|“||It's not about overpowering the enemy. It's about taking away what power they have.||„|
|~ Cinder, after Mercury tells her she'll be able to defeat Pyrrha easily|
Cinder's Faction is a group of people associated with Cinder Fall and a major antagonistic faction in RWBY. Most notably the main antagonistic faction during the first 3 Volumes. Members of the group include Roman Torchwick, Emerald Sustrai, Mercury Black and Neopolitan.
Prior to the events of RWBY, Cinder Fall began recruiting members for her plans. She first found and recruited a young woman named Emerald Sustrai, who at the time was a petty thief who used a perception-altering Semblance to steal and survive. Cinder and Emerald later traveled to recruit the skilled assassin Marcus Black, but upon arrival discovered that his son, Mercury Black, had recently killed him in a fight. Seeing that Mercury was just as skilled as his father, she instead recruited him into their group. Upon Mercury's suggestion, Cinder also recruited Roman Torchwick, a criminal in Vale.
Cinder, Emerald and Mercury then met with a White Fang leader, Adam Taurus, in an attempt to gain the support of him and his terrorist group. However, Adam quickly declined their offer, refusing to use and sacrifice his men for a human cause, and demanded they leave.
Cinder's next move was to attack Amber, the current Fall Maiden, in an attempt to steal her immense power. After a fierce and protracted battle, Amber was defeated by Cinder, Emerald and Mercury. Cinder then used a mysterious glove to steal Amber's powers, but she was interrupted by Qrow Branwen, who severed the connection and forced the trio to retreat before she was able to completely steal all of the Fall Maiden's power.
Following this, Cinder, Emerald and Mercury returned to the White Fang camp, slaughtering all of the troops camping out there. When Adam came out to investigate, Cinder once again reiterated her offer to join them, giving him Dust and large amounts of cash, or be killed along with the rest of his men; to which he reluctantly accepted.
Later, Cinder is heard speaking to Salem about the current status of her mission. Cinder reports that she only managed to obtain half of the Fall Maiden's power before Qrow interfered; as well as that the process had left her with a feeling of "emptiness" and a burning hunger. Cinder then promises Salem that she will "claim what is ours".
The first phase of Cinder's plan was to acquire a large collection of Dust. To accomplish this, she had her associate Roman Torchwick orchestrate a massive string of Dust robberies throughout the kingdom of Vale. However, an attempted robbery at From Dust Till Dawn was thwarted by Ruby Rose and another heist at the Vale Port was ruined by Blake Belladonna, Sun Wukong and Penny Polendina.
Despite these interferences, Roman still managed to obtain huge amounts of Dust, raising Dust prices immensely and gaining massive attention from the authorities. Successful and no longer in need of more Dust, Cinder proceeded to move on with the second phase of her plan.
Cinder, Emerald and Mercury next infiltrated Beacon Academy under the guise of being exchange student from Haven Academy competing in the Vytal Festival. While undercover, they began documenting and analyzing the combat skills and intelligence of Beacon's students. Later, while most of the staff and students were attending the Beacon Dance, a masked Cinder infiltrated the Cross Continental Transmit Tower and uploaded a computer virus before escaping. Mysteriously leaving each computer screen displaying a black queen chesspiece.
On orders from Cinder, Roman and the White Fang loaded the stolen Dust onto train carriages hidden within Mountain Glenn and used them to create a breach in Vale's defenses so the Grimm can attack the town and it's citizens. However, the attack was stopped and contained by the combined efforts of Beacon's students and Atlas' military; with Roman being arrested by Atlas troops in the aftermath. Despite this, Cinder still called the day a success as the destruction created fear within the people of Vale and Ozpin was replaced by James Ironwood as head of security for the Vytal Festival. While the loss of White Fang troops during the attack was massive, Adam Taurus assures the group they'll still listen to him.
Cinder, Emerald, Mercury and an undercover Neopolitan next form a team to compete in the Vytal Festival. Cinder's team quickly wins their first match and move Emerald and Mercury into the doubles round. Emerald is also sent to get information from Team RWBY on who they planned to send into the next match.
