- For the Huntsman Academy of the same name, see Atlas Academy. For the World of Remnant Episode, see Atlas (WoR episode).
The Huntsman Academy of Atlas is known as Atlas Academy. Unlike most kingdoms, Atlas' government, military, and the Academy function as a single entity. It is also the location of the Schnee Dust Company headquarters, the company being the largest supplier of Dust in the world.
Early settlers came to the icy continent of Solitas in order to begin a new civilization. Its harsh climates and great mountain ranges helped to suppress the threat of the Grimm, but it also proved difficult for the population to grow. Humanity adapted, however, by using Dust in tandem with advanced technology, developed out of necessity and at faster progression than the rest of the world, creating what came to be known then as the Kingdom of Mantle. Their advancements in Dust application allowed Mantle to expand and devote more territory to mining and research, including the area beside the kingdom's combat school, Alsius Academy.
Around eighty years before the beginning of the series, a massive ten-year conflict known as the Great War came to an end. In this war, Mantle and Mistral fought Vale and Vacuo. Prior to the war, Mantle formed an alliance with Mistral. The two traded frequently, and Mantle taught Mistral how to form settlements in the snowy northern region of Anima.
After an incident with the Grimm, Mantle came to the conclusion that, if it controlled its citizens' emotions through the abolishment of the arts and self-expression, it would become safer from Grimm. Rather than lose the alliance, Mistral did the same, to an extent. This added to the list of things Vale disliked about Mantle and Mistral, among which was the treatment of their own citizens, their use of slavery and their insistence that their way of life was what was best for everyone.
Eventually, Mistral got into a conflict with Vale, after a riot between settlers from the two devolved into the first battle of the Great War. Mantle rushed to their ally's aid, and together, they fought Vale on both Sanus and Anima soil. Having established a presence in Vacuo, the two allied kingdoms were able to keep Vacuo out of the conflict, and some time into the war, they began pressuring the desert kingdom to join the war on their side. Fearing that they would conquer Vacuo, should Vale fall, the citizens of Vacuo pushed Mantle and Mistral out of their territory and allied themselves with Vale.
Grimm attacks increased worldwide, and as a result, Mantle lost many of its settlements to the creatures, some of which were never reclaimed.
During the war, Mantle accelerated the pace of its technological innovation, developing new weapons and applications of Dust, giving them an edge during the conflict. Large tracts of land were set aside for Dust mining and research. The Kingdom was also home to at least one combat school, Alsius, located to the northeast of the main settlement. The territory surrounding Alsius was used as a research and development facility during the war.
The Great War finally came to an end with the deadliest battle in the war's history. Mantle and Mistral attempted to take Vacuo's Dust mines to cut off their enemy's supply. There, they were met with the king of Vale personally leading his army alongside Vacuo. It is said that he laid waste to countless men, but historians claim that this feat was aided by the unusually violent weather and Mantle's inexperience in desert combat.
With the war over, the leaders of the four kingdoms gathered on neutral ground on Vytal to form a treaty and plan the future of Remnant. There, the four kingdoms' governments were restructured, their territories were redistributed, slavery was abolished, the tradition of the Vytal Festival was begun and the king of Vale founded the four Huntsman Academies.
Alsius was reopened under the name Atlas Academy and was secretly given a Relic to safeguard. As a gift to the world, Atlas invented the Cross Continental Transmit System and had the towers for it built on each Huntsman Academy's campus, thus allowing all four kingdoms to communicate. In an attempt to give back to its citizens, Mantle applied many of the techniques and technologies used in the war to enhance the Huntsman Academy's campus, expanding the school grounds and even securing the surrounding areas. Along with the eventual establishment and merging of the military and research facilities with the government and schools, the original capital of Mantle was overshadowed. The decision was made to move the capital to Atlas, and the Kingdom as a whole was also accordingly renamed to Atlas.
The former capital of Mantle appears to have subsequently fallen on hard times, as alluded to in Word of Remnant: Atlas. During the charity concert in "Tipping Point", guests are heard conversing with Jacques Schnee about the economic disparity between the cities of Atlas and Mantle. At the same time, they discuss Faunus-Human relations; it is implied that a significant portion of Faunus live in the poorer city of Mantle, and are economically disadvantaged themselves. Those that moved to the city of Atlas were "promised jobs" by the Schnee Dust Company amongst others, though it is implied that this is not working out as well as the immigrants would have hoped.
During the 40th Vytal Festival, the hosting kingdom, Vale, was attacked, and Beacon Academy and its Cross Continental Transmit tower was destroyed, cutting off Atlas' communication with the other three kingdoms. The festival's live broadcast and Atlas' robots were hijacked by the attackers, who made it appear as though Atlas attacked innocent civilians. Beacon became overrun with Grimm, and the presence of a petrified Wyvern drew in even more Grimm. Atlas officials searched for a solution, but with Vale making slow progress to retake the academy even after several months, they were not optimistic.
