I don't care about Salem! But I owe Cinder everything. You want to fight her that bad? Be my guest.

—Emerald, to Ruby Rose

Emerald Sustrai is an antagonist in RWBY. She is an associate of Cinder Fall and the partner of Mercury Black.

History Edit

Background Edit

Emerald lived in a city before being recruited by Cinder Fall. She lived day to day without a guarantee of enough food, always resorting to stealing to get by. Cinder saw her use her Semblance to steal a ring from a jeweler and asked her to come with her, guaranteeing a source of food. Cinder later recruited Mercury Black, and the three have traveled together since.

The trio first appealed to the White Fang's Adam Taurus, proposing an alliance. However, they were turned down. But, the three were able to ambush and sap Amber of half her Maiden abilities, before retreating due to the timely intervention of Qrow Branwen.

They were able to leverage Adam into their alliance after defeating all the members in his camp. Adam was forced to accept the offer, where the three would provide him with resources, such as Dust and funding, with Emerald presenting a briefcase full of crystals, or face death if he refused.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Beginning of the End"


Touring Vale Edit

Emerald appears lost and runs into the Shopkeep of the newly reopened From Dust Till Dawn, asking for directions to a certain address. As she rounds a corner, Mercury states that he knew she was lost and she offers to pay him to be quiet using the money she stole from the shop owner. They arrive at a book store owned by a Faunus named Tukson.

Emerald begins to ask if he has certain books because of his shop's catchphrase, but she eventually asks him for a book he doesn't have. Things turn serious as Emerald reveals that she knows he is planning on running from the White Fang and that he knows why they are there. She asks him if he is planning to fight back and he shouts "Yes" before lunging at her. She ducks under him and Mercury kicks him out of the air, killing him instantly.

Emerald and Mercury return to Roman Torchwick's base, and he questions where they were all day, taking the address from Emerald's pocket without her noticing. Emerald and Mercury confirm that they were cleaning up Roman's mess. When Roman threatens them, Cinder appears, and Emerald informs her that they killed Tukson, but Cinder seems more annoyed at their actions as it risks ruining her plan. Emerald then leaves with Cinder but shows Roman that she had managed to steal his lighter.

After the events involving Tukson, Emerald is seen with Mercury and Cinder inside Beacon Academy, the latter of whom bumps into a running Ruby Rose. Cinder helps her up but tells her to mind where she is going. She is then redirected with Mercury and Cinder by Ruby who points them in the direction of their building as transfer students.

Emerald is first seen observing a battle between Pyrrha Nikos and Team CRDL, and later Pyrrha against Mercury. Later that day, in a dorm room with Cinder and Mercury, they all begin to talk about Pyrrha's semblance, and how skilled she is, as also listening to Cinder's plan.

During the Beacon Dance, Emerald and Mercury enter the ballroom together. From here, the duo spends the evening keeping track of the attendees, watching to see if anyone could interfere with Cinder's infiltration of the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower. At one point, Emerald warns Cinder that James Ironwood is leaving to check on the tower. However, Cinder is able to finish her task and return to the dance before he can see her. Emerald then lets Cinder take her place as Mercury's dance partner for the remainder of the evening.

During the events of "Breach", Emerald assists Teams RWBY and JNPR in killing Grimm. She easily slays an Ursa using her weapons and is seen after the battle, smiling with Ruby. She is later present as Adam Taurus appears by Cinder's side, explaining that the Faunus will listen to him, despite numerous losses in the caves during "No Brakes".

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Best Day Ever"
  • "Welcome to Beacon"
  • "Extracurricular"
  • "Burning the Candle"
  • "Dance Dance Infiltration"
  • "Breach"

Vytal Festival Tournament Edit

At the Vytal Festival fairgrounds, Emerald steals Ruby's wallet before returning it to her. She strikes up a friendly conversation with Team RWBY, and it is revealed that she is participating in the tournament alongside Mercury, Cinder and an undercover Neo Politan. After exchanging pleasantries with Team RWBY, she turns to Mercury and expresses her distaste for all of them, telling him she cannot stand how they always seem so cheery. However, she also shares the intel they had been sent to get: Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long will be fighting in round two. Emerald, Mercury and Cinder are then seen spectating the match between Team JNPR and Team BRNZ.

