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Villain Overview
Mercury, I will seriously pay you to shut up.
~ Emerald to Mercury
I don’t care about Salem! But I owe Cinder everything. You want to fight her that bad? Be my guest.
~ Emerald to Ruby before creating an illusion of Cinder.

Emerald Sustrai is a major antagonist in the American web cartoon series RWBY. She is one of Cinder Fall's two right-hands alongside her partner, Mercury Black.

She is voiced by Katie Newville.


Emerald initially appears to be extremely affable and disarmingly friendly; however, this belies a darker side of her character. On the whole, she seems to be genuinely outgoing, gregarious, and quick-witted, if a little short-fused and impatient. She can also act a little childish and 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 very knowledgeable and intelligent about books and enjoys reading, as she lists off many titles. She also likes Vale, complimenting the city for its "tall buildings and diverse culture".

She also has a tendency to maintain a pretense of friendliness amongst people in order to gain their trust. This is shown on multiple occasions in "Best Day Ever", where she pretends to be extremely friendly and demonstrative to the Shopkeep in order to catch him off guard and steal his wallet. Later in the same episode, she puts on a friendly act around Tukson before threatening and killing him. Another example is in "Extracurricular"; where she mostly ignores Ruby Rose until she looks directly at her, when Emerald off-handedly smiles and then rolls her eyes when Ruby looks away. 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.

Emerald shows a strong sense of loyalty, specifically to Cinder, whom she appears to be incredibly eager to please. 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 composed and nonchalant way that she talked about killing Tukson, she appears to have no qualms about killing, even lightheartedly joking about it afterwards with Mercury. However, another side of her is seen in "Battle of Beacon", where she seems to be overwhelmed and disheartened at the sheer scale of the destruction and violence taking place, calling it "almost sad". Nevertheless, Emerald continues to demonstrate loyalty to Cinder, as in the "The Next Step" in which she speaks for Cinder, who has lost her voice.

According to Emerald, her loyalty is exclusive to Cinder, rather than to Salem as well, and only complies to her plans and wishes due to owing Cinder "everything". Upon learning of Cinder's apparent demise, she immediately breaks down crying and, in a fit of despair and rage, creates a nightmarish illusion of Salem visible to everyone in the room, far exceeding her normal limitations of her Semblance.

Powers and Abilities

Emerald's weapons can take two main forms - primarily, they act as 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. Emerald seems to be quite adept with her weapons, demonstrating skilled swordsmanship and marksmanship, using both of her weapon forms to fend off the Grimm single-handedly in the episode "Breach". She later demonstrated the ability to ensnare opponents in her chains and reel them in, even from a great distance.

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 Torchwick, 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.

Emerald is also shown to have impressive reflexes, allowing her to avoid Tukson lunging at her and dodge Coco's rapid gunfire with ease.


Emerald's Semblance is individual mental hallucinations - the ability to modify the sensory information in a person's head while their brain is processing it. She can make one (or more) see and hear things that aren't necessarily there. In other words, instead of generating an illusion that everyone nearby can see, she causes her target to hallucinate.

This power was pivotal in Cinder Falls's plot to rig the Vytal Festival and incite anger and distrust towards Beacon Academy. After Yang Xiao Long's victory against Mercury in the singles battle, she made Yang see a hallucination of Mercury getting up and attacking her, prompting Yang to counterattack by supposedly breaking his leg. However, in reality, Mercury hadn't attacked at all, making Yang's counter seem, to everybody watching, like an unprovoked attack in cold blooded spite. The resulting anger, outcry, shock and distrust from the masses of watchers stirred the Grimm wandering Mountain Glenn, as the Goliaths turned their attention to Vale.

Before this her power had been used to lead Amber into a trap to steal her maiden powers, where Emerald made Amber see a crying child on the road, prompting the maiden to lower her guard; and also in her and Mercury's fight against Coco and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY. She used her power to hide herself and Mercury from the eyes of her opponents. After Emerald pulled Coco into the canopy section of the arena, Emerald tricked her again by making her see Yatsuhashi come up to her, seemingly victorious, only to have his knock out announced and broadcasted in the other section of the ring. Emerald then seized the opportunity to attack a bewildered Coco and knock her out as well, winning the doubles match.

Emerald's semblance was 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.

