Carmine Esclados is a character from RWBY: After the Fall. She is a veteran Huntress hailing from Shade Academy who was active in Vacuo, but was revealed to be a member of The Crown. She serves as the main antagonist of RWBY: After the Fall along with her partner Bertilak Celadon.
Carmine is a young woman with long back length wavy auburn hair with a single silver streak. She also has golden eyes, freckles and a black stylish tattoo on the right side of torso running down to her upper leg. She wears a dark navy cropped long-sleeved shirt with a metal chain-like top attached, a silver shoulder cape with crimson trimmed and her emblem on it, crimson torn off booty shorts that match her tatter scarf and thigh-high black leather boots with folded over tops and small lace-up detailing.
In addition, she wears goggles on top of her head, a black belt with sheaths for her Sai weapons, a single belt on the right sleeve and her left leg. She also wears worn bandages wrapped around her wrists.
Carmine claims she obtained her outfit in Mistral.
Carmine is an extremely skillful, cunning individual, living up to her reputation as a rattlesnake of the sands. To Coco, every fiber of her being oozes stylish and cool Huntress-in-training because it is the first time Coco Adel finds another individual as chic and fashionable, if not more so, than herself.
Her true nature is revealed to be that of a cold and ruthless person who is perfectly fine with actively participating in human and child trafficking, as long as she was paid by an unknown client. She is perfectly willing to kill people, sometimes in brutal manners as when she tries to use Coco's claustrophobia against her by burying her alive in sand.
Unlike her partner Bertilak Celadon, Carmine is cordial and approachable, often picking up after him. Additionally, she is not discriminatory against the Faunus and is quickly exasperated by his brutish behavior.
Carmine is also loyal to Gillian Asturias, being playful with her and teasing her with the nickname "Queenie." Carmine joined the Crown under the belief that Gillian was the rightful ruler of Vacuo. Despite this, Bertilak states her to be a coward who cuts her losses and runs when she's out of her element, and describes her to be an awful excuse for a human being even in comparison to himself.
However despite her actions and her apparent selfish disposition, Carmine has been shown to show hints of more positive traits underneath her more malicious ones. This is seen during her statement that uniting Vacuo under a single unified government monarchy would better help the kingdom, showing a level of concern for Vacuo's future and worry for the Kingdom's poor government. Carmine was also shown to possess a genuine sense of loyalty towards Gillian and was seen to greatly prioritize her safety over even her own life, as seen where she constantly put her self in danger to protect her and prioritized flinging her to a safe location and disregarding her own safety when Octavia triggered a dust explosion that could have killed them both.
Another aspect to Carmine is her apparent importance placed on individual freedom, with her having revealed that the true reason why she left Atlas and refused to enroll in Atlas Academy was due to the fact that she recognized that the Huntsmen of the Kingdom were being pressured into enlisting into its military and her beginning to see the Kingdom as a dictatorship.
Powers and Abilities
Carmine fights with wit and wiles to reach her goals and is capable of feats of great power with her Sai, Semblance and mastery over the desert. Carmine's ability to manipulate the things around her is what makes her a truly fearsome Huntress. Carmine is clever, realizing that small arguments between Bertilak and Team CFVY would draw in Grimm to Feldspar.
Carmine is extremely powerful when in her environment, capable of whipping up sandstorms and only being defeated after facing the entirety of Team CFVY, Edward Caspian, and August Caspian simultaneously.
- Main article: Carmine's Weapons
Carmine's weapons of choice were her Sai, which could combine to form a bladed staff. They were electrically charged with Lightning Dust. However, one sai was rendered useless by Rumpole, and the other was claimed by Bertilak.
In addition to her sais, Carmine's thigh highs are shown to have hidden, compact blades in their soles. The blades are sharp enough to be able to cut through skin.
- Main article: Telekinesis
Carmine's Semblance, Telekinesis, is similar to that of Glynda Goodwitch, she uses it to create localized weather patterns and to manipulate her weapons, battering Yatsuhashi Daichi repeatedly with her sais. Additionally, Carmine can use the Semblance to create underground tunnels in the sand. She is also shown to use her Semblance to bury people alive in sand. However, it is noted that she doesn't have a level of mastery of her ability as compared to Glynda. Carmine's telekinesis is limited to holding small amounts of mass, however she can lift multiple small objects at once, hence how she is able to conjure dust devils with ease. The size her Semblance seems to peak at is around the mass of an average human.
Carmine originally hails from the Kingdom of Atlas, but due to a distaste towards the Academy's uniforms, decided to study in Shade Academy. During her time in Shade, Carmine met and befriended Gillian's Team, particularly growing a liking towards Gillian Asturias, going as far as playfully teasing her with the nickname "Queenie". At Shade, she and her partner, Bertilak, graduated and became a fully-fledged Huntsmen.
