Cage Match 2012: Round 1: Lady Jessica versus Jardir


The Contestants


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Lady Jessica
Bene Gesserit, Reverend Mother, Lady of House Atreides
Age: Mid 40s
Race: Bene Gesserit
Weapons / Artifacts: Lasgun; crysknife
Weirding Way

Shar’Dama Ka – The Deliverer

Age: Early 30s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Spear of Kaji

The Breakdown


  • Mastery of fear
  • Practical knowledge of the Weirding Way: close combat tactics.
  • Superior technology

  • Superior martial arts abilities honed by years of battling demons
  • Military training and tactics
  • Brute strength and skill with a spear to keep enemies at bay

  • Easily deceived…Look over there!

  • A little “old fashioned” when it comes to the ladies

  • N/A

  • N/A

How we think the fight will go

The sandstorm began to abate, but Jardir found himself wandering alone in an unfamiliar section of desert. Unlike the pale yellow sand of his home, the ground here had a reddish tint to it, as if blood had stained the entire planet. Off in the distance he saw an outcropping of rock that would afford him a chance to scout his location and get out of the sun. He shouldered the Spear of Kaji and marched on.


Lady Jessica watched the figure approach from the south, wary of this unfamiliar stranger. The man was tall and lean, carrying a spear—of all things—his body wrapped in loose white and gray cloaks. How he had made it so far into the wastes of Arrakis without a stillsuit was baffling. With his approach, she withdrew into the Fremen-made tunnels of the outcropping. Stealth, she decided, would be her best ally.


About one hundred paces from the outcropping Jardir first heard the monster approach. A low groan began behind him, growing steadily louder. Glancing over his shoulder, Jardir was shocked to see the sand move as if something stirred beneath its grains. Not desiring to find out what kind of demon could tunnel below the earth like that, Jardir began to run, barely making it to the solid rock of the outcropping before a gigantic worm breached, spraying sand and spice into the air as it arced and re-submerged beneath the grains.

“What the devil?” Jardir breathed, heavily. “What kind of alagai swims in the sand?” Propping himself up on his spear, he retreated into the caverns. Once inside, he noticed how cool it was. And still. Somewhere around him he heard the sound of water dripping and he decided that discovering the source should be his next task. He set about exploring the caverns, holding his spear waist-high and taking care to make his steps as silent as possible.

Somewhere behind him a pebble skipped across the ground, the sound echoing off the walls. Someone was here with him, and they were trying to sneak up from behind…


Lady Jessica crept around the large boulder between her and the unknown man, cursing her errant footfall that dislodged the pebble. If the intruder had heard the small stone, he gave no indication, still walking slightly hunched over with his spear extended. Quickly the man moved into a small passageway beyond a large boulder. Jessica hurried to keep up, lasgun armed and ready.

She rounded a boulder as the shaft of the spear swung at her face. Instinctively she squeezed the trigger of the small firearm, but missed as the spear caught her in the temple. Stumbling backward, the lasgun fell from her hand.

Jardir stood over the Bene Gesserit, spear point inches from her throat.

“Speak,” he roared, “what insolence is this? From a woman, no less!”

Her response came in the form of a blindingly fast attack, slapping away the spear and moving in close for a short-range attack. Jessica struck hard and fast, catching the Southerner in the eye with a short jab, and then three quick shots to his ribs. It appeared, to the man, that she had teleported from the ground to mere inches away.

Rolling backward Jardir assumed a defensive stance, using his spear to keep the woman at bay. It was only now that he had a chance to inspect her: she was beautiful, but a kind of terrible beauty borne of this hellish place, her eyes a shocking shade of blue. Each of her movements was matched by his defensive posture, keeping the vicious spear pointed directly at her chest. With short, powerful jabs he struck out at the woman, who dodged each lunge with ease, phasing left and right as the spear passed harmlessly through the space she had previously occupied. Given the confined environment of the cave and his opponent’s preternatural speed the warrior decided it was time to switch up his tactics.

“It seems you have some fighting skill,” Jardir said, with a hint of begrudging admiration. “It has been a long time since I’ve met a worthy woman fighter. Not since Leesha! Let us see how you fare against the ultimate martial art: Sharusak!” With that Jardir dropped the Spear of Kaji to the ground and assumed his favored sharukin—a warrior pose—ready to go hand-to-hand with this mysterious woman.

