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Forget all you know.
RWBY: Dark is a series of RWBY fanfics written by Sum Dum Nerd/NerdWithAKeyboard.
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It is an Mirror Universe Dark Fic taking place in a dystopian version of Remnant. All of the heroes from the canon series are now the villains, and the heroic protagonist Cinder Fall must lead her ragtag group of rebels through the hostile world and oppose the vicious tyranny of Lord Ozpin.


RWBY: Dark contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Yang Xiao Long's biological mother, Raven Branwen, was an abusive alcoholic who frequently beat her daughter before eventually up and leaving the family altogether.
    • Jacques Schnee raised his children to be fighters and killers, and “toughened them up” by ordering them to undergo harsh combat training and be beaten by armed guards.
    • Pyrrha's parents aren't winning any Parents of the Year award anytime soon : to uphold their high social status, they had no problem sending Pyrrha to Signal Academy against her will.
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    • The Madame sold her two biological daughters in Mistral's underground prostitution trade and abused her adoptive daughter Cinder the same way she did in canon.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Cinder Fall, Emerald Sustrai, Mercury Black, Roman Torchwick, Adam Taurus, Salem, and more of the canon villains are now portrayed as anti-fascist, helpful heroes just looking to save their world.
    • Averted with extreme prejudice regarding Jacques : if anything, he's even worse than in canon.
    • Averted with the Madame as well, who's even worse : not only she was as horrible to her adopted daughter Cinder as she was in canon, but she also sold her two biological daughters in Mistral's underground prostitution trade.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Almost every canon hero is now some form of villain, from mooks and obstacles to main antagonists.
    • First Averted and then Downplayed with Yang, who used to be a genuinely good girl no different from canon. Until Ruby enslaved her and broke her, that is.
    • Straight-up Averted with Taiyang and Summer, who are Good Parents to Ruby and Yang and do not have a bone of evil in their veins.
    • Averted with Lie Ren's parents Li and An Ren as well : they're still Good Parents and their intent to lock up their sociopathic son is completely justified.
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  • The Alcoholic: Raven Branwen
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Resistance base is infiltrated by P.E.N.N.Y. disguised as a little girl, who then proceeds to attack the people inside and use explosions to destroy the base.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Mercury Black possesses the same prosthetic legs he has in the canon series.
    • Yang loses both her arms to Ruby, who cuts them off in an act of pure sadism.
  • Artificial Limbs: Mercury has prosthetic legs.
  • Artificial Zombie: The mad Dr. Bartholomew Oobleck experiments with dead bodies, stitching them back together and using galvanization and serums to bring them "back to life".
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Ruby Rose, who only wants to kill.
    • Lie Ren had issues even as a teen. He had urges to kill, killed small animals and attempted to stab someone because he refused to sell him sake.
  • Battle Couple: Jaune and Pyrrha are an item and fight together for Lord Ozpin's sake. For example, they engaged Yang together.
  • Big Bad: Lord Ozpin, who rules Remnant, is the commander of the Huntsmen and Huntresses, and is responsible for Remnant’s state.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Qrow seemed to be the only decent person towards Pyrrha in Signal Academy. Then he attempts to rape her.
  • Cane Fu: Roman Torchwick uses his modified cane for melee and ranged Dust attacks.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Basically any of Ruby Rose’s victims, but ESPECIALLY Yang. Also applies to Weiss, Winter, and Whitley’s childhoods being beaten by armored guards under their father’s orders.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jaques and Weiss Schnee, both leaders of the Schnee Dust Company, who use Faunus slave labor and head their company with iron fists, the former even making his daughters fight to the death over who will inherit the company.
  • Crapsack World: The dystopian world of Remnant is lorded over by a genocidal tyrant and filled with monsters, killers, and terrorists.
  • Dystopia: The world of Remnant is in ruin, full of monsters and ruled over by a tyrant.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Many of the heroes suffer this at the hands of the villains, though the antagonistic Yang has the worst of it.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Zwei died a year before the story started.