At some point, an unknown hirer approached the two with a job offer involving trafficking people with highly potent Semblances for an as of yet unknown reason. The two of them accepted and targeted Edward and August Caspian, with the goal of encoring to two from the settlement of Sumire in Vale to Vacuo in order to obtain a Semblance that allowed the user to create massive mood bombs that would trigger Grimm attacks. Under the belief Edward Caspian was the user of this Semblance, Carmine and Bertilak set the guise that they'd be selling their service to provide Edward and his grandson, August Caspian, safe protection from the Grimm into Vacuo.
In order to maintain the disguise of noble Huntsmen, Carmine and Bertilak defended the settlers of Tuff from the Grimm, gaining the trust of their mayor, Slate. The group traveled to Schist, and then Gossan, collecting more and more people to defend, and as such more protection fees from the travelers. Carmine and Bertilak met Team CFVY in the settlement of Feldspar, who had received a distress call from Gossan due to a Grimm invasion.
After a Grimm attack in Feldspar, Carmine and Bertilak helped CFVY lead the settlers to safety without any casualties, and agreed to take them to safety in Coquina, but turn on them when a sandstorm blows over, allowing for an opportunity to complete their original objective. Carmine attempts to kidnap Gus, but is subsequently defeated and arrested by Coco, Velvet Scarlatina and Yatsuhashi.
Following her arrest, Carmine and Bertilak quickly broke out of their prison and escaped into Vacuo. After this, Carmine and Bertilak returned to the Crown, in which she blamed their failures on Bertilak and escaped any punishment.
When Xanthe Rumpole began investigating the Crown, Carmine was made aware and lured her into The Mirage, where the two battled. Although Rumpole's Semblance was able to destroy one of Carmine's sais by turning it into gold, Carmine was able to defeat the Shade professor and aided Jax Asturias to put her under mind control. Carmine's golden sai was then turned into decor for the Mirage.
Carmine is then given enhanced Aura by Gillian through her Semblance, and is sent on an unknown away mission. Upon her return, she treads through the Wastelands, and encounters six Jackelopes on her way back to the Mirage. As Carmine fights the Grimm, she sets off a perimeter alarm, notifying Coco of an intruder in the region. Coco leaves Team ROSC and finds Carmine, aiding her against the Grimm. After defeating the Grimm, Coco asks Carmine what happened to Bertilak, and she explains he stopped working with her. Once Carmine confirms her relations to the Crown, Coco attacks her but is almost instantly knocked over and tombed in sand.
While buried alive, the rest of Team ROSC, which Carmine claims to have been aware of, comes to Coco's aid. As they engage her, Coco uses Gianduja to blow herself out of the sand, realizing Carmine was still at insanely high Aura. As they fight, a pair of Death Stalkers approaches the group, allowing Carmine a window to escape, conjuring a dust devil to get out of there.
At the Mirage, Carmine appears as Yatsuhashi Daichi is confronted by Umber Gorgoneion and placed into the club's cage after helping Velvet, Sun Wukong, and Neptune Vasilias escape. Recognizing him, Carmine decides she'd be his opponent. Using her thigh high's daggers, Carmine quickly defeats Yatsuhashi, slashing at his chest and knocking him unconscious due to heavy injuries. While Yatsuhashi fades away, he overhears Umber complaining that this is the third person Carmine had killed in the Mirage that week, to which Carmine retorts that Gillian can fix him.
After Yatsuhashi is put under the mind control by Jax, the leader of the Crown announces their time to attack Shade had come. He orders Carmine to stay with Gillian as her bodyguard in the Crown Bunker to protect their army while he leads the offensive.
When Velvet, Sun, and Octavia Ember enter the bunker in search for Gillian, Velvet and Octavia find Carmine and Gillian attempting to withdraw into the main Battle of Shade. Carmine attacks them, and Velvet questions why she'd be willing to bring a kingdom down, to which Carmine reveals that she had truly believed in the Crown's goals for a better kingdom in the future. Before the fight can be concluded, Gillian orders Carmine to get her out of the bunker. Using her Semblance, Carmine begins to carve a new tunnel in the rock.
She stops, however, when coming across a huge natural fire Dust crystal, hesitant to trigger it. Seeing this, Octavia decides to go for a killing blow, using her kris to cause an explosion in the bunker to Carmine's horror. Carmine flings Gillian away to safety with her Semblance and is buried alive in the avalanche of rocks, leaving her fate unknown.
Bertilak finds her sai in the floor, and guarantees that Octavia wouldn't have killed her. He sets off to find and hunt down Carmine, disappearing into Vacuo's desert.
- Carmine alludes to the Red Knight from Arthurian legend. Her last name, "Esclados" is the Knight's name.
- Carmine's first name is inspired by the character Carmen Sandiego of the series of the same name.
- She also shares similarities in design, as both Carmine and Carmen have tanned-skin, long red hair, and a beautiful physique.