Lady Jessica finally spoke, “You are no match for the Weirding Way of the Bene Gesserit, stranger. You will face death and your water will be reclaimed!” She lunged, faster than any desert snake, striking Jardir square in the nose, snapping his head back. Enraged, Jardir began with a series of frenetic kicks and punches, all aimed at the woman’s chest and stomach. Few hit.

Realizing that he could not match her speed, Jardir swung one leg backward, leaving him open to a high kick from the Reverend Mother. Seeing the opening, Jessica swung her leg high, in an attempt to break the man’s ribs. Such a strike would most definitely stun the man enough that she could unsheathe the Crysknife and slit his throat…

He caught the kick against his side and smiled; his trap had worked. With her leg held tightly against his ribs, the warrior dropped to the ground and kicked the back of Jessica’s other knee, sending her forward into the cave floor with a sickening splat. In a single fluid motion, he swung his body on top of hers, grabbing the Crysknife from her belt with one hand and closing his other arm under her chin, pinning her to the ground.

“Your speed is truly impressive,” he said through clenched teeth, “and you fought well.” With that, he ran the serrated blade of the Crysknife across her throat, spilling her blood over the cave floor.

Standing, Jardir wiped the blade on his sleeve, slid it into his belt, and retrieved the Spear of Kaji. Pausing a moment before continuing on, he bowed his head slightly, “Rest, warrior woman. May your spirit find peace.”

With that he continued on, worrying about the sun quickly disappearing beyond the horizon. Considering the toughness of the people of this place, he did not look forward to meeting their demons…

Predicted Winner: Jardir


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Lady Jessica is a character from the Dune series by Frank Herbert; Jardir is a character from the Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett

Lady Jessica image courtesy of Ace Books. Jardir image courtesy of Larry Rostant and Del Rey Books

Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”


  • Lord Eltar

    C’mon Lady Jessica!

  • Arch Draggon

    If this is the Jardir from Desert Spear then he is also filled with a bit of Demon Magic. He won’t be as strong as the Warded Man but it needs to be accounted for.

  • Darren

    I’m Torn. Lady Jessica should be able to use her voice to influence her attacker. But, at least in the first one, The voice is often ignored as an offensive strategy. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve read Dune.

    Jardir doesn’t adapt well to unfamiliar situations. He’s doesn’t understand when something isn’t the way he expects it to be. His culture is very traditional, things haven’t changed for centuries, and it reflects in his adaptability. This was shown with his handling of the rock demon, and with the constant surprises when he crosses the deserts. Even the fact that he’s essentially trying to do exactly what the last Deliverer did, shows the lack of ingenuity.

    Lady Jessica is smart and can think many steps ahead. She could likely kill him before he knew she was a threat.

    Bene Gesserit are manipulators. She wouldn’t even kill him herself if she could help it. She’d probably lure him out into a spice patch, or drum sand, and watch as his ignorance and lack of fore though killed him.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    What kinds of abilities does Jardir possess, exactly? I remember Arlen being said to have some serious enhancements last year. If he doesn’t have powers like that, I’m leaning towards Lady Jessica.

  • Trickster

    “I’m Torn. Lady Jessica should be able to use her voice to influence her attacker. But, at least in the first one, The voice is often ignored as an offensive strategy. Admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve read Dune.”

    Wrong! Jardir has a helmet with wards that blocks out mental alterations/manipulation. (It is in the second book). He uses it to see through the illusions of a mind demon.

  • Darren

    “Jardir has a helmet with wards that blocks out mental alterations/manipulation.”

    That “helmet” (if I remember right, it was a crown), works the same way every other ward and artifact of that world works, through the use of demon magic. Now maybe if he made another one from a demon bone it would work, but only if it was night. And Jardir would never consent to doing that because he parallels the last deliverer as much as possible., and that’s only hypothetical anyway.

    Lady Jessica’s mental tricks don’t rely on demon magic, they rely on spice. Therefore the helmet would be useless against her, just like the spear of the Deliverer would be useless. Just like the wards he had carved into his flesh would be useless.

  • Darren

    “What kinds of abilities does Jardir possess, exactly? I remember Arlen being said to have some serious enhancements last year.”

    The difference is Arlen tattooed his body with any ward he thought might work. The wards were intricate and carefully crafted. By contrast Jardir had his literally carved into his flesh. They gave the impression that he focused on battle wards, so he could fight demons with his hands and legs. They never mention him having things like the night vision Arlen has, that I recall.