    • Tai is killed by Ruby in the first chapter.
    • Winter is killed by Weiss in their fight to the death.
    • Jacques - much earlier than in canon - dies shortly after Winter, leaving Weiss to inherit the Schnee Dust Company.
    • Neo falls to Ruby in their second fight, cut in half.
    • Cardin Winchester, Dove Bronzewing and Ciel Soleil have been Killed Offscreen in combat and their corpses are used by Oobleck in his experiments.
    • Qrow Branwen killed his sister Raven Branwen. Ruby later on comes across her corpse, though she didn't seem to recognize her.
    • Pietro Polendina was executed shortly after Arthur Watts escaped.
    • "Little Miss" Malachite was killed after Lord Ozpin sent Huntsmen and Huntresses to kill every member of the Crown, which included her.
    • Team NDGO assassinated Lisa Lavender for Lord Ozpin.
    • Ruby slaughtered Team NDGO to test her new Grimm-controlling powers.
  • Dark Fic: It has an "M" rating on FanFiction.Net and it's easy to see why. To recap: Ozpin is an Evil Overlord, team JNPR are soldiers in his hit squad, and he drove Salem insane; Penny is a Killer Robot; Oobleck and Goodwitch are Mad Scientists with Port as The Igor; Ruby is a serial killer and rapist, whose crimes include the murder of her parents, the mutilation and enslavement of Yang, and the mutilation of Cinder; Weiss is a Corrupt Corporate Executive like her father and brother and is still racist towards Faunus; and Blake has canon!Adam's Fantastic Racism towards humans.
  • Deadly Graduation: In order to become the new heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, Jaques Schnee forces his two daughters Weiss and Winter into a fight to the death.
  • Death Seeker: After being tortured and violated, one of Ruby's victims begs Yang to end his life, which Yang is forced to do under threat of more abuse from Ruby.
  • Dirty Old Man: Qrow is a really sick version of this trope, forcing himself on the female students of Signal.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • Raven Branwen was an abusive drunk that beat Yang before leaving.
    • Jacques Schnee had his children beaten by guards and later forced his daughters into a duel to the death.
  • Drop the Hammer: Nora Valkyrie’s signature weapon is a massive hammer.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • While she's fully committed to violent actions against humanity and any Faunus not member of the White Fang, Blake is genuinely loyal to her men and the Faunus she freed from the Schnee Dust Company. She applied this treatment to Adam as well prior to his defection to the Resistance.
    • Jaune and Pyrrha may be Hunters working for Lord Ozpin, but they genuinely care about each other.
    • Qrow may have attempted to rape Pyrrha and is loyal to Lord Ozpin, but he also genuinely cared about Summer and Taiyang because they were the only ones who treated him like a human being and swore to kill Ruby for slaughtering them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • While she's a crazed Yandere working for Lord Ozpin, Nora dislikes child trafficking.
    • Jaune and Pyrrha, while loyal to Lord Ozpin and expressing fear and disgust towards Yang, still pity her condition.
  • Evil Old Folks: Maria Calavera is the Headmaster of Signal Academy and a devout follower of Lord Ozpin.
  • Evil vs. Evil: By the end of the first four prologues, three evil parties are opposed (with La Résistance being a fourth, heroic party) : the White Fang, Lord Ozpin and Ruby "The Reaper" Rose. While Ruby ends up joining Ozpin later on, neither party is under the illusion that this alliance is anything but temporary.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Yang loses both of her eyes after her battle with Ruby, who slashes them both out with her scythe blade.
    • Cinder loses one of her eyes to Ruby, who stabs her with the dagger end of her scythe and twists it until Neopolitan saves Cinder.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Downplayed, as her eyes did take damage, but when Ruby slices above Yang's nose, the narration notes that the latter's eyes fell to the ground, "white orbs with lilac irises", as if getting a scythe blade slashed across simply dislodged them.
