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Magic is a mysterious power that has existed in Remnant since its creation. The Gods created the world through magic and they gave its people the power to wield it. After Salem persuaded Humanity to rebel against them, the God of Darkness purged the planet and left with the God of Light. Later, the second era of Humanity blossomed, but they had no magic nor had any knowledge that it had ever existed, to begin with.
Salem, Ozma, and those who possess some of his magic are the only known users left in the world.
The Gods are two immensely powerful magical beings and the creators of the World of Remnant. They are two brothers, the elder being the God of Light and the younger being the God of Darkness. The God of Light created life, and the God of Darkness created agents of death, including the Creatures of Grimm. At one point, they compromised and created Humanity together.
The Gods appear as translucent humanoid beings with featureless faces, horns and antlers. Both can transform into dragons.
The Gods are nigh-omnipotent entities of immense power and knowledge. The two created Remnant and Humanity together as well as their own individual creations. The two together are essentially invincible and have no actual weaknesses besides being fallible and vulnerable to the manipulations of certain, exceptionally cunning people. The God of Light also created the four Relics, which are the ideals Humanity was based upon, Creation, Destruction, Knowledge and Choice, and each Relic is immensely powerful on its own.
Both Gods are able to manipulate matter and energy, are able to interact with entities through multiple plains of existence including the afterlife and are able to use their abilities with pinpoint precision. The God of Darkness was able to wipe out all of Humanity except for Salem without harming any other form of life on a global scale.
The God of Light is one of the Gods who created Remnant and the older brother of the God of Darkness.
In his humanoid form, the God of Light appears as a golden humanoid male with a crown of antlers. In his draconic form, he resembles real-world Eastern traditional dragon. In this form, his eyes appear to emanate a pure, white glow.
As a being with abilities that transcend multiple plains of existence, the true power of the God of Light has yet to be seen. As a being that represents creation, he is naturally attuned to its forces. He presumably shares his brother's ability to create and resurrect souls from the afterlife, as his refusal to bring back Ozma was a matter of principle-over-power. He also shares in his brother's powers of teleportation, energy and matter manipulation, shapeshifting, flight in dragon form, immense physical strength and powers of creation.
He is even able to alter the very nature of a person's soul to enter the afterlife, as was the case with Ozma, who he burdened with the task of redeeming Humanity and reincarnating endlessly in order to do so, and Salem, who he cursed with immortality.
He is also a skilled sorcerer, able to create the four Relics, each with a quality that embodies the four ideals on which Humanity was founded around. These inanimate creations tend to sport ornate designs yet thus far appear to carry a spark of life all on their own, such as Jinn, the spirit that resides within the Relic of Knowledge.
He is believed to be the originator of the Silver Eyes, as he was shown capable of obliterating his brother's Grimm with a similar white light as them.
The God of Darkness is one of the Gods who created Remnant and the younger brother of the God of Light.
In his humanoid form, the God of Darkness appears as a purple male with curved horns.In his draconic form, he resembles a real-world Western dragon.
While the majority of his abilities have yet to be seen, the God of Darkness is an unfathomably powerful being whose power transcends the mortal world. As a being of destruction, he is naturally attuned to its forces.
He and his brother seem to possess a set of powers common to entities of their like, such as the ability to shapeshift between a humanoid and draconic form, the power to create sentient life, recall a soul from the afterlife, teleport and unleash massive shock waves of magical energy capable of wiping out all life of a single species on a global scale, while leaving all other forms of life utterly untouched. He and his brother also appear to be able to manipulate matter and energy to a great extent, able to create a physical body for Ozma's soul that is identical to the one he originally possessed, complete with clothes.
While in his dragon form, the God of Darkness possesses the power of flight, immense physical strength and the power to breathe a torrent of dark energy from his body. His physical powers are of such magnitude that he was capable of shattering the moon with no discernible care or effort.
The existence of an afterlife was confirmed in "The Lost Fable". No details were given as to its nature. However, the God of Light was able to return Ozma's soul to the world of the living.
The Creatures of Grimm are soulless monsters created by the God of Darkness that hunt Humans and Faunus.
The Grimm were created by the God of Darkness in order to destroy his older brother's creations of life before the Brothers reconciled and created Humanity. After the Gods left, the Grimm roamed Remnant preying on the second era of Humanity. Their current master is Salem.
