The "Volume 4 Character Short", also known as the Volume 4 Trailer, was released on October 3rd, 2016, via Entertainment Weekly, YouTube and Rooster Teeth's website for all users. A work-in-progress version was initially shown at the RTX 2016 RWBY Panel on July 1st and 2nd, 2016, exclusively for attendees.
Several months after the Fall of Beacon, Ruby Rose, clad in a tattered cloak and new outfit, stumbles across a burning village on the outskirts of Vale under attack by Creatures of Grimm. Using Crescent Rose, she hitches a ride on a Nevermore and drops into the village, skillfully eliminating a pack of Beowolves in the village square. During the fight, she displays increased proficiency with her Semblance, including the ability to split into three separate streams of rose petals and re-combine at will.
After defeating the Beowolf pack, Ruby is confronted by a Beringel, a new type of Grimm resembling a large gorilla. This opponent proves to be quite fearsome, being entirely unfazed by multiple hits from Crescent Rose, and even manages to land some solid hits on Ruby. After a protracted fight over the village rooftops, Ruby uses her Semblance to engulf the Beringel in a whirlwind, impaling it in the chest with Crescent Rose and finishing the beast off with a point-blank shot to the head.
As her defeated foe disintegrates, Ruby receives a call from Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie and Lie Ren, saying that they are on their way. She tells them to hurry before eagerly re-joining the fight as more Grimm gather. Elsewhere, Weiss Schnee sits by a window watching the moon, Blake Belladonna stands on a pier watching the sun set over the ocean and Yang Xiao Long sits alone on a tree stump outside her home.
A black screen opens to the sound of footsteps on a dirt road. An image fades in revealing a pair of booted feet and a red cloak that's frayed along the edges.
A red-hooded figure walks on a road between trees and grass. From above, tree branches frame her as she moves forward. The silver broach on the lower front corner of the hood is barely visible until a profile angle shows the detailed emblem of Ruby Rose, her hair and face partially obscured by the hood.
She moves to the edge of a rock precipice. Within view far below is a settlement of buildings that are burning, three large pillars of smoke rising into the air. Beyond the village are mountains, and above it all the broken moon shines fully.
Screams can be heard coming from the village, even from where Ruby stands.
In the village two people run down a cobbled road as a building next to them crumbles. A wide shot shows three people running between burning buildings and two Beowolves chasing after them.
Ruby's eyes shift, taking in the village, before narrowing with determination. She looks up at the sound of a Nevermore's cry.
Two Nevermores fly over Ruby, heading toward the besieged village. Ruby turns around on the rocky precipice, her left arm raising Crescent Rose. It expands itself upward. She releases her grip on a lever in the handle and the blade from the bottom of the shaft extends out as the scythe in the main body of the weapon fully unfolds.
Ruby leaps straight up into the air by several feet, leaving a column of falling rose petals. She turns as she descends and brings Crescent Rose down so that the scythe hooks into another Nevermore passing just beneath her. The Nevermore cries out, but continues it's path toward the village, leaving rose petals in its wake.
Grimm in the village move about, a Beowolf raising its head up to the sky and growling. Black smoke unfurls from around its head as it turns to watch the flight path of Ruby and the Nevermore.
Ruby watches for the right moment, and then pulls the trigger on Crescent Rose. The Nevermore screams as its wing is cut off. Ruby descends toward the village while the bisected Nevermore drifts apart. She lands on a statue of a hooded woman, demolishing it.
Ruby's hood falls back as she straightens. Eyes closed, she holds still where the statue once stood. A Beowolf approaches her while she is focused inwardly. It licks its teeth and moves closer, attracting the attention of other Beowolves. They all move to surround her, their red eyes leaving glowing trails. Ruby remains posed, Crescent Rose in her left hand.
Abruptly, Ruby's eyes narrow and there's a beat before they open, a dangerous look in them. Her head moves forward and she crouches. Her cloaks arches upward toward her body and Ruby transforms into a swirl of rose petals. The swirl propels itself forward through the air. As it reaches the first Beowolf, Ruby is seen in slow motion, petals behind her, swinging her scythe at the Grimm.
She lands on her feet as she knocks it offscreen. She bounds up again, taking out a second and turns to take out a third. Moving into the circle of beowolves behind her she slashes at them, taking out a total of eight before running to attack the ninth. As it goes down, two more put themselves in front of Ruby. The one in the foreground roars at her, but she is unfazed. As it leaps on her, she takes out it, the other one to its left, and yet two more who approach her from behind in different directions.
When that one is gone, Ruby turns and is hit in the face with stoneworks, which sends her backward. She looks up and dodges out of the way as a Beowolf on the roof hurls pieces of broken buildings at her.
Ruby moves swiftly between three different spots on the ground. She then propels herself into the air toward the Beowolf in rose petal form. She splits into three streams around it until coming together just above its head. She aims Crescent Rose and fires a Dust round into it.
The recoil sends her up into the sky, where she bounces off a Nevermore and lands in the middle of the village with enough force to damage the cobblestone road and send up a cloud of dirt. She can hear heavy footsteps and looks around, but doesn't see anything through the cloud. A black fist punches through the cloud and into Ruby, sending her flying into the wooden door of the church she originally landed next to.
Ruby stand, holding her shoulder, and looks up with frightened cry as she catches sight of what hit her. A Beringel postures, beating its chest before roaring and charging forward toward Ruby. At the top of the church steps, Ruby flips over its head and lands back in the town center, sliding around in a circle on her feet until she faces the Beringel again and propels herself toward it. She sinks the tip of Crescent Rose into its hip, but doesn't get it any further through the Grimm's body.
