Broken Blades:

Volume 1: Hearth

Prologue: Good and Bad Days

For as long as humans have walked on Remnant, there has been something special about them. It shows itself now in the way they band together, the way societies grow and evolve. It shows itself in the way that they retain an essential core - a piece of every human, living or dead, remains. Could you blame darkness for grasping at that light? Imagine immortality, right in front of you, and all you had to do was reach out and take it-could you resist?



Jaune Arc was having a surprisingly good day, all things considered. Though, to be fair, it wasn't every day someone decided to forge their way into the premier huntsman academy on Sanus. And it was even fewer days where a forger got this far. He really didn't know where his sister had gotten those transcripts...but now was not the time to think about that sort of thing.

"Mr. Arc, you may enter the testing room."

Jaune closed his eyes, shaking his arms once or twice to work out any last kinks before picking up his sword and shield. He made his way to the combat testing room, trying his best to shield his nerves under a mask of confidence. This was it. The moment he had been waiting for, living for. Six months of grueling training exercises against siblings and seasoned huntsmen. Six months of skirting his father's questions and sneaking behind his back. Six months of pain, falling and falling and standing back up-it all led up to this moment.

Jaune entered the room. A stout man with a massive mustache waited inside, with what looked like an axe-topped blunderbuss cradled in his arms.

"Good morning, my fine prospective student! I am Professor Port, Grimm Studies teacher at Beacon academy, and I'll be your combat readiness examiner this morning. Before we get this started, I have to ask. Are you related to the illustrious Arc line of hunters, by any chance?"

Jaune nodded slowly. This was not what he expected. Every previous student he'd asked had told him that Glynda Goodwitch would be his assessor, but he couldn't see how this boisterous and jolly man could be worse. Maybe the fact that he knew his family would be a plus, right?

"Yes sir! My father was a huntsman, and so was his father before him."

Port chuckled.

"Capital! You've definitely got the same fire in your eyes. Now, I note that you requested a no Aura combat test?"

Jaune unconsciously stood a little straighter. He'd expected this question.

"Yes, Professor. I wanted to test my skills in a worst case battle scenario. Is that alright?"

The professor's eyes widened slightly as he laughed.

"Alright? Why, m'boy, I think I like you already! Worst case scenario it is! Ready your sword."

As Jaune lifted his sword and shield, two thoughts were running through his head. One, that lie had worked surprisingly well. Two- wait, how had Port suddenly gotten that CLOSE-OHGODDODGE!

Jaune dove to the side, landing in a roll and coming up with his shield raised defensively. He waited. No collision came. After a moment he looked out to see Port jotting down notes.

"You have good reflexes, Jaune! Now, go on, attack me!"

His eyes narrowed. Port wanted an attack, did he? Well then, he'd get one.

Jaune lunged forward, sword whistling around in a high looping slash before getting caught in the axe blade of the blunderbuss. Port's wrist twitched downwards, sending the sword spinning from Jaune's hands. His other hand snapped up, fist catching Jaune in the nose and snapping his head back.

"Crocea Mors has seen better days and quicker hands, m'boy. In a real fight, sloppy technique like that will lose you that sword and get you killed. Go on and hit me. You wanted a worst case scenario, didn't you?" Port's eyes were dead serious, now.

Jaune dropped back for a second, wiping a bit of blood from his face. He considered his options, analyzing Port's blunderbuss. Hefting his shield in both hands, he tensed, then launched upwards, the sharp edge of his shield scything down towards the axe head. Port caught the shield easily, twisting his axe to perform the same disarming motion, eyes looking a little disappointed. Jaune grinned, hands loosening before throwing the shield down entirely, pulling the axe down with it. As Jaune leapt forward, knee already springing to Port's groin, he winked.

"Whoops. Sloppy technique."

As his knee thudded into Port, his hands were already moving to the axe. If he could disarm him, maybe he could disengage for long enough to get his sword or shield and then-

"Enough!" Port's eyes were twinkling again. "Throwing away your shield for a tactical advantage? I knew I liked you! I've seen all I need. Welcome to Beacon. I'll see you on Monday."

All bruises aside, Jaune really was having a surprisingly good day.



"I'm sorry, Adam. I can't do this anymore. Goodbye."

Until seven seconds ago, Adam Taurus had been having a very good day. His assault on the Schnee Dust train had gone off without a hitch, relatively speaking. Sure, a few humans had been caught up in the crossfire, but they were humans. He and his beloved were the premier soldiers of the White Fang. Fighting humans was sort of the point. And, seven seconds ago, as he stood over the sparking wreckage of a Schnee Suppression Drone, Adam would have been hardpressed to find a way the day could have been better.

But now? Now, as his beloved, his beauty, his Blake turned away from him, muscles already tensing to flee? His earlier successes tasted like ashes in his mouth.

As Blake receded into the distance, Adam turned back towards the last car of the train. Maybe he should leave it be? The Fang had enough dust, after all. Maybe Blake was right and the humans should be left with something.

"Are you just going to let her win?" Adam's eyes widened as a cultured, mocking voice reverberated inside his head. He didn't recognize the voice, but he knew it nonetheless. It was right. He couldn't let her sap his will to fight. He turned back towards the traincar, hand tensing on his sheath, readying himself for another Iaido slash.

