Heart is a mature looking female with a sharp face, pale complexion, and a slender, but healthy, build. A black lace ties her matte silver hair into a blade-like sidetail, and her eyes are a lustrous gold.
Heart weighs on the lighter side despite her build, making her very agile in combat.
Pre - Fall of Beacon
Heart was not picky with her clothing as she had no concept of fashion at the time. The outfit consisted of a form-fitting top, a mid-riff leather jacket and a ragged pink skirt, with a single red line slicing through it, held up by a black leather belt. A blood red sash was occasionally wrapped around her waist which she used to hold her weapon.
When left without supervision, Heart was likely to walk out nude as fashionable clothing was an alien concept for her.
Post - Fall of Beacon
Heart has grown out her hair but still keeps her blade-like hairstyle. However, her outfit has become rugged and durable, compared to the roughed-up skirt, and mismatched leather jacket of the past.
Instead, she wears a full-body black leotard with its left legging removed, a black corset, a pair of reinforced boots, and a red, fur-collar jacket outfitted with steel armour on its left sleeve.
By her right thigh sits a leather strap carrying several Dust-infused blood vials; the same type of straps fasten an elaborately engineered sheath to her shoulders. Finally, a single fingerless glove lines her right hand.
Heart is conservatively arrogant, often wearing a condescending grin wherever she goes. Unless she is asserting her fighting prowess, she remains nonvocal in most conversations.
Pre - Fall of Beacon
Heart was an attention seeker and wanted nothing more than the presence of her team and their acknowledgement. Heart's confidence allowed her to be the first to admit superiority and the last to admit defeat.
Her personality stemmed from her pride in her father. This pride sometimes caused her to become lethal during fights; this fact often risked serious injury of her sparring partners and several conduct reports had been filed against her.
Heart was rarely found without her teammates or her partner, Asher. However, when she was alone, Heart was usually in the cafeteria, bingeing on desserts and junk food. She could sometimes be found in the school workshop as well; there, she practiced and refined her forging techniques before destroying her creations.
Post - Fall of Beacon
Heart's dependency on Asher as a parent figure has subsided since his assumed death, and while she has grown a bit more social, friendly communication with Heart still yields a consistent lack of engaged response.She has dropped her need for the acknowledgment of her skills, and her arrogant mindset seems to have become less pronounced. However, she continues to boast in front of a defeated opponent. Heart's fits of frustration and hot-blooded nature still exists but do not manifest as often or to an extreme.
Kazoku (Shiranami and Breaker reforged)
Kazoku is not a single weapon but a pair of asymmetrical swords, one red, one blue. They reside within the mechanized sheath crafted from her father's sword, the Gerbera Breaker.
The red blade is a traditional katana, forged using the sword Breaker. It stretches around 80 cm in length and is the primary weapon. The sword is accented by its silver coloured pommel and tsuba, as well as its many panel linings.
The blue blade is a traditional wakizashi, forged using her old training sword - Shiranami. It is shorter than the red sword, standing around 45 cm in length and is held in her off-hand. This sword has no decorated guard but is dependable and sturdy, like its predecessor.
The mechanized dual-sheath housing the swords sports the re-purposed Dust Injection Engine (DIE) from the Gerbera Breaker, as well as a set of Dust based honer stones along the interior which keep the blades in shape.
In addition to protecting the weapons, the DIE provides elemental options during battle by efficiently introducing Dust onto the swords as they are drawn; it accepts Dust crystals, powders, and custom Dust-infused blood vials used by her Semblance.
Heart usually carries only 10 pure Dust vials on her person with a preference for Fire Dust. Each vial contains enough charge to be used 4 times consecutively. Separately, she carries 5 blood Dust vials for her Semblance.
Shiranami (Salvaged)Shiranami was not crafted at any established combat academy but by Heart’s father, Astray Hāto. The weapon's design is similar to the sword, Breaker, but the blade is not as broad and the length is slightly shorter. It is approximately 70 centimetres in length and 4 centimetres in width.
It should be considered a one-handed, long-sword suitable for both thrusting and slashing while the Breaker is more a two-handed weapon made for cleaving.
The guard consists of black, high-carbon steel and white porcelain, which protects the wielder's hand, while the blade body has been tempered to a cool electric blue. The weight of the sword is slightly lighter than most of its size as it was made for her when she was quite young. By comparison, Shiranami looks much longer compared to traditional long-swords but it is not heavier due to it being thinner. Its construction lies in the secrets of its crafting method, and Heart has yet to share her father's secrets.
The sword was always seen on her and is kept as a memento of her father.
Fighting Style and Abilities
Heart's uses fast and acrobatic movements to take advantage of a fighter's vertical blind spot. The goal is to start fast and end faster so that a new threat can be dealt with without wasting much time and energy tactically defeating enemies individually.