Emerald is later seen at Cinder's dorm room when Mercury reports Qrow's presence at Beacon Academy. She asks Cinder if they need to change their plans, but Cinder tells them that they will stay the course. After Cinder gains access to Ironwood's Scroll, she tells Emerald and Mercury to return to their dorms. Cinder then engineers the next match of the Vytal Festival tournament doubles round: Emerald and Mercury against Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY. Emerald and Mercury easily win the match.

After Mercury "loses" his match against Yang and has his leg broken by her apparently unprovoked, Emerald calls out his name and immediately rushes to his side, apparently showing concern for him. This was ultimately revealed to be an illusion created by Emerald, designed to trick Yang into attacking.

She is later seen in an unknown location, leaving Mercury behind. Cinder and Emerald head back to the Vytal Festival.

Ruby sees Emerald in the front row of the Colosseum for the match between Pyrrha and Penny Polendina, even though Ruby was told Mercury's team all went back to Mistral the previous night. Emerald uses her Semblance to make Pyrrha hallucinate during the conflict, with the latter seeing thousands of Penny's swords, over the dozen or so there actually are. This results in Pyrrha panicking, and overusing her Semblance, causing Penny's weapons to tangle around her limbs and body, quickly tearing her apart. Soon after, Emerald leaves the grandstands of Amity Colosseum.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Round One"
  • "It's Brawl in the Family"
  • "Lessons Learned"
  • "Fall"
  • "Beginning of the End"
  • "PvP"

Attack on Beacon Edit

Emerald is seen on a rooftop with Cinder and Mercury, expressing a hint of remorse at the destruction caused by the chaos. Suddenly, she is interrupted by the arrival of the Wyvern, as she remains on the rooftop.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Battle of Beacon

After the Fall of Beacon Edit

After the fall of Beacon, Emerald is seen present in the Land of Darkness surveying its surroundings and accompanying Cinder alongside Mercury. She acts as Cinder's voice due to the loss of her own speaking capabilities. When a Seer enters the room during Cinder's treatment, Emerald reacts to it with disgust and fear.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "The Next Step"
  • "Of Runaways and Stowaways"

Mission to Haven Academy Edit

Emerald, Mercury, Cinder and Arthur Watts arrive at Raven Branwen's bandit camp under orders from Salem to convince them to cooperate with plans. They tell Raven to bring Vernal as the Spring Maiden to Haven Academy to unlock its Relic's chamber. After negotiations, Emerald and the group return to a ship where they take rest.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Rest and Resolutions"
  • "A Perfect Storm"

Attack on Haven Edit

Emerald accompanies Cinder as she leads the assault at Haven and later stops Ruby from helping Jaune. As they fight, Emerald reveals to Ruby that she does not care for working for Salem, but owes Cinder everything. When Ruby unleashes her powers to stop Cinder from harming Jaune, Emerald quickly knocks her out, though Cinder has been already been affected by the power. Later, when Yang attempts to stop Cinder from reaching the vault, Emerald and Mercury prevent her from doing so with the former casting hallucinations of the latter onto Yang. Throughout the fight, the pair have the upper hand with Emerald casting a hallucination of Raven and Mercury following up with a surprise attack. But before she can finish Yang off, Emerald is forced back by Ruby. After the four of them fight, Emerald and Mercury try to stop Yang from going down to the vault, but to no avail.

Emerald and Mercury continue fighting alongside Hazel until they are left exhausted by the combined efforts of Ruby, Blake, and Weiss. Defiant to the end, Emerald insists that Cinder will return with the Relic and stop all of them, only to witness Yang return from the vault alone with the Relic. Devastated by Cinder's apparent defeat, Emerald drops to her knees and sheds tears over the loss of her master. She then screams in agony as she unleashes a terrifying illusion of Salem that overtaxes her Semblance and causes her to pass out. The distraction allows Mercury and Hazel to retreat, with Hazel carrying an unconscious Emerald over his shoulder.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "The More the Merrier"
  • "Vault of the Spring Maiden"
  • "Downfall"
  • "Haven's Fate"

After the Attack on Haven Edit

One month after the Battle of Haven, Emerald's image is shown on a newscast as one of the perpetrators of the attack on the academy. Arriving back at Salem's palace, Emerald is easily irritated by Tyrian Callows when he mocks Cinder. She lashes back at the Faunus only for him to remind her that she no longer has her master for protection. Later, Emerald is forced by an intimidating and angered Salem to admit that Cinder is the one responsible for the defeat back in Haven. She and Mercury are later shocked when they learn from Salem that Cinder is alive, but Salem states that she cannot return until she redeems herself. After Hazel reveals that Ozpin is having the Relic of Knowledge taken to Atlas, all of Salem's subordinates are ordered to leave the room. As the doors are about to close, Emerald looks back in horror at Salem who is about to unleash her rage.

