"A Perfect Storm" is the sixty-first episode of RWBY and the ninth episode of Volume 5. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on December 9th, 2017 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on December 12th, 2017, and was made public on December 16th, 2017.
At the Branwen Tribe camp, Raven Branwen is confronted by Cinder Fall, Arthur Watts, Emerald Sustrai, and Mercury Black. Their objective is to take Vernal and use her power as the Spring Maiden to access the vault containing the Relic of Knowledge at Haven Academy. Raven initially refuses, wanting to remain neutral of Salem and Ozpin, but then reluctantly accepts when she is told of the White Fang's plan to attack Haven in a couple of days, but not before bargaining that she wants her brother dead. Cinder also sees this as an opportunity to get to Ruby Rose as well, much to Watts' dismay. After Cinder and her group leave, however, Raven then tells Vernal that she plans to use the chaos to take the Relic herself and flee with her and the tribe. She transforms into her bird form and uses her Semblance to fly to Mistral, getting the attention of Qrow, but before he can go to her, Oscar Pine tells him that Ozpin needs to speak with him.
Back in Menagerie, Ghira Belladonna continues to defend his home from the White Fang insurgents led by Corsac and Fennec Albain. Sun Wukong and Blake Belladonna arrive in time to aid him. Blake inquires her father about her mother, and Ghira tells her to help her out while he and Sun deal with the Albains. Blake proceeds and runs into Ilia Amitola on the way. The two former friends then prepare to battle each other.
Vernal: Raven, we have a problem.
Raven: What is it?
Vernal: Salem's found us.
Raven's eyes widen briefly.
Raven: Salem... okay.
Vernal: Four of her followers are waiting to speak with you.
Raven: (standing up) Right. We planned for this... Bring me my helmet.
Outside of her tent, Cinder Fall, Arthur Watts, Emerald Sustrai, and Mercury Black all stand and wait while the bandits surround them, eyeing them carefully. Raven steps out of her tent with her mask on as she addresses her bandits.
Raven: I don't recall inviting so many guests into our home. Either I'm losing my memory, (raising her voice) or you've all lost your spines!
Cinder: Don't be too upset with them, Raven. Your men simply recognized the power of a Maiden when they see it. (her eye glows and trails fire) Which is why we'd like to have a word with you.
Raven: (addressing the bandits) Leave us. Pack your things, then break down camp. We're moving.
The bandits all leave to do so.
Watts: Little late to run and hide. You've been on our master's list for some time, so you must understand that we cannot allow you to slip away.
Raven: I know all about your master, but I don't believe we've met.
Mercury: We're the guys you should be afraid of.
Raven: I doubt anyone should be afraid of you.
Mercury: Oh yeah? Tell that to--
Raven: That's what I thought.
Cinder: I'm Cinder Fall. This is my associate, Arthur Watts, and my disciples, Emerald and Mercury.
Raven: Two children you've tricked into following you, a disgraced Atlesian scientist, and a Fall Maiden with a surname so appropriate, she probably picked it herself. Something tells me you've got more than a slight case of egomania, is that about right?
Mercury and Emerald exchange a brief look, while Watts clears his throat.
Watts: Technically, I was also a doctor, but I must say, the rest was spot on.
Cinder: Aren't you perceptive.
Raven: It's what's kept me alive.
Cinder: I'm afraid the only reason you're still alive is because you have something our master wants. Of course, if I'm wrong...
Cinder activates her Maiden power again and holds out a small flame in her right hand, grinning evilly.
Vernal steps out of Raven's tent and walks up next to her.
Cinder: So, this is the long lost Spring Maiden. Prove it.
Raven and Vernal share a glance with each other, with Raven nodding. Vernal sighs and closes her eyes. She holds her hands out and suddenly, the wind starts to pick up gradually. The blue sky turns to gray as clouds cover it. Leaves blow in the wind. Watts, Mercury and Emerald cover their faces as thunder is heard, while Cinder smiles in amazement as she watches the Spring Maiden unleash her power. Vernal then lowers her hands and opens her eyes as her powers settle.
Raven: Vernal has done well under my guidance. I'd take that into consideration before you try anything.