She shows true swordsmanship, refusing to fight someone unarmed (even if that's their style) and possessing honour and respect in every fight she participates in. However, Heart has no intention to let her opponent(s) escape without leaving several thousand cuts as a souvenir. Every opponent she faces is fair game to her as long as she deems them worthwhile.
Despite the drastic change of an additional blade, Heart retains her initial fighting-style. She primarily wields the swords one at a time, favouring the red blade over the blue one but can wield both when feeling aggressive.
In the case of dual wielding, she wields the red blade in her right hand, held in the natural grip, and uses it primarily for offensive striking while in her left, she wields the blue blade, held in the ice pick grip, and uses it as a follow-up or parrying. She can easily reverse any of these grips to provide countless angles of combination attacks.
In addition, Heart has developed a defensive-offensive technique with Kazoku which she coined the "Cross Dance". The technique requires a rooted stance with both swords sheathed but plays on narrowly rolling out of harm's way while unsheathing and slashing through the aggressor. This technique is effective against aggressive opponents with predictable patterns. However, keen opponents may be able to strategize around this technique quite easily.
While Heart has become more proficient since The Fall, Kazoku still possesses the weaknesses of one-handed weapons stated below.
A two-handed grip was commonly used with Shiranami and positioning played a key role as well. Heart always maked the effort to keep the weapon between herself and her opponent, a proper approach that kept the dangerous parts of her weapon pointing towards something she desires to be eliminated without exposing herself.
A shorter and thinner sword provides much faster swing speeds and greatly improves stamina conservation. However, since it lacks reach and weight, the weapon must be used at a closer range and cannot stagger opponents.
When Heart was around Asher, her fighting style changed to suite well with Asher and vice versa. They often feinted swings at each other to hit enemies behind the partner or tossed weapons, sometimes even each other to and from the battlefield.
The two shared their weapons during this style of fighting and their techniques ranged from a mix of switching blades, dual wielding and barehanded fighting. This style relies on the fact that both fighters are perfectly synchronized with adequate spacing; even the slightest mistiming can result in injury.
However, since the Fall of Beacon, both Heart's and Asher's styles and weapons have become too different to perform this feat. In a sense, Heart herself has embodied this style of fighting.
Heart's unarmed fighting style resembles that of Karate but is, in reality, swordplay without the use of a sword.
Good swordsmen are not defined by the weapon they wield by rather the techniques they use. In this case, should Heart ever be disarmed, a Karate-like style of combat would be applied - with her arms mimicking that of a sword and her hands open to mimic an edge.
However, she is in no way the most optimally offensive in this state.
Semblance: Streaming Heart
Heart's Semblance, Streaming Heart, allows the manipulation and crystalization of blood.
The ability is only limited to blood that is in physical contact with her and can be used to construct crystaline structures. The strength of the crystals is comparable to diamonds is equally as brittle.
The obvious drawback to the Semblance is the availability of the resource. Heart can supply her own source of blood in real-time, but continuous blood-letting can cause anemia - a condition which causes increased fatigue and light-headedness - which can prove fatal in battle. Furthermore, in order to maintain access to blood using the self-source method, the wound supplying the blood cannot be allowed to heal. This means the user must turn off their Aura’s natural healing to make the most use of it.
Heart's solution is to draw and store blood when not in combat. She usually carries 5 blood vials with her at all times; the blood is spiked with Dust to keep them from coagulating and provides elemental properties to the crystals formed from them. This allows blood-letting to be an emergency option.
Simple objects like small shields and arm-guards can be created relatively easily and with little blood; one vial has enough to make 10 of these objects.
Similarly, Heart's swords can be coated with the crystals as they provide a molecularly sharper edge far superior to steel, the only difference being crystals do not keep their edges well. A single vial contains 20 coatings; the Dust within the coatings can also be activated via Aura and enchant the sword with its respective element.
Crystals can also be manipulated to break off mid-swing, forming flying explosive knives. Each coating forms 3 projectiles.
The most expensive option is the formation of whole barriers; each barrier costs one whole vial but has powerful defensive capabilities due to the spiked Dust turning it into explosive reactive armour.
Skill: Hāto Sword-Making Techniques
The difference between this process versus normal forging is the focus on the craftsman's ability rather than the craft itself. The mindset of a Hāto Style practitioner must see that every object has a Kokoro, heart, and thus has its own kami, spirit. It is the craftsman's job to recognize the heart and express it in his work.
ProcessWhile most weapons are made with high-quality materials and with electric or Dust powered furnaces, the Hāto Sword-Making Philosophy completely disregards the quality of the materials but focuses on the methods of fabrication. In the cases of Shiranami, Breaker, Gerbera Breaker, and now, Kazoku Shiranami, the weapons start as low-quality metallic salts from the remote mountains of Vale.
