“Katarina,” Xanthor said, pointing at his bird. “You know what to do.”

“Ha! The bird does nothing,” shouted Strasser. “You said so your–”

He was interrupted by a tsunami of feathers, flapping and diving and pecking at his face. Strasser, crying out in shock, let his firebolt fly into the roof as he struggled to get the bird out of his face–an opponent too close and too fast for a spell.

Xanthor hauled himself to his feet, bracing himself on a table. He muttered a spell of warding before whistling Katarina to him. As the bird arced across the room, the old wizard let loose a powerful lance of arcane energy that sliced through his distracted rival like a scalpel.

“The bird has no magic,” Xanthor said, breathing heavily. “But that doesn’t mean my friend will do nothing.”

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