  • Faking the Dead: Lionheart became a master of this trope, faking the deaths of several people imprisoned in his Haven Penitentiary, which includes Arthur Watts's. While some deaths actually happened in order to keep up appearances, most of the "deceased" are actually sheltered by Lionheart, producing Dust and weaponry for Lord Ozpin's forces.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Ozpin welcomed Weiss politely, but it was clear that he could care less about her.
    "I am pleased to see you arrived safely," Lord Ozpin said to Weiss, looking down at the young girl. "I trust your trip was an uneventful one?" Though his words carried the illusion of kindness, his voice carried the air of seriousness, displeasure, and cruelty. Weiss knew she meant nothing to him, even as an ally.
  • For the Evulz:
    • Ruby kills not only because she thinks it makes her more powerful, but also just because she feels like it.
    • Dr. Oobleck loves to perform his unethical experiments on dead allies and enemies alike; working for Lord Ozpin just gives him more opportunity to do so.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Glynda Goodwitch is a mechanical wizard capable of designing some of the most effective tools and weapons with ease. Too bad she's evil.
  • The Igor: Port is the hunchbacked, foul assistant to Dr. Oobleck, who aids him in his bodily experiments.
  • I Love the Dead: Dr. Oobleck seems to have a... thing... for the corpses he experiments on. He loves the smell of their decay and the feeling of their cold blood, and has even been shown sniffing the hair of mutilated corpses that he works on.
  • Implied Rape: During the chapter on Yang, it's implied that Ruby forced herself on a boy her own age.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite Salem and Ozpin's positions as Big Bad and Big Good being switched, Lionheart still ends up pretending to support Ozpin while actually working for Salem.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Weiss and Winter Schnee are forced by their father and his secretary to do this to inherent the Schnee Dust Company. Though neither want to kill the other, the other does not know that.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Qrow killed Raven for having deserted Lord Ozpin's side. Given that Raven was an abusive mother to Yang, she'll hardly be missed.
    • Speaking of which, Raven's desertion would be bad... If it wasn't Lord Ozpin she deserted.
  • Killer Robot: The Prototype Endothermic Neurological Networked Youth, or P.E.N.N.Y. for short, is a Terminator-esque infiltration and assassination robot built by Glynda Goodwitch and General James Ironwood for Lord Ozpin's service.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: Qrow has no problem with rape and murder. Killing one's own parents like Ruby did, however, is beyond the pale for him. Especially since Qrow genuinely cared about said parents.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Whitley wisely chose to surrender his claim to the Schnee Dust Company, aware of his sisters' superiority over him and having no interest in dying against them in a fight to the death. Weiss noticeably looks down on him for that.
  • Laughing Mad: Ruby likes to have a good laugh after she’s cut someone to pieces.
  • Mad Scientist: These two evil scientists working for Lord Ozpin:
    • Dr. Oobleck is a Dr. Frankenstein-esque evil scientist who takes pride in working with dead bodies, stitching them back together, and restoring them to "life".
    • Glynda Goodwitch is a mechanical and robotic genius who uses metal and wires to build weapons and tools for Lord Ozpin's forces.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Beacon Laboratory is a secluded lab that Goodwitch and Oobleck work in, with everything from mechanics to poisons to zombies inside.
  • Mentor Archetype: Salem was the mentor and teacher of Cinder and her team before losing her mind in the Bombing of Beacon.
  • Mirror Universe: Part of the premise is the heroes of the show are villains here and vice versa.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Possible. After Ruby forces Yang to kill a teenage boy, the starving Yang comments that her stomach began growling afterwards. Though it is unknown if Yang actually goes through with the deed, seeing as how she became feral enough to hunt and eat rats shortly before, it is possible she will do anything to sate her starvation. Played Straight when Ruby decapitates a sheep Faunus and feeds part of her to Yang.
  • Parental Abandonment: Raven Branwen leaves her family and daughter.
  • Playing with Syringes: Dr. Oobleck is tasked with experimenting on dead bodies in an attempt to restore function to them. Who gave him the order? None other than Lord Ozpin himself. though he probably would have done it without orders anyway.
