Relics are used as part of the Beacon Academy Initiation.
Despite the name, relics are simply items used as a goal for students participating in the Beacon Academy's initiation. They are placed at the abandoned temple in the Emerald Forest during the initiation that Ruby Rose and the others in their first year at Beacon participated in.
Teams of two are required to recover these relics and return them to the Beacon Cliff in order to complete the initiation. The students are watched and graded on their performance along the way, but the professors will not interfere.
Relics are chosen by Professor Ozpin every year, and therefore vary from year to year. The relics that Ozpin chose on the year that Ruby and the others arrived were black and gold chess pieces, albeit with only one pair of pawns in each color.
Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long found the temple in "The Emerald Forest, Pt.2" and discovered that the relics were black and gold chess pieces on twenty pedestals. However, three of the pieces, the black bishops and a gold pawn, were missing, signifying that other teams had made it before them.
Yang whimsically decided on a "cute little pony", choosing the white knight as their relic.
After Nora Valkyrie arrives with Lie Ren at the temple in "Players and Pieces", she quickly snatches up the white rook. Jaune Arc, Pyrrha Nikos, Weiss Schnee, and Ruby Rose also arrive, with a Nevermore and Death Stalker pursuing both pairs. Since completing the mission only requires each pair to return to the cliff with one relic, they decide to grab the relics and run. Prior to leaving, Ruby chooses the second white knight and Jaune picks the second white rook.
This choice of pieces later turns out to be the key to sorting the pairs, which were formed on a first eye-contact basis, into teams of four that are created through combining the two pairs that have matching relics.
Teams and Pieces:
- RWBY - recovered the White Knights, chosen by Yang and Ruby.
- JNPR - recovered the White Rooks, chosen by Nora and Jaune.
- CRDL - recovered the Black Bishops.
In Grimm Eclipse, players can collect artifacts that award 100XP upon collecting. These artifacts are visually represented by the white knight and white rook relics.
- Based on the number of relics, there were places for ten teams in the freshman class. However, it is unknown how many teams completed the initiation.
- Originally, there was going to be a relic inside the stinger of the giant Death Stalker that Jaune and Pyrrha encounter during the initiation.