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Xanesha

There was only one Old Clocktower in Magnimar, and it was located under the Irespan. The shadows from that massive bridge kept the area in twilight for most of the day, and the heroes and Kasadei had no problem approaching unseen. In an adjacent building they met with Kasadei’s spies. Although they were not sure who could be trusted among the city guard, they admitted there was a need to watch the clocktower.

The spies reported that there had been no movement in or out of the clocktower. Locals had reported occasionally seeing a large, hulking man skulking in the shadows at the foot of the clocktower, while others related tales of a woman with the body of a large serpent flying across the night sky from the top of the clocktower.

Twitch assumed the form of a small, badger-like creature and vanished into the ground, moving through the stone and rock as if it was water. He entered the walls of the tower and made his way up, pausing along the way to detail any inhabitants. Near the top he spotted three men, Ironthorn, Tsuto and Aldern Foxglove. Knowing each of these to be dead, he assumed the three were the same faceless creatures they had encountered in the Foxglove Townhouse.

At the pinnacle of the clocktower Twitch spied Xanesha, now in her natural form. From the waist up she was still the beautiful, dark haired woman who had rescued them from the prison, but below that her figure was that of a large serpent. She lounged comfortably on expensive silk cushions, dozing in the morning breeze. Twitch returned to his companions and related what he had found.

Girding themselves for battle, the heroes and the guards, led by Kasadei, stormed the clocktower. Twitch assumed the form of a cloud-like humanoid and flew to the top of the tower, where he used his spells and abilities to cause two of the faceless stalkers to plummet to their death, 140 feet below.

As Belor Stairmaster led the charge up the spiral staircase, followed closely by the guards, an abomination emerged from the rubble in the corner of the room. Standing almost as tall as two men the creature was stitched together from equal parts human, horse and cow. Shrivelled heads hung from its belt, and he charged forward with a razor-sharp scythe.

Jon, recognising the monster as a flesh golem, hit it with a ray of frost, which slowed the creature’s movement. Belor leapt from the stairs above to come crashing down on the monster, stabbing with his sword and punching dagger. Krolmn’s pinpoint accuracy hit the monster several times while Marius’ daggers embedded in its flesh.

The creature flexed it muscles and threw Belor across the room. Roaring in anger it charged forward, slicing down several guards in its way. Above, Twitch had burnt through the ropes holding the clcoktower’s bells. “Look out below!” he screamed, and even if his voice wasn’t lost in the sound of battle, his cries came out in the language of the air elementals (whoosh sigh whoosh!)

The bell’s deep chime echoed around the clocktower, the first time in generations, as it fell, bouncing on the walls and smashing through parts of the staircase before hitting the ground below, crushing the golem. The clocktower shook with the bell’s falling, and dust and rubble crumbled from its walls and stairs, peppering those below.

Before the group could rest Xanesha emerged from her lair. “What do I have here?” she asked aloud. “Vermin in my tower! Do you how a snake deals with vermin?”

She darted toward Twitch, her swift lunge catching him offguard and before his cloud-like form could dodge aside she ran him through with her long, barbed spear. Knowing himself outmatched he quickly flew downward toward his companions, who were making their way up the stairs, trying to navigate over the broken areas.

Xanesha made her way down, her tail wrapping around the stairs and rocks as she descended. The heroes charged up the stairs to meet her. With a shout Below met her, his black dragon helm leading the way for others to follow. Marius had climbed up the broken stairs from below, and flipped himself up onto the staircase to appear behind Xanesha. Jon took up a position on the opposite side of the tower, providing a clear way for his spells to fly across the room. Krolmn, atop Fido, leapt across the broken stairs and began firing his bow, hitting the Lamia Matriarch several times.

Angered by the impunity of the heroes Xanesha doubled her attacks. Her snake-like reactions were too quick for Belor, and he was slowly forced back. Finally she managed to get past his defences and her spear caught him on the neck. He stagged and she quickly followed up with a lunge, impaling him through his thigh. Belor dropped to one leg, but Xanesha wasn’t finished. She slithered forward quicker than humanly possible and smashed his face with the butt of her spear before grabbing his body and biting deeply into his throat. Blood spattered across her face and chest and the warrior struggled feebly against her embrace. Finally, almost draining her victim of life, she tossed the warrior aside, down to the floor below. Twitch rushed forward to heal his companion, knowing he didn’t have much time to keep him alive.

But the warrior had bought his companions the time to surround Xanesha, and together they managed to attack the serpent-like abomination. Marius took a spear in the chest and fell to the ground, but Twitch quickly administered healing to stabilise him. Finally Krolmn began taunting Xanesha from across the room, and as she sped toward him he took aim and fired one last shot – hitting her in the eye and killing her instantly.

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