  • Professional Killer: Lord Ozpin’s Huntsmen and Huntresses
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • One of Ruby's victims is a teenage boy, whom she strips naked. While the act is not covered in detail, Yang comments on hearing him plea for her to stop doing something. After that, Ruby comments that she was done "having fun" with "the cutie". Ruby is not even the one to finish the boy off, as she makes Yang end the boy's life. The boy tells Yang that Ruby "violated" him, and asks her to kill him, to which she is forced to oblige.
    • It's far more explicit when Qrow tries to rape Pyrrha.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: A starving Yang is reduced to killing and eating a rat to sate her hunger when Ruby neglects to properly feed her.
  • Secret Relationship: Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos are madly in love with one another, but must keep it a secret due to Lord Ozpin’s ban on romances within the Huntsman/Huntress organization.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Ruby Rose murders her mother and father to begin her criminal career.
  • Serial Killer: Ruby Rose, who embraces it and loves it.
  • Sinister Scythe: Ruby's signature weapon is a massive collapseable scythe, usually bloodstained.
  • Slasher Smile: Ruby brandishes a toothy grin when she feels she has the upper hand.
  • Teens Are Monsters:
    • Dialed up to 100 when a teenage Ruby Rose murders her entire family, tortures and mutilates her half-sister Yang, and generally slaughters anyone she comes across.
    • Lie Ren was Ax-Crazy since his youth, to the point his parents locked him up at age 16.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Ruby Rose; so, so much...
    • Lord Ozpin
  • Related in the Adaptation: Penny had no relation to Glynda Goodwitch in canon while P.E.N.N.Y. was created by Glynda in the fanfic. However, Pietro still participated in its creation.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • While she did die in the first prologue, when compared to her canon self, Summer Rose lived much longer : while canon Summer died when Ruby was a toddler, that version of Summer lived to see Ruby become a teenager. And kill her as well.
    • The Madame is still alive, as far as we know.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Ozpin's goons, such as Team JNPR, Weiss and more recently Ruby and Yang can't stand each other (with Jaune and Pyrrha being exceptions), but they have shared enemies, such as the White Fang and La Résistance.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: Yang is denied enough food, leaving her hungry and on the verge of starvation. One night she is forced to kill and eat a rat with nothing but her mouth, which she notes is disguising, but she is too hungry to be picky.
  • Villain Has a Point: As Ax-Crazy as Ren is, he isn't wrong when he noted that the panic and fear in Kuroyuri provoked by Lord Ozpin's arrival would attract Grimm. In fact, it's an understatement : a Nuckelavee attacked Kuroyuri soon after.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long, Jaune Arc, Pyrrha Nikos, Nora Valkyrie, and Lie Ren all serve as villainous protagonists in respective prequel chapters before turning into antagonists in the main story.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Ruby has one after being forced to flee the massive "Team JNPR & Weiss vs. The Resistance vs. Blake vs. The Reaper & Yang" fight. The reason being the fact that her planned victims, the Resistance, escaped her for a third time.
    • Ozpin erupts in anger upon learning from P.E.N.N.Y. that Salem is still alive.
    • Ruby is noticeably empty and despondent after not killing for weeks (aside from two people) and only recovers from it after coming up with an idea : working with Lord Ozpin.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ruby is not above murdering children; on her first night as a serial killer, she murders a baby. Later, she slaughters five small children and forces Yang to kill a sixth. Not to mention children fleeing with their parents during Vale's bombing, which she cuts off the escape route for to kill anyone who comes her way.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Despite the Resistance having a common goal and a common respect for the same mentor, they often argue and bicker among themselves over what to do, when to do it, and especially over tough decisions.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: P.E.N.N.Y., disguised as a girl, fakes a broken leg and having lost her parents in order to gain sympathy from the Resistance and use it to infiltrate their base. Fortunately, Mercury sees right through it.
  • Yandere: Nora Valkyrie is absolutely obsessed with Lie Ren, the latter of which can't stand her.
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