Some time later, Emerald asks Mercury why he joined Cinder on the night they find him, only to find his answer vague that it was because of his assassin skills. Dissatisfied, Emerald questions why they are with Salem as she considers Cinder the only family she ever had and feels lost without her master. But she is angered when Mercury blatantly tells her that Cinder never cared for either of them and that she is having an "identity crisis", causing her to attack her partner. After an exchange of blows, the pair is confronted by Tyrian, who mocks them for not loving what they are doing. Emerald asks sarcastically if they should just leave, to which the Faunus mockingly says no. The pair then learns that Tyrian and Watts are leaving for Atlas by Salem's order. Before Emerald can find out why, the Faunus is called away by the doctor, leaving the pair to look on with disgust. Later, Emerald finds Mercury at the meeting chamber. She tries to apologize to Mercury, but notices the horrified look on his face and finds Salem outside creating Beringels with wings. Hazel then explains to the two with an old saying about someone should do it themselves if they want something done right.

Episodes Covering These Events
  • "Uncovered"
  • "So That's How It Is"
  • "Lost"
  • "Our Way"

Appearance Edit

Emerald is a young woman with medium-brown skin and dark-red eyes. Her hair is a light, mint-green with a straight fringe and bangs as well as two long locks on each side in the back. She wears two bronze-colored rings on her middle fingers as well as a pair of strappy high-heeled pumps.

Originally, her attire consisted of an intricate white top and an olive-colored crop top, on the back of which is her personal emblem. This emblem is in the shape of a cut gem, most likely referring to her name. This was intended to be accompanied by white shorts, decorated with what appears to be a gold coin-plated belt with four gold chains draping around her back from two of the coins and what seems to be a green loincloth.

She also wore a gold, three-ring armband on her left arm and a string of gold beads near the same wrist. As of Volume 2, her outfit has changed somewhat. Her top has thinned, her crop top is now shallow-cut, and her armband and beads no longer seem to be made from gold.

She now also wears white pants and brown chaps that end at her calves and an overlong belt, twice-wrapped, where she keeps her weapons as well as a single pouch. Her hair is also noticeably fuller and longer and her irises are wider.

Haven Uniform Edit

Later, she is also seen wearing the Haven Academy uniform, a more conservative dark gray outfit with a long-sleeved collared top and white armband.

Flashback Edit

In "Beginning of the End", Emerald was younger, noticeably thinner, and had her hair tied into a ponytail.

Her previous attire was a short olive-colored crop top, and she wore her signature chaps which were torn and belt. Beneath her chaps, she wore dark green pants and plain dark brown flat shoes. She also wore white half-gloves.

Personality Edit

Emerald initially appears to be affable and disarmingly friendly. However, this belies a darker side of her character. On the whole, she seems to be genuinely outgoing and quick-witted, if a little short-fused. She can also act a little childish or petty, such as when she stuck her tongue out at Roman Torchwick after she stole his lighter to mock him. She is also tricky, aloof, generally energetic and quirky, and has a violent streak.

In "Best Day Ever", when she talks to Tukson about books, she seems to be knowledgeable about books and enjoys reading, as she lists off several titles. She also likes Vale, complimenting the city for its "tall buildings and diverse culture".

She has a tendency to maintain a pretense of friendliness around people in order to gain their trust. This is shown on multiple occasions in "Best Day Ever", where she pretends to be friendly to the Shopkeep in order to catch him off guard and steal his wallet. Later in the same episode, she puts on a friendly demeanor around Tukson before threatening and killing him. Another example is in "Extracurricular"; where she mostly ignores Ruby Rose until she looks directly at her when Emerald off-handedly smiles and then rolls her eyes when Ruby looks away. In the episode "Round One", she states that she dislikes Team RWBY for their cheery and positive attitude, regardless of her acting as their friend for the time being.

Emerald shows a strong sense of loyalty, specifically to Cinder, whom she is incredibly eager to please. Accordingly, she is willing to take the initiative to impress her, such as tracking down Tukson and killing him. When Cinder rebukes her for killing Tukson, she defers to Cinder's judgment, quickly apologizing.

