- 1 Events
- 2 Battles
- 3 Background
- 4 RWBY
- 5 References
In her childhood, Cinder Fall lived in an orphanage in Mistral, where she scrubbed floors and was bullied by the other children and was implied to have also been starved and overworked by her caretakers. However one day, a Madame came and adopted Cinder and took her to the Glass Unicorn hotel in the City of Atlas. There, Cinder was introduced to the Madame's two biological daughters. Once there, the Madame explained Cinder's new duties and work of cleaning the hotel and delivering food to the rooms and making her position and responsibilities as her "step-daughter" clear. Since then, both the Madame and her Two Daughters heavily mistreated, overworked and abused Cinder and forced her to wear a shock collar disguised as a necklace in order to keep her in line.
During her time with her new "family", Cinder was constantly shocked by her "Step-Mother" for even the smallest of blunders in order to keep Cinder in under control during the times she would act out due to her mistreatment from them and mostly for her own amusement at punishing her "daughter". The Madame would also psychologically abuse and degrade Cinder by shocking her constantly until she said the phrase "Without you, I am nothing" to further demoralize her from fighting back. Cinder also faced constant bullying from her two "Step-Sisters" who made a point of constantly picking on her due to her status as essentially being their servant and making her chores even more difficult by purposefully causing messes and snickered and laughed whenever Cinder made a mistake, an attitude enabled by their biological mother.
One day, while scrubbing the floors, the Madame's daughters purposefully muddied their shoes and made a mess of the floors in order to increase Cinder's workload, angering Cinder, who then caused a scene by accidentally creating a large cloud of mist after unconsciously awakening her Semblance and super heating a wet scrub brush and smashing it to the floor in frustration. This caught the attention of Rhodes and caused a scene in the hotel lobby, angering the Madame, the latter of whom used then used shock collar to torture Cinder in a back room and repeatedly shocking the young girl until she made her admit that she was nothing without her.
Some time later when she was ten years old, Cinder stole one of Rhodes' swords, having seen him flaunt one of them in the Hotel's lobby and due to being tired of the abuse, planned to use them to harm or possibly even kill her "family" to finally be rid of their abuse. However unknowingly to Cinder, Rhodes, had long since noticed Cinder and her mistreatment from her family and easily tracked her down in her "room", and instead convinced her not to hurt Madame and her step sisters, and decided to begin training her to be a Huntress.
A few years went by, with Rhodes coming and going from the hotel and Cinder continuing to do her work and enduring being tortured by Madame for even the smallest of things. Whenever Rhodes was at the hotel, he would train Cinder in hand-to-hand and dual wielding at night in secret. Eventually, with a few years left until she would turn seventeen and join a Huntsman Academy, Rhodes gave one of his swords to Cinder.
Late one night, the step sisters discovered Cinder's newly gifted sword and reported it to Madame. Around fifteen minutes later, Rhodes arrived at the hotel, heard a noise in the storage room that served as Cinder's bedroom, and discovered that Cinder had murdered the step sisters and was strangling Madame to death. Although Madame continuously electrocuted her to get her to let go of her throat, Cinder persisted and proceeded to spitefully state that she was the reason for her everything having turned out this way and proceeded to break her neck. Repulsed and overjoyed at finally being rid of her abusers, Cinder turned to Rhodes with a broken smile. Rhodes drew his dual maces, and Cinder, feeling betrayed, fought back, ultimately killing him.
Due to her helplessness at her situation as a child and the abuse she suffered, Cinder developed deep psychological scars still in the present day that would ultimately lead her to a dark path.
Before the events of RWBY, Cinder at some point became affiliated with Salem and began working with her to complete her goals under the promise of the Maidens' powers and god-like abilities. Cinder then started recruiting members for her cause, first enlisting Emerald Sustrai, at the time a petty thief, after seeing her use her Semblance to steal a ring.
She later attempts to recruit the skilled assassin Marcus Black, but as she heads to his home in the mountains, he is killed by his son, Mercury Black. Cinder instead recruits Mercury to her cause after witnessing the fight. At Mercury's suggestion, Cinder enlists Roman Torchwick, a criminal in Vale.
Cinder, Emerald and Mercury then meet with the White Fang leader, Adam Taurus, and attempt to recruit him as well. However, Adam turns down their offer on the grounds that they fight for a Human cause for which he is unwilling to sacrifice his men.
Cinder's group then plots an attack on Amber, the Fall Maiden at the time, in an attempt to steal her power. After a fierce and protracted battle, Amber is defeated. Cinder then begins using a mysterious glove to steal Amber's Maiden powers but is interrupted by Qrow Branwen, who severs the connection between Amber and Cinder before Cinder is able to steal all of Amber's power.