They are described as "creatures of destruction" that lack a soul; hence, they are unable to use Aura. They are also drawn to feelings of negativity - such as envy, sadness, loneliness and hatred - often congregating towards the source of these emotions.
Grimm normally spawn from viscous, tar-like substance pools, commonly seen around the Land of Darkness. The Wyvern also showed the ability to exude the substance from its skin. When droplets of the substance impacted the ground, lesser forms of Grimm, including Creeps, Beowolves and Ursai rose from the black liquid.
The Relics are four powerful magical objects presented to Ozma by the God of Light. They are the key factor of Salem and Ozma's plans and are the main driving force of the plot of RWBY.
- Relic of Knowledge - A Lamp that contains Jinn, a magical being capable of answering any question so long as it doesn't pertain to the future. She can be summoned by the Relic-holder calling out her name, at which point Jinn can answer three questions every one hundred years.
- Relic of Creation - A Staff with the magical power to seemingly create a limitless supply of power capable of easily keeping the entire city of Atlas afloat indefinitely. The exact limitation or conditions for the Staff's usage is unknown but one of its limitations is that it can only be used for one purpose at a time and would first need to cease its original task in order to be used in another.
Jinn is a powerful being created by the God of Light and though the full extent of her powers is unknown, it is clear she is an omniscient keeper of knowledge and secrets. She knows the answer to any question and knows any secret or knowledge that other people possess or have witnessed, such as Oscar being the current incarnation of Ozma.
She also appears to be able to transport others into another dimension which she can freely control and shape at will in order to show her users visions or memories from the past. However, she cannot answer questions about the future - only present or past knowledge. Jinn is also able to sense if a person has a question for her when she is summoned. Upon answering a question, time stops, with the exception of the person asking a question and Jinn herself. She implies she has some degree of control over being summoned, as she alludes to not allowing herself to be "used" unless the user intends to ask a question.
When The Gods decided to create something together, they created Humanity and blessed them with the ability to use Magic. They have been shown to conjure magical energy and create magical blasts of different colors. They have also been shown to control different elements such as fire and lightning. The Gods lived on the planet and Humanity was free to interact with them by giving them tributes or asking them for favors.
After Salem's rebellion, the Gods left the planet and the God of Darkness erased the entire population except for Salem, leaving her as the last specimen of the first era of Humanity on the planet. After the second era of Humanity evolved all over again the God of Light reincarnated Ozma in a new body, leaving him as another member of the first Humanity roaming the planet, although in soul only.
Salem is an ancient and extremely mysterious figure from Remnant's forgotten past and the primary antagonist of RWBY. She was a part of the original Humanity, before being cursed with immortality and falling into a Grimm pool. She was married to Ozma before their ideologies tore them apart making them mortal enemies.
Salem, being a member of the first wave of Humanity has access to magic. She is shown to be able to fire large energy blasts from her hands, as well as generate electricity around her. In addition to her other magic, she appears to be able to project telekinetic force as seen when she crushed a Nevermore and shattered the windows in her council chamber in a fit of uncontrolled rage. Furthermore, She possesses some form of superhuman strength, as she easily flips the massive table in her headquarters, all while seated. She also processes clairvoyance, as she is able to observe a battle going on through her crystal ball. In "The Enemy of Trust", she creates a massive storm cloud to mask her fleet as she arrives in Atlas.
She was also cursed with immortality by the Gods, making it impossible to destroy her. Any injuries she sustain regenerate, even being turned to ash.
After the Gods destroyed the first era of Humanity and left Remnant she jumped into the Grimm Pools in the Land of Darkness which altered her body further and gave her more powers and abilities. She is the Grimm's master and can command them to do her bidding. She can alter the physiology of Grimm and mutate them and is even capable of grafting Grimm body parts to a Human's body. She causes Beringels to sprout wings in "Our Way" and gives Cinder a Shadow Hand. In addition, she has the ability to summon multiple Shadow Hands on command as seen in "So That's How It Is".
Salem possesses the means to steal the magical powers of Maidens, a feat of which was never accomplished before according to Ozpin's Group.
Ozma, now known as Ozpin, was an ancient warrior of first Humanity before dying. Ozma was revived by the God of Darkness but killed again by the God of Light soon after. Ozma was eventually given a choice by the God of Light before he abandoned Remnant; he would be able to return to the land of the living to act as a guide for Humanity and protect the Relics, powerful items that when brought together would bring the Gods back to Remnant.
