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Go? But you just got here. Stay a while.
~ Umber using her semblance on Yatsuhashi.

Umber Gorgoneion is a major antagonist of the RWBY novel series, appearing in the 2020 novel RWBY: Before the Dawn. She is a corrupt student at Shade Academy who secretly works for The Crown.



Umber attended Shade Academy in Vacuo to train to become a Huntress. At some point, she got involved with the terrorist organization the Crown, led by Jax and Gillian Asturias. They sought to return Vacuo to a monarchy, which Umber agreed with. She secretly joined the Crown under her own free will.

Umber would frequent the Crown's street fight club the Mirage, cage fighting both to entertain herself as well as help the Crown and Carmine Esclados scope out people with strong Sembalnces to potentially be swayed or brainwashed into the Crown's army, including students at her own school.

RWBY: Before the Dawn

Umber continues to go to Shade, acting like a normal student. She loved fighting and brawling, and even accepted a challenge from Headmaster Theodore to fight before the skirmish was shut down by Professor Rumpole. When Rumpole (under Jax's mind control) reorganizes the teams in an attempt to hinder Shade's investigations into the Crown, Umber is grouped with Fox Alistair, Nolan Porfirio, and Dew Gayl to form Team FNDU.

She is later seen at the Mirage, fighting Tayet Aldahahab in a cage match. Velvet Scarlatina and Sun Wukong arrive to investigate the Crown, and watch as she uses her Semblance to defeat her opponent. When the announcer makes a suggestive remark, Umber uses her Semblance on him. Velvet and Sun are captured and mind controlled by Jax, and Yatsuhashi comes to save them. He breaks Velvet free of the mind control with his Semblance, then sees Umber at a bar and assumes she is under mind control as well. He goes to free her, only to find out that she serves the Crown under her own free will. She reveals her true nature to Yatsuhashi, freezing him and forcing him into a cage match against Sun. Yatsuhashi frees Sun from the mind control, but is attacked by Carmine, who almost kills him. Umber mocks Yatsuhashi as he falls unconscious, and she and Carmine deliver him to Jax.

As Jax tries to win Yatsuhasi over, Umber guards him, and freezes Yatsuhashi when he tries to attack Jax. Jax mind controls Yatsujashi, and decides it is time for the Crown to attack. He contacts Gillian, and they go to attack Shade.

Umber carries Jax into battle, then joins in herself against Nolan Porfirio and Fox Alistair, with Gillian boosting her Aura. However, her Semblance is useless against Fox, who is blind. The two battle each other, and Fox eventually defeats her. When the Asturias twins fail and the Crown is defeated, Umber is arrested and imprisoned.

Powers and Abilities

Umbers's Semblance is Stone Glance. By making eye contact with another person, she can paralyze their entire body, making them at most only capable of speech. However, unlike most Semblances, Umber cannot control hers or ever turn it off, so she wears mirrored glasses to prevent her from paralyzing everyone she looks at.

Umber uses whips in combat, which she can use to strike at or ensnare enemies.

Like all of the other living creatures possessing a soul, Umber 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.


Umber is a thrill-seeker, and loves to fight and brawl. However, she is also arrogant and sadistic, as she loves to hurt others in her fights and believes her Semblance makes her unbeatable. She has no qualms with assisting the Crown in mass kidnapping and even murder of her own schoolmates, and mocks those she deems weaker than her, though she does seem to hold a slight amount of respect for Headmaster Theodore, as she admires his fighting prowess and even blushes when he acknowledges her.


  • Umber alludes to Medusa from Greek mythology.
    • Her last name, Gorgoneion, references Gorgons
    • Her Semblance petrifies people, though not in stone like her mythological counterpart but rather with paralysis
    • She wears her hair in dreadlocks, possibly alluding to Medusa's snake hair
  • It is possible that Umber served as a spy in Shade for the Crown, and could have exposed Professor Rumpole when she was investigating.


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