Exclusives

Cage Match 2010, Round 4: 14) Kvothe versus 15) Jaime Lannister

 

Kvothe.jpg

Image courtesy of Kim Kincaid

JaimeLannister2.jpg

Image courtesy of Michael Komarck

Kvothe
The Kingkiller
Age: Mid-20s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Magic and his sharp wit
Special Attack: Misdirection

Jaime Lannister
The Kingslayer
Age: 34
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Sword (Valyrian steel; borrowed from Tommen)
Special Attack: Insanely hot
Advantages

  • Mesmerizes foes with his lute and sing-song voice
  • Master Namer
  • A living legend
Advantages

  • The greatest swordsman of his age
  • Golden hair, flashing green eyes, killer smile (18 Charisma)
  • Has no qualms about murdering and/or crippling children
Disadvantages

  • Just wants to be left alone
Disadvantages

  • Missing his sword hand
Kills

  • Garet Jax (His search is finally over)
  • Aslan (TAMED)
  • Albus Dumbledore (Guess those Horcruxes were a good idea)
Kills

  • Hermione Granger (Looks like someone got a “Troll” on their Survival N.E.W.T.)
  • Cthulhu (Even death can die… and so can big fat Elder Beings)
  • Temeraire (That’s what you get for “dragon” your ass)

Click here for Patrick Rothfuss’ idea of how this fight would go!

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It was midmorning, and the autumn sun was hot as Jaime Lannister opened the door of the Waystone Inn. The place was oddly quiet, and he peered through the door, one hand resting lightly on his sword.

The taproom was empty except for a dark-haired young man lounging behind the bar. “Can I help you?”

Jaime stepped inside. “I’m looking for the owner. We have… business.”

The young man stood up straighter. “He’s stepped out for a moment. You’re Jaime?”

Jaime frowned slightly as he looked the young man over. “I am. And you are?”

“Bast.” The young man said with a grin. “He said I’m to make you comfortable if you showed up early. He shouldn’t be more than an hour or two. Can I get you something to drink?”

Jaime moved to sit at the bar. “I don’t suppose you have any decent wine out here in the ass end of nowhere?”

“What do you mean by decent?” Bast asked.

Jaime waved a hand dismissively. “Why don’t you bring out your best bottle? I’ll tell you if it’s something worth drinking.”

Bast looked offended as he headed down the basement stairs, returning a moment later with a dusty bottle.

“Something off the top shelf, I hope,” Jamie said.

“Something from behind the shelf,” Bast said proudly. “I can’t keep track of what the wines are called in these parts, but I’m guessing when you hide a bottle, it’s the good stuff.”

Bast worked a corkscrew and opened the bottle with a deft flourish. Then he brought out a tall wineglass, poured an inch of deep red wine into it, and held it out with an ingratiating smile.

Jaime made no motion to take it. “You drink half.”

Bast glanced down at the glass, then back up, his smile fading. “It tells you a lot about a man when he says something like that.”

Jaime showed his teeth in a sharp, joyless expression that had the shape of a smile. “It says a lot about you,” he said smugly, “that you aren’t willing to drink it.”

Bast gave a dismissive sniff, picked up the glass, and took a mouthful of the dark wine. Then he raised his eyebrows and made an appreciative noise as he picked up the bottle and eyed the engraving on the neck. “I can see why he hid this one,” Bast said, pouring more into the glass. “That’s just lovely.”

Jaime shrugged. “Ah well,” he said. “You know what they say. Better safe than sore,” he held out his hand.

Bast brought the glass close to his chest, his blue eyes icy. “This is my drink now.” He took another sip of the wine. “Rude guests go thirsty. Drink your own piss for all I care.”

Jaime’s expression went dark. “I’m not here for you,” he said. “But killing you wouldn’t be far out of my way.”

They stared at each other for a while across the bar. After a moment, Bast set the bottle down hard on the bar. “Fine,” he said, nudging it so it slid forward. “I won’t insult you by offering you a glass or anything. I could poison that, too. You’ll just have to drink it right from the bottle…” Bast grinned. “Like an unlettered cretin.”

Jaime picked up the bottle. “Boy,” he said. “If it makes you feel brave to show your teeth to me, go right ahead. But I’ll only tolerate so much.” He took a drink straight from the bottle, paused, and took another slower drink as if to make sure of something. He looked surprised. “Well, that is good, isn’t it?”

Bast nodded and took another sip.

“Did he say when he’ll be back?”

