Falling into the Lands Between

Hoofsteps thundered along dirt that was rapidly giving way to sand. The brown-coated equine with horns upon its head devoured the distance to their rider's destination without tiring, as befitted the spectral steed's status. Riding atop Torrent was a woman clad from the neck down in the pilfered armor of a Cleanrot Knight. The dull-brass colored armor with weathered red and white waist-capes in question had been taken from a corpse after one-too-many encounters with Scarlet Rot throughout the Lands Between. Quite fittingly, the armor of the knights sworn to Malenia was heavily garnished to resist the plague their goddess brought wherever she went. Clasped around her neck was a crimson hood, embroidered with gold patterns on its edges, given to expatriated royalty, once worn by Roderika, before the woman had chosen to discard it when she began to learn spirit-tuning. Beneath the hood was a face with fair skin, and equally red hair, one eye a deep green, and the other a curious shade of off-indigo, nearly hidden by some errant bangs from the mop of crimson atop her head.

Maiela Ashenglow surveyed the beach of Limgrave she was currently riding upon. Among a rapidly growing list of tasks she wanted to complete before taking another crack at Starscourge Radahn, she dimly remembered that she wanted to obtain the ovaries of some adult land-octopi for… something. She was sure she'd remember what she actually desired to do with them once she had them, but first came the task of locating and slaying a few of the massive tentacled monstrosities. Sure enough, one was located quite easily, surrounded by some of its young, though they all had eyes for something much closer than the approaching Tarnished. She'd have to get a bit closer to take in a more detailed appearance, but the bright red cape covering most of what appeared to be a humanoid figure strongly gave Maiela the impression that some poor soul had washed up on the shores of the Lands between, and was about to be devoured by the local wildlife before even regaining consciousness. Narrowing her mismatched eyes, she leveled the Carian regal scepter, even as she spurred Torrent to greater speeds. As soon as she was in range, she began firing glintstone icerags at the juvenile land-octopi, killing all five outright, and immediately diverting the attention of the adult, who had been seconds from snatching the unconscious figure. She rode by the beast's left side, staff held out as she conjured a Carian greatsword, the massive sorcerous blade carving into the creature's side and causing a shriek of pain to erupt from its beaked maw. Blood spilled from the wound as Maiela turned Torrent about, approaching as her foe also twisted to face her as well. As she closed for a head on collision, she holstered her staff, drawing her twinblade in both hands as she leapt from the saddle, Torrent fading away to mist as she did so. Her jumping strike crashed straight into the land-octopus' face, and it recoiled, drawing its head into the mass of tentacles that was its body. Undeterred, she thrust the point of one of the blades into the recess, straight into an eye, and from there to the brain. Twisting the weapon, she wrenched it out, along with a shower of blood. The beast twitched once, and then went still. She'd worry about cutting out its genitals so she could craft something with them later, as now there was suddenly a more pressing concern.

Taking a few rapid steps down the beach, she slid to her knees next to the unconscious figure in red, and immediately noticed two things: One, that the person was female, and two, that they weren't Tarnished. And that gave her pause. While it wasn't quite unheard of, an ordinary human with their wits still about them was a decidedly rare sight in the Lands Between, and when one also factored the outlandish outfit the woman was wearing, it certainly painted a confusing picture. A glint in the sunlight caused her to glance further down the beach, and revealed what appeared to be a very mechanically-complex and strange-looking scythe, and only added to her questions. Deciding to put those to the back of her mind for a moment, she took a closer look at the woman, while turning her to her side and checking for a pulse. She was fair-skinned like herself, if a bit on the pale side, with a mop of spiky, choppy, black neck-length hair that appeared to be dyed red at the tips. Her bangs were currently in front of her eyes, but it was likely that they'd be swept to the side were she awake. She wore a black-red lined lace-up corset, with a quartet of hanging loose over a sleeveless top comprised of a material Maiela couldn't identify, over which was a white, low-cut long-sleeved blouse. Around her neck was some manner of blakc leather collar. Around her waist was a red pleated skirt, split at the side, with a small brown-belted strap across the gap, and bright red pants that ended before the knees beneath it. On her arms were the only pieces of her ensemble that approached actual armor, black bracers with large brown-buckled straps around the wrist as well as black fingerless gloves. Also wrapped about her waist was a brown belt with several strange conical metal objects, with a buckle of an emblem of a rose on it, alongside a pouch on the right side with a different emblem that she couldn't recognize. On her feet were black, thigh-high steel-toe boots with red soles and heels, a single buckled strap, rear-seam and a large brown buckled strap with attached pouches near the top, over a pair of brown tights made of the same material as the sleeveless shirt. And to top it all off, the girl barely looked like she had reached adulthood to begin with.

A groan from the girl indicated she was waking up, and caused Maiela to back away a bit, one hand cautiously grasping her twinblade, ready in the event that this young woman was hostile. Eyes with irises of a shining silver blearily cracked open, and met her own. A heartbeat passed, and then they snapped open fully, the girl sucking in a breath and looking directly at her.

"P-Pyrrha?!" she exclaimed, tears seeming to be brewing in those silver orbs.

Of all the actions she could have taken, mistaking her for someone else was not one that Maiela had been prepared for, and before she could stop herself, she blinked and replied with a confused "Who?"

The girl blinked again taking a more detailed look, and likely noticing the different color of her left eye, blinking away the beginnings of tears and using her hands to push herself to a sitting position. "S-Sorry. I thought you were someone else I knew."

