Heart appears to be a mature looking female with a sharp face, pale complexion, and a slender, but healthy, build. She brandishes a head of matte silver hair which she ties into a blade-like sidetail using a black laced ribbon. Finally, a pair of gold predatory eyes, decorates her visage.
Heart weighs on the lighter side despite her build, making her very agile in combat.
Post - Fall of Beacon
Heart has grown out her hair but still keeps her bladelike hair-style. However, her outfit is more rugged and durable compared to the dainty dress and mismatched leather jacket of the past. Instead, she wears a modified black, full-body leotard, a black corset, a pair of steel reinforced boots, and a fortified, fur-collared, red-leather jacket protected with steel pauldrons on her left arm.
By her right thigh hangs a leather strap carrying several Dust-infused blood vials and the same type of straps can be seen settled on both her shoulders supporting an impressively complicated sheath which holds two swords. Finally, a single fingerless glove lines her right hand.
Pre - Fall of Beacon
She is not very picky with her clothing, or rather she has no concept of what fashion is. This outfit was picked out by her team leader, Asher, and consists of a red-scorched pink dress and a shiny black jacket. A blood red scarf was occasionally wrapped around her waist which she uses to hold her weapon.
If left without supervision, Heart is likely to walk out nude as fashionable clothing is still a relatively new concept for her and thus deems them as optional.
Heart is conservatively arrogant, often wearing a condescending smug on her face wherever she goes. While not talkative outside of her teammates, she often asserts her superiority over others every chance she gets. However, she possesses much respect for those who do not compromise to uphold their own beliefs and values.
Heart can rarely be found alone without Asher or her team. However, when she is alone, she is usually in the cafeteria, selecting various deserts and finger foods to binge eat as she has not experienced such cuisine outside of the standard diet of vegetables and rice.
Post - Fall of Beacon
Heart's dependency on Asher as a parent figure had subsided since his apparent death. While she has grown a bit more social, friendly communication with Heart still yields a consistent lack of decent response, though, her arrogant tone seems to have become less pronounced.
She has dropped her need for acknowledgment of power but still boasts in front of a defeated opponent, while Heart's fits of frustration and hot-blooded nature still exist but do not manifest to an extreme.
Pre - Fall of Beacon
She is an attention seeker at heart, wanting nothing more than the presence of her team and the acknowledgement of her skills. Heart's confidence allows her to be the first to admit superiority and the last to admit defeat.
This stems from her pride in her father and his craftsmanship, and thus she can become too hot-blooded during fights which often risks killing sparring partners. She has had to be restrained on multiple occasions due to this and several conduct reports have been filed against her.
Kazoku (Shiranami and Breaker reforged)
Kazoku is not a single weapon but a collection of two reforged blades, one tainted red, and the other shocked with blue. The weapons are housed within a mechanized sheath crafted from her father's weapon, the Gerbera Breaker.
The red blade was reforged as a traditional katana from Breaker, the last piece by Astray Hāto. It stretches around 80 cm in length and functions as the primary offensive blade used in battle. The sword is accented by its silver coloured pommel and tsuba, as well as its many plated linings.
The blue blade was reforged as a traditional wakizashi from Shiranami, Heart's original training blade. It stands around 45 cm in length and is wielded in her off-hand as a secondary attack option and for guarding or parrying. This sword has no decorated guard but is dependable and sturdy, like its predecessor.
The mechanized dual-sheath housing the two swords sport a custom Dust Injection Engine salvaged from Astray Hāto's Gerbera Breaker, as well as a set of Dust based honer stones along the interior. in addition to protecting the weapons when not in use, as well as keeping its edge every time they are draw, the sheath's Dust Injection Engine provides a much needed tertiary options during battle. It has been modified to accept specific Dust infused blood vials, produced by Heart herself, which can introduce, and concurrently ignite, its interior with the loaded contents.
Heart’s weapon, Shiranami, was not crafted at any established combat academy but by Heart’s father, a lonesome blacksmith who lived in a small village community in the mountains of Vale and a branch family descendant of the mythical swordsmith. The weapon's design is similar to Asher’s weapon, 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 well forged straight, one-handed, long-sword suitable for both thrusting and slicing while Breaker is more a two handed weapon made for crushing.
The guard consists of black, high-carbon steel and white porcelain, which protects the wielders 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 larger and longer compared to traditional long-swords but is not heavier due to it being thinner. However, it is just as strong, maybe even stronger, than conventional blades.
The construction of such a blade lies in the secrets of its crafting method, something that now only lives within Heart's mind and in the grave of her father. She has yet to share his secrets as, unfortunately, scars tend to take time to heal.
The blade is always seen on her person and is kept as a memento as it is the second last piece of metal work her father produced before he passed away.
Fighting Style and Abilities
Despite the drastic change of her weapon and an additional blade, Heart retains her fast and acrobatic fighting-style. She primarily wields the red blade in her right hand, held in the natural grip, and uses it primarily for offensive striking.
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 numbers of combination attacks.