To extract the metals from the oxide, a clay furnace, called a Tatara, is constructed over a span of 4 weeks with massive amounts of coal to fuel it. The temperature must then be maintained for 72 hours with occasional additions of the ore and coal. This process of extruding metal allows it to slowly pick up carbon as it smelts, resulting in a bloom steel, called tamahagane, with various levels of carbon concentration.
The bloom steel is then broken, refined and consolidated through more heating and manual hammering resulting in tiles of raw steel, the process is called tunren. The consolidated tiles are then broken to identify the type of steel they fall into. The tiles that bend are low carbon steel, shingane, which will be used as the heart of the sword, and the tiles that crack cleanly are high carbon steel, kawagane, which will form the blade of the sword.
The tiles are then stacked selectively, covered with a cloth to stop the tiles from shifting, and drenched in clay to prevent oxidation. Both types of steel form separate stacks and are heated to welding temperature before being hammered and folded. The folding process strengthens the steel, releases impurities within the metal and redistributes the carbon for a more uniform metal.
With both types of steel made, the kawagane will be made into a jacket with the shingane sandwiched in the middle. This completes the blank as the combined steel can be forged into any bladed weapon with a soft heart and a hardened exterior.
This process does not necessarily produce the best quality weapons, but rather, the best of what the materials given can become with time and patience poured into them, which in most cases is more than enough to make-up for the starting material's short-comings.
HistoryHeart was the result of an arranged marriage between Astray Hāto, a blacksmith, and Shui Onako, a fisherman's daughter. Her parents lived in a small village located in the mountainous regions of Vale. Heart's father was a foreigner in the village, but was welcomed as part of the community due to his trade. However, visitors from foreign lands would often seek him out and request weapons from him after having heard legends of Kikimi Chitan; a mythical swordsmith, his twelve equally mythical blades, and his lineage supposedly tracing to Astray. While technically correct, his traced lineage only ties him to Kikimi Chitan's lover, not the mythical smith himself. Astray would refuse their requests unfailingly.
Heart’s mother died birthing her, leaving her father as the sole caretaker. Having no knowledge of proper parenting, Heart's father neglected to give her a name as only he and she lived in their household. Nonetheless, Astray loved her, but knowing only smithing, he taught Heart the art at an early age. Being a bladesmith as well as a swordsman by birth, he opted to craft a simple, well-made, and lightweight sword for his daughter. He named it Shiranami in remembrance of his late wife who always dreamed of the sea's crashing waves. He unlocked her Aura, taught her how to properly wield her blade and bestowed the secrets of his craft to her.
On Heart’s 12th birthday, her father was visited by several individuals of the White Truth cult, a group of fanatical militarists disguised as a religious group, who demanded weapons from him in exchange for proper compensations. Astray complied at first, tempted by the large sum of money, but grew to resent his decision with every weapon he made. His refusal ultimately lead to his death and Heart, orphaned.
With little choice, she left home with sword in hand but no goal in mind; wandering the outskirts of Vale for 5 years alone, facing unimaginable challenges along the way.
At the age of 17, Heart was forced to enter the City of Vale due to the increase in Grimm activity. Consequently, she instantly became a target by the White Truth. Rayne Annarosé, an upcoming operative in their ranks, was sent to eliminate her. They would clash several times over a week with Heart ultimately being defeated.
However, she was saved through a chance meeting with Asher C. Stahl, a high school student, where he unknowingly awaken his Aura and Semblance. Although, it rendered both unconscious for several hours until a bystander found and transported them to the local hospital.
After their recovery, Heart was given her name and a home by Asher. However, they were soon re-acquainted with Rayne Annarosé during an outing. Dumbfounded at Heart's survival, Rayne promised the them their deaths.
This prompted Heart to take Asher to her village home in the mountains in the hopes of saving him. It was there that Asher found the blade, Breaker, in the hidden basement of the home along with a note, written by Heart’s father, addressed to whoever found it, stating it is "the blade that will make all those who oppose [his] daughter’s right to live burn."
4 days after the pair's arrival, Rayne attacked, but the conflict ended in her crippling defeat. With Rayne incapacitated, Heart desired revenge on her, but Asher intervened as we was not willing kill a person. He insisted Heart spare her, to which Heart reluctantly agreed, and Rayne was nursed back to health.
A week after Rayne's defeat, Heart remained at the Stahl residence as Asher and Rayne returned to their studies, but she had grown restless. Heart then sought out Asher during school time in hopes of entertainment. However, she discovered a fight taking place upon arrival in which Asher was targeted by a group of White Truth operatives, and Rayne, still injured, desperately defending him. Heart intervened along with Tana Bunsen, a Faunus girl whom Asher and Rayne befriended during Rayne's recovery, and the four dealt with the operatives, successfully defending the school.
