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|“||I'm surprised Theodore is letting students fight his battles for him.||„|
|~ Gillian to Coco.|
Gillian "Gill" Asturias is one of the two main antagonists (alongside her brother Jax Asturias) of the RWBY novel series, serving as the overarching antagonist of 2019's RWBY: After the Fall and the main antagonist of 2020's RWBY: Before the Dawn. She one of the leaders and founders of The Crown, and seeks to destroy Vacuo's government and restore it to a monarchy that she will rule.
Gillian's Semblance manifested before she was even born; her mother was constantly sick and weak due to Gillian siphoning away her Aura. An emergency procedure had to be done to ave the life of Gillian's twin brother Jax, but their mother died in childbirth, too weakened by Gillian's Semblance. Additionally, Jax was born and grew up frail and weak due to his exposure to Gillian in the womb. Despite Jax being kept away from Gillian, he wanted to do everything with her.
As children, Jax and Gillian were told stories by their father that they were decedents of Malik the Sunderer, the first king of Vacuo, and that they bared a crown-shaped birthmark proving their linage. However, Gillian did not have the birthmark, so she branded herself on the wrist with the symbol. Additionally, because Vacuo was depleted of its resources by the other kingdoms centuries before, Jax and Gillian's father still hated any outsiders and refused to own any technology developed outside of Vacuo or convene with any outsiders. This xenophobia translated to Jax and Gillian, who blamed the other kingdoms for Vacuo's fall and believed that it should be a monarchy again, with them as the rightful heirs to the throne.
When Gillian learned that she could give Aura as well as take it, she used her Semblance to restore Jax to good health, though he usually had to stay around her for the constant effect. When Jax discovered his Semblance of Mind Control, he elected to keep it a secret from everyone but Gillian.
When Gillain decided to try and become a Huntress and applied to Shade Academy, Jax followed her, later being put on a team with Rosa Schwein and Argento Pocoron, who agreed with their ideas of a monarchy. Gillian developed a connection with Carmine Esclados, who nicknamed her "Queenie". When Jax was expelled, he convinced Gillian and the rest of his team to drop out, and together they formed The Crown, which sought to restore monarchy to Vacuo. Their plan was to kidnap people with powerful or useful Semblances, then mind control them into becoming agents of the Crown. Gillian would also siphon Aura from kidnapped people, which included children, to superpower the brainwashed Crownsmen until they were ready to have an army to march on Vacuo. The Crown created a secret underground bunker as a hideout, and took over an old Dust manufacturing building and turned it into a street fight club called the Mirage, where they would scope out fighters and audience members with powerful Semblaces that Jax could put under his control or convince to join them.
Gillain also conducted experiments on Creatures of Grimm, seeing if she could transfer Aura to them. She found out that she could, but they simply absorbed it until she was drained without ever growing stronger or different.
Former classmates Carmine and Bertilak Celadon soon joined the Crown, and were tasked with trafficking people with useful Semblances to the Asturias twins. This continued until Carmine and Bertilak were assigned the Caspians: the elderly, retired Huntsman Edward Caspian and his grandson, August "Gus" Caspian.
After the Fall of Beacon, Gillian began researching people with powerful Semblances from the area, including Team CFVY.
RWBY: After the Fall
While continuing operations in Vacuo, Carmine and Bertilak fail at their mission due to interference by Team CFVY, who originally hailed from the now-destroyed Beacon Academy in Vale. The two were 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.
Gillian continues to be supplied people from both kidnappings and the Mirage, draining them of Aura and giving it to the brainwashed Crownsmen in their service. Coco Adel and her temporary team, Team ROSC, find the Crown's bunker underneath the Vacuo Wastelands and overhear Gillian and Rosa discussing their plans.
After Jax takes control of Yatsuhashi Daichi, he decides that it is time to strike. Despite Gillian and Rosa's protests that they are not ready, Jax convinces them to go along. Jax brings the brainwashed Crownsmen to Shade Academy and begins having them attack it, planning for Gillian (accompanined by Carmine) to join later and boost the Auras of their forces.
As Gillian and Carmine make their way to the battle through underground passages, they are confronted by Velvet Scarlatina, Sun Wukong, and Octavia Ember. Carmine battles them, and in a last attempt to stop Gillian and Carmine, Octavia ignites a Fire Dust vein, which explodes. Carmine uses her Semblance to throw Gillian to safety before the cave collapses.
Gillian makes her way to the battle, and begins boosting the Auras of the Crownsmen. Scarlet David and Coco attempt to stop her, but her Aura is so powerful that she is invulnerable to attack and gunfire. She drains Coco and leaves her for dead, but not before Coco calls her out for the brand on her wrist. However, the Grimm are drawn to Gillian and the Crownsmen's enhanced Auras, and Gillian is grabbed by a passing Ravager. She stabs it to death with her arrows and rides another back to the ground, but more Grimm arrive, and Sun rallies the people of Vacuo to help defend Shade.
As her Aura and power begins to weaken, Gillian realizes that they are losing and pleads with Jax to retreat. Gillian attempts to drain his Aura to motivate him to leave, but he instead mind controls her into giving him more. He protects Gillian until he is attacked by a freed Yatsuhashi. Gillian, just wanting to save her brother and wanting the battle to end, amplifies Yatsuhashi's Semblance, which he uses to wipe Jax's memory and effectively lobotomize him. All those under Jax's control are freed. When Yatsuhashi goes to free Gillian from Jax's control, he is surprised to find that she was willingly going along with him and just wanted to save him. Gillian, Jax, and the rest of the Crown are arrested.
Powers and Abilities
Like all of the other living creatures possessing a soul, Gillian has an Aura, an extension of her soul that shields her from attacks and heals minor wounds, though it can be depleted with enough damage and even broken.
Gillian's Semblance is Aura siphon. She can drain the Aura from nearby people, boosting her own. As Auras are an extension of the soul, they are drained of energy and power, their Semblance becomes weaker, and prolonged exposure is possibly lethal. She can do this with multiple people, though it requires physical contact to activate. By draining the Auras of others and adding to her own, she becomes extremely durable and nigh-invulnerable to weapons, including gunfire and Dust, and her Semblance strengthens exponentially. Additionally, Gillian can give Aura to others. This ability can also effect multiple people at a time, and also requires physical contact. By boosting other's Auras, they become more durable, strong, and their Semblances are massively strengthened. She uses her powers to create a chain of Aura transference where she drains Auras and boost her own Aura and Semblance, then gradually gives that boosted Aura to others working for her cause, like Jax, Carmine, and the Crownsmen.
Gillian is also a skilled archer, with her weapons of choice being a bow and arrows.
Gillian is cunning and ambitious, believing herself to be the rightful ruler of Vacuo. She is willing to do almost anything to achieve her goal, and is not above mass terrorism, destruction, and attempted murder to get her way. She has no qualms about the mass kidnapping and brainwashing of people, which includes children, just to do what she believes is her right. She acts arrogant and spoiled, demanding to be treated like royalty. Despite her usually calm demeanor, she does have a temper. Despite her delusions and superiority complex, she does truly care for her brother and is loyal to him. However, her loyalty only goes so far, as when he refuses to back down and puts both of their lives in danger, she betrays him to save herself and, only by extension, him. When Yatsuhashi questions her motivation, she says that it was all because she loves her brother, though she had to betray him in the end.
- Gillian alludes to Jill from the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill".
Creatures of Grimm