This results in a familiar stance but allows for the addition of faster follow-up and 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 harms way while cutting through the aggressor. This technique is extremely effective against mindless opponents such as Grimm who charge without a second thought but can be easily abused by a fighter of higher technical skill.
Both blades have become quite thin as per the reforging process and while the blue blade is much heavier than the red, they still possess the weaknesses of one-handed weapons stated below.
This style of course relies on the fact that both fighters are perfectly synced and can complement each other. Even a bit of hesitation or distraction can cause serious problems such as decapitation or loss of a weapon. However, since the Fall of Beacon, this styles of combat have deviated and their weapons 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 swordsman 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 and which be much more effective with her blades in hand.
Streaming Heart is Heart's Semblance which allows manipulation of blood through open wounds and cuts. The ability is only limited to blood that is in physical contact with her and can be used to construct crystal structures out of ions in the blood. These crystal can then be utilized for defensive, and even offensive purposes.
The crystals themselves have a select toughness based on contents of the blood. While the crystals can be thought of as lattice structures (like diamond or quartz which are quite strong in a molecular point of view) the presence of iron in the haemoglobin protein (red blood cells) reinforces them further which allows the crystals to display properties akin to flexible steel rather than brittle mineral rocks.
The crystals can be used to form defensive shields, arm-guards, sometimes even whole barriers for protection but since physical contact needs to be maintained, Heart's sword will usually act as an extended conduit for their formation. One can describe the process as if Heart was drawing her movements physically with her swords.
Offensively, Heart's blade can be coated and reinforced with the crystals as they are able to provide an equally sharp cutting edge much superior than steel, the only difference being crystals don't tend to keep their edges well. The crystals' added weight also contributes to more potential power in her sword swings but lowers their speed. Finally, crystals can be manipulated to break off, forming flying knives that pierce flesh quite effectively before dissolving back into its liquid form.
In addition, Heart tends to store excess blood gathered from herself or others in vials. To preserve and sanitize these blood vials, Heart has dissolved measured amounts of Dust as a way of germ killing or pastuerization. This brings an added effect to vialed or prepared blood as the crystals formed reflect the Dust that was used.
Applications in battle include but is not limited to: coating a blade with Dust-infused blood crystals that ignite when Aura is surged through the weapon creating a fire coated blade, explosive crystal throwing knives and explosive barriers. The element is not restricted to Fire Dust but she does prefer it over the rest. She carries up to 10 vials at a time, 4 of which are usually fire based, all of which are single use only.
While a indisputably vile but versatile ability, its effectiveness is limited by its source such the wielder must have a steady source of blood; this can range from an open wound from oneself, others or even several reserve blood-bags or blood-vials as mentioned.
Obvious drawbacks to the Semblance are quite simply that the wielder is "casting from their health" if they were to supply their own source of blood, and repeated uses of this over a long time can cause anemia - a condition which causes increased fatigue and light-headedness due to the lack of blood carrying much needed supplies to the rest of the body.
Another weakness to this is, 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 factor to make the most use of it.
However, the Semblance provides an uncanny vampiric ability for blood rejuvenation to compensate. It allows the restoration of one's blood through the consumption of bio-material. In non-combatant situations, food that contains high levels of metallic ions, such as red meats, livers and dark leafed vegetables, fits the description of "bio-materials". In battle, fresh blood, whether it be an ally's or a foe's, is the most efficient substitute.
The Semblance's attributes also seems to be affected based on Heart’s diet. Should Heart intake high amounts of starchy foods and sweets, giving her a high blood-sugar level, the blood crystals will mostly be sugar crystals. A high sodium diet will produce salt crystals which are around the same strength as sugar crystals, a high iron diet will result in more flimsy and malleable crystals, and a high cholesterol level will produce a flimsy, jelly like substance.
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.
Things must convey on the craftsman; that is wear true beauty lies, but when the craftsman tries to convey themselves into things, that is delusion.
While most weapons are made with high-quality materials and 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 bloom steel, called tamahagane, with various levels of carbon.
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 steal, 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 steel.
With both types of steal 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.
Heart was the result of an arranged marriage of a mountain blacksmith, and the daughter of a fisherman. The blacksmith was part of a small village that lived in the mountain regions of Vale and made his living off of making and repairing tools for the villagers. Having heard legends of Kikimi Chitan, a mythical swordsmith, his twelve equally mythical blades, and his lineage supposedly tracing to Heart's father, visitors from foreign lands would often seek him out and request weapons from him. While not incorrect, the father's traced lineage only traces to Kikimi Chitan's lover, not the legendary smith himself.
Heart’s mother died birthing her, leaving her father as the sole caretaker. Having no knowledge of proper parenting the father neglected to give Heart a name, as only he and she lived in their household. The father still loved his daughter very much, however, but knowing only of smithing, he taught Heart the art at an early age. Being a bladesmith as well as a swordsman, a result of his early days as one of many first generation Hunters, 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 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.
