The story follows Rouge Rose, the twin younger brother of Ruby Rose, who wields the "brother" of Crescent Rose - the Wilted Requiem. Though he joins Team RWBY in their shenanigans, he has his own plans in mind as he converses with many other figures in the shadows.
In the background of Remnant, a shadowy organization known as the Black Fang becomes wildly known. Attacking not only the White Fang, but also corrupt individuals who inhabit the Four Kingdoms. Their leader is an unknown figure, but under his banner are not only Faunus, but fellow humans as well.
As the events leading to Roman Torchwick's heist on the Schnee Dust freighter looms closer, Blake Belladonna quickly realizes that there is more to Rouge Rose than she thinks...
Tropes contained in RWBY: Black Rebellion include the following for Act I:
- 0% Approval Rating: The Schnee Dust Company for Rouge, as well as every corporation, organization or individual who is corrupt. They are the primary targets for the Black Fang. Zero has zero tolerance for anyone who uses others for personal gain.
- Adaptational Heroism: Adam Taurus. In the main series, he was an antagonist working with Cinder. Here, he is a double agent working for the Black Fang under the codename PIECE.
- Aloof Big Brother: Rouge can come across as this at times, usually preferring to stay in the background while Team RWBY takes center stage.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's hard to tell if Rouge is a reincarnation of Lelouch after the events of the Zero Reqiuem or an alternate version of him. With the appearance of C.C. in The Stinger in the Epilogue, it's strongly implied to be the former, though whether or not Rouge has any memories of being Lelouch is up in the air.
- It's strongly implied that Rouge is Lelouch's reincarnation in Remnant, thanks to the side story Chess Pieces ending notes. Rouge has dreams of Knightmares and certain characters, such as Suzaku and Kallen.
- Big Brother Instinct: Rouge Rose. Despite being 15, he's more than willing to pick a fight with the whole damn world, just to make a world where Ruby can smile.
- Char Clone: As was the case with Lelouch in Code Geass, Rouge fits the trope, due to being Zero.
- Darker and Edgier: Given the inclusion of the Black Fang's activities and who they target, this was undoubtedly the case. The best case is shown in the final chapter of Act I, which is more or less the story's version of the Hotel Kawaguchi incident.
- Enemy Mine: Inverted. As far as Rouge is concerned, both Ozpin and Salem need to go.
- Living a Double Life: Rouge as Zero. As far as the RWBY cast barring Blake is aware, Rouge Rose is an ordinary student attending Beacon Academy. Only a few know that he's actually leading a revolution against the entire world.
- The Mentor: Raven is apparently this to Rouge. At first, she thought nothing of him until his declaration to destroy the current order of Remnant after she gives her "the strong survive and the weak die" speech. In many ways, she is the one responsible for bringing Rouge to his Start of Darkness and bringing him further past that point.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Black Fang, to every corrupt individual or group in Remnant. Most prominently to the White Fang, who appear to be their major on-screen target for the majority of Act I.
- Pyro Maniac: Edan, full stop. One of the reasons why he's called the Blue Devil is because his apparent Semblance allows him to conjure azure flames.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rouge to his sisters Ruby and Yang. Compared to the former, who is a weapons geek and Yang, who loves the the thrill of adventure, Rouge is quite possibly the Only Sane Man of the Rose-Xiao Long Family, barring Taiyang.
- Red Baron: Zero. After the epilogue, there won't be a single person in Remnant who won't know that name. Edan as the Blue Devil, to a lesser extent.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rouge delivers an absolute savage one to Weiss when she argues with Blake about the White Fang.Rouge: ...I've had enough to hear with you. I've been putting up with you because I was willing to give you a benefit of a doubt, despite my misgivings...but you've seen the end of my patience, SCHNEE. Blake wasn't wrong. It's people like you, like Cardin, and your father why the Faunus are subjected to so much hate. Why they are oppressed. Who could blame them? After all, arrogant, bigoted idiots like you continue to oppress the Faunus and treat them less than human, when in reality they are more human that you could ever be. You grew up in a household where your own family treats Faunus as nothing more than slaves for your Dust mines, subjecting them to poor work conditions, minimal pay, and complete disregard as to whether or not they could DIE down there. Treatment like that is EXACTLY why the White Fang became like this. They tried to make you all understand through peaceful protests and rallies. And what do you do? You ignored them. You ignore them and inflict police brutality under the guise that they were rioting. A complete lie! How many Faunus have been injured over disregard of their very existence? How many of them died at the hands of negligent humans?! It's exactly because of fools like you and the general public that the White Fang became what it is today. There is a limit of how much abuse a person can take before snapping. Well, congratulations...you made them break and this is the result. Also, how many families has the Schnee Dust Corporation ruined in the past years that Jacques has been running the SDC? How many people lost their lives to a man who's so blinded by his own prejudice that he refuses to look at them as people? How many LIVES has he trampled over for the sake of his own profit? How many people lost their jobs because of his ego and his 'unsatisfaction' with their work? Blake's made her feelings clear, now let me make my feelings clear. In my opinion...you and every person like you is responsible for the White Fang becoming what should have been a peaceful protest group into a group of murders. People like you, WEISS SCHNEE...are little more than murderers yourselves for what happened.
