Cage Match 2012: Round 2: Havemercy versus Jardir


The Contestants


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Magical mechanical dragon
Age: 15 years old (that’s when she was built)
Race: Mechanical dragon
Weapons / Artifacts: Claws; teeth; tail
Fire breath weapon

Shar’Dama Ka – The Deliverer
Age: Early 30s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Spear of Kaji, which can pierce anything

The Breakdown


  • She’s a freakin’ dragon. She’s a dragon with a breath weapon
  • She’s made of metal. None of those sissy organic scales
  • M-E-T-A-L D-R-A-G-O-N

  • Superior martial arts abilities honed by years of battling demons
  • Warded against magical fire
  • Brute strength and skill with a spear to keep enemies at bay


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


How we think the fight will go

The landscape was flat, featureless, unless one counted distant rolling dunes and the sparse dotting of cacti and desert life that seemed almost haphazard. Havemercy crouched, her tail curled around her, steam beating staccato from her nostrils, her keen eyes intent. The gentle sirocco that stirred the sand no more caught her attention than the desert flies that buzzed over head. The sun was bright, but not hot, as though the entire desert was merely an illusion. Havemercy caught a scent and she tensed, a tiny tendril of smoke curled upward, as her teeth and fangs bared. If she’d had lips like a human, she’d have gone from a sneer to an eager smile. They wanted her to fight? She would fight.

The desert winds stirred the sand as Jardir moved. He pulled the cloth at his throat up over his mouth and nose, and tugged a similar piece down over his forehead until only his eyes showed, dark slits that were honed on anything and everything. The Spear of Kaji was held firm in his hand as he moved, staying low. The spear, though full of wards, required demon magic to use, magic that did not function as well as it should. He’d relied on his fighting skills his last battle in a strange place, and would do so again if needed. A few flies buzzed lazily overhead with no purpose, no direction. Jardir took that to mean there was nothing dead nearby, no carrion, nothing that would attract a horde of them. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t something alive, just waiting.

Another man, Havemercy decided, a small gout of flame shooting out as she snorted. Was she to simply fight men who didn’t ride upon beasts? Not even fight the beasts themselves? Perhaps this one would be less of a disappointment. The little cindy she’d already crushed was hardly much of a fighter at all. Perhaps now, she’d fight a warrior.

Jardir saw the flash of flame before he heard the sound that accompanied it, a low sound that echoed in a strange way. It took him only moments to discover its source. Before him crouched a beast, large and dark, and made from…metal? What kind of demon was this? He fought strange creatures before, but he was used to beings of flesh and blood. This one was unlike anything he’d seen before. He gripped his spear, playing over a complicated sharukin in his mind even as he eyed the beast to try to learn its strengths and weaknesses. All the better to fight it.

Havemercy impatiently awaited her opponent, metallic scales rustling as she shifted. She saw him fall into a stance, saw him appraise her, and without waiting, she belched a gout of flame and took to the air. She’d learn her lesson with the last one; he’d been deft enough to climb onto her back, but so long as she had kept him at bay, victory was in sight. The same could work here. Powerful wings held her aloft, and she surveyed beneath her as she rose.

Jardir hadn’t expected the blast of flame, but he managed to quickly tuck and roll, coming up onto his feet with ease, a goodly distance from where he’d been. The beast was in the air now, and while it was close enough to heave his spear at and strike true, he had little intention of simply throwing away his weapon. If only the wards of the spear worked as they should, as he expected them to in his own world, he would have that needed edge.

He dodged another gout of flame and reached for the knife he’d taken from his last opponent. Perhaps its blade could cut this beast’s skin.

Havemercy snorted again. A knife and a pointy stick. Was that what he’d brought to fight? At least the cindy she’d fought had had a sword, for all the good it had done him. Truly it had been little more than a knitting needle to Havemercy’s eyes. She arced upward and then dove, spiraling flame as she went. She fought as though Rook still flew on her back; it was the only way she truly knew. She followed the flame down and swerved up again, lashing out at the figure on the ground with a tail-whip. He’d dodged the flames…and rolled right into her tail. The resounding force from it sent him tumbling end over end, though he managed to roll back to his feet again.

Havemercy repeated the attack, but this time as her tail came in, Jardir slashed upward with the knife, and faster than she thought possible, spun and plunged the spear into her tail, pinning it to the sand. He dropped into a warrior stance, as another gout of flame burst forth. This time though the fire was aimed skyward, a cry of pain. However the metal dragon didn’t stop moving. Close to the ground now, she slashed with claws, snapped with jaws, managing to catch Jardir as he moved to attack again.

Claws clashed with the knife, and powerful metal jaws sank into flesh. Havmercy sent him tumbling in the dust once more and, ignoring the pain of it, wrenched her tail free and took back to the skies. The spear dangled in her tail until she whipped the appendage hard, setting the weapon free…and flying across the desert.

One weapon down.

Her eyes gleaming with the same fires she breathed, Havemercy spun downward again as the warrior took up his stance. He prepared for more flame but she did not oblige. Instead she attacked again with claws and jaws, rending and biting. He was strong, certainly, but one man against a dragon not made of flesh—a strength contest wasn’t a long one. One claw pierced Jardir’s leg even as the knife slid between metal scales. Havemercy wrapped her other claw around the warrior, keeping him close.

Then, she gave him the fire he was no longer prepared for. Were the sand beneath them real, not an illusion, Havemercy would have left a fresh and perfect patch of glass. Instead, she left behind a burned body, scraps of cloth, and an overheated knife.

Michelle Forde contributed to this Cage Match

Predicted Winner: Havemercy


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Havemercy is a character from the Havemercy series by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett; Jardir is a character from the Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett

Havemercy image courtesy of Stephen Youll and Spectra Books. Jardir image courtesy of Larry Rostant and Del Rey Books

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