Cage Match 2010, Round 1: 7) Temeraire versus 26) Haplo



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Image courtesy of Keith Parkinson

Celestial Dragon
Age: 5
Race: Celestial dragon
Weapons / Artifacts: Talons, teeth
Special Attack: The divine wind

Labyrinth Survivor
Age: Twenty-something (in Labyrinth years)
Race: Patryn
Weapons / Artifacts: Dog
Special Attack: Can command magic by drawing runes in the air

  • Can hover in flight. Did you get that? Can fly.
  • Ability to learn languages quickly
  • Is large enough to carry a crew of dozens

  • His dog can detect evil
  • Has the backing of the powerful Lord Xar, who helped him escape the Labyrinth
  • Is dedicated, almost single-minded in purpose

  • Will risk anything to protect his captain, Will Laurence

  • Young, idealistic, and naive
How we think the fight will go

Haplo emerges from the Death Gate into Napoleonic-era England with great puzzlement, unsure of where he is but on high alert for the “gods” he has been told to seek out. At first he and Temeraire find common ground: both have felt the burden of enslavement at the hands of powerful overlords. Haplo, seeing that Temeraire is willing to fight for his warlord masters when Will Laurence directs him to do so, decides that Laurence must be the problem, and lays him out with a simple spell. Convinced that his beloved captain is dead, Temeraire lets loose with the divine wind, blowing Haplo into the middle of next week. While Haplo is still reeling from concussive injuries, Temeraire catches him up in his claws and flies out over the British Channel, looking for a nice drop site.

Predicted Winner: Temeraire

(Temeraire is a character from Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series; Haplo is a character from the Death Gate Cycle series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.)

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  • Peter Jørgensen

    Haplo has fought a lot of worse things in the labyrinth. A dragon should be easy enough. I admit that I havn´t read the Tamelaire books yet. But she sounds like a standard enough dragon. Flying an breath weapon.
    Also, Haplo don´t draw runes in the air. He has Runes tatoed on his body. The same tatoes that would also defend him against a dragons breath weapon.

  • R G

    Haplo defeated enemies that killed powerful dragons – mostly in hand to hand while Temeraire has at most ranged attack experience.
    Clearly Haplo is going to win.

  • the Erikson Apologist

    I am going with Temeraire for the sole reason the first few of those books are better than the death gate cycle. Haplo should win the fight, but Temeraire has a better author.

  • Nana

    Since I love both book series and the characters in question, I’m really challenged here. Yes, Haplo has experience with dragons, but they’re the most powerful creatures in the labyrinth and he’s not Xar, who easily fends them off. On the other hand he can probably protect himself well enough with his runes from every claw attack Temeraire can muster – but Temeraires Divine Wind is something else completely and I’m not sure how he would handle that. So I’ll settle with Haplo hurting Temeraire and then leaving to search for a better target to manipulate (although an escape from Temeraire by his airship should be difficult…).

  • Peter Jørgensen

    In the labyrinth you have to learn to survive from the day you are born. The days where you don´t scale clifffaces with heavy loads on your back, you run through boobytrap infested tunnels with dangerous magical creatures on your back, or polevault over lavapits while attacked by giant bats. And that´s the easy days.
    Best dragonslayer acedemy ever.
    On top of his incredible physical shape he has powerful rune magic as well.
    And the awesome power of nostalgia.

  • nico

    Haha, that wouldn’t happen : )
    A conversation with the dragon that is. At first sight Haplo would fight it out giving it his all, defense first of course.
    Haplo has experience with dragons, both more and less powerful ones than Temeraire(not saying he’d win against a Labyrinth dragon).
    I think with his fighting abilities and rune magic, he will find a way to subdue the dragon or at least prove himself to be the winner of this battle one way or another.
    I also think that he has a serious shot at taking out Cthulhu, so go go Haplo!

  • Joel

    While Haplo is focusing on the dragon, a sharpshooter in Temeraire’s crew picks him off.

  • Gerd

    Isn’t that called “Cage Match” here? Wonder if the cage is big enough for Temeraire to move around. Otherwise Haplo will surely win if he gets at Temeraires back.