The God of Light gave him the ability to reincarnate after death, joining souls with another like-minded person so that he would never be alone. After returning to the world, Ozma reunited with Salem. The two used their magic to act as gods and create a prosperous kingdom. They eventually started a family with four daughters, but turned on each other after Salem wanted to take over the world and get rid of Humanity. Their children were killed in the ensuing battle and Salem murdered Ozma, who reincarnated again. Thus began the centuries-long feud between the two, with Ozma making it his mission to protect the world from her evil.
At the start of RWBY, Ozma's current incarnation is Professor Ozpin, the Headmaster of Beacon Academy. Following Ozpin's death at the hands of Cinder Fall during the Battle of Beacon, Ozma's soul joined with Oscar Pine.
As one of the original Humans during the time of the Gods, Ozma is capable of performing powerful feats of magic. At the time of Humanity's second coming, his powers were so great that people worshiped him alongside Salem as gods.
In "Rest and Resolutions", Ozpin reveals that he himself possesses powerful magic that he used to create the original four Maidens, as well as grant Qrow Branwen and Raven Branwen the ability to shapeshift into corvids. It is stated that the amount of power expended in the creation of the Maidens greatly drained his magic. Ozpin himself admits that his magic powers are dwindling, but does not state the exact reason for it.
In "The Enemy of Trust", Oscar is capable of wielding the same magic as his predecessors. He conjures an energy barrier through magic to burst through the bottom of Atlas. Later, he conjures another barrier to survive his fall. The barrier is similar to one that Ozpin conjured in "End of the Beginning".
Due to accepting the task of uniting Humanity, Ozpin has been endowed with the ability to reincarnate. This ability causes his soul to attach to a new like-minded host when his previous body is destroyed, the two merging memories and abilities over time until only a single soul remains. As of Volume 5, Ozpin's soul is attached to and merging with that of Oscar's. Oscar can grant Ozpin control of his body, enhancing his combat prowess and the strength of his aura, though only for limited periods of time. In addition, he can forcibly take control of Oscar's body, though he seems severely drained and Oscar relays that Ozpin needs to rest after the fight. However, as shown in "The Lost Fable", Ozpin can keep his soul separate to his current host, living alongside them if he so chooses.
Ozma and Salem had four daughters and the eldest inherited their magical abilities. This triggered Salem's plan to create her own magical Humanity instead of trying to redeem the currently-existing Humanity. Ozma disagreed with her plan and attempted to leave with their children, leading to a battle that resulted in the loss of their children.
The four Maidens are the hosts of a vast magical power that has existed in Remnant for thousands of years. They are said to be the physical embodiment of the four seasons. They were given their powers by Ozma.
There are four Maidens in existence at any time, each one corresponding to the four seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.
Powers and Abilities
While the full extent of their abilities is not known, they have displayed several astounding abilities like being able to levitate and manipulate the elements. While they have been shown to use elemental powers, they are capable of using a much wider range of magic. In battle, they are capable of conjuring weapons comprised of the elements.
When a Maiden uses their powers, their eyes are surrounded by a fiery glow based on their Aura color.
The Maidens are also each tied to the Vaults hidden under the four main Huntsman Academies. Their presence opens the chambers of the magical Relics. Spring can access the Vault in Haven, Fall can access the Vault in Beacon, Summer can access the Vault in Shade and Winter can access the Vault in Atlas.
The powers of the Maidens have been passed down for thousands of years upon the holder's death. Under normal circumstances, the next Maiden, who is always a young woman, is the last person that the previous Maiden holds in her thoughts before she passes away. However, if the person in the dying Maiden's thoughts is male, too old, or not eligible to receive the power, the next host is chosen seemingly at random.
The original Maidens, as well as the origin of their powers, has been memorized as The Story of the Seasons, a fairy tale passed down through the cultures of Remnant.
The story tells of how Ozma, then known as just an old wizard, was visited by four sisters who each in their own unique ways show kindness to him. The old man gives the four sisters great powers in return for their kindness, and as the embodiment of the four seasons, they go through Remnant spreading their gifts. They were shown being able to freeze water (Winter), cause plants to grow (Spring), create fire (Summer), and control wind (Fall).
Amber was the host of the Fall Maiden powers before Cinder took them. She was said to still be inexperienced in using her powers.