Later, Cinder returns to the White Fang camp with Emerald and Mercury. This time, Cinder secures the support of Adam and the White Fang with the threat of violence with her stolen powers, as well as the offer of Dust and large amounts of Lien.
Raven suspects her surname cannot be a coincidence and that she likely renamed herself as a result of her ambitions to steal the Fall Maiden's power, as well as egomania. An offhand comment by Arthur Watts all but confirms this.
Dust Shop Robbery
Cinder is first seen in "Ruby Rose" piloting the Bullhead that serves as Roman's getaway vehicle following the attempted robbery of the Dust shop, From Dust Till Dawn. Shortly after Roman gets onto the ship to escape Ruby Rose, Glynda Goodwitch appears and attacks the ship. Roman tells Cinder that a Huntress has appeared and Cinder steps out of the pilot's chair to confront Glynda in battle.
Cinder uses the Dust embedded in her dress to cause a series of fiery explosions all around Glynda, stopping her attack on the Bullhead. However, Glynda counters by using the debris from the blast to try and attack Cinder. However, Cinder deflects the attack with several blasts before Glynda instead attacks the ship.
Cinder is knocked around but unleashes a large blast that turns all the debris to ash. Ruby uses Crescent Rose to fire at Cinder, but Cinder easily deflects the attacks. Cinder then creates a group of explosions under Ruby and Glynda, forcing them to jump away, giving her and Roman time to escape.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Vale Port Heist
She appears with Mercury and Emerald to reprimand Roman for his recent failure at the docks. After he complains about having to work with the "mutts" from the White Fang, she tells him to continue working with them and states that she and her associates have big plans for him.
- Episodes Covering These Events
When Mercury and Emerald return to Roman's hideout, Roman comments that Cinder sent "the kids again" and deduces that they killed Tukson, a Faunus Cinder had told him to eliminate. This upsets Roman, but just as he is about to threaten the two, Cinder appears, causing Roman to back down and Emerald to appear happy.
Cinder berates both Roman and her associates; Roman for not completing his mission as she had asked and her associates for going against her orders to keep their hands clean while in Vale. Emerald tried to apologize by saying that she did not think it was a bad idea, but Cinder tells her it isn't her job to think and only to obey, as Emerald responds with an understanding "Yes Ma'am." Cinder then turns her attention to Roman and asks why his mission was not completed, but he simply motions to all the Dust he has been busy collecting.
Roman asks for information on the "grand master plan" to make his next string of robberies easier, but Cinder intimidates him into dropping the subject. She does, however, inform Roman that the first phase of the plan is over and he will no longer need to collect any more Dust, as they are entering the second phase of the plan. Before she leaves, she tells Roman to have the White Fang move the Dust to a new location that she will inform him of later that night.
Sometime later, Cinder is seen alongside Mercury and Emerald within Beacon Academy, having infiltrated the school acting as students. The latter bumps into Ruby and Cinder informs her that the three of them are visiting from Haven Academy. After Ruby redirects them to where they are supposed to go, Cinder thanks her and the trio walk away.
Later in the semester, Cinder is seen sewing an outfit while talking to Mercury and Emerald about students the latter two had studied, the last on their list being Pyrrha Nikos. After the two of them explain that Pyrrha generally only uses her Semblance to a small degree, Cinder approves of Pyrrha taking fate into her own hands. Mercury states that Cinder could easily take her on, but Cinder responds that she does not want to overpower the enemy, but to take their power away. Cinder orders Emerald to add Pyrrha to an unknown list. When Mercury says that he is tired of waiting, Cinder simply states that they have a fun weekend ahead of them as she holds a needle in front of her.
She quickly overcomes the Atlas Soldiers guarding the facility and then proceeds to upload into the Tower's systems something that makes a black queen chess-piece appear on all the terminal screens. Just before leaving, Cinder gets interrupted by Ruby. The two have a brief fight which is interrupted by the arrival of James Ironwood. Cinder uses the distraction to escape, leaving Ruby alone. She quickly returns to the academy, transforming her fighting gear into a ballgown as she does so and thus evades Ironwood's troops by vanishing into the crowd in the ballroom. She then dances with Mercury.
Sometime later, during an attack on Vale, alarms are heard in the distance. Cinder is with Mercury and Emerald at the school, where the three of them realize this means a part of the plan started early. Cinder signals for the other two to head on to confront the incoming Grimm. Shortly after the fight, the three of them are seen overlooking the city as Cinder remarks the day to have been successful. When Mercury brings up how they lost many Faunus within the caves, he wonders if the White Fang will ever listen to them, but then, Adam appears and reassures the group that they will listen to him.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Vytal Festival Tournament
Cinder is fighting on a team with Mercury, Emerald, and Neopolitan in the Vytal Festival Tournament. They performed well in their first match and sent Emerald and Mercury to the second round. Cinder joins Emerald and Mercury in the stands before watching Team JNPR and Team BRNZ fight, saying that even if you know how a fight ends, that does not make it any less fun to watch. As she says this, she pops a popcorn kernel with only her fingers.
