For other uses of "Vault", see Vault

Overview Image Gallery

The Atlas Vault, also known as the Vault of the Winter Maiden,[1] was a large underground chamber hidden beneath Atlas Academy. It formerly housed the Relic of Creation accessible by the Winter Maiden.

It was later destroyed when the city of Atlas crashed into Mantle in "The Final Word".


Entrance elevator

The Atlas Vault was a large chamber beneath Atlas Academy. It was accessible somewhere via the school's elevator system. The elevator led down to a long metal platform with glowing cyan lines forming a rectangular pattern on its surface. Closest to the elevator, the platform was a narrow walkway, and it widened into a proper platform at the end.

Vault Interior

Alongside the platform were large, pale blue, crystalline structures attached to floating metal blocks. On the edges of the main area of the platform were four white pedestals decorated with marble columns, and atop each pedestal is a bowl containing blue flame.

Across from the pedestal was a tall, pale blue, crystalline structure with a small white platform containing the chamber door. The door had a rectangular pattern on its surface and was situated at a higher elevation than the main metal platform. There was also a considerable gap of open-air between the metal platform and the door.

The dimension inside the Vault.

Long white planks levitated in circles around the chamber at various different heights. When the Winter Maiden enters the Vault, the planks orient move to the front of the Vault, creating a hovering staircase to reach the chamber door.

The inside of the Vault was a dimension that resembled a lush green open meadow with yellow, blue and white flowers, as well as three stone circles leading from the door to the Relic of Creation. The Staff was formerly housed hovering between two stone pillar in the center of the Vault.


At a point in the past Ozma used unknown means to create the Vaults that can only be accessed by their respective Maidens, to protect the Relics from Salem.

Shaft going down from the Vault

After Jacques Schnee is elected to the Atlas Council and Robyn Hill begins stealing supplies with her Happy Huntresses, James Ironwood and Oscar Pine go to the Atlas Vault to talk about Ironwood's source of inspiration for Amity Communications Tower - the Relic of Creation.

Ironwood shows the Vault hoping it might provoke memories since one of Oscar's past incarnations had decided to use it to raise Atlas, and that this plan had inspired the Amity project. Ironwood tells Oscar that one day he won't be able to tell himself from Ozpin, and questions what he'd think about his actions. Oscar warns him against his autocratic path, but Ironwood fears weakness, invoking Leonardo Lionheart. Oscar tells him that he should speak with those he's most afraid to speak with, to which Ironwood responds he's starting to sound like his predecessor. As Ironwood and Oscar leave the Vault, Winter, accompanied by Penny, shows Ironwood an invitation to dinner, hosted by Jacques Schnee, at which Ironwood will be defending his seat.

Hole at the bottom of Atlas Island

After Ironwood declares martial law and Neopolitan steals the Relic of Knowledge, Oscar takes the elevator down to the Vault and tries to talk Ironwood out of his plan to abandon Mantle. He is unable to get through to Ironwood, who insists that everyone else is unable to see the big picture. Ironwood then shoots Oscar off the platform, which breaks Oscar's Aura and causes him to fall into a deep pit. Oscar continues falling down the shaft leading to the bottom of Atlas City. Ozpin helps unlock Oscar's magic to blast his way through the bottom of the City of Atlas and safely land in the crater beneath the floating city, Oscar tells Ozpin, who has now resurfaced, to help him save the Kingdom of Atlas.

Evacuation Dimension gate created in the Vault

The hole created by Oscar is later used as a means for Team RWBY and Penny Polendina to enter the Vault undetected whilst the others handle Ironwood. Because the virus eating away at Penny would have her self terminated the minute the Vault was open, Ruby used her Semblance to bring her team inside the Vault and grab the Relic freezing time and halting Penny's self destruction.

The idea of the Vault would be part of the plan to create portals to a different dimension between Atlas and Mantle with a single exit point in Vacuo allowing people to evacuate to as Atlas began to fall.

Ironwood and Winter fight

Later, Winter Schnee is seen in the Vault, attempting to contact anyone for a status update. However, she is confronted by Ironwood, who orders her to move aside. Winter refuses, and the two begin to fight.

Eventually, Ironwood gets the upper hand on Winter by breaking her Aura. Before he can do anything else, she receives the Winter Maiden powers, which she uses to defeat Ironwood and go through the portal leaving him behind in the Vault.

Once Cinder Fall comes out of the portal with the Relics, she sees Salem enter the Vault as a cloud of smoke. As she transforms back, Cinder lies to her about what happened, before handing her both Relics. Although Salem is suspicious, she nonetheless is pleased with Cinder and they prepare to leave. Before they do however, Ironwood prepares to shoot them until Cinder tells him checkmate, which causes him to give up. They later leave him as Atlas crashes into Mantle.


Former Inhabitants



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  • The Vault was designed to be reminiscent of the Haven Vault.[2]
  • The Vault dimension contrasts with Atlas' landscape. While Atlas is mountainous and frozen, the dimension is flat and filled with plants.
  • The interior of the Vault is not a place on Remnant, but "something else".[3]
  • Early concepts for the interior of the Atlas Vault had it feature heavy distortion effects similar to the Haven Vault in Volume 5. This was toned down greatly due to the fact that Team RWBY spends a lot more time in the Atlas Vault than Yang did in the Haven Vault, and several full scenes of everyone "heatwave distorting" would have been too distracting.[4]
  • The way Ironwood came down the elevator in "Worthy" was meant to call back to how Oscar came down it in "The Enemy of Trust" at the end of the previous Volume.[5]


  1. Concept art from the end credits of "Creation"
  2. RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary – Chapter 8
  3. Volume 5 Directors Commentary Chapter 14
  4. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 12
  5. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 13
Minor Locations