumous Character, as he died seven years prior to the events of Volume 1.
- On the antagonist side, there is Devil, who replaces Adam as the White Fang's biggest human hater. It says a lot when Adam, who has become an Adaptational Nice Guy who disagrees with Sienna following her decision to make Devil her Lieutenant, is disturbed by him. Along with Devil is Plague, who is apparently a high-ranking member of the Anti-Lucian Federation. There's also Trinity, another important individual in an organization, on the White Hood's side.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Noctis and Ruby. They've kept up with each other through messages even if they haven't seen each other for several years, and their relationship since their reunion has taken on a pseudo-sibling vibe. They also have their own love lives to deal with: Noctis' canon relationship with Luna is still present, while Ruby has an attraction to Gawain.
- Puppy Love: Qrow calls Yang's crush on Noctis as kids this. Yang returns the favor when Ruby shows similar signs around Original Generation character Gawain.
- Rapid Aging: As the one who oversaw the process which transported Lucis to Remnant, Sylva has aged faster than normal. By contrast, this has yet to affect Regis in the same way he was in his home canon.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Regis cannot exactly fully comprehend the reason why the Faunus face such great discrimination and offers to build peaceful relations with Menagerie, even going so far as to hold a meeting with the White Fang within mere days of Lucis' arrival. His actions paid off, allowing the Faunus-run continent to thrive and prosper on levels not seen in RWBY canon and many Faunus, including some ex-White Fang affiliates, becoming Kingsglaive members to return the favor.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: A non-malicious example, but Gawain delivers one to Ruby after the events of Chapter 20, pointing out that she believed that Huntsmen and Huntresses were invincible and existed to help make everything better, thinking that everything would turn out fine. He also brings up the logic of having to kill someone to save another and that no one is perfect.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: A non-malicious example. Regis had managed to use his position to allow Noctis to keep his retainers as his teammates, ensuring that his son's trusted companions stay by his side at all times - a decision Noct himself is silently thankful for.
- Shopping Montage: When classes are canceled after Daemons attack teams in the Forever Fall, Yang and Coco propose that both of their teams spend a day off on shopping, and drag the Lucians along with them. Coco's teammates and Ruby are immediately wary much to everyone else's confusion, and while the girls enjoy the day, the boys are rendered tired messes forced into trying a nearly endless set of clothes. Funny enough, the outfits Team LAPI get here are described very similarly to their casual outfits from FFXV.
- She Is All Grown Up: Basically the reaction of everyone involved when Ruby and Yang meet Noctis and Prompto after several years. The sisters take a moment to remember who their Lucian friends are, especially Prompto.
- The narration of the first prologue chapter, which involves flash-forwards to supposed later events in the story, is the same one used from the Final Fantasy VII Remake debut trailer.
- In the sparring match between Teams RWBY and LAPI, which all end in a Curb-Stomp Battle offscreen, Ignis explains the flaws of Yang's combat style by way of analogy; specifically, comparing her brawling fighting style to the Triangle Theory of boxing and bringing up a championship match between Balrog and Combo to prove his point as well as another one between Tuhammad Tali and Gore Toreman.
- Chapter 23 reveals Nora and Ren were apparently part of an occult club called the ParaNorma Club and got to do a lot of things, ranging from investigating haunted houses, chasing ghosts and even witnessing a mass sponge migration, though Ren claims the sponges moved a foot and a half.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Appears to be the case for Cinder's partnership with Devil and Wraith. Devil is antagonistic towards Cinder and her group. Wraith, however, is at the very least civil with her.
- Tournament Arc: The Vytal Festival fulfills the same role here, with Lucis set to participate in its tournament for the first time. Noctis and Prompto are quick to compare it to the Assassin's Festival; when Ruby asks, the two begin gushing about its greatness, leading Ignis to explain to the girls what it is in the first place, much to his reluctance and their utmost confusion.
- Villain Team-Up: In the RWBY canon, we have Salem and her entourage, and to a lesser extent, Sienna Khan's White Fang. As of Chapter 5, Ardyn Izunia has also joined their ranks.
- Following Lucis' appearance and the disasters that followed as a result of Weird Weather caused by the World Crossing event, there are those who are against Lucis, who either want them out of Remnant, afraid that Niflheim will come to Remnant after Lucis and the Kingdoms will be caught in the crossfire and blame the new Kingdom as a result, or want them to pay for killing their loved ones, even if it was done unintentionally. That group, appropriately named the Anti-Lucian Federation, or "Feds," is also working with Salem, if their senior member Plague's cooperation with Cinder and Torchwick means anything.
- The White Hoods, who are already pre-established long before Lucis' arrival. They are heavy anti-Faunus, and when Lucis first appeared, they had violently attacked a group of White Fang protesters, among which was a young Adam Taurus. After Lucis appeared and became influential allies with Faunus, becoming heavily favored by them as a result, the White Hoods consider Lucians traitors of humankind, leading to them joining the Feds.
- Weird Weather: Due to Lucis' appearance in Remnant, several unusual weather phenomenon began to occur. Thunder storms, water twisters, giant earthen spires rising from the ground and even icebergs being reported off the coast of Vacuo. According to Ozpin, Vacuo hasn't had any cold weather in the last hundred years.
- Wham Line: In Chapter 21, Gawain reveals that he knew Blanc Schnee, Weiss' twin brother who was recently pronounced dead. It's also implied based on his conversation that his logic that to save someone you have to let someone else die is because he saw Blanc die while he was trying to save him.
- You Can't Fight Fate: When the Astrals converge to discuss the consequences of Regis' actions, Bahamut reveals that it has rewriten the fate that would have befallen Noctis in FFXV's canon. However, despite the Starscourge and Niflheim not existing in Remnant, Noctis is still destined to become the Chosen King, but to what end is unknown. Ardyn's presence may hint that Lucis has yet to truly escape their past, and Regis is slowly coming to realize this.
- You Can't Go Home Again: It is heavily implied that the process which brought Lucis to Remnant was a one-way trip, leaving them unable to return back to Eos. However, the many bonds they have with the residents of their new homeworld have softened the blow as is the knowledge that they will be finally away from their old problems... for the time being.