Cage Match 2012: Round 2: Anomander Rake versus Ferro Maljinn


The Contestants


Click to view original image source


Click to view original image source

Anomander Rake
Son of Darkness, Knight of High House Dark, Mane of Chaos, Blacksword
Age: Three hundred thousand years, give or take a century
Race: Tiste Andii
Weapons / Artifacts: Dragnipur, the night-bladed sword containing the Gate of Darkness
A metric Warren-load of magic

Ferro Maljinn
Ex-slave; Fearsome Warrior

Age: Mid 20s
Race: Human (with a bit of demon blood)
Weapons / Artifacts: Bow & arrow; daggers…or anything she can get her hands on
Enacts revenge all over you

The Breakdown


  • Combat experience stretching back longer than most religions
  • Ability to shape-shift into a dragon
  • Moon’s Spawn, a floating fortress

  • Street smart and cunning
  • Aces with a bow & arrow
  • Channels her anger into ferocious fighting ability

  • We’re guessing boredom at having to face such weak characters

  • Doesn’t always realize there are things other than revenge


How we think the fight will go

Ferro was rarely impressed. Magic, battles, wealth—it meant nothing to her.

Survival. Revenge. These were things that were important to her. In all her life, only two things had impressed her. The first was the slave-chains that had trapped her. The second was a man with nine fingers.

Standing in this arena, a third presented itself.

Anomander Rake.

Try as she might, there was nothing that even remotely led to a victory here. Her arrows, deadly as they were on mortal foes, would find no purchase in his body. Her close-quarter skills were indeed fearsome, and yet the way he handled his sword—so competently, almost neglectfully…well, she wasn’t stupid. She knew a warrior-born, and this was a warrior-born and then some.

And then there was the power.

It radiated off of him. Maybe not actually, but there is something about being amongst those with power. It might not scare her—really, nothing scared her, and she’d slice off the balls of anyone who said differently—but it didn’t mean she couldn’t feel its effects.

Rake felt of power, great and awful and beautiful, in a way that put even Bayaz to shame. Maybe it was the demon blood in her, but she could even see that he was different—something more than just an imposing man. He was…almost animal.

To fight him, here and now—it meant failure. She was as certain of that she was that the Ghurkish needed to die. And she was certain that to engage with this man would mean any hopes of doing what she had promised herself would be over. Ferro would die if she attacked, and she wasn’t ready to die. Again, it wasn’t that she was scared. She spit on the ground at that thought. No, she just had things to do.

She felt Rake did too.

Lowering her bow, she nodded, ever-so-slightly, to him.

His eyes widened just enough for Ferro to realize her message had gotten through. It wasn’t fear or amusement or surprise. Just acknowledgment.

Rake nodded back.

Ferro dropped her weapons to the ground, and walked to the door she had emerged from. The crowds boos covered her, but she couldn’t give a shit about them. Her and Rake could have fought, and it would have been a sight to behold, a swirling, dusty dance of blades and grace and ferocity—enough to slake their bloodlust and their need for satisfaction. They wanted blood. She gave them disappointment. And yet it didn’t concern her at all, because the only disappointment she cared about was that of any Ghurkish man that saw his life flash before his eyes while her knife flashed into his chest. She walked on, and didn’t look back at Rake. What was the point?

This wasn’t real. This was a game. She didn’t have time for games. She didn’t care that she “lost.”

Once she had gotten her revenge on the Ghurkal—had shoved his own leprous cock into his own mouth—her life’s work would be complete. Then she might return.

Then the people at Unbound Worlds had better worry.

Predicted Winner: Anomander Rake


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Anomander Rake is a character from the The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson; Ferro Maljinn is a character from the First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

Rake image courtesy of Michael Komarck and Subterranean Press. Ferro image courtesy of Pyr Books

Don’t forget–we’re always looking for fans’ depictions of these characters. Check out the details here

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!”


  • I can’t imagine anyone beating Rake…not even after all the fantasy books I’ve read. So it’s no surprise that he wins this one. My only worry is that this overwhelming dominance may make people vote against him out of spite. Losing to an underwhelming guy like Tyrion for example would be so…wrong.

  • John W.

    Rake is as near godlike as makes no difference. Even the other heavy hitters in his world would need to change their underpants if he said “boo” to them. No match at all this round.

  • Laura

    I just don’t think it fun when there are characters that are so powerful they are basically invincible. When selecting characters for these cage matches, you would think they would keep that in mind.

  • Spectre of Eschaton

    Need someone like the God-Emperor of Mankind for Rake to be able to really go all out on. 😛

  • D.I. Waisanen

    With Sparhawk and Kellhus eliminated and Richard in terminal condition, Anomander doesn’t have much competition left in the power arena. I suppose that Moiraine could potentially take him out with a combination of popularity and balefire, but other than that, I’m seeing him going all the way to the semis at the least.

  • The Dragon Reborn

    I can take Rake down. For I am the Dragon Reborn.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    @The Dragon Reborn:

    Probably. A pity that you aren’t in this year’s tournament. Remember what David Pomerico said after you destroyed Gregor Clegane?

