Diana learns that Rizelda's tactics are becoming more brutal, and she must decide whether this is truly what she believes is right.
About this creation
Diana couldn't believe what she was hearing. Rizelda was planning an ambush on a small team of soldiers heading toward the nearby village to collect supplies. She'd arranged similar assignments to different Spy Council agents throughout the rest of the islands as the new head of the Enalican branch. The rebellion was quickly ascending the ladder of power to rival with the Golden Empire. But their tactics were becoming more violent, and Diana's confidence in Cazzmir's decisions was wavering.
"When I give my signal, we attack." Rizelda finished.
"And then what?" Diana asked.
Rizelda turned her sharp gaze on her. "We kill them."
Something twisted inside her stomach, and Diana glanced at Tover, but he wouldn't meet her gaze.
"It needs to be done, Diana." Cazzmir told her firmly. "You want to be rid of this corrupt Empire, don't you?"
Diana wanted to say yes. But she couldn't. Something had changed. All through their travels of the Enalican islands, she'd been watching. Watching the Golden Empire and its growing army. There were times when the soldiers seemed to be against the people. But there were also many times when they were their salvation. Towns and cities that were once poor became wealthy and prosperous. Citizens were protected at all costs, and most of them even seemed willing to aid the Empire. And now, with this recent dwarf invasion, it seemed clearer than ever that this new power was on the people's side.
Rizelda, in contrast, wanted to use these dark times to her advantage and cut into the Golden Army little by little, weakening them further. And now that the Empire was demanding more resources from its people, she went to those who were resentful and turned them to her cause. She pointed to the flaws, but ignored the strengths.
Reia's Empire was far from perfect. But it wasn't necessarily evil, either.
Rizelda's reaction to her silence wasn't enthusiastic. "You're sympathizing with the enemy, aren't you?" She snapped. When Diana didn't answer, she continued without leniency. "Are you truly that weak? What good can you see in this dictatorial regime? Will you stand there stupidly when they take everything from your people and leaving them with nothing? Will you refuse to fight back? We must destroy them!"
Diana couldn't take this any longer. "I've had it with you!" She screamed. "This rebellion of yours is meaningless! You think what you're doing is justified. But you've helped no one. You care for no one. And anyone who disagrees with you is the enemy. You'll lie, you'll kill and you'll steal. And all for what? For vengeance? Who do you think you're avenging? By the time you've killed everyone, there'll be no one left for you to avenge!"
Rizelda had murder in her eyes, but Cazzmir shouted first. "Diana, no! Rizelda making choices you disagree with doesn't prove she's the enemy! Reia and her Empire is! We're doing everything we can to bring them down. We all promised we would."
She turned on him, trembling with rage. "I've had enough of your empty promises."
Cazzmir stumbled, as if she'd slapped him. But Diana didn't care. The promise he'd given her was left broken and abused. His words were like a cruel lie she couldn't possibly have believed. We'll never turn our backs on you. I'll never turn my back on you.
The pain hit her in a fresh wave. And she saw it all again as if she were watching it through her staff for the first time. Cazzmir and Rizelda. Always going off together on separate missions. And that kiss on the balcony.
Cazzmir had shown he didn't need her anymore. So she didn't need him.
Tover tried to soften her. "Diana, I think we should alló"
But before he could finish, a loud rumbling shook the ground and every head turned in shock to look.
What they saw wasn't welcoming. A flood of dwarves had spilled out from one of the empty tunnels nearby. Heading straight for them.
"We're directly in their path!" Frazer shouted.
"Diana!" Tover called frantically. "Use the staff! Take us back to the ship!"
Diana had only a few moments to react. But she knew what she was going to do.
"I'll send you back." She announced. "But I'm not coming with you." "What?!" Cazzmir blurted.
"Diana . . ." Tover was horrified.
"I'm not going along with Rizelda's plans of slaughter." Diana shook her head. "This is where we part ways."
There were more shouts and cries of objection. But Diana ignored them. The roar of the dwarves was getting closer.
"Don't do this, Diana!" Tover pleaded.
"I'm sorry," She whispered. "But I've already made up my mind."
With a swing of her staff, her former friends faded into the air and disappeared without a sound, leaving her alone for the first time.
The crystal's power had quickly drained from the spell, making her doubt if she had enough energy to defeat the charging race.
But as Diana turned to face the mob, the seer's words came back to her. The dwarves are attracted by great magical power. Your staff combined with your own mystic aura will draw them to you.
The noise was deafening. The dwarves would soon be upon her. And she had to be ready. Whenever you are confronted with a seemingly impossible situation, you must summon energy into the staff. The energy of your very being.
"Is this what you want?!" Diana screamed, raising her weapon higher in the air.
The glow of the jewel gleamed brighter and brighter as she poured every last bit of her power into its core. "WELL YOU CAN HAVE IT!"
The last thing she heard was her own scream, emptying itself from her throat as a blasting and unbearable pain tore through her mind.
And then the blinding light was replaced with darkness.
Her dreams were black and without form, nearly convincing her she was dead. Until she was faintly aware of someone shouting her name.
Diana opened her eyes to find a familiar face looking down at her in disbelief. At first, she couldn't remember who it was through the throbbing headache.
Then the pieces fell into place.
"Ella . . ." She breathed.
Have some bonus pics of my new reddish brown + dark red + dark brown landscape color combo! ;D The tree trunk design belongs to Kyle Breidenthal, btw. I've been dying to use it ever since I saw it, and I've finally found a build it looks decent in. :P
Another angle of the landscape.
And a shot without the tree. I'm pretty happy that I had enough slopes to finish it the way it is. Would've made the back a bit higher if I had more, to make it look more like the mountain path feel I was going for. But this is complicated enough as it is. Seriously, not easy. :P
And that concludes the final episode of Rise of Rebellion! ;D Bet you weren't expecting that plot twist. Or maybe you were, considering how much Diana and Rizelda hate each other. :P Anyway, the next season, Age of the Empire will be up soon. It'll focus mainly on Diana as she becomes deeply involved with the Golden Empire, and sees this whole situation from a new perspective. And just a little hint, Cazzmir's brother (remember him from the last season finale? :P) and Diana's staff will play a big role in what's to come. *goes off grumbling to get the enchanter rank* Welp, stay tuned!