After she learns that Qrow is at Beacon, she decides that he is not a large enough threat to warrant a change in her plans. She then uses the virus she put into the CCT to access Ironwood's clearance. She changes the tournament randomizer to match Mercury and Emerald against Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY.
After gaining access to Ironwood's information privileges, she looks through his files and finds blueprints revealing Penny Polendina's robotic nature.
She later leaves before Yang Xiao Long and Mercury start their match and appears disguised as a paramedic after their plan to frame Yang is initiated. She, along with Neo, whisk Mercury and Emerald away in an Air Bus to an unknown location, instructing Mercury to keep himself hidden so as to not jeopardize their plan.
The next rigged match-up is between the robotic Penny and Pyrrha, whose Semblance is polarity. In the subsequent match, Emerald tricks Pyrrha into violently destroying Penny in front of a worldwide audience. Cinder then hijacks the tournament broadcast and gives a speech that reaches across Remnant.
Cinder places the blame for the incident on the headmasters of the academies. She pointedly asks what purpose Penny, a synthetic soldier disguised as an innocent little girl, could possibly serve against the indiscriminate killers of the Grimm. She calls the students of Beacon Academy lacking in both honor and mercy, citing Yang's unprovoked attack on Mercury and Pyrrha ruthlessly killing Penny. Cinder concludes that peace is fragile and claims that the Kingdoms are at the brink of war while their citizens are left unaware.
The Grimm, drawn to the negative emotion in the city caused by Penny's death and Cinder's speech, breach the defenses of Vale undetected and begin attacking the city, joined by White Fang soldiers led by Adam Taurus.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Attack on Beacon
From a rooftop in Beacon, Cinder relishes in the destruction alongside Mercury and Emerald. Mercury films the unfolding violence on his Scroll, focusing on rogue Atlesian Knight-200 androids which have been re-programmed by Cinder's computer virus, broadcasting the carnage throughout the world. When Emerald expresses her horror at what they have caused, Cinder remorselessly agrees that the destruction is "horrendous".
The ground below Vale begins to tremble. An enormous Wyvern awakens and erupts from beneath a mountaintop near Mountain Glenn, taking flight and heading toward Vale, spawning lesser Grimm as it approaches.
From the rooftop, Cinder sees Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc following Professor Ozpin into a Vault beneath Beacon, where she finds that Amber is still alive and being kept on life support. Under Ozpin's guidance, Pyrrha is in a machine with Amber's Fall Maiden powers beginning to pass directly to her. However, Cinder finishes what she started, killing Amber with an arrow to the chest. As Amber dies, the Fall Maiden powers instead pass to Cinder. Now imbued with the full powers of the Fall Maiden, Cinder, at last, confronts Ozpin face-to-face. As the two of them prepare for battle, Cinder notes that Salem was right about Ozpin's arrogance.
The pair fight in a tremendous display of power, but the outcome of the fight is not known. Cinder leaves the Vault alone, with Ozpin's fate uncertain.
She makes her way to the top of Beacon Tower, where she begins communicating with the Wyvern. She makes eye contact with it and says that Beacon is its home now. However, she is interrupted by Pyrrha, who attempts to stop her.
After a fierce battle, Cinder defeats Pyrrha with an arrow through the heel. She briefly tells Pyrrha that she had no right to the powers of the Fall Maiden and that she'll use them in ways Pyrrha never could imagine. When Pyrrha asks Cinder if she believes in destiny, she pauses momentarily, before answering that she does. She executes Pyrrha with an arrow through the chest and ignites Pyrrha's remains, scattering her ashes to the wind.
However, Ruby Rose witnesses the event after arriving too late to save Pyrrha. In grief, Ruby unleashes an unheralded power which envelops everything in a blinding white light, much to Cinder's shock and outrage.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Land of Darkness
Cinder survives the encounter, but she is scarred, losing her left eye and arm- as well as the ability to speak clearly, ultimately relying on Emerald to communicate for her.
Cinder attends a meeting in the Land of Darkness, bringing Mercury and Emerald with her. There, she meets with Watts, Tyrian and Hazel. Watts comments on Cinder's condition, saying her attack on Beacon was a failure. Tyrian suggests she get retribution on Ruby by removing one of her eyes. After Salem enters, she criticizes Watts' "malignance", saying Cinder's efforts - destroying Beacon, the CCT and killing Ozpin - were successful. Salem says Cinder's weakness to Ruby is due to her attainment of the Fall Maiden powers. Salem removes Cinder from her previous responsibilities to the group and has her stay behind with Salem for "treatment".
