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|“||Get up. So I can finish you off fair and square.||„|
|~ Bertilak Celadon to Fox.|
Bertilak Celadon is a major antagonist of the RWBY novel series, serving as a central antagonist in 2019's RWBY: After the Fall and a minor character in 2020's RWBY: Before the Dawn. He is a corrupt Huntsman that serves The Crown.
Bertilak trained to become a Huntsman from Shade Academy in Vacuo and was was partnered with Carmine Esclados. He often was at odds with the school's headmaster Professor Theodore, disagreeing with his teacher's ideas of peace and unity, believing the professor had it out for him. While there, he met the twins Jax and Gillian Asturias. The twins were convinced that they were the descendants of the former king of Vacuo, and despised that Vacuo had become a democracy. They additionally blamed the other kingdoms for Vacuo's fall, and sought to stage a coup and retake the kingdom. Carmine, and to a lesser extent Bertilak, agreed with their viewpoints, and agreed to aid them when they eventually graduated. Even after Jax and Gillian were expelled and dropped out respectively, Bertilak finished his training for the sole purpose of joining their new terrorist force, the Crown, though he was more interested in the money than the Asturias' goals.
Bertilak, along with Carmine, were tasked with finding people with powerful or useful Semblances, then trafficking them to the Crown, where Jax would use his Mind Control Semblance on them to turn them into agents of the Crown and members of their secret army.
He and Carmine were assigned the Caspians: the elderly, retired Huntsman Edward Caspian and his grandson, August "Gus" Caspian. One of them (they believed Edward) had the Semblance to amplify people's emotions, which, in times of crisis, made the threat of the attraction and attack of Grimm much higher. Carmine and Bertilak found the two, and posed as bodyguards for hire. Edward hired the two to take them from Vale to the settlement of Gossan in Vacuo, which was in the direction Carmine and Bertilak were planning to take them anyway. They escorted the two to Gossan, but were plagued with Grimm attacks that wiped out whole settlements due to what they believed was Edward's malfunctioning Semblance. After the evacuations, they often took much of the credit for holding off the Grimm in order to boost their reputations. Even when they reached Gossan, they had to relocate when the settlement was destroyed by Grimm, making their way to the settlement of Feldspar.
RWBY: After the Fall
While in Feldspar, Carmine and Bertilak end up meeting Team CFVY, consisting of Coco Adel, Fox Alistair, Velvet Scarlatina, and Yatsuhashi Daichi, who escaped the Fall of Beacon and had spent the last year studying at Shade Academy. Bertilak was the first to come into contact with them, meeting them at a restaurant where he assaults a waitress named Topaz for being a Faunus and picks on Velvet for the same reason. Carmine comes in to diffuses the situation and maintain their cover, even allowing them to go on guard duty with her to further trick them. However, both he and Carmine were eager to get Edward away from the settlement so that they could apprehend him, but he insisted on staying with the people.
When a sudden surge of emotion caught the surviving evacuees off-guard, Ravagers and a King Taijitu were drawn to the settlement. When the settlement leader Slate offers to have the people spread out a bit, Bertilak agrees with her, seeing it as his and Carmine's opportunity. However, Edward refuses, much to his rage. That night, Bertilak tries to get Edward away from the others, but they are tracked down by Fox and Velvet, and Bertilak uses the old man's memory loss and tenancy to sleepwalk as an excuse, with Carmine feigning relief that they got him back safely.
Edward and Gus, in an attempt to try and ease tensions, reveal that they are responsible for the "mood bombs" that have been attracting Grimm, but in an attempt to protect Gus from an angry mob, Edward lies and says that his Semblance is to amplify emotions, while Gus' is a Semblance that blocks other Semblances, and that he is trying to block his grandfather's. Bertilak pretends to lash out out, and Carmine pretends to calm him, though CFVY have their suspicions and feel that Carmine and Bertilak already knew of the Caspians' Semblances. Carmine and Bertilak they guilt trip Edward and Gus, and suggest that they leave the others to "protect them", even grabbing Gus and Edward and trying to forcefully remove him from the settlement. This causes another mood bomb, which attracts Grimm. Yatsuhashi suggests they go to Shade Academy because it is safe, but Bertilak tells him "that's what you thought about Beacon", almost starting a fight between the two. In the chaos, Bertilak sees his opportunity and kidnaps Edward.