"Good. Bleed them dry."

Adam blurred forward, sword carving through the lock. The door slid open. Adam resheathed his sword as he stepped inside to see a car full of Schnee scientists guarded by Atlesian Security Drones. A drone raised its weapon, eyes flickering to red.

"Please surrender your blade. Atlas security personnel will be forced to use lethal force otherwise. "

Adam tensed again.


His body launched into motion, katana slicing through the first drone in moments. The other drones opened fire as he grabbed the body of the first, launching it at a second. The next few moments were a blur of slashes and dodges, every miss a bullet sparking against train walls. His katana was a red blur, humming between air, metal and sheath without a pause. Nothing could touch him when he was like this. Raven had made sure of that.

As the last drone's body split into two sparking pieces, a scientist stepped forward, eyes plaintive.

"Please, let us live. What do you want, dust? We have plenty of it, just let us go?"

Adam closed his eyes, preparing his blade.

"What do I want? I want freedom and equality for faunus. I want my beloved back. But now, more than anything? I want to work off some stress."

He slashed outwards.



Roman Torchwick was having a very, very bad day. And, strangely enough, this one wasn't his fault. So, as the Bullhead pulled away from the clusterfuck that was supposed to be a simple dust store robbery, Roman Torchwick turned to face the pilot who had gotten him into this mess.

"Alright, two questions, Cinder. One, what on earth are they feeding those kids these days? That mini-huntsman hit like a damn truck! Second, I knew you cared about me, but what did little old me do that merited a save from the big boss herself?"

Cinder turned back to face him, smoldering eyes pinning him to his seat. Sure, to a normal person she didn't look especially threatening, but to Roman? He'd seen what she did to traitors, enemies, hell, to people who mildly bothered her. He was not going to anger those eyes.

"Why, dearest Roman, I can't come out to check on a valued subordinate?" Cinder purred.

Roman laughed quietly.

"You could, The great Cinder Fall, scourge of kingdoms, tamer of beasts, getting her hands dirty for me? I find that hard to believe."

Cinder sighed.

"Roman, I will have to keep you on a tighter leash if this is how you're going to talk. You know our Faunus friends wouldn't like you calling them beasts."

"Forgive me for not being so tactful, Boss," Roman bit back a snarl. "It's not like I just got smacked around by some 15 year old prodigy as well as, who was it again? Oh, right, Glynda Goodwitch, the combat instructor of fucking Beacon. Mind explaining how that fits into your grand plan for us? I'd like to know before I walk into a trap."

"Dear Roman, this was reconnaissance. All will become clear in time." Cinder's voice seemed to caress each word. Roman shivered at the tone. That woman never ceased to be terrifying.



Qrow Branwen was having After Raven left, he didn't really do good days anymore. After Summer went MIA, he stopped having normal days. After Amber had her Aura drained by whatever eldritch Grimm shit that had been, 'bad day' stopped being enough too. So today, as he knelt in the grimmlands, still tracking his quarry? It was a day, no more, no less. Just another few hours to spend, another errand to run, another Grimm to kill before he spent his night staring into a flask. At least his niece was doing well. The corners of his mouth turned upwards as he thought about the little firecracker. Ruby was so like her mother in some ways, all that naivete and skill mixed into one adorable package that would gut you if you let your guard down. But she would never follow the same path Summer had. Not while Qrow Branwen still drew breath.


Qrow sighed and opened his scroll. Ozpin's face flickered onto the screen as the call connected.

"I'm kind of busy right now, Oz. Grimm don't kill themselves."

"It's important, Qrow. I have two pieces of news I think you'll want to hear."

Qrow closed his eyes.

"Lay it on me, Oz."

Beacon's headmaster nodded.

"We tried to operate on the fall maiden, but blades still wouldn't pierce her skin. You got there in time for that at least."

Qrow's shoulders slumped, tension leaving his whole body.

"So she's still there, at least. Has she woken?"

"Not yet. We'll do what we can."

"Understood. Now, the other piece of news is about your niece, Summer's daughter."

Qrow stood up in a hurry, hand already moving towards his scythe. If something happened to Ruby he would burn the four kingdoms to the ground to get her back-

"Relax, Qrow, she's OK. Glynda saved her after she overextended chasing a criminal."

Qrow laughed.

"Sounds about right. Was that all, Oz?"

Ozpin closed his eyes.

"No, old friend. I was interviewing her for early Beacon acceptance during the debrief, and...I'm sorry. She has silver eyes. Summer's eyes."

Qrow collapsed to his knees, tears building. Looked like he could still have bad days after all.

A/N: I have many, many plans for this story. It's my first time writing in such an extensively built world, and I'm hoping to live up to the challenge. Things to expect: Streamlined macguffins and a fullscale mythology, a semblance for Jaune that I hope is suitably unique, Cinder's plan making sense, culture for Remnant that's reflective of the Grimm...that covers most of it.

Note: the next set of chapters will be almost entirely centered around Beacon and the huntsmen in training.

Please review!