While being "treated" by Salem, she is told to make an unknown being dread her. A Seer comes in to report on their lack of success in finding Ozpin's relic at the ruins of Beacon. This prompts Salem to ask Cinder if she really killed Ozpin. After some hesitation, Cinder signals for Emerald to help her respond, but Salem demands she say it with her own words. With some difficulty, Cinder manages to reply with a throaty "Yes." Though not satisfied with this answer, Salem takes this as a sign for her Grimm messenger to keep looking for the Relic.
Sometime later, Cinder trains to control her new powers by battling several Grimm. She manages to defeat them but collapses in exhaustion. Salem heavily criticizes her for holding back, reminding her that she wanted to be powerful. Afterward, Tyrian appears and reports about his defeat by Ruby. When Salem leaves disappointed, Cinder watches in horror as Tyrian vents out his anger and grief on a Beowolf.
Cinder continues her training using Emerald's ability to create hallucinations, in order to fantasize herself killing Ruby. By "Dread in the Air" she has recovered her voice and expresses her dissatisfaction to Salem that they are not using their strength to take what they want, but are instead working with bandits and leaving Ruby alive. Salem cautions Cinder not to underestimate the usefulness of others and repeats her promise of granting Cinder more power when the time is right.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Attack on Haven
Following Salem's orders, Cinder travels to the bandit camp with Mercury, Emerald, and Watts. Meeting Raven Branwen, she keeps her cool even when Raven points out the flaws in the group. But Cinder and Watts back her to a corner with the revelation that the headmaster of Haven Academy, Leonardo Lionheart, works for Salem now and the White Fang will launch an attack on Haven Academy in a few days. Raven then demands the death of her brother Qrow in exchange for having Vernal lead them to the Relic of Knowledge. Despite Watts protesting about their covers being blown with this plan, Cinder pays no heed to his warnings and seals the deal with a handshake from Raven.
On the night of the full moon, Cinder, Raven and Lionheart carry out the ambush with Hazel entrapping the heroes from behind, using Raven's portal to travel from the camp directly into Haven. The Fall Maiden then reveals that Raven and Lionheart are working for Salem, mocking the heroes with the death of the Huntsmen and Huntresses of Mistral. Then she is confronted by Jaune, who is enraged at her for all of the murders she has committed with no regrets. Cinder then mockingly asks who he is and he attacks her in response, causing a battle to ensue. She easily overpowers and toys with Jaune, but starts getting serious upon his demand. However, when they charge at each other, they stop when Ruby unleashes the power of her silver eyes, causing Cinder to fall to her knees while holding her left arm in pain. She barely dodges Jaune's attack and a small piece of her mask chipped by his sword. In retaliation and fury, Cinder stomps on Jaune and angrily asks if he thought that he really had a chance at defeating her. Calling him a failure, she learns that he is willing to sacrifice his life to save his comrades. To prove him wrong, Cinders conjures a spear and impales a weakened Weiss, who is unable to block the attack.
Cinder is later shocked to find that Oscar Pine is Ozpin's reincarnation but decides to not waste their advantage and orders Lionheart to open the way to the Vault. Traveling down with Raven and Vernal, Cinder mockingly asks Vernal if she is honored to be the first Maiden to open a Vault, but is surprised that the bandit feels that the task is nothing but a burden. Upon reaching the Vault, Cinder instructs Vernal to open the door with the Spring Maiden's powers. Before Vernal can do so, however, Cinder freezes Raven, impales Vernal with her Grimm arm and claims the Spring Maiden's power is rightfully hers.
As Vernal succumbs to her wounds, however, Cinder is shocked to receive no power from her, prompting Raven to reveal herself as the true Spring Maiden. Realizing Vernal had been a decoy the entire time, Cinder figures out that Raven killed the previous Maiden and taunts Raven for having tricked the girl into trusting her, goading Raven into starting a duel. Though Cinder at first shows her usual confidence in the fight, she loses it when a piece of her dust weapon lodges itself in her Grimm arm, which Raven surmises is because her Aura cannot protect it. Raven accuses Cinder of turning herself into a monster in the name of power. Cinder retorts that Raven is guilty of the same before the two Maidens engage in a destructive battle that nearly destroys the Vault.