    He absorbs demon magic when he fights them, the magic absorbed through the spear is less long lasting then the magic absorbed through the body wards. But because of his obsession with being the deliverer he focuses much more on fighting with his spear.
    He’s stronger, faster, and more experienced than the average fighting man. But he was that before getting the spear and warded body. So he’s probably even a bit quicker and stronger than he was before. But that supply of magic is limited, and it abates even quicker in the day.

  • Darren

    So looking at the Bracket I realized why Lady Jessica is the obvious winner here. Assuming the winner of this match ends up facing Moiraine Domedred, Lady Jessica is the only one who’d stand a chance against Moiraine. Jardir is badass in his world, he’s probably the second or 4th most badass person in the Demon cycle series.

    Jardir has a spear. Lady Jessica has a Lasgun.
    Jardir has offensive and defensive fighting style, so does Lady Jessica, and a shield belt.
    Jardir has wards that require demon magic. L.J. has mental powers that are fueled by a drug and training.
    Jardir is unbending in his thinking. L.J has mastered deductive reasoning.
    Jardir has passion and drive. L.J. has intelligence and forethought
    Jardir has experience and training. L.J. has the same.

    I like Jardir, I even have some hope that he stops being an antagonist in the books. But he just doesn’t match up against Lady Jessica, even if you DON’T let her use The Voice on him. (though it isn’t magic, it’s closer to hypnosis, and she isn’t a demon so his crown shouldn’t aid him anyway.)

    As enjoyable as that write-up was. It gave Jardir an advantage in that he was aware of the attack and she wasn’t. and while it gave her home-field advantage, she made no use of it. If you reversed the situation, Lady Jessica attacks Jardir in his desert. LJ would win. she’d be armed with Lasgun and shieldbelt. and knife.

  • Chad


    I think you are being very one-sided in your assertion. Jardir’s way of thinking is not unbending. He demonstrated quite completely in the 2nd book that he is capable of adapting to situations, takes change in stride. That is part of what makes him such a dangerous and great villain in the series. Even though he isn’t a villain.

  • Darren

    Relative to other Krasians, yes he’s very adaptable, but not relative to lady Jessica. in the book he’s challenging tradition, but only in a limited capacity, and only to accomplish specific goals.

    “I want to March this year”, “we wont have enough soldiers this year”. “those people can be soldiers.”
    “Men are allowed to rape anyone they want.” “Jardir, the woman your courting doesn’t want her friend raped.” “fine, no raping Leesha’s friends.”

    You could say he problem solves. But he only “adapts” the smallest amount possible. he doesn’t really change his thinking.And the change nearly always happens AFTER the problem occurs. which has to do with traditional thinking and lack of forethought. But the problems themselves arise from traditionalist thinking.
    You can see it in his dependence and loathing of Abban. Tradition says Abban is one of the least among men. Jardir’s own experience has shown him Abban is not a warrior. While Jardir needs him to succeed, he also despises him for the very attributes that have allowed his campaign to work.
    He has given Abban certain allowances that LOOK like change, but he gives them out of necessity, not out of changed thinking. And that unwillingness, or inability, to change the way he thinks would go into his undoing if he faced Lady Jessica.

  • Trickster

    Jardir has a helmet that protects from mental manipulation…

  • bigalosu

    Jardir’s supernatural defenses, weapons, and abilities are useless on Arrakis. His training as a fighter would be his only strength and his close-mindedness would be a huge disadvantage. Lady Jessica would be ten steps ahead of him, especially if this is her near the end of the Dune Chronicles. She would pawn him instantly.

  • C. Guerra

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the Dune universe don’t they have personal force-fields? You know, to kind of protect against being stabbed? There are ways around it, but you have to know how–Jardir would have no idea it even existed! Plus Jessica has her Voice. Plus I think Paul would have warned her if he thought she was in any real danger. Nope, sorry, going to have to give this one to Lady Jessica.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    A pity that Jardir took this one. From what I’m hearing, Lady Jessica is the logical winner.

    But I suppose that this isn’t any worse than what happened to Paul last year.

  • Darren

    @Trickster: the voice has nothing to do with magic. It’s basically hypnotism. and the helmet (or crown) relies on demon magic, which LJ has none.

    Anyway. I made my arguments. I disagree with the outcome, but I’m rooting for Moiraine Domedred later on anyway, and I wouldn’t have wanted her to face LJ. So W/E

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