Several weeks after the attack, she was confronted by the headmaster of Beacon Academy, Ozpin, who offered her a place in his Huntsman Academy along with Asher, Rayne, and Tana, resulting in the formation of Team HART.
Battle of Beacon and Post - Fall of Beacon
During the attack on Beacon Academy, Heart and her team found themselves defending and evacuating the workers of a student shopping district. Despite fending off most of the Grimm, one team member, Tana Bunsen, was critically injured during the evacuation effort.
It was during the calm that a White Truth squadron, led by Selena Schiess, took Rayne Annarosé hostage and escaped via a hijacked Altesian dropship. Asher, managed to board the ship in an attempt to save Rayne but was ejected from the aircraft almost 10 stories in the air, falling presumably to this death. Before he did, however, he had left the sword, Breaker, with Heart.
Distraught at the loss of family yet again, she retreated to the mountains where her home resided, carrying both her father's swords. It is there that she found her father's Huntsman weapon and the many manuscripts that detailed her father's past and her lineage. Rekindled by her father yet again, she re-lit their forge and created her weapon out of the two swords she possessed. She spent 6 months training against the wildlife to further her skills.
Homecoming - Team HART Manga
After 6 months, Heart returned to the City of Vale where she visited the Heart à la Mode Café everyday until finally reuniting with her teammates.
Dead Potential - Alternate History
10 years after the Fall of Beacon, the Vale Council, after the multiple failed recovery attempts of Beacon Academy grounds, has long since abandoned its citizens to fend for themselves. However, a mysterious military company claiming to be from Atlas, the ASTREA Corps., has managed to take back the City of Vale from the Creatures of Grimm. Of the drastic changes to the landscape and the laws, the most notable was the presence of an almost supernatural phenomenon known only as, Maelstrom.
Heart's deceased father, local blacksmith of a small village located in the mountains of Vale, a descendant of Kikimi Chitan's lover, and assassinated by White Truth via poisoning that was masked as a terminal illness. His name is unknown to most nor does he ever write or speak it. In his village, he is simply known as the "Blacksmith" and to Heart, "Father". Being the only family Heart had since birth, Heart has deep feelings for her father despite his lack of knowledge in raising a child. Like any patriarch, he cared deeply for Heart and the feelings are mutual.
He was a former Huntsmen known as Astray Hāto, one of the very first in the war against the Creatures of Grimm, and the former heir to the Hāto clan, an indigenous group of blacksmiths native to Mistral . He secluded himself in the mountains after his retirement as he wished for a peaceful life where he could satisfy the craftsman in him, something the Huntsman's life never provided.
The boy who saved her life the night Rayne Annarosé attacked her. Asher was the one who gave Heart her name as well as food and shelter. Heart feels eternally indebted to him as her saviour and her first friend. However, at times she feels guilty for the burden of her homelessness, lack of a family, and general ignorance of the new world towards him; this results in frequent unconscious actions where she performs unfavorably in front of Asher in the hopes that Asher would leave her or clashes where Heart insists she disappear from Asher's life.
To her, Asher is the closest thing to family she has.
As to Rayne's romantic relationship with Asher, Heart has no opinions on the matter.
The petite girl with a fiery and immature personality. Heart tolerates Tana and even considers her as her little pet. Heart likes to act reserved around her but any attempts to do so seems to end in failure and her more caring and feminine side emerges.
Heart is unaware of Rayne's involvement in the murder of Tana's parents.
Her feelings towards Tana have not changed despite her growth after the Fall of Beacon.
- Hearts usually note the colour red, but Heart's colour is purple, resembling a bruised surface or stagnant blood.
- Heart's design is modelled and based off of Shinobu Oshino or Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, specifically the teen-aged version of her, Teenobu, from the Monogatari Series.
- The post-Fall design was inspired by the Silver Fox Set of the devCAT MMORPG, Vindictus
- Both the weapon and the sheath are inspired by YUCCA-612/neco's art pieces while the Semblance is inspired by the Chikage and Rakuyo from FromSoftware game, Bloodborne
- Her origin is loosely based off of Shigure Kosaka from History's Strongest Disciple, Kenichi
- The meeting of Heart and Asher is based off of the meeting of Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade and Koyomi Araragi from the Monogatari Series.
- Both of the characters Heart was designed with are master swords-woman
- Shigure was the daughter of a dying mountain blacksmith as well as the adopted daughter of a weapon master
- Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade is a vampire of 500+ years of age with an unknown royal origin and is akin to a god
- Heart was the thought process of how to incorporate my anger and passion as a theme in a character
- Her former weapon, Shiranami, means "Wave Breaker" or "White-Crested Waves" which is also a euphemism for "thief"
- Her post-Fall weapon, Kazoku, means "Family" to fit with her character development