Though Raven and Cinder initially prove evenly matched, Raven manages to gain the upper hand because of her experience with Maiden powers, with Cinder finding it more and more difficult to hold her own against the Spring Maiden. Exhausted from the fight and with her Aura severely weakened, Cinder is momentarily distracted when a dying Vernal musters enough strength to fire one last shot, which gives Raven an opening to launch a final devastating attack that disintegrates Cinder's eye mask and sends her flying over the Vault floor's edge. Raven freezes Cinder's body with her Maiden powers and watches her fall into the abyss.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Vengeance After Haven
Cinder regains consciousness in a body of water after her battle with Raven. Panicking, she manages to get to the surface and drags herself onto the shore, her Maiden powers weak. Frustrated, she pounds the ground with her Grimm arm, unexpectedly caving some rocks and revealing an opening with natural light.
Cinder limps out of the cave and falls to the ground again, dragging herself through the mud until a woman notices her. Cinder fiendishly looks up to the woman as she notices Cinder's Grimm arm. Cinder activates her Maiden powers, kills the woman and takes her cloak as a disguise. A month later, Cinder walks the streets of lower Mistral, noticing a broadcast warning of the Battle of Haven's perpetrators, which includes herself. Scowling, she puts up her hood, walks through the rain and notices a spider insignia etched into a post.
Cinder walks into a bar and finds a table with Lil' Miss Malachite, who she had heard of before. She offers Lil' Miss the dead woman's money, which earns the spy leader's respect. She allows Cinder to sit. Cinder shows her pictures of Ruby's Group Team RWBY and the remaining members of Team JNPR, saying she is looking for them. A regular patron enters the bar, causing loud stirs that startle Cinder. Lil' Miss notices her jumpiness and offers insight on how she overcame her arachnophobia – she made the spiders work for her. Cinder realizes everyone in the bar has a spider tattoo, and she leaves when Lil' Miss says she will fulfill Cinder's request in a week.
A week later, Cinder returns to Lil' Miss, who tells her that her targets have boarded a train heading for Argus. From this information, the Maiden deduces that they are headed for Atlas and begins to leave the bar, but is stopped when Lil' Miss refers to her by name and is further surprised when Neo appears behind her and attacks her. The two women fight each other until Lil' Miss directs them to take it outside. From there, the Maiden surmises that Neo has gotten stronger and shows that she has as well. Upon seeing her opponent wearing Torchwick's hat, Cinder denies responsibility for his death and instead pins it on Ruby. However, an undaunted Neo continues to fight, which forces Cinder to fight more seriously, but when she gets jabbed in the eye by Neo's umbrella, Cinder manifests her Maiden powers to stop the fight. Claiming that they both want Ruby dead, Cinder proposes that they work together to fulfill their common goal.
Cinder then takes Neo to the now empty Vault and explains her mission to get the Relic of Knowledge to Salem before it is taken to Atlas by Ruby's group. As her master does not want her to kill Ruby, Cinder decides to let Neo do the deed because she is under no one's order. The two settle the agreement with a handshake.
Both with new outfits, Cinder meets Neo in a clearing somewhere after the pink-haired girl steals a Mistralian airship. Neo demonstrates her ability to disguise the airship as an Atlesian one with her Semblance. This pleases Cinder so greatly that, boarding the airship, she tells Neo she still believes in destiny.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Hunt for the Relic and Winter Maiden
Following their arrival in Atlas, Cinder and Neo went into hiding in the city, taking a luxury apartment as their base of operations. During their time, Cinder ordered Neo to infiltrate the Schnee Manor during Jacques Schnee's banquet, where she was tasked to find the location of the Relic of Knowledge under the guise of a waitress at the party. Following Jacques' arrest, Neo returned to their apartment with the information needed, informing Cinder she had succeeded in her task.
Later, Cinder and Neo listen to Ironwood and Robyn Hill's broadcast, revealing they are aware Salem's forces, particularly, Watts and Tyrian, are in the kingdom's borders, to Cinder's surprise. She is angered at the two, calling them idiots, contemplating how Salem's original plan was to attack Vacuo next. Cinder confirms with Neo whether Oscar has the Relic of Knowledge, and orders her to take it from him. Neo retaliates, transforming herself into Ruby, to which Cinder angrily restates they need what she needs first before getting what they want. Cinder smiles, explaining to Neo that she would find the Winter Maiden that night, citing that Ironwood's paranoia would lead her to the Maiden.
Once she arrived in Atlas Academy, Cinder went to Ironwood's office, forming a replica glass chess piece of the Black Queen Virus, the symbol that she had used during the Fall of Beacon. She left the piece atop Ironwood's office, signifying she was here and playing to Ironwood's paranoia. Which caused him to lose control over the situation and give into his fear of Salem. Cinder's previous prediction was proven to be right, as she watches Winter Schnee panic and run towards the Atlas Medical Facility to claim the powers of the Maiden from Fria.