Watts and Mercury brush themselves off as Cinder speaks.
Cinder: Raven, I won't underestimate you, so please don't insult my intelligence. There is a slim chance you and your Maiden could escape today, but if you know our master as well as you claim to, then you know you could never truly escape her. But we come bearing an olive branch.
Watts: (walking up to Raven) The Maidens are merely a means to an end. Salem's true desires are the Relics locked inside the Huntsman Academies. Come with us. Allow Vernal here to unlock the Relic of Knowledge, and all previous acts of defiance against Salem will be forgiven. (whispering up to Raven's face) It's the best deal either of you are going to get.
Watts walks away from them to rejoin his group.
Raven: You talk as if walking straight into Haven will be easy.
Raven: (gripping the hilt of her sword) I'm not helping Salem, I'm not helping Oz! I don't want a part in any of this!
Cinder: That ship sailed when you chose to harbor a Maiden. But if you come with us to Haven, we'll leave you, your tribe, and your little secret to live out the rest of your lives squabbling in the wilderness. We just... need... the Relic.
Raven: I need time to think this over.
Watts: You don't have time. In two days, Haven Academy will be destroyed by the White Fang. You're going to choose now.
Raven: Backed me into a corner, huh?
Cinder: So, are you with us, or against us?
After a tense moment, Raven removes her grip from her hilt and takes her mask off.
Raven: Agreements like these are built on trust. And forgive me for saying, but I don't trust a single one of you. You're going to need to give me more.
Watts: You are in a poor position to negotiate.
Raven: I want my brother dead.
Raven: That's right. He knows I have Spring. And if I help you get your Relic, he's going to become a problem. I have enough problems to deal with. Qrow doesn't trust me, but he does trust Ozpin's other lieutenants. If Leo really is loyal to you, then you can order him to invite Qrow into an ambush. He arrives at Haven, we take him down, you get your Relic, and we all leave happy.
Cinder: Now this is a proposition I can get behind.
Watts: Alright ladies, let's pause for a moment. We have one objective - retrieving the Relic of Knowledge. Now Qrow Branwen may be on our list of individuals we would very much like dead, but he's not going to go down without a fight, and he's not going to fight quietly. Our advantage here is just as you said - we walk straight into Haven, no resistance, no one the wiser. A battle with your brother throws that all out the window.
Raven: He's good, but not that good. All of us against him? It'll be over in a heartbeat.
Emerald: But it's not just him. He has the students with him. He has Ruby!
Cinder: He certainly does.
Watts: If we leave that school a bloody mess, we will draw the attention of the authorities! The Kingdom will be on high alert, and the White Fang's attack will be ruined!
Cinder: Then we wait. We wait until the full moon. Leo invites Qrow and his little fighters to Haven the same night Hazel and Adam arrive with the White Fang. As soon as the battle is won, the White Fang demolishes Haven, and any evidence we may have left behind is lost along with the school.
Raven: Then, Salem leaves my people alone. For good.
Cinder: You have yourself a deal.
Cinder holds her hand out to shake with Raven's, but Watts suddenly grabs her wrist.
Watts: Wait. Don't think I don't see what you're after. If this falls to pieces over your grudge with a child, I will not be taking the blame.
Cinder: (glaring at him) Then what are you worried about?
Cinder activates her Maiden powers and burns Watts' hand, causing him to remove his grip and hold his hand in pain.
Cinder: Fly back home and tinker with your machines. (she holds her hand out again in front of Raven) And tell Salem she'll get what she wants - and more.
Raven stands still for a moment, glaring at Cinder's hand in front of her, but then offers her own hand out and shakes it with the Fall Maiden, sealing the deal.
Back in Menagerie, gunfire can be heard from within the Belladonna Family Home, as well as sounds of fighting grunts and efforts. Ghira Belladonna is leaping around the entry hall and uses his claws to hang from one of the pillars, before pouncing on a White Fang soldier and clawing him down. A female White Fang soldier charges at him with a spear, but Ghira grabs it, lifting her off the ground, and tossing her into Fennec Albain. Corsac Albain holds out his weapon, which starts to glow red as Ghira preps to launch the spear at him. A fireball is launched from Corsac's weapon as Ghira throws the spear. The two attacks manage to hit their targets, with Ghira's Aura shimmering from the fireball and Corsac getting pinned to the wall by his hood.
