They were a cold people, the Schnees.
A kind of eternal winter reigned in their household. They brought a certain coldness with them wherever they went, and their bloodline was frozen with snow.
They were mocked at first, as all geniuses are. "A snowflake?" people scoffed. "That family will melt at the first signs of spring."
But they had simply hardened their hearts, buried their doubts under a mountain of snow, and lined their resolve with ice.
And so that first year, when others climbed blearily out of their winter hideaways, they saw the palace the Schnees had erected. Those who had spoken against them slipped away, swallowed up by the whiteout. Those who remained watched as the snow fell and their kingdom rose.
Dust flowed from their fingertips, it seemed. No one knew where it came from—no one wanted to know.
Whether purchased in blood or in lien, they amassed enough Dust to seize the trade in a monopolized chokehold. There was no Dust without the Schnees.
Their influence spread through Remnant like tendrils of ice. Some tried to resist, of course, but there was no defense. Assets were frozen, alliances cracked, families wind-battered and worn. Not everyone survived the Schnee's winter.
The Faunus cried foul. They cried violence and torment but their cries were swallowed by the howl of the winter wind. No one heard. Or perhaps no one cared.
They had proud faces—sharp cheekbones, strong jaws, upturned noses. Their hair was pure white, and rumors began to swirl that the entire family had been cursed by a Snow Queen. Even their eyes were cold—irises like chips of ice, blue like their blood—with a gaze to rival Medusa herself. Their skin was cut from steel and their bones were made of ice. They were cold beauty. They were frigid regality.
And glyphs. Endlessly glyphs.
The symbols amazed and terrified the people. Nothing good could come from the Schnee crest. Nothing good could come from them.
But as the family demonstrated their mastery of their Semblance in simple duels and modest spars, the fear began to ebb. It was a simple trick, nothing more. A pretty image for the family to call upon—a shield to use in a pinch.
They couldn't be all-powerful in everything, surely. Their Semblance was where their ferocity ended.
And then their enemy rose to meet them, and the people realized they had no knowledge of the Schnee's true power.
They struck with the force of an avalanche—of a blizzard. Their glyphs turned dark as night and the snow ran red under their might.
But the White Fang were no strangers to this.
Trains were raided, warehouses set aflame. Employees struck dead where they stood.
There was no escape, for in lessons of violence, the White Fang had been sufficiently educated—pupils surpassing their masters.
But the Schnees would not go quietly into the night. The Schnees had no intention of answering for their crimes.
And, one by one, they each drew their weapon and played their final card.
Nevermore, Beowolves, Death Stalkers, Ursai all rose from the glyphs, lending their strength to the family that had slain them.
These were not benevolent images or benign phantoms. These were creature of Grimm in the service of the Schnees.
Still, the White Fang resisted. They had made it this far, they could make it farther still.
And then they appeared. Ghost-like and surreal, they descended upon the battlefield as if from a dream. Ivory skin and frosted eyes—Faunus fought Faunus as the family called forth fallen members of the White Fang.
It was their cruelest act, and their costliest mistake.
The White Fang surrendered that day—their emblem replaced by a snowflake.
But the Schnees—the coldest family to ever grace the continent—were not cold enough to freeze out the fire of the White Fang.
Hate taught hate, until animosity became hereditary. The children of the White Fang were brought into the world with a sword in their hands and a name on their lips.
And in the midst of all of this, a girl was born. A girl destined to carry a burden so heavy, even Atlas would refuse.
A girl born with a throne beneath her legs and crown atop her head.
A girl born before a crossroads.
Hate, her family told her. Prejudice. Judgment. Pride.
And so she did.
Until her family's lessons betrayed her.
Until her name was so tattered with disgrace she had nothing left to hide behind.
Until a girl with golden eyes stepped from the shadows and looked at her with the face of someone who had seen a thousand tragedies, and knew they were doomed to see a thousand more.
Why? the golden-eyed girl asked. Equality? Acceptance? Tolerance?
But the Schnee princess had no answer. She had not been taught these words.
So she faltered, flailed. She fell back on the lessons of her childhood, and her punishment was pity.
Pity for her family, pity for the cold shroud of superiority she clung to, pity for what was perceived as a predisposition so stubbornly spiteful it could not be helped.
She fought it like hell. An icy fury blazed up in her heart—an impossibly cold fire burned through her blood.
She was a Schnee. She was not to be pitied.
She fought their preconceived notions of her, and in turn fought her preconceived notions of them.
In an effort to prove her worth, she ended up proving herself, and slowly, a bridge began to rebuild.
Please, she whispered. I don't want to hate. I don't want to be hated.
And slowly, with the speed of a glacier that has waited patiently for its time, the frozen heart of the Schnee family melted, if only a little.
It was a start.
It was an end.
It was an impasse that Princess and Faunus—eyes like ice and eyes like gold—shattered together.
I...I don't really know what this is but it's 1:40 AM and I wrote this in an hour.
I just watched episode four of RWBY season 3 and this jumped into my head during Winter and Weiss' scene. That fucking summoning though. I was not ready.
This reads more like a poem than a story, so sorry if that's weird.
In all seriousness, if this is garbage please someone tell me because I'm not one to dabble in other writing forms so I'm pretty firmly out of my element.