The Relics are the physical manifestations of the four gifts to humanity as bestowed by the Deity Brothers. These gifts are knowledge, creation, destruction and choice. The Relics were left behind when the two brothers abandoned Remnant. It is said that each contains great power, and if anyone were to wield all four they could change the world.
Ozpin's predecessor had the Relics hidden in each of the four Huntsman Academies to protect them from Salem and to prevent mankind from using them against each other. The Relics are in some form of a chamber that only one Maiden can open for each.
Salem is currently looking for the Relics, a fact that is of great concern to Raven Branwen. Salem has Grimm searching the overtaken Beacon Academy, and her second target is Haven Academy. She has also been searching specifically for the Spring Maiden, for she is the only one who can open the chamber to the Relic of Knowledge. She puts that search on hold in favor of hunting down Ruby Rose, but only temporarily as Tyrian Callows, who is tasked to hunt Ruby, gets severely injured in the process.
Salem is later informed that the Spring Maiden, who is believed to be Vernal, is in Raven's possession, and she tasks Cinder Fall, Arthur Watts, Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black to find Raven and convince her to cooperate. Raven agrees on the condition that her brother Qrow is killed because he knows that Vernal is with her. Meanwhile, Ozpin reveals to Ruby he has made the search for the Relic of Choice more difficult than the other three Relics, assuring her Salem does not have the Relic from Beacon.
During an altercation in the Haven Vault, it is revealed that Vernal was a decoy Maiden, and the true host of the Spring Maiden power is Raven herself. Raven opens the door to the Relic of Knowledge after defeating Cinder in combat, but Yang Xiao Long enters the Vault before she can claim the Relic. After a heated argument, Raven allows Yang to retrieve the Relic, and Yang brings it to Qrow safely. Oscar Pine then gives Qrow Ozpin's message to bring the Relic to Atlas.