Shade Academy is a Huntsman Academy of the Kingdom of Vacuo. Students from Shade participate in the biennial Vytal Festival combat tournament. The academy's Headmaster is Professor Theodore.


Shade Academy was founded in the Kingdom of Vacuo following the end of the Great War, in order to train Huntsmen and Huntresses to slay the Creatures of Grimm. According to Qrow Branwen, it is the only real source of order in the Kingdom due to the lack of a formal government.

In the past, Jax Asturias was expelled from Shade due to behavior problems. Later, his sister Gillian Asturias along with the rest of their Team defected from Shade to form The Crown. Two members of The Crown, Carmine Esclados and Bertilak Celadon decided to stay at the academy to avoid being suspected of being criminals.

Eighty years after the Great War, students from Shade Academy participated in the 40th Vytal Festival, including teams BRNZ and NDGO. During the Fall of Beacon, Team NDGO decided to flee the conflict rather than help with the situation and most of Team BRNZ is killed in the attack with the exception of Nolan Porfirio.

After the Fall of Beacon, Team CFVY transferred to Shade along with some other students from Beacon Academy.[1] Likewise, following the attack on Haven, Team SSSN and Team ABRN transferred there as well.

Once Carmine and Bertilak were arrested and later broke out, Xanthe Rumpole was sent by Professor Theodore to investigate the Crown and was defeated by Carmine. She was later brainwashed by Jax's Semblance to keep Theodore and the rest of the Academy from investigating The Crown until she was freed by Yatsuhashi Daichi with his Memory Wiping Semblance. Not long after they learn about this and that one of the students in the academy, Umber Gorgoneion, was actually an agent for the organization, the Crown prepared to attack Shade.

The academy was attacked by The Crown, but the students and staff were able to defend it from being toppled, while the invading Grimm helped and were later dealt with as the loyal members of the Crown were arrested while the brainwashed ones were allowed to go free.



Local students are shown to be resentful towards other Kingdoms, only begrudgingly accepting people from Beacon. When Theodore opened Shade Academy to more students from fallen academies, an uproar was caused by current attendees. In addition, they saw students who had transferred as weak. Shade Academy is shown to have much less camaraderie than at Beacon, students do not have much help from others. The idea of praise is seemingly absent and replaced with survival. [2]

Vacuan students are also shown to be extremely rude towards the students who had transferred from other academies, harassing them without any fear of punishment. They are trained to be able to fight until all their Aura is depleted, showing no mercy or weakness. The students generally have a positive view of their Headmaster, cheering for him during assemblies.


Shade classes begin early in the morning, with Professor Xanthe Rumpole teaching an 8am history class and Rowena Sunnybrook teaching weapons training in the sandpit arena.

Dress Code

Uniquely among the main four Huntsman academies, Shade appears to lack a uniform. At Ozpin's speech, students from Shade are seen wearing a range of casual clothes.



Like the city of Vacuo itself, Shade Academy is packed in a lot—vertically—with classrooms and academic spaces in three tiers, and Headmaster Theodore's office at the apex, which also housed the CCT transmitter. Shade Academy, and Theodore himself, were the center of everything in Vacuo holding it all together. [3]

Theodore's Office

Theodore's Office is a large space, led by two large doors in the center of the room. The office has various portraits of members of Ozpin's Group and people dear to Theodore, including:

Since Theodore met Team CFVY, the portraits of Lionheart and Ironwood had been taken down, and Ozpin's portrait had a crack on it after Theodore punched a wall in the room, leaving a crater in its wake.

Rumpole's Office

Xanthe Rumpole's office is described as closest thing to a museum in Vacuo, with pictures and document frames mounted on walls, displays with rocks, ancient weapons, models and dioramas, and yet there wasn't a single thing on her desk to hint at her own history. [4]


In Shade, student desks were arranged in a circle around each teacher's desk, placing students and professors on the same level, and theoretically facilitating discussion.[5]

Outer Wall

Shade's campus is surrounded by a low guard wall to distinguish its borders. It is unable to defend against Dust, but is able to hold against normal gunfire.[6]

Meeting Grounds

A wide open area on the highest level of Shade, where school assemblies are held. The grounds have an artificial oasis evoking Vacuo's original, tropical nature with dense trees and plant life. [7]


Dormitories in Shade are notoriously small with little room for students to relax on their own. Each room has a mere 100 square feet to fit an entire team, leaving little space for personal belongings. [8]There is a large Commons for the dorms, which is used as the main meeting spot for the Beacon Brigade.[9]

Sandpit Arena

Shade has a large sandpit arena used to train students. The arena has collapsible pedestals in the ground that are hidden by the sand, which can rise up to deliver primal weapons to students. [10]


Within Shade's campus, there is a small courtyard with a large fountain at the center.[11]

Shade Academy does not have any lockers, believing that students must carry weapons at all times under the potential threat of danger.[12]

Staff Members

Current Staff

Known Teams

Known Students




  • During the August 21st, 2014 RWBY livestream, Monty Oum forgot the name of Vacuo's Huntsman academy due to being mentally exhausted from the RWBY crunch. To jog his memory, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross began miming "shade".[14]
  • As seen with Shade and Oscuro, combat schools in Vacuo seem to be named after darkness and shelter from sunlight.
  • With Haven's closure due to the death of its headmaster and staff, Atlas Academy being destroyed following the Battle of Atlas, and Beacon being overrun by Grimm, Shade Academy is the last standing academy of the four kingdoms.
  • The picture in Theodore's office of a young girl in a checkered dress holding a pet dog is a reference to Dorothy Gale and Todo from "The Wizard of Oz" due to Dorothy being similarly described in the original book.

Image Gallery


Minor Locations