Her power is however shown to have its limits. Whilst she seems capable of controlling a single mind, controlling any more than that seems to tax her own head severely. After playing an illusion on two medics who came to pick up Mercury so they would not see his mechanical legs, she is shown to have a considerable headache. Manipulating multiple minds appears to have a severe affect on her mind, shown when she creates a massive illusion of Salem after the Battle of Haven, which everyone present can see. The fact that it was out of despair of Cinder's apparent death suggests that her emotional state can also affect the illusions she creates.

RWBY Chibi

Main article: Emerald Sustrai (RWBY Chibi)


Hmm... Options are nice.
~ Emerald, contemplating about Tukson's book selections.
Spare us the thought of you procreating...
~ Emerald, to Roman Torchwick.
I'm fine. Just watch where you're going.
~ Emerald, to Ruby Rose after meeting each other for the first time.
Just enough to make it look like she's untouchable. She doesn't broadcast her power, so it puts her opponent at a disadvantage.
~ Emerald, on Pyrrha Nikos' fighting abilities.
It appears all the dancers have partners.
~ Emerald, to Cinder Fall.
My teammates are all kind of... Introverted. Really socially awkward.
~ Emerald talking about Mercury.
Well, if Mercury and I see you down the line, don't think we'll go easy on ya.
~ Emerald to Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long.
I just... how can they be so happy all the time!?
~ Emerald talking about Team RWBY.
It's the heiress and the bimbo.
~ Emerald, referring to Weiss and Yang.
I'll try not to get blood on it.
~ Emerald, after Coco compliments her outfit.
I won't be the one bleeding.
~ Emerald, to Yatsuhashi.
Ugh, headache. One mind I can handle, but two is a stretch.
~ Emerald, on the limitations of her Semblance.
It's almost sad...
~ Emerald, apparently overwhelmed by the destruction she is witnessing.
She wants to know... What about the girl?
~ Emerald, asking on Cinder's behalf what will happen to Ruby.
You wanna get to them? You’re going to have to get through all of us.
~ Emerald, to Yang.
It’s not over! Cinder will come back, she’ll have the Relic, and she’ll stop all of you! She won’t let us down.
~ Emerald, to everyone about Cinder.


  • Emerald is a gemstone that is most often found in green colors. It appears that Emerald's appearance also resembles that of Cleopatra, who was supposedly cursed by an emerald.
  • Sustrai (capitalized) is the Basque word for "thief" while sustrai (not capitalized) means "roots" or "undercurrent." It may also comes from the Spanish word "sustraer" which means "to steal" or "rob".
  • Emerald's emblem is a stylized depiction of a cut emerald. This emblem appears on the back of her white top.
  • In the episode "Best Day Ever", Emerald is established by her actions and Mercury's own words as a "master thief." Later, Roman refers to Emerald as a "street rat," a term used to describe the title character of Aladdin. It could suggest the basis of Emerald's character, as well as her name making allusion to the phrase "diamond in the rough", which is spoken in the Disney adaptation of the tale.
  • In the Japanese dub, Emerald is voiced by Marina Inoue, who also voiced Dark Tohka.

External Links


           RWBY Villains

Cinder's Faction
Cinder Fall | Roman Torchwick | Mercury Black | Emerald Sustrai | Neopolitan

Salem's Faction
Salem | Arthur Watts | Tyrian Callows | Cinder Fall | Hazel Rainart | Leonardo Lionheart

White Fang
Adam Taurus | Sienna Khan | White Fang Lieutenant | Corsac & Fennec Albain | Ilia Amitola | Yuma | Trifa | Perry | Deery | Associate

The Club
Junior Xiong | Malachite Sisters | Junior's Henchmen | DJ

Branwen Tribe
Raven Branwen | Vernal | Shay D. Mann

Schnee Dust Company
Jacques Schnee | Whitley Schnee

Merlot Industries
Dr. Merlot | Androids | Mutant Beowolves | Mutant Creeps | Mutant Death Stalker

Beowolves | Beringels | Boarbatusks | Creeps | Death Stalkers | Geist | Giant Armor | Goliaths | Griffons | Grimm Dragon | King Taijitu | Lancers | Nevermore | Nuckelavee Grimm | Parasite Grimm | Rapier Wasps | Sea Feilong | Seers | Ursai

God of Darkness

Cinder Fall | Emerald Sustrai | Mercury Black | Roman Torchwick | Neopolitan | Trouble Clef | Cardin Winchester