Fennec gets back up and activates his weapon, which glows white as a wind gust is conjured from it. Ghira brings his arms to his face to block the attack, and his feet drag backwards a couple of feet as a result. A White Fang soldier with an assault rifle is hiding behind a pillar and takes the opportunity in an attempt to attack Ghira. Suddenly, Sun Wukong bursts in from the window behind him and knocks him down. Corsac discards his hood and joins his brother as they prepare to launch a combination attack with their weapons. A stream of wind and fire whirls toward Sun, but he blocks the attack by twirling Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang. He then calls out to someone.
Gambol Shroud is seen being loaded with a new cartridge, getting the attention of Corsac and Fennec. Blake Belladonna jumps down from the terrace above them, dodging a fireball and a wind attack in the process. She does a three-point landing in front of them. The brothers attempt to stab Blake, but she uses her ice Dust-enhanced Semblance to trap their hands and weapons. She leaps away from them to join her father and Sun.
Blake: Dad! Where's mom?
Ghira: I'm not sure, I got ambushed right away.
Blake: Once we take down Corsac and Fennec--
Ghira: No, go now.
Ghira: You keep assuring me your friend isn't a complete waste of space! Let's see him prove it.
Sun: We got this, Blake. I've wanted to sock these creeps since the day we met!
Corsac uses the fire Dust in his weapon to begin melting Blake's ice clone.
Ghira: You'll have to get in line. Blake, go!
Blake does so and leaves the room. Corsac and Fennec free themselves, and prepare to fight.
Sun: I won't let you down, sir!
Ghira: Shut up.
Sun: You got it!
The both of them proceed forward.
Back at the Branwen Tribe camp, Raven sits on her bed leaning her forehead to her hand. She hears someone enter her tent.
Raven: (without looking up) Yes, Vernal?
Vernal: I followed them as you asked.
Raven: Did they spot you?
Vernal: (scoffs) Of course not. They have a ship two klicks west of here, looks like they're staying there for the night.
Raven: Thank you, Vernal. (looking up) Anything else?
Vernal: Do you... actually believe they'll let us go once they have the Relic?
Raven: Of course not. They'll never leave us alone. Once our purpose has come and gone, we'll be discarded. Salem only uses people until they are no longer useful. If we want to have any chance of defending ourselves against her, then we need this Relic. (she stands up from her bed.) If Qrow and those brats want to follow Ozpin, then let them. When the chaos reaches its peak, we'll grab the Relic and make our escape.
Vernal: And the fact that your daughter will be a part of all that?
Raven: Doesn't matter. I warned her. She made her choice. (she approaches the exit of her tent) This path won't be easy for us either, but we must do what's right for the tribe.
Vernal: I know. I'll do whatever it takes.
Raven exits the tent. Vernal walks out to see where she has gone and notices a cawing black bird and the sound of Raven's portal activating. The scene transitions to the exterior of the Mistral Home. The sound of Raven's portal is heard closing as her bird form flies in. Qrow is seen drinking from his flask while sitting on a bed, and he hears the sound of Raven cawing, seeing her through the window. Oscar Pine walks up to his doorway.
Oscar: Hey, Qrow?
Qrow turns his attention to him.
Oscar: Oz needs to talk to you.
Qrow stands up and follows Oscar out of the room, looking over his shoulder at the window.
Back at the Belladonna home, Blake bursts into the forked hallway. She hears the sounds of fighting to her right and proceeds down the left hallway. The scene transitions to show Ilia Amitola crouched on a balcony railing in a large room. She is donning her Grimm mask and hears the muffled sounds of fighting going on around the building. She then hears the door open and sees someone walk in on the floor below her. Blake takes a defensive stance as she notices her former friend standing up on the railing above her. The two reach for their weapons, with Blake gripping Gambol Shroud first. Ilia proceeds to grab her weapon's hilt. The two glare at each other before the screen cuts to black.
- Main article: A Perfect Storm/Image Gallery