- Reincarnation: If Chess Pieces is to be believed, Rouge has dreams of Knightmare Frames, which obviously do not exist in Remnant. As far as he knows, anyway. It's strong implied that he's Lelouch's reincarnation in Remnant.
- The Reveal: Three times.
- The first one is in Chapter Eight, when Rouge reveals to Blake that not only is Adam actually a double agent for the White Fang, but Rouge is also the leader of the Black Fang, in which he offers Blake a place among their ranks after affirming her resolve and desire to change the state of the world for Faunus and humans alike.
- The second is in the Epilogue, where Rouge reveals himself under the guise of Zero to Remnant following his successful attempt at rescuing the hostages in the Glacier Resort Hotel. In doing so, he's earned the attention of everyone in Remnant, including Ozpin, Cinder and Salem.
- The third is The Stinger, in which the woman who gave Rojo Desagra the resources needed to take over the resort is C.C.
- The Un Reveal: Rouge as Zero. Despite the author's best attempts at hiding it and making it possible that Rouge is playing second fiddle and that Edan is the leader of the Black Fang, everyone who already guessed who the Black Fang were based off of and who Rouge is already know that he's the masked man.
- Start of Darkness: Summer's death and Raven telling her philosophy to a grieving Rouge was what set the child down his path to his desire to destroy the current order of the world.
- The Stinger: In the Epilogue, the only reason that Rojo Desagra's takeover of the Glacier Resort succeeded because an unknown woman had given him the resources to accomplish the task. In reality, however, that woman was setting up the stage in order for Rouge, as Zero, to make his presence known to all of Remnant for the first time and revealing himself to Remnant. What really drives the point home is that the woman is actually C.C.
Tropes contained in RWBY: Black Rebellion include the following for Act II. Beware of unmarked spoilers!
- Aloof Ally: Cecaniah Lamperouge to the Black Fang. She's clearly interested in helping them, but she clearly has her own objectives in mind in exchange for her cooperation.
- Ambiguous Situation: Even more so than Act I. C.C.'s request in chapter two raises some serious questions. In exchange for resources and Knightmare Frames, she asks the Black Fang to find someone: none other than Lelouch! It raises a lot of questions in regards to Rouge's true identity.
- Ascended Fan Boy: Weiss to Cecaniah Lamperouge, the CEO of Lamperouge Corporation. And being the tsundere she is, no one believes her for a moment that she only knows so much that "she is merely keeping an eye on the competition."
- Big Damn Kiss: Readers were practically cheering that Cecaniah was kissing Rouge. Even better, she was giving him a French Kiss! Somewhat mitigated in the fact that Cecaniah is clearly a grown woman and Rouge is a 15-year-old kid.
- Expy: Blake is slowly becoming the story's version of Kallen. While she may not be hot headed, she's certainly determined. Also, though the reasons differ, they're both devoted to Zero; the former out of concern for him and what his loss would mean for his sisters and Kallen out of loyalty and developing feelings for him.Blake: This double life's a killer...
- HeelFace Turn: What Rouge seems to be trying to do with Roman and Neo according to the teaser in Act I by making certain promises in order to gain their cooperation.
- Left for Dead: If the teaser for Act II is to be believed, Rouge states that Roman had been "left to die" by someone.
- Not Playing Fair With Resources: Played with. Cecaniah has been looking into alternative sources of energy, though she does use Dust. She seems to believe that it's only a matter of time before Dust resources have been depleted, which would leave Remnant in dire straits.
- Seeking the Missing, Finding the Dead: More of finding the missing and absolutely nothing to do with finding a dead boy. Cecaniah offering Remnant's very first Knightmare Frames to the Black Fang comes at a price: they have to find someone who made a promise to her. That being Lelouch.
- Villain Respect: Roman makes it clear to Cinder that he is quite impressed by how the Black Fang operates. Then again, considering that Cinder is more or less threatening him to cooperate, its understandable. Neo herself seems to be a fan of Edan's destructive nature.