  • Kara

    1. The divine wind can sink a ship in one release, it is that powerful. If Temeraire gets that out, the fight is over, there’s no way to dodge unless you can teleport, but if you can, you’d better do it fast.
    2. Will Lawrence is a very experienced captain, both in sea combat and in the air. He’s also very smart and not likely to get himself captured and his crew will back him up if he gets into trouble. But even if anything happens to Will, which is not likely, Temeraire will use the divine wind in vengence if necessary.
    3. Keep in mind, Temeraire isn’t just some random cave dragon. For a 5-year-old, he’s wicked smart and has been fighting battles almost since his birth.He can read and write and plan his own battle strategies. So he’s got both instinct and wit on his side. He’s an experienced fighter.

  • Justin

    People obviously don’t understand the full significance of this…
    A dragon? really? Like there aren’t a billion of those in the deathgate cycle anyway.
    He stopped the most powerful human mages in Airanus who had DRAGON MOUNTS. He survived the Tytans on Pyran who annihilated all life in their path, he defied necromatic demigods, faced the manifestations of pure chaos (the dragon-snakes), survived lord Xar tearing his body apart just to put it back together again, and then went BACK into the labyrinth.
    He wins.

  • Seele

    Temeraire is no where near as powerful as any of the things Haplo has fought. Temeraire is an awesome character and love the books but in terms of power he is just not in the same class as most of the guys in this cage match. Divine Wind is nice and all but it is basically a sonic attack, find it hard to believe that after surviving the Labyrinth and everything else that Haplo doesn’t have a rune on his body that protects against that.
    Haplo isn’t naive when it comes to combat.

  • Somebot

    For the uninitiated, the “Divine Wind” is essentailly a giant ship-sinking, wood-shattering, wreaks-general-havok-on-squishy-targets sonic boom. Runed or not runed, I doubt that any of those can keep his eardrums from bursting, lungs from collapsing, or any of those other unpleasantries from that kind of attack.
    Not to mention that in the Temeraire series, even his enemies know not to go for a dragon’s captain, as they go into a massive homicidal rampage and kill anything in sight (particularly that little insect on the ground that just killed Laurence.)
    Last but not least, Temeraire serves as the tactical equivalent as a B-17 Flying Fortress, with a full complement of bombs, armor, and buddies on his back with rifles.
    Haplo’s dragons at best only had one rider, had “conventional” dragon attacks that he could defend against, and couldn’t slap you with an airstrike from 1,000 feet

  • Easy Win

    I wonder how many who are blindly voting for Temeraire have really read the Death Gate Cycle. A “Divine Wind” that can sink a ship in one blow? Ha, the ancient rune magic could tear a fleet of those ships apart and put them back together just for s*** and giggles. Haplo has fought way more powerful foes and has always come out of it alive. Let’s not forget about the Death Gate itself, how about we just erase the existence of Temeraire completely before it even becomes an issue?

  • Rashad

    Yeah, Haplo is pretty badass. Voters are definitely underestimating him.

  • windolf

    I thought that the Patryns had runes on their skin and the Sartan drew them in the air.

  • Anon

    Wonder how is that possible that nearly all commenter says Haplo would definitly win, and by such a sum he is losing.I never read the Temeraire series so can’t really judge this match but the death gate cycle was among my favorites, which also brought me to the fantasy gender, it makes me sad Haplo is losing.

  • devh

    No brainer! Haplo wins!
    1.) He is a demigod
    2.) He cannot really die as long as dog lives.
    3.) Even then Alfred would never let him die and Alfred can change himself into a dragon more powerful than any of the 4 worlds and even more powerful than a labyrinth dragon.
    4.) He does not draw sigils in the air. He has them tatooed. Maybe someone around here should actually read the book?

  • Damon

    It makes me sad to see that Haplo will likely lose this battle. I haven’t read the Temeraire books, but from what I am hearing via the comments I am not impressed. Ok, Temeraire is a powerful dragon, is carrying around a small army, and has a very skilled captain.
    Haplo has survived and fought through the Labyrinth for 20 some years by himself (which includes any number of armies and creatures that are more powerful than a huge dragon… anyone remember the Chaodyn? Let a single drop of blood spill and it will instantly form a 2nd Chaodyn to join the fight), and escaped the Labyrinth with minimal help from Xar.
    And speaking of Xar, do we want to bring commanders and comrades into this fight? How about Xar, who is arguably the most powerful humanoid in the universe (the man can take 4 worlds and combine them into 1!!!), and Alfred, who can turn himself into an enormous dragon of immense power, resurrect the dead, and do just about anything else he can think of.
    One last comment… Haplo has fought and defeated the Dragon-Snakes… How could he not beat a ‘normal’ dragon no matter how powerful?