Judging from the nonchalant way she talked about killing Tukson, she appears to have no qualms about killing, even lightheartedly joking about it afterward with Mercury. However, another side of her is seen in "Battle of Beacon", where she seems to be overwhelmed and disheartened at the sheer scale of the destruction and violence taking place, calling it "almost sad". Nevertheless, Emerald continues to demonstrate loyalty to Cinder, such as in the "The Next Step" in which she speaks for Cinder, who has lost her voice.

According to Emerald, her loyalty is exclusive to Cinder, rather than to Salem, and only complies to her plans and wishes due to owing Cinder "everything".

Powers and Abilities Edit

Emerald's weapons can take two main forms - primarily, they act as a pair of dual-wielded pistols, but they can also be converted into a pair of kama, the blades of which can detach and be swung from chains as kusarigama. Emerald seems to be quite adept with her weapons, demonstrating skilled swordsmanship and marksmanship, using both of her weapon forms to fend off the Grimm single-handedly in the episode "Breach". She later demonstrated the ability to ensnare opponents in her chains and reel them in, even from a great distance.

Emerald is stated by Mercury to be a master thief, and she has proven that she is adept at pickpocketing, with one victim being Roman, stealing his lighter to show him that she was a capable thief after he mocked her. As seen in her fight with Coco Adel, her stealth abilities allow her to move silently and attack from an enemy's blind spot.

Emerald is also shown to have impressive reflexes, allowing her to avoid Tukson lunging at her and dodge Coco's rapid gunfire with ease. In "The More the Merrier" her amazing reflexes are seen once again when she used her weapon to bring down Ruby from the air and slams her against the ground despite Ruby using her scythe's recoil for extra speed.

Though she hasn't engaged anyone on extended close-quarters combat, in "The More the Merrier" and "Vault of the Spring Maiden" it is shown that she's strong and skilled enough to hold Ruby at bay and even temporarily knocked her out at one point.

Semblance Edit

Emerald's Semblance is individual mental hallucinations[1] - the ability to modify the sensory information in a person's head while their brain is processing it. She can make one (or more) see and hear things that aren't necessarily there. In other words, instead of generating an illusion that everyone nearby can see, she causes her target to hallucinate.

This power plays a pivotal role in Cinder's plot to rig the Vytal Festival and incite anger and distrust towards Beacon Academy. After Yang Xiao Long's victory against Mercury in the singles battle, she makes Yang see a hallucination of Mercury getting up and attacking her, prompting Yang to counterattack by supposedly breaking his leg. However, in reality, Mercury hadn't attacked at all, making Yang's counter seem, to everybody watching, like an unprovoked attack in cold-blooded spite. The resulting anger, outcry, shock and distrust from the masses of watchers stirs the Grimm wandering Mountain Glenn, as the Goliaths turned their attention to Vale. She later uses it to trick Pyrrha Nikos into destroying Penny Polendina, revealing the latter to be a robot, which allows Cinder to accuse Atlas of treachery.

Before this, her power has been used to lead Amber into a trap to steal her maiden powers, where Emerald makes Amber see a crying child on the road, prompting the maiden to lower her guard; and also in her and Mercury's fight against Coco and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY. She uses her power to hide herself and Mercury from the eyes of her opponents. After Emerald pulls Coco into the canopy section of the arena, Emerald tricks her again by making her see Yatsuhashi come up to her, seemingly victorious, only to have his defeat announced and broadcasted in the other section of the ring. Emerald then seizes the opportunity to attack a bewildered Coco and knock her out as well, winning the doubles match.

Emerald's Semblance is also the main reason Cinder first scouted her, having witnessed Emerald use her power to trick a jewel merchant, in order to steal one of his rings - the merchant just smiled at her, as she took the ring right before his eyes.

Nevertheless, her power is shown to have its limits. Whilst she seems capable of controlling a single mind, controlling any more than that seems to tax her own head severely. After playing an illusion on two medics who came to pick up Mercury so they would not see his mechanical legs, she is shown to have a considerable headache. Her illusions are also always limited in scope, making minor changes or duplicating already existing objects or people. It is shown in "Haven's Fate" that with strong emotions she is capable using it on at least nine people, but it causes her to pass out in seconds.

Another limit of her semblance is that she cannot use it while fighting. She is always seen standing still or hiding while using her power and never while fighting even when it would be better for her to do so.

Gallery Edit

Videos Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Emerald is a gemstone that is most often found in green colors.
  • Sustrai, capitalized, is the Basque word for "thief" while sustrai, not capitalized, means "roots" or "undercurrent".[2]
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