In her battle against Cinder, Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black, she displays several astounding powers, including the ability to levitate in the air, create enormously powerful gusts of wind, telekinetically move leaves and freeze them solid to create deadly projectiles, manipulate the weather and bring lightning down upon her enemies, as well as shoot deadly fireballs.
Cinder Fall is one of the main villains and one of Salem's underlings. She is the current host of the Fall Maiden's powers which she stole from Amber using a special Grimm glove. She is also part Grimm with her left arm being replaced by a Shadow Hand after her damage by Ruby Rose's silver eyes at the Fall of Beacon.
After fully acquiring the Maiden's powers, Cinder is able to utilize more elemental attacks, though she most often chooses fire-based attacks, and gains the ability to fly. Additionally, she is strong enough to withstand great force and uses fire-based power to melt items in her grip. She is also able to use her magic to forge different weapons to wield.
As the Fall Maiden, she has access to the chamber of the Relic of Choice.
The World of RWBY: The Official Companion states that Cinder has some control over the Wyvern through her Maiden powers, being able to influence its behavior.
During the Fall of Beacon, Cinder gets hit by Ruby's Silver-eyed power and is crippled. Her left arm is replaced with a Grimm limb known as a "Shadow Hand". Her arm is able to stretch very far and has incredibly sharp claws, which she uses to easily impale Vernal in the stomach. She can also use it to siphon the powers of a Maiden. While it cannot channel Aura, she is still able to channel her Maiden powers through it. It's implied that the arm itself possesses some sort of sentience, as Salem instructed her to make her new limb respect and fear her.
Having the Shadow Hand gives her a crippling weakness to the powers of the silver eyes. And the arm's innately soulless status prevents Cinder from protecting it with her aura, leaving it vulnerable to other weapons and silver eyes. Upon her first exposure to the silver eyes, Cinder was greatly weakened and significantly injured, and during her second exposure, her weapon dissolved and her arm reacted badly.
Fria was the host of the Winter Maiden powers and as such, had the same elemental magic as her fellow Maidens. Upon being confronted by Cinder Fall attempting to steal her powers, She was able to create a tundra vortex of snow and ice with temperatures easily capable of freezing and burning flesh and blood without an Aura shield ,as seen where Winter's hand was instantly frost burned the moment she reached out into the tundra due to her no longer being protected by her Aura. Fria's frost was also strong enough to flash freeze Cinder's Grimm Arm seconds after activating her powers and freeze the entire area in a thick layer of ice, effectively rendering the area inhospitable.
Also it was noted by Winter Schnee that Fria had already "fully realized" her powers as a maiden, hinting that Fria's level of power and her skill in using her magic was far superior to that of the younger generation of Maidens. This was shown when she managed to instinctively repel and overpower Cinder despite her already declining mental faculties.
Penny is the current Winter Maiden after Fria passed on her powers to her. Although she has not yet shown any of her newfound magic, she possesses the same powers as her fellow Maidens.
Raven Branwen is the leader of the Branwen Tribe and the current Spring Maiden. She is also a former agent for Ozpin, who gave her the ability to transform into a bird.
She hid her Maiden powers from the public and Vernal covered for her as the Spring Maiden. As the Spring Maiden, her power can be used to open the chamber at Haven Academy, which contains the Relic of Knowledge. Her eyes gain a dark red aura when she demonstrates her powers.
Raven was able to cause much of the damage to Shion village with her destructive Spring Maiden powers. She is able to generate a lightning strike in "Lighting the Fire", summoning it from the sky like the previous Fall Maiden Amber could. In "A Perfect Storm", she is able to summon strong gusts of wind and turn the sky from clear to cloudy in an instant.
In "Downfall", during Raven's fight with Cinder, she makes use of several different elemental powers. She can generate ice, either by condensing it into weaponry, forming ice spikes or freezing from a distance. She can also generate electricity from her hands, using them to supercharge her weaponry, release it in close-ranged strikes, and generate fields of electricity around her. Lastly, she demonstrates the ability to fly, which she has been able to use additionally to propel herself at high speeds.
Her ability to transform into a bird was given to her by Ozpin when she worked for him as his agent. The power allows her to take the form of a small black raven at will. While being transformed she is still capable of using her Semblance.
Qrow Branwen is the twin brother of Raven, a former member of the Branwen Tribe and an agent for Ozpin who gave him the ability to transform into a bird.
His ability to transform was given to him by Ozpin when he worked for him as his agent. The power allows him to take the form of a small black crow at will.