The Beringel turns to look at her and Ruby backs up with a gasp. It grabs her and lifts her off the ground, her entire head fitting in its fist and her legs dangling in the air. The Grimm uses its other hand to punch her and Ruby is launched across the village center. She lands on the broken wooden canopy of a building opposite and easily gains her footing.
She switches Crescent Rose to rifle mode and leaps onto the roof of another building. Running across rooftops, Ruby fires down at the Beringel. It is unhurt and when it is joined by two Beowolves, the gorilla Grimm grabs one and throws it at Ruby.
Ruby gives a squeak of alarm as she sees it coming. It tries to take a swipe at her, but she quickly destroys it with her scythe. The Beringel takes advantage of the distraction and lands on the roof as soon as the Beowolf is killed. Ruby gets out of the way in time. The two face off briefly before rushing each other. Ruby positions herself to be a target, and when the Beringel lifts its arm to bring its fist down on her she leaps above it. Its fist lands on the roof while she shoots at its back. It stands up, unhurt while Ruby lands on another part of the roof.
She rushes the Beringel, dodging its fist again and swinging her scythe into the back of its leg. She proceeds to swirl in a circle around it, attacking with the scythe repeatedly, but doing no damage. The Grimm tries to hit her, but she moves too quickly. It adapts to her speed and Ruby is forced to stop moving in order to use Crescent Rose to block the hits.
Ruby turns into rose petals again and sails into the air above, gaining momentum on her descent. With a cry she attacks the Beringel again, delivering small hits around its body and transforming whenever it tries to hit her. After another failed attempt to make contact has the Beringel's fist landing on the roof, it jumps forward in that direction, driving Ruby back. It slams both its fists deliberately against the roof, causing it to collapse under her. Ruby falls with a cry.
The Beringel jumps from the roof back to the village center. It beats its chest and roars triumphantly. As it grunts, it senses something is off and turns toward the church. The front door is still broken and all is unusually quiet. It moves closer, grunting and sniffing.
Rose petals drift down and out the open door. They float around the Beringel's head and it grunts and turns its head, watching them. Then it postures at the church and roars, unhappy. Through the open door and windows of the front steeple, we see a stream of rose petals rise and swirl.
The topmost window is an artistic circular design. Three concentric circles are encircled with outwardly extended beams that overlay with interwoven lines at the outermost circle's edge. There's just long enough to register the image before Ruby bursts through the glass, Crescent Rose at the ready and rose petals behind her.
The Beringel stands upright and attempts to swat at her, but misses. Crescent Rose lands on the ground and Ruby fires a shot to propel herself toward her opponent. She goes above its head and lands on her feet, the two of them back to back. Ruby turns, hooks the scythe around its legs and pulls as she fires, using the recoil to give her blade more force to damage the Grimm. It rears and starts to fall forward, but Ruby transforms to swirl around its body, her Semblance creating a tornado-like force that lifts it into the air.
Aloft, she transforms again and sinks the pointed end of her scythe into the Beringel's body, driving it toward the ground. The force of the descent allows the blade to pierce it. Once landed, Ruby in a victory stance on the Grimm's body, her long, swirling cloak retreats back toward her and regains its usual size.
The Beringel lifts its head and roars at Ruby, but she drives the blade in further to silence it. Ruby cocks the rifle to slide the next Dust bullet into place and then finishes the creature off with a point-blank headshot. Its body jerks once and then dissolves around her. She slowly sinks onto the street.
Ruby stabs the base of Crescent Rose into the ground and reaches behind her for her Scroll. It slides open in her hand with two motions instead of the customary single one. Across the top it reads: BROADCASTING/RECEIVING. In the middle are profile pictures of Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, and Lie Ren. Across the bottom it reads: LOCAL AREA ONLY.
Below each profile image is an icon of a circle containing the side view of an old technology handheld phone with ear and mouth piece and three rows of signal coming out of it. Jaune's is lit up along with the border of his profile.
Jaune: Ruby! We saw smoke!
Ren's icon and profile light up next.
Ren: Heading your way.
The light moves to Nora's icon and profile.
Nora Valkyrie: Don't start without us!
Ruby looks up from her Scroll.
Ruby: You better hurry.
In front of Ruby five Beowolves crawl and three Nevermores fly toward her. Ruby puts Crescent Rose at the ready and runs toward the Grimm.
The moon continues to shine down on the village, full were it not broken. Weiss Schnee looks at it through a window over her shoulder, before lowering her head to gaze down at the floor. Blake Belladonna stares at the setting sun, standing on the edge of a dock on a large body of water. She turns and looks over her shoulder, unhappy. Yang Xiao Long sits on a stump outside her home on Patch, looking at her left hand before lifting her head to gaze straight on.
- The character short marks RWBY 's transition from being animated in Smith Micro's Poser to being animated animated entirely in Autodesk Maya. RWBY Chibi was also animated entirely in Maya.
- The motion capture for the Beringel was done by animator Joel Mann. He used children's crutches (acquired off Amazon) to emulate the characteristic gait of a gorilla in the motion capture. Miles Luna also tweeted a video of Joel Mann re-enacting his mocap performance at RTX 2016.
- The new character designs for Team RWBY and JNPR were created by Eileen Chang, who did the original character designs and artwork for Volume 1. The new Grimm designs for the Beringel, Nevermore and Beowolf were created by Erin Winn.
- The words "Local Area Only" appear on Ruby's Scroll when she receives a call, indicating that long-range communication is still limited after the fall of the Cross Continental Transmit tower in "End of the Beginning".
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