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The Knights Errant is a RWBY fanfic written by Zam and hosted on the Spacebattles Creative Writing forum. The premise is simple: by way of a series of nails caused by circumstances outside their control, none of the main cast ever makes it to Beacon Academy. Blake’s identity as a White Fang "agent" is leaked to Vale police, Yang gains a criminal record for smashing up Junior’s club and is denied admission, Weiss’s application is withdrawn at the last second by her father, and Ruby doesn’t want to take Ozpin’s offer because Yang won’t be there with her. Yet in spite of these things, Team RWBY winds up forming anyways. This is the story of how they became the most badass hunter team on Remnant without ever setting foot inside of secondary school.

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The initial story arc is short but complete, weighing in at seven to ten chapters long depending on whether you count the epilogue posts, and with a handful of side stories covering how Team JNPR is faring at Beacon in this setting. As of August 1st 2016, Zam has also posted the second story arc, Raucus Ruins (complete with 7 Chapters), and as of September 29 he has also begun posting chapters of the third arc, Pirate Signals.


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The Knights Errant contains examples of:

  • And the Adventure Continues: As the title implies, Team RWBY don't exactly go their separate ways once the first story arc is over.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Cooper turns out to be this. He looks like a mild-mannered archaeologist but he's really a vicious mercenary of a treasure hunter. As soon as the girls and Oobleck dispose of the King Taijitu guarding Morius's massive dust crystal he double-crosses them all and indulges in Evil Gloating as he imagines the reward he'll get for turning Weiss and Blake over to the Schnee Dust Company.
  • Clear My Name: A minor plot point in the first story arc. The White Fang not only leaked Blake's identity to the police, they also included false information fingering her as the mastermind of several of their more high-profile attacks, resulting in a sizable bounty being placed on Blake's head. Said bounty is rescinded after Team RWBY arrange for an Engineered Public Confession at the end of the first arc.
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  • Cool Airship: The bullhead which Team RWBY stole from the White Fang turns into their mobile home base. As of Pirate Signals Weiss has christened it Stardust.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: As usual, Ruby provides the crazy plans that always seem to work out. In this case, using Crescent Rose and Weiss’s glyphs to launch themselves at a bullhead that’s in flight and hitch a ride by sticking themselves to the underside of it.
  • Day in the Limelight: The side stories cover the adventures of teams JNPR and CFVY at Beacon.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: This is how Blake and Yang’s fight ultimately turns out. Weiss needs a little more convincing though.
    "Like I said, you weren't going to kill me so I can't kill you, it wouldn't be right. I'm not even sure I could! Besides, after everything we went through I just can't believe you did everything the news said you did."
    “All we did was fight!”
    “Can you name a better way to get to know someone?”
  • Enemy Mine: Defied. Blake and Yang’s running fight takes them through a White Fang stronghold about halfway through the first arc but it just turns into a Mêlée à Trois instead.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Team RWBY help to clear Blake's name at the end of the first arc by extracting one of these from a local White Fang cell leader.
  • Fantastic Racism: Anti-faunus prejudice and discrimination are considerable more visible and discussed than in the original series.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: This is the end result of Team RWBY's escapades in the first story arc.
  • Floating Continent: This is the hidden secret of Morius's success: the heart of the kingdom itself was mobile, its flight magic powered by a massive dust crystal.
  • For Want of a Nail: Quite a few of them. In order of appearance:
    • Blake – The White Fang leaks her identity to Vale police, which prevents her from lying low at Beacon.
    • Yang – Torchwick hung around at Junior’s bar long enough that he got involved in the fight shown in the Yellow trailer, and was able to drive the fight outside, causing the police to get involved. Since Beacon can't accept students with a criminal record, however minor the charges might be, Yang is out of the running too.
    • There’s also a dangling plot thread mentioned which keeps Yang in Vale: Taiyang has been recalled to active duty for some reason, so Yang is Ruby’s primary caregiver and got a job working for Junior as a courier and general errand-girl to make ends meet.
    • Weiss – Ozpin is forced to reject Weiss’s application at the last second due to Weiss’s father getting involved. This leads to Weiss having an altercation when her guards try to escort her home against her will, which plays into...
    • Ruby – Yang not being able to attend Beacon makes Ruby reluctant to accept Ozpin’s offer, but what actually gets her off of the airship leaving for Beacon is witnessing Weiss’s altercation with her guards and leaping to the conclusion that Weiss is being mugged.
    • Ruby coming to Weiss’s rescue serves as a much better first impression than blowing her up with her own dust supply, and as a result they get a much smoother start to their friendship.
  • Good Vs Good: The primary conflict of the first story arc is Yang trying to snag the bounty on Blake’s head, Weiss trying to kill Blake because she’s White Fang, and Ruby trying to make sure Yang and Weiss both stay safe. Blake just wants to get away in one piece.
  • Gravity Master: This is Bolin's semblance. He mainly uses it to make his attacks hit with greater impact than normal.
  • The Heart: Ruby is already this in canon, but her role is more pronounced in this direction once Team RWBY forms for real because the role of team leader gets passed around as the situation demands.