During Heart’s twelfth 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 the father to supply weapons for them, or, to hand over his forging techniques; in exchange, proper compensations would be provided. The father complied at first, tempted by the offer of money, but grew to resent his decision with every weapon he made. He somehow knew that the pieces he forged were used unjustly and for malicious purposes rather than respected as art or the preservation of life. His eventual refusal ultimately lead to his assassination.
Stricken with grief and with nowhere else to return to, Heart left her home with her no goal but her sword in hand. She proceeded to wander for five years; out growing her clothes which forced her to salvage rags from some town dumps and steal food from villages she was chased out of. However, this was the least of her hardships, as she even had to defend herself from the Grimm infested wilderness. Despite being gone, her father still manages to teach and protect his daughter through the care he put into her sword, with each encounter with the Grimm became lessons of which she took to heart.
When Heart reached the outskirts of the City of Vale at the age of 17, the organization which had killed her father, the White Truth, had located her and deduced Heart's relation as the living relative of the blacksmith they murdered many years ago. Rayne Annarosé, an up coming operative in their ranks with an impressive success record, was sent to eliminate her.
Heart, malnourished and weak, confronted Rayne in a one-sided battle which left her at an inche of her life. Left to die, a chance meeting with Asher C. Stahl, a student who lived close-by, saved her life by unknowingly activating his aura and executing his Semblance which blew him into a two-day coma. Heart survived that night and both were discovered by a passing Beacon Academy airship on its way back from an Initiation. It is here that Asher gave her the name Heart out of a gut feeling.
After those events, Heart remained at Asher's household, where they were soon re-acquainted with Rayne Annarosé, working as a cashier, while wardrobe shopping for Heart. Dumbfounded at Heart's survival, Rayne promised Asher and Heart their inevitable deaths.
Knowing full well of Rayne’s fighting superiority, Heart wasted no time to formulate a survival plan for both her and Asher. She led him to her former home in the mountains to begin training. It is there that Asher found his 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."
Rayne attacked the pair during their last training session, causing a desperate fight for survival and ending with a wounded Rayne by Asher's hands. Now disabled, Heart desired revenge on Rayne but Asher intervened, feeling responsible and not willing to cross the line, he insisted she be spared and rescued Rayne back to his home where he nursed her back to health despite Heart’s extremely vocal protests.
After these events, Heart remained at the Stahl's residence, with Asher returning to school along with Rayne. She grew restless, however, and proceeded seek out Asher during school time in hopes of entertainment. However, she discovered a fight in which Asher was targeted by a group of twenty operatives dressed in a similar white cloak Rayne wore, and Rayne, not in the greatest condition, defending him. Heart intervened along with Tana Bunsen, a powerful Faunus girl whom Asher and Rayne befriended during Rayne's recovery. The four simultaneously took on the twenty operatives as a proto-team and successfully defeated them.
The story was covered up for privacy reasons and Heart continued to live in the Stahl residence afterwards. Several weeks later, she would be confronted by the headmaster of Beacon Academy, Ozpin, and offered a place in his Huntsman Academy along with Asher, Rayne, and Tana.
She would later join Team HART as a student of Beacon with Asher as leader of the team.
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 fight.
It was after during the calm which a White Truth squadron, lead by Selena Schiess, took Rayne Annarosé hostage and escaped via a heavily modified Altesian dropship. The team leader, Asher, managed to board as well 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 his sword, Breaker, with Heart.
Disheartened 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 Hunter weapon and the many manuscripts that detailed her father's past. Rekindled by her father yet again, she relit her father's forge and spent the 6 months recreating her weapon and training against the wildlife to further her skills.
Heart's deceased father, local blacksmith of a village located in the mountains of Vale, descendant of Kikimi Chitan's lover and assassinated by White Truth operatives 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 Hunter known as Astray Hāto, one of the very first in the war against Grimm. He secluded himself in the mountains after his retirement as he wished for a peaceful life where he could satisfy the craftsman in his blood, something the Hunter's life will never provide.
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 savior and her first true friend. However, she herself feels guilty for burdening Asher with her homelessness, lack of a family, and general ignorance of the new world; 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 as to lighten his burden.
To her, Asher is the closest thing to family she has.
The girl who almost killed her. Heart dislikes Rayne with a passion. She will refuse any request or offering from Rayne and attempts to make everything as difficult as she possible can for her. Of course, she knows this has its limits and will not take such childish actions under serious and dangerous circumstances. She respects Rayne and her dominance in the battlefield, however, and openly hints that given the choice, she would not take Rayne on seriously as they would both, "lose and eye."
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 "girly" side emerges.
Heart is unaware of Rayne's involvement in the murder of Tana's parents.
- Hearts usually note the colour red, but Heart's colour is purple, resembling a bruised surface or stagnant blood.
- Heart's design is modeled 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 newer outfit 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 as well as the Chikage and Rakuyo from the FromSoftware game, Bloodborne
- Her origin closely resembles that of Shigure Kosaka from History's Strongest Disciple, Kenichi; while the meeting of Heart and Asher is designed around 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 daughter of a dying mountain blacksmith as well as the adopted daughter of a weapon's 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 current weapon, Kazoku, means "Family" to fit with her character development