I revised this illustration a bit – original here. The scales are prettier and less cartoonish.
As envisioned by Gene Wolfe:
"As I had suspected, the Cumaean was not a woman at all; yet neither was it one of the horrors I had beheld in the gardens of the House Absolute. Something sleekly reptilian coiled about the glowing rod. I looked for the head and found none, though each of the patternings on the reptile's back was a face, and the eyes of each face seemed lost in rapture." Gene Wolfe, 'The Claw of the Conciliator'
This beautifully written description creeped me out: I just had to illustrate it.