  • Heroic RRoD: Cooper's gravity trap supercharges Yang's semblance so hard that she starts burning up on the inside and actually breathing fire. No permanent damage comes of it but only because Yang was able to vent the energy before she lost control of it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cooper's gravity trap is strong enough to pin all of Team RWBY and Oobleck at the same time, but against Yang it exerts just enough pressure to power up her semblance without actually hurting her. The more Cooper tries to restrain her the stronger she gets until eventually she's unstoppable.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Team RWBY despite everything that is listed under For Want of a Nail still managed to unite as a team.
  • The Leader: Subverted in that Team RWBY doesn't actually have one in this setting. Since Ozpin never assigned the position to Ruby, she never takes the initiative to step up and take it for herself. Instead the role goes to whoever is most experienced at whatever the job in question is: Weiss leads in matters of diplomacy such as negotiating payment for a job, Blake takes over when wilderness survival or scouting is required, Yang handles mechanical issues such as repairing the bullhead or salvaging spare parts, and Ruby becomes The Strategist whenever a situation calls for a crazy plan.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Pretty much the driving force of the second half of the first story arc. The only reason the heroes are fighting at all is because Blake has been framed and doesn’t have a chance to tell her side of the story until the last chapter, at which point even Weiss gives up on trying to kill her.
    • Happens again in Pirate Signals when Team ABRN shows up and they and RWBY briefly have a case of mistaken identities.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The second half of the first story arc is a running battle between Blake, Yang, and the White Fang while a second running battle has more of the same group of White Fang fighting Weiss and Ruby.
  • Noble Demon: Junior and the Malachite sisters come off as this, being relatively neutral in Vale's criminal underworld and going out of their way to not stir up trouble that might attract the grimm. Junior is also pragmatic enough to hire Yang and deal fairly with her even after she wrecked his bar.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Chapter 6 of Pirate Signals introduces the villains of the arc, the titular pirates, during a mutiny aboard an Atlesian warship.
    • In the very next chapter Team ABRN make a surprise appearance.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Weiss and Blake make an attempt to hide their faces from their employer during Raucus Ruins by borrowing Yang's scarf and wearing a veil, respectively. Oobleck isn't fooled for an instant of course, but to his credit he also doesn't care that his hired help happens to be a wanted fugitive and a runaway corporate princess.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Defied, surprisingly. Despite being the equivalent of high school dropouts and cruising around in an airship that needs a constant fuel supply Team RWBY is never shown to be hurting for cash, food, dust, or spare parts. The closest they ever get to being impoverished is in occasionally needing to go to absurd lengths to get a wireless signal so they can check up on new job postings.
  • Power Crystal: The secret treasure of Morius is a massive dust crystal the size of a building, which is the reason why the city was able to become a Floating Continent.
  • Reasonable Authority Figures: Ozpin and Oobleck qualify as this. As mentioned above, Oobleck doesn't care that half of Team RWBY is composed of runaway princesses and fugitive ex-terrorists, and Ozpin is implied to be subtly supporting the girls from a distance by sending lucrative jobs their way. As of Raucus Ruins, Oz is also revealed to be running interference with Weiss's father and refusing to share whatever information he has on Team RWBY's whereabouts despite Papa Schnee applying economic pressure on Vale through increased dust prices.
  • Slave Liberation: Morius was supposedly founded by mixture of 'wild' faunus and recently escaped faunus slaves from a mining facility.
  • Sleep Cute: The end result in one of the epilogue chapters. It turns out that Yang’s semblance has the side effect of making her a natural heat source, so when the team is out roughing it in the wilds everyone cuddles up to her for warmth. D’awww!
  • Team Pet: Zwei reprises his role from canon, of course, but he's also made more important: when the girls are busy working, Zwei guards the bullhead.
  • Temple of Doom: The lost city of Morius, first kingdom of the ancient faunus, which are the titular ruins of the second story. The "of Doom" part is because they're also home to some particularly ancient and ornery grimm.
  • Title Drop: "The Knights Errant" is what Team RWBY eventually decides to call themselves when they're first asked for a team name in Raucus Ruins.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Shorelight. The town has been functionally taken over by a gang of pirates who demand tribute from them, forcing the citizens to take drastic measures to make ends meet... such as luring Team RWBY into a trap so they can salvage Starlight for spare parts.
  • We Help the Helpless: This is how Team RWBY pay the bills and keep the bullhead fueled up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Downplayed, but present. During the sidestory covering the events of the Jaundice arc, Fox gives Jaune a gentle rebuke in regards to his attitude towards Pyrrha and wanting to become strong without leaning on his team. The problem with this is that Jaune is already on a hunter team and is putting the lives of both his teammates and the civilians they protect at risk by not taking every opportunity he can to make up for his deficiencies.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Yang doesn't do quite as well against Arslan as she does in volume 3 because she's missing Ember Celica, though she doesn't lose either.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Ember Celica is destroyed at the end of Raucus Ruins because of Yang's semblance getting supercharged.

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