Later upon successfully tailing Winter and Penny to Fria's room, Cinder thus then proceeds to easily destroy the guards posted at the door, causing a gigantic explosion easily felt and noticed by the two, causing Winter to thus then exit the room and check what was wrong. Only to find Cinder waiting for her who then proceeds to fire a fireball at her. Winter narrowly avoiding her fire blast, managed to go back into the room and lock the door and draw her weapons as Cinder proceeded to destroy the sealed door to challenge the duo for the powers of the Winter Maiden. She smugly approach the two as she stated how "lucky" she was to have found not only the Winter Maiden but also both of Ironwood's "puppets".
Penny recognizing Cinder as the mastermind for the Fall of Beacon and the person who engineered her first "death", proceeded to question Cinder on her involvement. Cinder then condescendingly and simply state that her death was "unfortunately temporary" and then proceed to threaten her to step aside and let her claim the Maiden powers for herself, otherwise there will be no parts left of her to be salvaged. Undeterred by the Fall Maiden, Penny thus then defiantly brings out her weapons and declare her intentions of fighting against her and stop her quest for power.
Penny and Winter begin to attack Cinder, who easily out-duels them in the fight, while venting her frustrations about how the Atlas elite hoards power from others causing people to hunger for it, including herself. She declares to the two she refuses to starve. Cinder becomes enraged, violently takes the fight outside of the building in a fit of anger. There, she breaks Winter's Aura and returns to the facility while Penny saves Winter from falling to her death.
Once inside, Cinder opens the Aura transfer pod containing Fria and attempts to steal her Winter Maiden powers. However, Fria forces her to retreat by using her Maiden powers to unleash a massive freezing whirlwind. Without her Aura, Winter is unable to safely enter the room, so Penny enters in her stead and calms Fria.
With Fria's whirlwind gone, Winter is able to enter the room and cuts off Cinder's Shadow Hand to stop her from stealing Fria's powers. Although the arm grows back, the agony is enough to cause Cinder to direct her rage toward Winter. Cinder begins to ruthlessly beat down on Winter, severely injuring her to the point of her clothes being left in tatters and heavily bruising and scarring the specialist. Meanwhile, Penny takes Fria's hand and inherits the Winter Maiden powers. Cinder begins to direct her anger at Penny, only to be distracted by Ruby and Weiss, who arrive in the battle. Cinder gasps in fear of the former when Ruby uses her Silver Eye powers, causing her to run away by blasting her way through the roof.
After Ruby's blast of Silver-Eyed magic, Cinder retreated far away from Atlas, screaming in anger at being stopped once again. She glares at the city of Atlas in anger, until Neopolitan brings her the Relic of Knowledge. Cinder then calms down and smiles in delight due to now having what she needs to return to Salem's good graces.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Return to Salem
Soon after this, Cinder and Neo acquire a Manta airship and make their way to Monstra to meet up with Salem inside the whale. En route to the Grimm, Cinder is reminded of a memory of her past, prompting her to nervously scratch at the airship's chair, clawing at the seat. When the two arrive, Cinder gives the Relic of Knowledge to Salem and takes full credit for retrieving it, much to Neo's annoyance.
Tyrian soon arrives taunting the two, causing a small argument between him and Cinder which soon interrupted when Cinder introduces Neo to Salem, referring to her as an asset, which once again upsets Neo. Soon after, Emerald, Mercury, and Hazel arrive. Emerald is delighted to see Cinder, but Cinder harshly shuts her down. When Cinder declares that she will take the Winter Maiden power from Polendina, Salem stops her, and to Cinder's dismay reminds her that she is merely a pawn who is not to act without Salem's orders. Cinder backs down, telling Salem that without her she is nothing, and makes her leave with the rest of Salem's group as their master summons a Grimm to track down Oscar Pine.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Disobeying the Queen
After torturing Oscar for the password to the Lamp of Knowledge, Salem is encountered by Cinder and Neo. Cinder bows before her queen then notices The Hound standing next to her superior. Seeing the Grimm prompts Cinder to nervously ask what it is. Salem answers her subordinate, telling her it's an experiment, she then asks what Cinder needs of her. Cinder requests to Salem in allowing her to locate the Winter Maiden, but her request is immediately denied by her queen, Salem sarcastically tells her pet about Cinder's thoughts and needs. Cinder scolds her master, telling her without the Maiden powers to claim, the Vault to the relic is inaccessible, and they are stalling any sort of progress. Salem coldly tells her subordinate to do as she says. Before a frustrated Cinder can give a rebuttal, the Hound roars at the Fall Maiden. Salem tells Cinder to know her place and she reluctantly agrees. Repeating the phrase, "without you, I am nothing."
