The four kingdoms of Remnant are Vale (center), Vacuo (west), Atlas (north) and Mistral (east). Each of the kingdoms have their own distinct culture - for example, Atlas is known for its martial nature and technological advancement, and Vacuo for its rough-and-tumble lifestyle.
Vale and Vacuo are located on the continent called Sanus. Mistral is on the continent of Anima. Atlas is on the continent of Solitas. Vytal is the name of the island to the north of Vale. Other known landmasses include Menagerie, the continent to the bottom right.
The last dragon-shaped continent (to the west of Vale, north of Vacuo) remains unidentified. Although it was apparently at one point inhabited, no settlements are currently known to exist on the continent.
- See also: Remnant Timeline
According to Ozpin, humanity was created by two god brothers. The narration in "Ruby Rose" states that the early history of Remnant has been long forgotten, with recollections being passed down in the form of myths and legends. One such legend is the existence of the Maidens, holders of an immense power that is passed down from generation to generation. Another early legend tells that extraordinarily powerful warriors with silver eyes were feared by the Grimm and could strike down their foes with a single look.
In the world of Remnant, all living creatures possess a soul, the physical manifestation of which is known as Aura: a form of innate energy that bestows its user with certain abilities and powers. Unique expressions of these abilities which are specific to individuals are known as Semblances. Remnant is populated by two intelligent species - humanity and Faunus, a race of human-animal hybrids.
Legend states that mankind was born from dust into a hostile world, forced to battle for survival against soulless creatures of darkness known as the Grimm. However, man discovered a power that would help them combat the forces of darkness; they named their newly discovered power, Dust, after that from which they were formed. Armed with Dust, described as "Nature's Wrath", mankind was able to turn the tide against the Grimm.
In the absence of darkness, mankind was able to build civilization and spread throughout the world. The mining of Dust would continue to be a major industry, leading to the rise of large enterprises such as the Schnee Dust Company.
However, having survived the Grimm menace, humanity began to turn against itself, spiralling into a series of self-destructive conflicts. The largest of these was the Great War, fought over issues of individualism and self-expression. Conflict also arose between the humans and the subjugated Faunus, eventually sparking the Faunus Rights Revolution.
In the modern day, most people live within the four Kingdoms; Vale, Mistral, Atlas and Vacuo. Through a combination of human tenacity and the use of natural barriers, these settlements managed to survive and are regarded as "safe havens" and "beacons of hope" for humanity. However, small villages and nomadic communities do exist outside of the territories of the main kingdoms, though they are noted as being far more susceptible to Grimm attacks. This serves to emphasize that Remnant is not a particularly welcoming world to humans and Faunus.
Following the Great War, Huntsman Academies, such as Beacon Academy, were created to train Huntsmen and Huntresses, warriors whose sole purpose was to combat the Grimm using a combination of powerful weapons, Aura, and Dust. In doing so, they protect those who cannot protect themselves from the dangers of Remnant.
In the World of Remnant episode, "Kingdoms", a brief description is given on how the kingdoms are governed: Each kingdom has a governing council that represents the needs of their people. The powers and responsibilities of these councils (as well as how members are appointed) is not stated.
In the area of security, they are known to have influence over the administration of the huntsmen of academies - in "Breach", the council of Vale chastises Ozpin following a Grimm incursion into the city, and have demonstrated the authority to question his suitability as headmaster of Beacon.
Apart from huntsmen, conventional militaries are also known to exist, but not all of the kingdoms keep standing armies. The kingdom of Atlas is known to maintain a sizable military force, fielding a large airfleet, as well as robotic soldiers and mechs.
Although the world is said to be in an unprecedented state of peace, social issues seriously threaten the status quo - racial tensions between the Faunus and humans caused by continuing prejudice in society, the immoral practices of the Schnee Dust Company, as well as agitation from the White Fang terrorist group, continue to cause friction in society. The Grimm still thrive in the wild areas outside the territory of the four kingdoms, whilst plotting by mysterious groups threaten them from within. The narration of "Kingdoms" implies that the future of humanity is heavily contingent upon the continued cooperation of the four kingdoms.
Remnant has a vibrant culture owing to the diversity of its inhabitants. Each of the four kingdoms has a unique identity and this distinctive character is encouraged by events such as the Vytal Festival, where the people of Remnant gather to celebrate their cultures.
Given the importance of huntsmen and huntresses in mankind's continued existence, part of this celebration also includes a combat tournament between students of the Kingdoms' respective academies.