Deciding that for at least the moment, this girl didn't appear to be hostile, she relaxed her guard slightly, and gave a smile. "It's no problem. Though I will admit being mistaken for someone else is a first for me. Maiela Ashenglow, pleased to make your acquaintance."

The girl smiled back weakly. "Ruby Rose." She looked around briefly, spotting the strange scythe down the beach, eyes widening, before she was just… gone. A flash, and a trail of red rose petals, and the girl was drawing the weapon from the sand a good five second-gallop away, pressing a button on it and causing the entire thing to shift and compact into something similar to a box. Maiela's eyes bugged out as the girl then sped back to her, this time witnessing her disintegrate into a cloud of rose petals that flew along the beach before reforming into the woman right in front of her. Seeing her shocked expression, Ruby gave a sheepish grin and said, "Sorry about that. I saw Crescent Rose, and I wanted to get my weapon back after I'd thought I'd lost it for good."

A beat passed before the Tarnished could muster a response. "What? How? Y-you're human, for Marika's sake!"

It was Ruby's turn to blink owlishly at her, before once more her eyes were drawn away, this time her jaw dropping at what she saw. Maiela followed her gaze to see that the object she was so slack-jawed at was the Erdtree in the distance, up on the Altus Plateau. "What is that?" the stranger asked.

"That's… just the Erdtree," Maiela supplied. "How do you not know what it is? Everyone can recognize it."

At that, Ruby's expression changes from shock to something much more troubled. She took a step back, and then forlornly fell back onto her rear. "I… I don't think I'm on Remnant anymore…" she mumbled.

The Tarnished blinked at that particular bit of information. Because that sentence made it sound like this girl had somehow gotten lost in the Lands Between… and had previously been in another world. Her outfit, weapon, reactions, and especially that rose… thing… which certainly wasn't a brand of magic that Maiela could identify, definitely supported that hypothesis. Looking down at the ground for a second, she briefly mulled over her options, before an idea was born and rapidly grew up into a plan.

"Forgive me for interrupting your thoughts," she began, and Ruby looked back up at her, "but if I'm understanding you correctly, you're very lost, correct?" The girl nodded glumly, and Maiela continued. "I don't particularly have anything pressing to do at the moment, and I'll admit that if you're telling the truth, you've definitely piqued my curiosity. And, well, I also saved you from getting munched on by a land-octopus before you woke up, so you kind of owe me." At that she gestured to the dead beast in question, and Ruby's eyes bugged out upon seeing it. "So, why don't you tell me a bit about your predicament, and then I'll take you to the Roundtable Hold to see if anyone there can offer you some manner of aid? I mean, Gideon Ofnir calls himself the 'All-Knowing,' so maybe he could provide some assistance, and Melina's mysterious enough that she might know something. Failing that, if she's awake and you're willing to take the detour to the Carian Manor, it's possible Lady Ranni may be able to aid you." Then, as an afterthought, she muttered, "Though I'm going to have to make it painfully clear to Selevus in no uncertain terms to keep his lecherous eyes away from you." Taking in a breath, she finished with, "But don't worry about that prick, I don't care that we work for the same person, if he tries shit I will stab him. So what do you say?"

Maiela held out a hand. Ruby looked at it for a few seconds, the strange girl seeming to mull over the offer, before taking a breath and nodding, reaching it out with her own and shaking it. "Okay."

"Great! In that case, let me be the first person to welcome you to the Lands Between!" And with that, she hauled the girl back up to her feet, ready to begin this surprise chapter of her adventure. After all, the ovaries could wait. This, on the other hand? This promised to be fun.

A/N: And that's a wrap! So, at the time of uploading this, this is gonna be the first RWBY and Elden Ring crossover on the site, the second Elden Ring crossover on Fanfiction (some guy beat me by seven hours with a Monster Girl Encyclopedia crossover of all things), and the sixth story overall. So, for anyone out of the loop, I have a Dark Souls and RWBY xover in the works (sequel to From Ashes to Dust), and I had put all work on the sequel on hiatus in favor of my first playthrough of Elden Ring. From that, I have a few takeaways. One, I absolutely LOVED IT. Best 180+ hours of gaming I've ever spent, even if seven of those hours was spent on Radahn and four of them were spent on Malenia. Two, Ranni is Best Girl, she gives the best engagement present EVER, and magic builds are awesome. Three: my only complaint that can be placed solely on the game and not myself is that three achievements that I did the requirements for didn't fire… one of which was killing Malenia… and I am not looking forwards to fighting her again. I'd tell the 1k+ damage combo spamming, heal 400-600 HP per-hit, two health-bars bitch to suck my dick, but the cunt would probably give me Scarlet Rot in the process of doing so. Don't get me wrong, she's cool AF, but definitely worst girl. I mean, she has the nerve to brag about having never lost a fight, after getting defeated by Radahn, and having to resort to nuking him with Scarlet Rot to bring the fight to a draw. Yeah, you never lost, because you ran away like a little bitch! And that's why I got no respect for her, while I have mad respect for Radahn (might be my new favorite Souls-genre boss) despite him taking me much longer to beat and putting me through arguably worse stress than Malenia did.

Anyways, with said first playthrough done, I'm going to get back to writing starting tomorrow, though it likely won't be as fast as it was before Elden Ring, because I have at least four more characters planned (Giantdad is back and better than ever. THE LEGEND NEVER DIES!), and I'm definitely not dropping the current best game of the decade just to write more.

But in the meantime, enjoy this little piece… and funnily enough, I already have two very basic ideas for a RWBY and Elden Ring crossover, one set in a scenario like this where RWBY + J + N fall into the Lands Between after V8, and one set shortly before V1 kicks off.