Bast looked down at his feet. “A couple hours,” he said with an odd tone in his voice. “He wasn’t expecting you until noon.”

“Don’t look so glum, boy,” Jaime said. “Look at the bright side. In a couple hours I’ll be on my way and you’ll be the owner of this fine inn.”

Bast looked up and his eyes were anxious. “I don’t suppose I could convince you to call this off?”

Jaime gave a humorless laugh and took another drink. “Good lord, boy. Why on earth would I do that?”

“Human decency?” Bast said.

Something about this struck the golden-haired man as funny, and he erupted into a great belly laugh that lasted for nearly a minute. Eventually he trailed off, wiping the water from his eyes. “You just earned yourself a tip, boy.” He shook his head in disbelief and took another drink.

“It’s just that…” Bast began.

“Look, boy.” Jaime leaned forward onto the bar. “I can tell you’re a talker. You probably learned that from him. I hear he’s got a silver tongue on him. Talked his way right out of the fight with the god-lion.” He gave Bast a serious look, his eyes hard as flint. “But that isn’t going to do him any good here.”

Jamie took another drink from the bottle before continuing. “You see, I’ve done some asking around. Your Kvothe has a bit of a reputation. Clever, quick. Devil with a sword. Strong as a bear. He can call down fire and lightning.” Jaime shook his head. “But I think all that is just stories. And the parts that aren’t just stories, he lost long ago.” He looked around the empty inn. “He wouldn’t be hiding here if he still had a scrap of power to call his own.”

Bast looked dejected, but he didn’t say anything.

“I’ll offer him a chance to surrender.” Jaime said magnanimously. “As thanks for this excellent bottle of wine.” He took one last drink and pushed it away from himself on the bar. “That’s enough of that. Start to turn my head, otherwise.”

“He might surprise you.” Bast said.

“With what?” Jaime said, laughing again. “That sword has dust on it, and his magic’s gone from what I hear. His silver tongue isn’t any good on me. He doesn’t even play music any more. What’s left?”

“I need to show you something,” Bast said. “Come here behind the bar.”

Jaime turned his shoulders, then frowned, looking down at his feet.

“Never mind,” Bast said, starting to walk around the bar. “I’ll come over to you.”

“Why can’t I move my legs?” Jaime said, his voice quiet and incredulous.

“Sethora,” Bast said simply. “It tends to start with the legs. You can probably still move your arms. But be careful or you’ll….” Jaime turned on his stool and toppled messily to the floor. “…Yeah. You’ll do that.”

Jaime writhed a bit, turning onto his side. Moving his arms sluggishly he managed to pull a long knife from his belt and throw it at Bast as came out from behind the bar. But the throw went wild and sunk into one of the thick-timbers of the tables.

Bast approached where the big man lay, stepping gracefully as a dancer. He stayed well out of arm’s reach through the man’s final struggles, waiting until he saw the tall man’s breathing grow stiff and labored.

“It was in the wine,” Bast stepped close and brushed the man’s golden hair out of his eyes. “I can’t believe you managed to drink so much of it. You must have the constitution of an ox.”

“But you…” Jaime’s mouth shaped the words though he lacked the breath to say them.

“You think I wouldn’t drink poison for him?” Bast asked. “Then you don’t know anything about him.”

Bast met the man’s glassy eyes. “You’re right. He’s not what he used to be. He’s lost everything. No magic. No music. No joy. No hope. You know what he has? You know what’s left?” Bast leaned closer, his voice low and vicious. “Me!” He practically spat the word, his eyes were wild. “He has me!”

The young man stood, took a fistful of the tall man’s golden hair, and began to drag his limp body across the floor.

Click here for George R.R. Martin’s idea of how the fight will go!

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The three Lannisters rode along the forest road side by side.

“Let me understand this,” Jaime said, still incredulous.   “I’ve defeated a witch, a mad god, and a dragon.  So now they match me up against an innkeep.”  He did not like the sound of that one bit.   Cutting down common serving men was hardly the path to glory.  There had to be some trap here, some hidden danger.  “What did the fellow do that they want him dead so badly?  Piss in someone’s beer?”

Tyrion grinned.  “Don’t protest too much, brother.  You’ve killed innkeeps before.”

Jaime had almost forgotten about him.  It annoyed him to be reminded.  “Only the one.”  The things I do for love.  “Our sweet sister insisted.”