- Main article: Color Naming Rule
A significant part of Remnant's worldwide culture is the practice of naming children after colors.
During the Great War, attempts by tyrannical oppressors to limit individualism and self-expression were met by a violent backlash from the populace. In response to persecutors' attempts to destroy art, people began to name their children after a fundamental element of art - color - sending the message that the next generation would also fight to prevent the destruction of their individuality.
After the end of the War and the defeat of this subjugation, the practice continued into the present day, and virtually all citizens of Remnant have names derived from colors.
There is a significant amount of discrimination towards Faunus in Remnant's past and present. Since the Faunus War, in which they gained freedom by law, Faunus have continued to face discrimination and exploitation from humans. Whether this is the norm or the actions of a minority is unknown; however, it is enough to cause some Faunus to turn to the terrorist group, the White Fang.
By contrast, Remnant appears to be a very egalitarian world when it comes to the sexes, as seen at Beacon Academy. Both sexes share locker rooms, and teams that have both sexes in them share dorm rooms. There never appears to be animosity from men towards women or women towards men.
Remnant has a wide variety of advanced technologies. The kingdom of Atlas in particular is known for its technological advances in numerous fields. Most technology is powered by Dust, which is the primary source of energy in Remnant.
One of the most significant examples of Remnant's technology are the weapons of huntsmen and huntresses. Unique weapons are designed and manufactured by their users on an individual basis, and use a variety of techniques to increase their effectiveness, such as in-the-field transformations for versatility, and the harnessing of Dust.
The field of robotics, as well as artificial intelligence, is incredibly advanced in Remnant. Androids built specifically for combat are known to be a mainstay of the Atlesian military, with units such as the Atlesian Knight-130 and Atlesian Knight-200 being capable of operating autonomously. Large human-controlled mechanical suits, such as the Atlesian Paladin-290 are also produced by Atlas. However, the most remarkable achievement in the field of robotics is the creation of androids capable of generating Aura (for which a soul is believed to be necessary). Penny Polendina is the first and currently only such robot known to exist.
Advanced personal electronics are also commonplace. The scroll is a mobile device that serves multiple purposes, including making phone calls, taking photographs, viewing live video feeds, as a form of personal identification, and as a digital data storage device. Furthermore, Scrolls are shown to be invaluable in combat as they can electronically monitor and warn on a combatant's aura deterioration. Holograms are also very common, being used as personal avatars, computer displays, and even as traffic lights and barriers.
Communication and data transmission over vast distances are also possible through the use of the Cross Continental Transmit System. The CCTS was created by the kingdom of Atlas following the Great War as a gift to enable the kingdoms to communicate with each other effectively. Video calls and digital file transfers are some of the capabilities of the CCT, and equivalent technology is available in many places, such as public libraries.
In terms of transportation, land-based transports include standard motor vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles and trains, as well as non-motor vehicles, such as bicycles. Airborne vehicles include enormous passenger Airships, agile VTOL aircraft known as Bullheads, and hoverboards. However, spaceflight is impossible since Dust loses its power once it leaves the atmosphere.
Remnant: The GameEdit
- Main article: Remnant: The Game
The world map of RWBY was created by Monty Oum in 2012. It was based on ketchup smears made on a napkin he was using while at IHOP. Monty also stated that he textured the World Map by taking different pictures of food. The different foods he used included mashed potatoes, steaks, ice cream, bread, corn, cereal, ramen, shrimp, tacos, pizza, lettuce, and possibly bacon.
His creation of the map started with him going to IHOP and squirting ketchup on a napkin then randomizing the blots to form the continents, which he then scanned and edited via Photoshop as a base for the world map.
- Two of the landmasses in the final version of the map closely resemble dragons (both Eastern and Western styled), having serpentine-like bodies with what resembles wings, horns and jaws.
- The dragon continent in the northwest has yet to be named, or even mentioned, either in the main story or in any World Of Remnant episodes.
- Although Menagerie is not a kingdom, it is shown to have a core city and external settlements.
- Remnant has a long, rich history that has been lost to the current inhabitants, hinted at by the quote, "Legends. Stories scattered through time. Mankind has grown fond of recounting the exploits of heroes and villains, forgetting so easily that we are remnants, byproducts, of a forgotten past".
- Remnant was previously called Vytal. When it was changed to Remnant, Vytal became the name of the continent on which Vale is located. Later it was changed again, and Vytal became the island north of Vale.