Cinder then uses the virus she placed into Beacon's computer system to infect James Ironwood's Scroll and give her the ability to rig the tournament matches and select which teams will be competing against each other. She rigs the next match to have Emerald and Mercury battle Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi; whom they easily defeat. Cinder later looks into Ironwood's files and discovers Penny Polendina's blueprints, stating that this revelation will make her plans much easier than previously thought.
During the singles round of the Vytal Festival, Mercury is assigned to battle with Yang Xiao Long. Upon the conclusion of their match, Emerald uses her Semblance to make Yang see what appears to be Mercury attacking her. Yang breaks Mercury's leg in self-defense, but it's revealed by the cameras that Mercury had not moved at all, and Yang appeared to have attacked him unprovoked. Outside of the city walls, the Grimm begin to notice the audience's uproar and anger caused by Yang's actions.
Emerald later uses her Semblance again during Pyrrha Nikos' match with Penny. During their battle, Emerald makes Pyrrha see that Penny has created thousands of swords and is about to unleash them on her. In response, Pyrrha uses her polarity Semblance to create a massive magnetic pulse that violently tears Penny apart, killing her and revealing her robotic nature to the world. Cinder then hijacks the tournament's broadcast and accuses the headmasters of the academies, who claim to be their "guardians", of holding too much power and authority over the people and being unworthy to lead. She then exposes Atlas' creation of soldiers disguised as children and accuses Beacon's students of being cold-blooded killers without mercy.
The massive uproar of negative emotions Cinder's speech creates ultimately causes an enormous horde of Grimm to attack the city of Vale. Meanwhile, Neopolitan releases Roman Torchwick from his cell and the duo proceed to take control of an Atlesian Airship and destroy Ironwood's fleet. Roman then uploads Cinder's computer virus into the Atlesian network, infecting all the Atlesian Knight-200 robots and Atlesian Paladin-290 mechs and causing them to attack the civilians, soldiers and Huntsmen.
Adam Taurus and the White Fang launch their attack on Beacon as well, delivering more Grimm they've brought with them in Bullheads. Eventually, all the terror and panic from the city is enough to awaken a massive Grimm Dragon lying dormant in Mountain Glenn, causing it to fly towards Beacon Academy and creating more Grimm along the way. Mercury is then ordered by Cinder to begin filming everything that is going on, planning to use it to spread fear across the other kingdoms.
Meanwhile, Adam Taurus reunites with his former lover and protégé, Blake Belladonna. Determined to get his revenge, he wounds Blake and severed Yang's arm when she attempted to attack him, but the girls manage to escape from him. Ruby also manages to disable Roman's airship, with Roman being eaten alive by a Griffon and Neopolitan being blown off the airship during the skirmish. The destruction of the airship causes all the Atlesian robots and mechs to shut down.
Seeing Ozpin, Pyrrha and Jaune make their way to the Beacon Vault, Cinder follows them with the intent of claiming the Fall Maiden's remaining power. Once there, she quickly kills Amber while Jaune is distracted, her death causing the last of her power to transfer to Cinder and make her the new Fall Maiden. With her newfound power, Cinder begins her battle with Ozpin, though the fight ultimately ends with Ozpin vanishing. Cinder ascends to the top of the Beacon Tower to meet with the Grimm Dragon, telling the beast that Beacon is now it's new home.
However, Cinder is suddenly interrupted by Pyrrha, whom she engages in a fierce duel with. Despite her best efforts, Cinder ultimately defeats and kills Pyrrha with an arrow to the heart. Upon arriving and witnessing Pyrrha's death, a grief-stricken Ruby unleashes a tremendous power from her silver eyes, with freezes the Grimm Dragon and envelops Cinder in a white light. Cinder survives the attack, albeit being heavily scarred on the left side of her face and becoming almost completely mute.
Following the end of the invasion, Vale and Beacon Academy are in ruins, with the Grimm Dragon's frozen body still perched atop Beacon Tower and attracting more Grimm into the area.
- Cinder, Roman, Mercury and Emerald's first initials create CRME when put together.
- It's revealed at the end of Volume 3 that Cinder's Faction were merely pawns serving under Salem and their goals were the machinations of her group.
Creatures of Grimm