Frustrated, Cinder rants to Neo about how Salem has no idea of the capabilities Ruby and the others have. She tells her mute asset they won't be gone long, and are just going to "check" on something, citing her enemies wouldn't abandon their ill-guided attempts at saving the world. Emerald reveals herself to Cinder and volunteers her services. Claiming she's been working on her Semblance and promising not to tell Salem or anyone else. Cinder angrily demands how much her subordinate overheard.
Cinder is next seen breaking into Amity, with Neo and Emerald as backup. She laments that Ruby and friends are not present before going on the attack, targeting Penny. Her ruthless assault pins Penny against the wall until an old woman interferes, piloting an Atlesian mech. Though Neo rams into her with her Manta, allowing Cinder to focus on Penny once again. She chases the android outside Amity, the two of them firing off magical attacks. As she pursues Penny through the nighttime sky, she looks back towards Amity, a sinister sneer on her face as she doubles back.
Cinder then targets the support pillars around the central platform inside the coliseum, melting them with her fire magic. Penny quickly catches up, demanding to know why she serves Salem. Cinder retorts that she serves no one, and neither would Penny if she weren't designed to. Penny tries saving the main platform, but Cinder tackles her and begins draining her Maiden powers with her Shadow Hand. Though she's forcibly separated by Penny's ice-enhanced daggers, pinning her against the wall. As she frees herself, she notices Emerald down below, and exchanges a look that guarantees the thief's assistance. She then summons a fiery javelin, intent on skewering the android, believing that Emerald's illusions would guarantee her victory. But as she charged forth, a not-so-befuddled Penny targeted her and unleashed a huge beam of lightning, sending her down to the floor in defeat. Emerald quickly procures her unconscious body as the faction flees Amity.
She's next seen in her chambers within Monstra, with Emerald kneeling before her. Cinder becomes crestfallen, realizes she's failed to acquire the Winter Maiden powers. Though as Emerald tries to console her, Mercury enters, warning his partner not to support anyone who disobeys Salem. Cinder dismisses the pair, and then Mercury reveals he's been promoted to Salem's Inner Circle, and thus no longer under Cinder's command. He tells them that Salem wants them in her throne room for "something big." He and Emerald leave, and Cinder is left alone to brood.
Later, Cinder is shown kneeling beside before Salem's throne, where the dark queen informs them of Watts' progress with Penny, and then turns her attention to Cinder, who screams in agony as Salem uses her Grimm arm to torture her, reminding her of the times Madame tortured her in her youth. However, Salem unexpectedly apologizes for holding her back, and promises not to interfere with her desires any further. She orders Cinder to retrieve Watts, and gain the Maiden powers from Penny. Cinder then bears witness as the river of Grimm strips Atlas of its defenses, leaving it vulnerable for Monstra to land on the edge of the kingdom, as Salem's attack on Atlas begins.
- Episodes Covering These Events
As the Battle of Atlas breaks in full, Cinder arrives at the city's prisons, quickly breaching its walls in a fiery explosion. There, she frees Watts and the other prisoners without any issues, and the two take off in search of Penny.
When a massive explosion erupts from within Monstra, Watts and Cinder stare out at the Grimm in shock in confusion. The two attempt to contact their allies who were still inside Monstra but no avail. When she receives no response, Watts prompts that they need a new plan of action with Salem out for the time being. Cinder tells Watts that the plan is still that he will bring Penny to her so that she can steal the Winter Maiden powers from her. Realizing there has been a misunderstanding, Watts clarifies that he simply infected Penny with a virus that is telling her to open the vault and then destroy herself. Angered, Cinder grasps Watts by the collar and attempts to intimidate him, failing to do so. With this, Cinder dangles Watts from the edge of the building, stating that she will kill him and then go wait for Penny at the vault. Seeming to accept his fate, Watts laughs, and enters a rant about Cinder, explaining that her bullheadedness and lack of forethought is exactly why she is a failure. The rant reminds Cinder of all her failures and of her childhood, and she becomes angrier and angrier before suddenly pulling Watts back onto the roof. Composing herself, she walks off to the side of the rooftop and begins to cry while Watts recovers.
Sometime after this, Cinder receives a message on her Scroll from Neo, who shows she posses the Lamp, and will only relinquish it if Cinder makes good on her promise. The two are also present to watch Ironwood's broadcast about his plan to bomb Mantle.
Shortly afterwards, Cinder overhears a hacked communication between Ruby and Ironwood, courtesy of Watts, and learns Penny is coming to the academy alone. She looks over her shoulder to see Neo has arrived, and smiles. She apologizes for not uploading her end of the deal of helping to kill Ruby and requests the Relic of Knowledge to which Neo hands over after given a glare towards Cinder. After summoning Jinn, Cinder asks "what have Ruby and her friends planned?" As Jinn reluctantly shows them, Cinder sees Emerald assisting the heroes and learns of the plan to use the Staff of Creation to get everyone to safety in Vacuo.