“Must I be blamed for everything?”  Cersei’s green eyes blazed.  “The man deserved it.  The service was wretched.”

“Kvothe is rather more than an innkeep, actually, ” Tyrion said, mildly.  “Or he was.  He sings as well.  Plays the lute.”

“An innkeep and a singer.  I may well piss myself.  Does he knows ‘The Bear and the Maiden Fair?’”

Tyrion laughed.  “He may.  He’s an educated fellow.  Went to a famous school.”

Jaime groaned.  “Not another one from that Hogfart’s place?  Seven save me.”

“No, not Hogwart’s,” said the dwarf.  “This school was more like our Citadel, truth be told.  You know, brother, it would not hurt you to read a book from time to time.”

“That’s what I have you for,” said Jaime.  “What else do you know about this Kvothe?”

“He’s dabbled in sorcery.   Knows the name of the wind, I hear.”

“It had best not be Mariah,” Jaime said darkly.

Tyrion chuckled.  “No, that’s from an entirely different tale.”

“I suppose we had best fight indoors, then,” Jaime said.  “That should make it more difficult for him to blow me away.  Can he use a sword?”

“After a fashion,” said his brother.

Which describes me as well, Jaime thought glumly.  Long practice had made him almost adequate with his left hand, but it would never be the equal of the right the Bloody Mummers had taken from him.  The golden hand strapped to the end of his stump was the next best thing to useless.  It still amazed him that he had survived his first three matches.

They reached the village not long after.  A dismal place,  Jaime concluded after a quick glance around.  The villagers looked fairly dismal too.  They stared at the three Lannisters as if they had never seen a lord before.  Perhaps they haven’t.

Kvothe’s inn was called the Wayfarer.   The common room was crowded when he entered with his siblings.   More rustics gaped at them from every hand.  Come to see their innkeep die?  he wondered.  That’s one swift way to settle your account.

One glance from Cersei was enough to send the locals scrambling out of their way.  The three Lannisters settled themselves at a table near the door, ignoring the stares.  Jaime looked about for his foe.  He was not hard to find.   He was back by the wine casks, talking intently as his companion scratched upon a parchment.  “Who is the scribbler?” he asked.

“His chronicler,” said Tyrion.

Jaime frowned.  “Is he writing out some spell or charm to protect him?”

“I think not.  Just the story of his life.”

Cersei’s laughter filled the inn.  “Oh, how droll.  An innkeep with a biographer.  ‘Chapter the Fifth, I learn to scrub out pots!”

That was when the youth appeared, with a flagon of wine and three cups.  “Our best wine,” he announced.  “With the compliments of the house.”

Jaime was not thirsty.  Nor did he much like the look of the serving man.  He got to his feet.  “Time enough for drinking when we’re done.”  He strode across the room.

The innkeep broke off what he was saying.   “Ser Jaime.  You come early.  Have a drink, I will be with you shortly.  I am not quite done… ”

“Actually, you are.”  Jaime slid Widow’s Wail from its scabbard and slashed at the redhead’s neck, all in one swift motion.  That might have ended it then and then, but the scribbler was so startled that he raised his hands in dismay, which cost him half a quill and two good fingers… but gave Kvothe the half a heartbeat that he needed to avoid the blow.  Jaime kicked the table over as the innkeep came scrambling to his feet, but Kvothe leapt back adroitly.   A moment later his own sword was in his hand.

Jaime grinned.  “Good,” he said.  “Steel on steel.   My favorite sort of music.”

The swords did all the singing then.  Back and forth across the inn they fought.  Jaime pressed the attack at first, hoping to end it quickly, but Kvothe was not unskilled, and his blade turned every blow, and answered cut for cut.  The tide turned suddenly as the red-haired singer went on the offense, pressing Jaime back.   One slash almost took his nose off.  Tyrion and I could have passed for twins, he thought as he danced away.

Kvothe was good, he had to grant him that.  Probably as good as Jaime was, fighting without his proper sword hand.  But where he still trained every day with the likes of Ilyn Payne, the innkeep spent his time drawing ale and washing dishes and serving bowls of stew, and after a time that began to tell.  And Kvothe’s sword was not worthy of its wielder.  A decent weapon, no doubt, but Widow’s Wail was Valyrian steel, forged with dragonflame and tempered with spells, and every time the two blades touched another chip was carved from Kvothe’s sword.

And all at once, the innkeep found himself holding half a sword.

That was when the young serving man tried to interfere.  But Tyrion had crept up behind him with a dagger, and that put an end to that.