  • Haplo would trash Temeraire 8 ways to Wednesday.
    Others have pointed out the rune misplacement. His body is extremely well protected and would be able to put up with being blown around or clawed at. Seriously, dragons are some of the less fearsome beasts Haplo has contended with. Temeraire is just a normal (if intelligent) dragon.

  • Mykal

    Problem here: We’re comparing apples and oranges. Haplo’s prior enemies may have been pretty rough and tumble, but Temeraire is also not a standard dragon. The two series don’t mesh with the disparity between a dragon in one versus the other. My opinion: Temeraire is far more likely, given even footing, to tear through Labyrinth foes than people give him credit for. I’m also noting an interesting point of fact – it seems most people have read only one or the other of these series, rather than both, making this match up problematic for a realistic conclusion.
    That said, I’m not sure either of these two would ever GET to the fighting. Temeraire would likely spend uncounted hours talking to Haplo about enslavement, and even potentially lulling Haplo into a sense of understanding explaining that he is a free dragon that has made the decision to stay with Laurence, his friend and heart’s desire, rather than being a captive. Haplo, understanding Laurence is actually a boon to the dragon and not a problem would have no cause to worry over the captain. Eventually, Haplo would get bored of talking, have no reason for fighting, and be off to the next challenge… Temeraire wins for boring his opponent… ?
    Respect to both series – they’re awesome.

  • nico

    I also did not read the Temeraire series, but read quite a bit about it when the tournament order was released.
    Still I am surprised by how bad Haplo is losing : \
    To my mind he still wins, but regardless of the result it should at least be something close! Death Gate Cycle readers will know that dragons are bad luck. Temeraire is stronger than Arianus pet dragons but way weaker than Labyrinth dragons(which really doesn’t say anything at all, since nobody beats those anyway…).
    I was going to write a (longer) text about Patryn and what not, but I don’t want to spoil anything for someone who still might want to read the books(and you should!).
    Haplo IS the guy that can take out the most powerful opponents, who others already acclaim to be the finalists in this tournament. So please do vote if you haven’t already.
    A brief remark:
    Rune magic is not his special attack! Patryn use it for everyday tasks and for fighting daily. Also it’s not about fancy spellcasting, but realising possibities of what might happen. Figure out yourself what that means or read the books, but be assured, rune magic is pretty damn powerful compared to common fantasy.
    Same goes to their rune armor. Said runes cover their entire bodies and offer fulltime protection, healing, and alert them of enemies.
    Also Patryn do fight daily, they are raised in a very hostile enviroment, that is also inhabited by said Labyrinth dragons, who are like instant death.

  • nico

    Forgot to mention, in case that Haplo does lose(which is possible, but at most 50/50), aren’t you forgetting a certain someone that would certainly stumble into the scene and turn things around in Haplo’s favor?

  • vengur

    yea but this is the napoleonic age, no dragon survives a full broadside from a ship of the line.
    Temeraire is a very agile dragon on 25 ton, capable of flying in VERY annoying circles around haplos head.

  • Kara

    I’d have to agree with Mykal and Vengur… Temeraire has a very extreme sense of right and wrong so even if they were pitted against each other, so long as Temeraire knew Haplo was a good guy, he wouldn’t feel the need to attack him. And despite his large size, he’s like a giant child. I don’t see Haplo and Temeraire getting into a dispute for any reason.
    And crossing worlds is a bad idea, a dragon in one literary world is different from a dragon in another

  • Are you people kidding! Haplo would so kick a dragon’s butt all over town. Seriously the man has stood up to the incarnations of the primal forces of evil and chaos themselves.
    Vote based on what the characters can really do!

  • Michelle McLendon

    Celestial wind beats young and naive any day. Tem would kick Haplo’s butt, hands down. Let’s pair them up against the Evil Empire instead!!

  • Meli

    Also ich hab die Bücher vom Hapo nicht gelesen, aber ich kann so viel sagen: Temeraire wird immer und gegen jeden gewinnen und das was ich gelesen habe vom lbyrint und so aber ich meine der Göttliche Wind ist eine Starke waffe und ich glaube nichts kann damit gleich ziehen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nico

    This is being reduced to “the divine wind is super strong and unbeatable”. I say it’s not absolute, prove me wrong!