Following this, she leads Watts and Neo on an assault on an Atlas Command Center killing or knocking out several Atlas personnel inside. She leaves Watts to carry out his on task stating he "deserves this" before leaving.
After passing through, Cinder explodes a dozen civilians off of a platform catching the attention of Team RWBY, Penny, Jaune and Nora. As Team RWBY rush to deal with her, Cinder launches and attack at the team and fights with them, mocking them over their plan stating she would never have expected this as their plan. As she fights them, distracting them from Neo's sneak attack on Ruby that leads to Yang being launched off of the edge of the platform and into the void. As Blake and Ruby engage with Neo, Cinder is attacked by Penny and a fight ensues with Penny being assisted by Weiss.
As the two fight, Penny offers herself as a target to Cinder, trying to distract her from Weiss and the Staff, but Cinder sneers that she "wants it all." Blake jumps into the fight, and Weiss flees with the Relic of Creation while Blake and Penny face Cinder. As the fight continues, having taken the staff, Cinder notices Ruby seemingly pushing Neo over the edge of the abyss. Cinder attacks her from behind, knocking her over the edge and breaking her Aura. As she falls, Ruby grabs onto Neo, who is hanging from the edge of the path. Neo reaches toward Cinder, expecting help, only for Cinder to steal the Relic of Knowledge from her, telling Neo that she should've never betrayed her and that Ruby should've never been born. Cinder dislodges her grip with the Staff before Ruby can use her Silver Eyes. As Neo and Ruby fall, Penny tosses Blake toward Ruby. Blake uses Gambol Shroud to begin swinging herself and Ruby to safety, but Cinder severs Gambol Shroud’s ribbon with a fire blast. Ruby, Blake and Neo plummet into the void.
Weiss distracts Cinder by shooting at her with Gambol Shroud. With the evacuation complete, Jaune sends Nora through the exit portal to bring help, unaware that the portal is one-way. Penny and Jaune protect Weiss, and the three get ready to fight Cinder. Suddenly, Cinder’s Grimm arm experiences pain, which Cinder notes as a sign that Salem is back. Cinder then uses fire to separate Penny from Weiss and Jaune, before plunging her Grimm claws into Penny’s chest. Before she can siphon Penny's Maiden powers, however, she is attacked by Weiss. Jaune tries to heal Penny with his Semblance, but Penny tells him there is no time. Determined not to let Cinder claim both Relics and the Maiden's power, she tells Jaune to finish her off, letting her finally choose something on her own: who to pass her power on to.
While Penny convinces Jaune, Weiss loses Gambol Shroud to the void, and in the Vault, Ironwood breaks Winter’s Aura. Jaune grants Penny's request, stabbing her with his sword; his cry of grief distracts Cinder from finishing Weiss. Elsewhere, Winter encounters Penny in a white, limbo-like space. Realizing what Penny has done, Winter claims Penny was always the truer Maiden than her; despite being human, she acted more like a machine, in her determination to follow orders. Penny counters that Winter was her friend, and that she will always be a part of her. Winter tearfully thanks her for the gift. Activating the powers of the Winter Maiden, she effortlessly deflects Ironwood's shot back at him, knocking him out.
Cinder furiously attacks Jaune, breaking Crocea Mors’ blade. Winter enters the pocket dimension and attacks her, the Maidens seeming evenly matched. During the fight, the Staff is knocked onto one of the paths below. To avoid having to race Winter to the Staff, Cinder generates an explosion beneath Jaune and Weiss, which breaks Jaune’s Aura and sends Weiss flying over the edge. Winter desperately tries and fails to stop Weiss from falling into the void, and Cinder retrieves the Staff. An echoing scream rattles the pocket dimension, causing Cinder to immediately retreat to Atlas. Almost immediately, the paths and portals begin vanishing, indicating that she has used the Staff.
Back in the Atlas Vault, Ironwood awakens to see Cinder holding the Lamp and the Staff. A puff of black smoke flows into the vault and materializes into Salem. Cinder hands her the two Relics, claiming that Team RWBY used the Lamp’s final question and that Neo killed Ruby. Though Salem's expression is skeptical, she tells Cinder she has done well, asking her what she created using the Staff. Cinder merely claims that she added more flames to Atlas, indicating she had betrayed Watts and left him to burn alive. As Cinder and Salem leave the vault, Ironwood shakily aims his gun at them. Cinder tells him that this is "checkmate", and makes her leave with Salem as Ironwood gives up.
- Episodes Covering These Events
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