During the several months between the end of Volume 3 and beginning of Volume 4, Atlas' council voted to place an embargo on Dust exports, in an attempt to prevent conflict, due to the other kingdoms believing Atlas attacked Vale. This embargo continued into the events of Volumes 4 and 5.
The kingdom is known for its innovation and far-reaching technological achievements, having developed, and then gifted the Cross Continental Transmit System to the rest of the world after the Great War, allowing for communication between the four kingdoms.
Atlas is also a primary producer of Dust, and the Schnee Dust Company's main headquarters is located in the kingdom.
Other technological advances spearheaded by the kingdom of Atlas include great strides in the field of robotics. Robots built for combat include the Atlesian Knight-130, supplied by Atlas to the rest of Remnant for several years. Penny Polendina, the first artificial being capable of producing Aura, was also built with assistance from the Atlesian Military, as revealed in "Painting the Town...".
However, some of the Kingdom's scientific research into the nature and composition Aura takes it into more morally questionable areas. Their research has yielded experimental technology that is capable of "capturing" Aura from a person and transferring it to something or someone else. The existence of this technology is highly classified, but many of those who do know of it see it as unnatural and wrong. Regardless, this technology may play a key part in preventing the power of the Maidens from falling into the wrong hands, or could work in the completely opposite manner.
The kingdom's armed forces are made up of an organized body known as the Atlesian military, which is regarded as the world's strongest military power. Human soldiers are seen wearing a uniform that includes metal body armor and helmets that conceal the top of their faces. They are seen wielding a variety of weapons including rifles, pistols and swords.
The kingdom's forces were also referenced in "Welcome to Beacon", depicted as a playable force in the tabletop, Remnant: The Game. One of the units mentioned in the game is the Atlesian air-fleet. Yang Xiao Long also comments that most of the Atlesian troops are "probably androids".
Atlas has always supported the idea of the removal of men from the dangers of the battlefield, thus a large component of their significant military force is made up of android soldiers, such as the Atlesian Knight-200, designed to replace the standard Atlesian Knight-130 security model. The androids were heavily networked, routed through the large carrier airships used by the air fleet; destruction of all such ships in the area leads to a full shutdown of all automated units.
The Atlesian military understands that many situations still require a human presence, with human soldiers still serving among their forces, and in conjunction with the Schnee Dust Company have also introduced piloted mechanized battle-suits known as the Atlesian Paladin-290. Although designed to operate in as piloted units, they can also be remotely and independently operated, functioning in the same way as the smaller Knight units.
Along with their army, the kingdom also boasts an impressive air-fleet even in times of peace, able to field several large airships and a heavy escort of smaller fighter-transports, which can provide tactical fire support for its ground forces. The larger airships are armed with laser batteries, which are capable of easily destroying a ship of the same class. The smaller fighter-transports use a gimbal-mounted dual chaingun as their primary weapon. Atlas' domination of the skies allows the Atlesian military to respond and deploy its troops to face potential threats in quick succession.
The Atlesian air fleet and android ground forces displayed their impressive strength by defending the city of Vale from a marauding force of Grimm forces in the episode "Breach". By Volume 3, at least eight airships were deployed from Atlas at the height of Atlas' presence in Vale, as seen in "PvP". However, they were taken by surprise during the Grimm invasion of Vale and the Battle of Beacon, losing two ships to an airship captured by Roman Torchwick, which itself would later crash, bringing Atlas' losses during the invasion up to at least three airships. It is unknown how many airships survived the invasion, or what portion of Atlas' total air fleet strength they represented. Given that during the Grimm invasion, the city of Vale was designated as the primary evacuation point by the Atlas military, and contained a much higher population than Beacon Academy, it is likely that at least a few ships were still operational defending the city.
General James Ironwood is a prominent leader of the military, headmaster of the academy and a holder of two seats on the Atlas council. His agenda is focused on security and safety, however, his methods of doing so, described as "shows of power", bring him into conflict with Ozpin. He also expresses doubt that "children", the Huntsmen-in-training of Beacon Academy, would be able to win a war.
Special Operatives Unit
The Atlesian Military is known to recruit graduate Huntsmen and Huntresses from Atlas Academy, specially to join their Special Operatives unit. This practice has drawn criticism, as Huntsmen were initially intended to be free from allegiance to a specific kingdom, and the practice also involved pressuring of the graduates and trainees.
Qrow Branwen makes reference to "Specialists", which is a title for members of the Special Operatives Unit. One such member is Winter Schnee, who reports directly to General Ironwood. Another notable member is Caroline Cordovin, who is stationed at the Atlesian Military base stationed at Argus.
Schnee Dust Company
- Its name is likely a reference to Atlas, a Titan in Greek mythology who was punished for opposing the Olympians by being made to hold up the sky for all eternity. It could also be a reference to Atlas as a large map, similar in symbolism to other Academy names such as Beacon Academy and Signal Academy.
- As of Volume 3, the kingdom is represented by the color white in the World of Remnant episodes.
- In the Camp Camp episode,"Into Town", David can be seen shopping in a hardware store with the same name.