Then Jaime put an end to Kvothe.  A feint to the heart, checked by the broken blade, became a killing thrust through the throat.

The scribbler was huddled in the corner, cradling his bloody hand.  “Every tale needs an ending, chronicler,” Jaime told him, as he wiped the blood off Widow’s Wail.  “There’s yours.”  He turned and smiled at the smallfolk.  “The drinks are on Casterly Rock, my friends.”  Cersei left a pile of golden dragons on the table, to cover the cost of all the wine and beer.  “A Lannister always his debts,” she announced, as they took their leave to begin the long ride home.


How we think the fight will go“I’m sick of this,” Jaime muttered. “Every time I go up against one of these unworthies, the naysayers harp on my lack of magic…and the lack of my hand.”He looked down where the missing appendage was replaced by the mocking gold–it was worth a fortune, but worthless when it came to these fights.And yet he had won! Every time, against powerful opponents. Opponents who, he would even admit in hindsight, were not quite as “unworthy” as he might boast. Opponents he had no right besting.A powerful young witch…

A mind-boggling beast of evil…

A warrior-dragon…

All of them destroyed by his hands.

Hand.

He spat into the ground.

Across the field stood a man–a man that was supposed to have died much earlier, too. Apparently he was one of those who had tried to refuse to fight, but ended up killing his enemies with potent magics.

It is said he can destroy me by simply saying my name.

“Ho, Ser Jaime!” the man called out, causing Jaime to flinch. But the knight didn’t disappear when his name was said. He smiled.

“And to you, Kvothe.”

“I feel it would be unfair for me to just say your true name and be done with this.” Reaching towards his belt, he pulled out a sword. Jaime wasn’t surprised to see he held it competently.

“You say ‘just,’ though, as if that could be an option in the future–as when you are losing to me,” Jaime said, drawing Valyrian steel in a fluid motion.

“I promise you, Ser–I didn’t mean it that way. I am a man who values–”

What he valued was cut off by a vicious swipe of Jaime’s sword. Kvothe, a trained swordsman in his own right, parried easily, although he was taken off guard.

“Fool!” Jaime snarled, launching into an offensive series designed to give Kvothe no time to do anything but react.

And react he did, Jaime noticed. Kvothe’s skill was apparent, and his counters were close to being reversals. It was only Jaime’s experience at dueling that kept him at the advantage–for the moment. He did curse, though, the fact that he was fighting with his off hand. No matter how much he trained, he was still overthinking, and not just fighting on instinct–

Which is when Kvothe’s parry turned into a a glancing cut across his bicep.

For the most part his armor deflected the blow, but it was the surprise of having his own defenses breached–especially so early into the fight–that threw him off. He stepped back, signaling a pause which–given his initial attack–he was surprised Kvothe consented to.

“You fight well,” Kvothe said.

“Screw you!” Jaime yelled. “I will not be patronized by a…a mere jester!” He attacked again and, again, Kvothe blocked all his thrusts and swings. He seemed to show no interest in actually engaging any more offensive maneuvers of his own.

“I am no minstrel,” Kvothe said, his voice quiet. “Just as you are not truly Jaime Lannister.”

Jaime stepped back again, and this time there was fear in his eyes. But, again, Kvothe had said his name, but nothing happened.

“You know nothing of who I truly am,” Jaime said. “And even if you do say my true name, it just proves that you have no more honor than I.”

“Be that as it may, the more I converse with you, the more I realize you need to be cleansed from this world.” Kvothe looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings. “Any world,” he amended.

“Goodbye…Kingslayer.”

Kvothe looked at Jaime–and kept looking at him. He stared in disbelief at Jaime…and then at the knife sticking out of his own chest. He looked back up at Jaime, and saw the Valyrian sword on the ground, dropped so that the knight could throw the knife.

“But…I said…your true name…”

Jaime stood over Kvothe. “If you think of me only as the Kingslayer, then you know me not at all.” Reaching down, he grabbed the hilt of the dagger and jerked upwards. A strangled gurgling sound emitted from Kvothe, but no more words came out.

“But I will certainly be known as Kvothe-slayer from now on.”

Predicted Winner: Jaime Lannister

(Kvothe is a character from Patrick Rothfuss’s novel The Name of the Wind; Jaime Lannister is a character from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.)

Who will win?trends

 

NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON FRIDAY, APRIL 2ND, AT 12 NOON, EST

 

 

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