    \No more Rand al’Thor in Cage Match for a long, long time!\

  • Trickster

    I bet Atticus could stand toe to toe with Rake.

  • eric

    Rake isn’t all that powerful. Well he is, but he also has honor. If you want to duel him with swords or whatever, he will refrain from blasting you to ash with spells. He’ll duel you and do it fairly.

    If you want to throw some magic at him, he’ll play that game too, but he’ll usually stop before destroying the whole world along with you.

    I like the matches he’s in so far, I’d say the authors get him pretty well. I’m interested in reading the match where an author kills him, I want to see how it happens.

    Full disclosure, I’m a Rake fanboy.

  • AMR

    @eric: Problem is that even if he restrains from using magic, he still moves faster than ascendants beings can see (while wielding a sword heavy enough to make a boulder weep from the strain) and his sword kills you with just one cut. So, he’s still out of most swordsmen league.

  • Kat M.

    Yeah, if anyone were to beat Rake it would have to be a character who has gained enough power to take out a god/goddess (or at the least a demi-god).

  • Not Telling

    @Kat Um… Rand al’Thor would have a shot. THAT would be a match I would want to see. Oh, don’t forget Rashek, the Lord Ruler. He became immortal to the point that decapitaion just annoys him, and can regenerate from a skeleton to normal in seconds, not to mention being full Mistborn AND Feruchemist.

  • The Cygan

    i think people are forgetting how powerful tomas actually is. But he dosnt have the popularity that rake does anyway so he probably wont make it to the finals to face rake.

  • The Cygan

    tomas is a demi god himself.

  • Jaworski

    I agree that only Rand has the balls to stand toe to toe with Anomander. Moiraine I could only see standing a chance against Anomander because of her casual Balefire use but really this is Anomander Rake’s tournament to lose.

  • Isdera

    uh guys atticus could at least give this rake guy a headache.
    i admit, i have no idea on rake, BUT,
    -magic has hardly any effect on atticus,
    -he is also very old so he has some experience (although i admit in that he’s rather outclassed)
    -when he’s in contact with the eart, he’s able to match practically anyone in speed and strength
    -he has two swords which make things rather difficult for most enemies (one that cuts through any armour and another that one good hit is the finnishing blow)

  • The Dragon Reborn

    Who are Atticus and Tomas?

    @D.I – Why is David playing such tricks?
    My father will hear about this…Oh wrong series!

  • Not Telling

    Rake is a could-be god, an expert swordsman with 300000 years of experience, one of the smartest contenders in this cage match, a sword that can one-hit kill with a scratch, and as mentioned earlier by AMR, he can swing his sword faster than most Ascendants can see. Ascendants are people who could become gods, or are gods. Oh, and did I mention that he can transform into a dragon when he’s bored? In short, Atticus = Dead in the semis.

    Also, I still want to see Rand versus Rake. Rake has Dragnipur, so let’s give Rand Callandor. With that, they are about evenly matched.

  • Not Telling

    And that’s without his magic.

  • Temped

    Well I think Rake will win this one. I don’t know him but from what I see he is clearly on God level which would be impossible to beat by someone like Ferro.
    But the people tend to forget that Ferro is not on a Human Level anymore. She should at least be able to put up a fight. I mean she has enough power to collapse Buildings (Spoiler: After she spoke with the devils and accepted their gift) and she doesn’t feel pain.
    But the people here at suvudu seems to forget this. Also sinc when are knives one of her “special” weapons. She is good with alot of weapons but normaly uses a Bow and a Scimitar like Sabel.
    Well we will see how the fight will go.

  • Chris

    Slight spoiler for Malazan.

    @Tempted: When a demon capable of destroying cities was summoned to delay Rake, its response was “You send me to my death.” It bought them all of 15 seconds.

  • Rake fan

    Dujek asked, “You are offering to set your Tiste Andii against the Tenescowri, Lord?”

    “Hardly,” Rake replied. “I mean to scare them witless. In person.”

  • Archon

    @ Chris

    THIS +100000

    There are a couple people in the fantasy world who could give Rake a fight… Actually 1 or 2 just in the Malazan series alone… but none of them are in this tournament… When you have a former tourney winner who flees like a scared rabbit from this guy, you know he’s bad-ass… And yes, he speed-bumped the functional equivalent of a Pit-Fiend so that said previous tourney winner could have a few more seconds to scurry away…

  • Masakari

    The “weight” of his sword isn’t a literal thing. It weighs the same as any other bastard sword. The weight thing is meant to be a metaphor to describe the emotional and spiritual “weight” of having to carry such a sword. The thing reeks of power which only the hardiest of ascendants could cope with.

  • mob16151

    I think with the power levels represented in the cage match this year, Kallor,or Karsa would have been better choices for contestants. Rake should have been in last year to take on Rand.

  • Nostra

    While Rake is powerful, I’m very much looking forward to see him face off against Kellhus, who certainly has a chance against him. Though mostly I’m interested in seeing how a match like that would be portrayed.

  • Jerm

    the secret to beating Rake is convincing him that more can be achieved with his defeat than victory

Get the best stories in your inbox, weekly. Any sufficiently advanced newsletter technology is indistinguishable from magic.