Thinking that the two got separated, Fox goes after them. He finds Edward unconscious in the sand and tries to help, but due to Edward's poor memory, he mistakes Fox as a threat and tries to fight him off. Fox is able to snap Edward back to reality, and Edward reveals that he lied, and that he has the ability to block Semblances and Gus has the ability to amplify emotions. Bertilak hears this and messages Carmine with her new target, then ambushes Fox and beats him down.
Bertilak reveals that he hated having to protect people, and all that he saw Edward and Gus as were additional targets. He then mocks Fox, all while using his heat manipulation Semblance to tortuously increase the temperature around Fox while he is fighting him. With Edward's help, Fox is able to fight back, so Bertilak tries to murder both of them. Fox sacrifices much of his Arua to attack Bertilak, but he and Edward soon overpower him and knock him out.
Fox and Edward tie Bertilak up and carry him back to the others, where Carmine has escaped and kidnapped Gus. Yatsuhashi uses his memory-wiping Semblance to temporarily erase Bertilak's memories of revealing himself or fighting Fox, and then they go after Carmine.
Carmine fights Yatsuhashi off, and during the fight, Bertilak wakes up. Taking advantage of his missing memories, Fox and Gus convince him that Carmine attempted to double-cross him. Enraged, Bertilak attacks Carmine and tries to kill her, inadvertently helping the heroes. When Carmine sends a wall of sand at him, he uses his Semblance to turn it into a wall of glass.
Coco hits Carmine in the face with her weapon, and Yatsuhasi and Velvet topple the glass wall on top of her. However, Carmine tunnels below them, and tries to drag Gus down to suffocate or escape with him. She then creates a series of sinkholes, trying to bury everyone, including Bertilak. Edward manages to block only her Semblance, and Velvet manages to blast the sand away to reveal her, where she is captured by Yatsuhashi. Before Bertilak regains his memories, Team CFVY tie the two of them up, and the two are handed over to the authorities upon reaching the settlement of Coquina and subsequently imprisoned.
RWBY: Before the Dawn
A few months later, Carmine and Bertilak escape captivity and return to the Crown. Carmine blamed the failure of their mission on Bertilak, who was punished by being constantly drained of his Aura by Gillian's Aura Siphon Semblance; nothing more than a living battery.
When Velvet, Sun Wukong, and Octavia Ember make their way to the Crown's secret underground bunker, they find all of the kidnapped people that Gillian used as power sources and freed them, including Bertilak, who renounced the Crown and swore revenge on Carmine for betraying him. When Octavia tries to stop Carmine and Gillian by exploding a Fire Dust vein and causing a cave-in, Bertilak helps dig Velvet out from under the rubble.
As Velvet, Sun, Octavia, and the others go to face Jax and Gillian and stop them, Bertilak instead prepares to go off on his own, adamant that the explosion and subsequent cave-in were not enough to kill Carmine, and that she escaped and fled. He goes off into the Vacuo desert, intent on finding her and taking revenge for her betrayal.
Powers and Abilities
Bertilak's Semblance is heat manipulation, which is heavily tied to his emotional state. When he is angry, anxious, or irritated, the environment's temperature rises. He can also control the area of affect and rate of temperature increase, and can focus it around a target to damage or distract them in combat. This heat can be applied suddenly or over time, and can be hot enough to turn sand into glass in a matter of seconds.
Bertilak's weapon is a mace with retractable spikes and Dust projectile launchers. He fires the projectiles to wear opponents down, then uses his mace for up-close and powerful melee attacks.
Like all of the other living creatures possessing a soul, Bertilak has an Aura, an extension of his soul that shields him from attacks and heals minor wounds, though it can be depleted with enough damage and even broken.
Bertilak is exceptionally strong and durable, as he is able to take many hits even without the aid of Aura. He is described as bulky and muscular, and fights and runs with little rest. He is also stealthy, able to sneak away from crowds and hide his tracks so well that people cannot see them.
Bertilak is a gruff and rude individual who does not care in the slightest who knows it. Even when pretending, he is short-tempered, sadistic, and always looking for a fight. He is xenophobic towards Faunus and calls them derogatory names, and does not apologize for anything that he has done, even when authority asks him to. When he reveals is true nature, he fully embraces his sadism by torturing and beating his victims. When Carmine and the Crown betray him, he becomes extremely wrathful and does not think twice about renouncing them and trying to kill Carmine. However, he is appreciative when Velvet and the other students save him, and returns the favor by helping them and going off to seek his revenge and not bothering them anymore.
- Bertilak alludes to the Green Knight from Arthurian legend.
Creatures of Grimm