  • vengur

    well the divine wind sunk 16 ships of the line, 4 frigates and killed nelson.

  • AO

    It’s been a few years since I last read the Death Gate Cycle, (and I’ve never the Temeraire series) but didn’t the Runes on Haplo’s body make him pretty much impervious to harm?
    More importantly, and what I do remember with certainty, is that his magic allows him to see every possible outcome from any act and select the one that he wants. The more unlikely the outcome then the more difficult it is for him to generate that result, but I can’t imagine that it would be terribly difficult for him to simply cause the Dragon to miss or his Divine Wind to fail (repeatedly if needed) and then respond with guaranteed hits. Unless the Dragon can affect probability then he would probably never able to land even one hit on Haplo.
    It looks like Haplo is going to lose due to popularity, or lack thereof, but I am quite puzzled by the original write-up and disappointed with this result.

  • crashandy

    Every one seems to assume that magic will work in Temeraire’s universe. If it does then it still maybe a fair fight but if no then Haplo gets splatered in short order.

  • Christa

    Big dragon, little man. Omnomnom!

  • nico

    Well he stepped through the Death Gate which was created with rune magic, so it apparently works in the Temeraire universe.
    That’s no guarantee but everything else wouldn’t be fun : p.

  • james

    People keep talking about Haplo’s friends and him being able to demolish Temeraire. If you would like to talk of aliies and friends, temeraire has about 30 friends whom are dragons. I don’t care how powerful Haplo is, he cannot kill 30 dragons all coming at him.
    But of course this is not a cage match between Temeraire, Haplo, and all thier friends. This is a battle between Temeraire and Haplo. Haplo’s runes may protect him against claws, teeth, swords, and bullets, but the Divine Wind does not have a physical shape, but is a force of nature. If anyone has read the Temeraire series. A celestial dragon can not only sink a ship, but a fleet of ships without coming anywhere near by creating a tsunami.

  • jay

    I do no think everyone understands the Divine Wind. This is no “wind” attack persay, but a sonic boom. And when has Haplo ever had to stop a sonic boom? And since he hasn’t, why would he have a rune protecting him from that, or from a musketball either. The Divine wind can create a tsunami sinking an armada of ships. Plus everyone thinks Haplo can bring his friends along, this is not a battle between Temeraire, Haplo, AND THIER FRIENDS, this is battle between Temeraire and Haplo. Even if they could bring their friends, Haplo and his friends could not defeat 30 dragon friends and companions of Temeraire’s(and probably more would join).
    Either way, everybody loves Temeraire, no one likes Haplo(or even read his series).

  • nico

    Some people mentioned Haplo’s “friends”, though no one thought he couldn’t beat Temeraire alone.
    Actually he never really works with partners at the point of time depicted in the character description.
    Sad that Haplo loses, apparently not many people read both series. At least he got a few more votes : )
    The Death Gate cycle was great. Even with the last book being released in 1994(compared to the newer Temeraire) it’s still a great work of fantasy and worth the read.
    Btw. Patryn do draw runes in the air, they just don’t perform funny dances.

  • Matt

    I’ve read both series and enjoyed both. Sadly it seems that most of the voters have not. Really the Temeraire vs. Haplo is almost as bad a match as Locke vs. Rand. Haplo would wipe the floor with Temeraire in under a minute, assuming Temeraire didn’t fly away in fright which at least one other dragon has done after meeting the patryn’s stare.
    Best case for Temeraire: He blasts out a Devine Wind at Halpo only to have it reflected back by rune magic to kill Lawarence and crew. Stunned and feeling nothing but grief, Temeraire hardly notices Haplo’s second spell clipping his wings or the sudden bone-breaking impact that follows the long fall.
    Worst Case for Temeraire: Upon seeing an attacking dragonlash, Halpo memories of growing up in the labyrinth are stirred, evoking the patryn’s rage. Forsaking brutal efficiency, he decides go medieval on Temeraire.
    Being a Celestal with the Divine wind is great against Napoleonic armies, but doesn’t equal being a demigod who’s magic can shift reality at whim.

  • dpomerico

    And that’s the end of that chapter!
    Make sure to check out (and vote…and comment!) on the next match with Temeraire–this time against Polgara:

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