For other uses of "Emerald", see Emerald.
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.


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. She is stated to be in the age range of a Huntsman Academy student.

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

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.


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.

Image Gallery


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.

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".

Emerald has a tendency to maintain a pretense of friendliness around people in order to gain their trust. Putting on a friendly demeanor around Tukson before threatening and killing him. 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.

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". 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 initially appeared to have no qualms about killing, even lightheartedly joking about it afterward with Mercury. However, later she seems to be overwhelmed and disheartened at the sheer scale of the destruction and violence being caused by Salem and her group. 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.

Later upon Cinder being supposedly killed during their failed mission to destroy Haven and retrieve the Relic of Knowledge and narrowly escaping punishment from Salem, Emerald showcased more of her hesitance in her actions and involvement with Salem and her plans, especially since Cinder was no longer there to reassure her. During this time, Emerald also showed increased frustration in her situation and the near impossibility of backing out of it, this is seen during her asking Mercury for his reasons for helping Salem and later getting into a fight with him over it and her later being intimidated by Tyrian Callows's threats if she ever tried to run away from them.

This also further showed Emerald's more vulnerable side and emotional dependence and reassurance to Cinder, as seen where she showed immense anger at Mercury due to him revealing that Cinder never cared for her or him.

These reactions also showed that deep down, what Emerald truly desired was for someone to care for her.

Powers and Abilities

Emerald seems to be quite adept with her weapons, demonstrating skilled swordsmanship and marksmanship, demonstrating the ability to ensnare opponents in her chains and reel them in, even from a great distance, even bringing down Ruby despite the latter using her scythe's recoil for extra speed..

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.

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.


Main article: Thief's Respite
V2e12 blade telescope after

Emerald's Thief's Respite

Emerald's weapon of choice is Thief's Respite, 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.


Main article: Semblance#Emerald Sustrai

Emerald's Semblance, Hallucinations,[1] is individual mental hallucinations[2] - the ability to modify the sensory information in a person's head while their brain is processing it.

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.


  • For information about choices the creators made for this character, see Emerald Sustrai/Behind the Scenes.
  • 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".[3]
  • The 2019 horror film Doctor Sleep prominently features Emerald Sustrai through merchandising and allusions. Doctor Sleep is based on a book by Stephen King and is the sequel to the 1980 movie The Shining, which was also based on a book by Stephen King. Kyliegh Curran plays Abra, a girl with psychic powers. She has a room adorned with posters and action figures featuring characters from RWBY, with a specific focus on Emerald.
    • A figurine of Emerald is placed on her night stand.
    • A poster of Emerald is seen on her room, featuring art from RWBY: Combat Ready.
    • Three posters are hanging on the walls around the room.
    • Midway through the film, Abra and Rose confront each other in a psychic plane, which can change shape depending on the individual. Throughout the sequence, Abra has adorned a green bob, an homage to Kyliegh Curran's favorite character in RWBY, Emerald.[4]



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