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I thought you were supposed to be some kind of hotshot students, but none of you can take me down.
~ Carmine taunting Team CVFY.
I want your purse. Who's the designer?
~ Carmine to Coco.
Carmine Esclados is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Bertilak Celadon) of the 2019 novel RWBY: After the Fall, a spinoff of the American animated webseries RWBY. She is a fallen Huntress who does dirty deeds for her mysterious boss in exchange for money.
Carmine hails from Atlas, but trained to become a Huntress from Shade Academy in Vacuo, partially due to her distaste for the "unfashionable" school uniforms in Atlas. She was partnered with Bertilak Celadon, and the two eventually graduated. She later claims she picked up her outfit in Mistral.
After her graduation and the beginning of her career as a Huntress, Carmine became involved with a shadowy individual who offered her money to traffic individuals with potent, powerful, or useful Semblances to them. Carmine, as well as Bertilak, agreed.
She and Bertilak 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. While Bertilak maintained a rude, snobbish attitude, Carmine did her best to feign a friendship with the targets to lull them into a false sense of security. 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.
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. Carmine feigned kindness and hospitality with the students, even allowing them to go on guard duty with her to further trick them. However, both she and Bertilak were eager to get Edward away from the settlement so 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, and Carmine aided the others in taking the Ravagers down. When the settlement leader Slate offers to have the people spread out a bit, Carmine enthusiastically agrees with her, seeing it as her and Bertilak's opportunity. However, Edward refuses, much to her disappointment. 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 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. Carmine maintains the ruse by helping people evacuate, and uses the attack as a cover to let Bertilak kidnap Edward.
Bertilak escapes with Edward, and Fox goes after him. After finding Edward, Edward confesses to Fox that Gus has the emotional amplification Semblance, and that he has the Semblance to block other Semblances. When Bertilak hears this, he messages Carmine and attacks Fox, beating him.
Carmine receives the message, and sticks with Gus, pretending to be looking out for him when she is really looking for an opportunity to kidnap him. This opportunity comes when a sandstorm hits, and the fleeing tribe have to get on the shell of a massive sand turtle to escape the storm. Carmine kidnaps Gus and takes him away, and uses her own Semblance to kick up a second sandstorm to cover their tracks and kill off any potential witnesses.
Fox eventually defeats Bertilak with help from Edward, and Yatsuhashi uses his memory erasing Semblance to make Bertilak forget about kidnapping Edward or fighting Fox. Yatsuhashi and Edward track Carmine escaping with Gus and attack her, and Edward does his best to block her Semblance, but has to block Yatsuhashi's Semblance as well. Carmine fights off Yatsuhashi, stealing his sword and burying him in the sand. Bertilak wakes up, and with help from Gus, is led to believe that Carmine betrayed him, so he turns on her.
Carmine is infuriated at Bertilak's apparent betrayal and fights both him and Yatsuhasi off. She hurls sand at him, but he uses his heat manipulation Semblance to turn it into a wall of glass. The rest of Team CVFY arrive to help, and Coco fires her minigun at Carmine. However, Carmine uses her telekinetic Semblance to redirect the bullets at Velvet, and uses her weapons to stab Fox in the thighs. 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. When Velvet tries to save him, Carmine grabs her too and tries to suffocate her in the sand. She then creates a series of sinkholes, trying to bury everyone. 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: Amity Arena
Carmine appears as a unit in RWBY: Amity Arena, being the only character that originated from After the Fall to be included in the game. When deployed, she uses her Semblance and Dust to create ranged storms that displace enemies.
Powers and Abilities
Carmine's Semblance is telekinesis, which allows her to manipulate objects with her mind. She mainly does this with the sand of the desert, creating sandstorms and sand projectiles to fight with. She also uses it on her weapons, an expanding pair of sais, to make them fight alongside her. She can also use her Semblance for defense, stopping projectiles and incoming attacks, as well as redirecting them.
Like all other living creatures possessing a soul, Carmine has an Aura, an extension of her soul that serves as a defensive shield around her body that can heal minor wounds, though enough damage can deplete and eventually break it.
Carmine is exceptionally strong, able to endure multiple attacks as well as lift large objects like Yatsuhashi's sword with one hand. She is also a cunning and manipulative strategist as well as a convincing actress, fooling people into believing she is benevolent and kind when she is really ruthless.
Carmine acts kind, supportive, and chipper, but is in actuality ruthless, cunning, and sadistic. She is extremely manipulative, acting well to fool others into believing her false nature while keeping her true nature hidden. When she is revealed for what she really is, she is shown to be arrogant and petty, thinking highly of herself and mocking others for not being as powerful as she is. However, a constant in her personality is that she prides herself in her sense of style and flamboyance.