Cage Match 2012: Round 2: Kelsier versus Chess Putnam


The Contestants


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Click to view original image source

The Survivor
Age: 38
Race: Mistborn
Weapons / Artifacts: Metal vials; glass and obsidian daggers
Ironpulling and Steelpushing

Cesaria “Chess” Putnam
Debunker – Ghost Hunter
Age: 24
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: An Ectoplasmarker; a government-issued summoning set; and, most importantly, a box of pills
Sex appeal–yup

The Breakdown


  • Master of Allomancy
  • Super-tough: Survived the Pits of Hathsin
  • Cunning and charming—a deadly combo

  • Seriously tough—Chess grew up as an orphan and now lives in a shady neighborhood filled with poverty and violence. Intelligence and street cred abounds
  • Trusts no one
  • Ghosts don’t stand a chance against her

  • Stubborn, reckless, and impulsive (you know, a guy)

  • She’s a pill addict…and there aren’t any ghosts in Cage Match


  • Babcock
    You booked Passage right out of Cage Match!

How we think the fight will go

How Stacia Kane, creator of Chess Putnam, thinks the match will go:

Chess had hit the steps at the front of her building—a former Catholic church, converted to apartments after haunted Week and the fall of religions—when her tattoos started to tingle. Magic. Someone was doing magic, and close enough to her that she felt it, could almost smell it.

Someone powerful. This wasn’t an average person testing out spells from a guide they bought in a store. This was someone trained, someone strong.

Someone who was watching her.

She reached into her pocket and closed her fingers around the handle of her switchblade. Yeah, if someone was going to try using magic against her the knife might not be the best weapon to try first, but it was probably what she’d try at the end. Might as well skip the middleman, so to speak.

The burning, stinging feeling as the magic-infused ink on her arms, shoulders, and chest reacted to whatever spell was happening around her intensified. Okay, where was he—it was definitely a man—and what did he want?

Damn it, she didn’t know what he wanted, but she; just wanted to go to bed.

Instead she stood there on the broken sidewalk, tense and waiting. Whoever it was, whatever they were doing, she’d find out soon enough.

And sure enough, she did. He slipped out from behind one of the walls bracketing the steps, wearing some sort of poncho or something, his feet silent on the concrete. The streetlight in front of her building was broken but the one halfway down worked well enough for her to see his face, the half-smile plastered across it. Like lurking around waiting for lone women to show up was funny or something.

Then again, it probably was to him. Because he was probably psychotic. Great. A psycho with magic, just what she needed.

What kind of spell was he doing, anyway? She couldn’t tell; all she knew was he was doing something, and that the smoke drifted across the twenty feet or so separating them smelled oddly of metal. What was he burning?

That thought barely had time to finish forming before it hit her. Something hit her, she didn’t know what; all she knew was that her mind—never the most pleasant of places to be anyway—filled with horror and pain, filled with memories, and the sharp smell of the metal-smoke filled her nose and made her choke. No, shit, all that—all those thoughts in her head, all those thoughts she tried so hard to forget, those thoughts she tried to hide under a thick blanket of pills and powders and whatever else she could get her hands on, anything to quiet the screams in her soul enough that she could get through the day…all of them roared back, and she felt her knees give beneath her and hit the hard ground and couldn’t even care, because her head was about to explode.

What was he doing, how was he doing that? He was in her head somehow, rummaging around like she was hiding a prize in her brainstem and he just had to grab it. He was in her head inspecting everything, looking at her weaknesses with smug, sick satisfaction, and hatred rose in her chest so thick she thought if she opened her mouth it would fly out like vomit. Another one. Another person who thought she existed for their amusement, who thought they could toy with her, play games with her, treat her like a toy. Fuck him.

Her bag moved at her side. Lifted from the ground, threw itself forward, the thick rough strap burning her skin as it tore itself off her body. The red haze before her eyes cleared just enough that she saw it fly across the empty pavement and land in front of him. How did he—how had he done that? Magic didn’t work against objects like that, magic wasn’t like some special-effects movie where people could move shit with their minds.

His smile hadn’t faded. Didn’t fade as the bag opened, as her sack of iron filings rose from it to hover a few feet off the ground. As she watched the sack opened, too; the filings rose from it in a black cloud. What the hell? What was he?

He was a thief, apparently, because he ducked under the thick mist of iron and started digging around in her bag, lifting things and inspecting them, shoving some of them under that stupid poncho-thing he wore. Was he kidding? He’d done that to her, invaded her head, just to steal fifty bucks and some magic supplies?

Even as she thought it he slammed into her mind again. More memories, more pain, more twisting agony as her head filled with images, fists aimed at her face, heavy bodies holding hers down.

Her attacker stood up. “Thank you. I suppose it isn’t much, but it’s something.”

He started to turn away from her, still with that satisfied smirk on his irritating face, clearly done with the whole thing. Secure in his victory, as he left her there on the sidewalk with her head screaming and tears running down her face, her muscles shaking from the images that still refused to stop.

But if he thought showing her a few mind-movies of her past was going to debilitate her he needed to think again. He clearly had no idea who he was dealing with; hell, if she hadn’t learned how to function with all that garbage in her head she’d never get anything done at all, would she? He wasn’t showing her anything she didn’t already know, wasn’t making her feel any worse than she already did because that just wasn’t possible.

So she pushed past them. She reached into them, embraced them, took from them what she needed: her rage, her hatred, emotions so strong and thick she thought they might choke her. She turned those into power, and pushed herself off the ground.

He turned back around. The cloud of iron filings flew at her; she had just enough time to close her eyes, hold her breath, before she felt them like a thousand glass raindrops piercing her skin. It hurt. But not enough to stop her.

His hands raised, his poncho moved. Probably getting ready to do some other metal-magic thing. Chess didn’t care. She was almost on him, almost there, she tugged her knife from her pocket and punched the button to flick out the blade, and her body hit his and they both fell to the cement.

Another wave of memories, of horror. Another choking blast of that stinging smoke, and her tattoos roared as his power slammed into hers. She ignored all of it. He fought beneath her, pushed himself up—he was stronger than he looked—and punched her in the face.

The world shook for a second, but only a second. Was that the best he could do? She’d dealt with much worse than that.

Something sharp sliced into her arm. No time to look or see what it was, not even when it was joined by a second thing, a third, and she felt hot blood drooling down her skin. How was he stabbing her, when his arms weren’t free?

Who cared? Not her. All she cared about was getting this done, teaching this smug-looking jerk that nobody, nobody, invaded her head, invaded her body, used her for amusement. Not any more, not ever again.

She punched him back with her left hand, readied herself to attack with her knife with her right, when it flew out of her hand just like he’d snatched it away from her. Damn it. He seemed to have some sort of weird power over metals—and brains, apparently.

Okay, but which metals? Iron, and steel. What other weapons did she have, what could she use?

He’d left her pillbox. It was metal—silver. What did that mean?

And would she have time to find out. His fingers closed around her throat; he leaned over, pushing her back down. Choking her. Red and green spots exploded before her eyes; she kicked at him, punched and slapped at him.

Her lungs screamed for air. Her brain screamed from the memories. Her vision shook and jangled but she saw her bag, the strap only a few inches away; she just needed to get to it, surely she had something in there she could use, something she could hurt him with. At that point she didn’t even care about killing him—well, no, that was a lie, she wanted to kill him a whole lot—but she wanted to hurt him, too, wanted him to feel it.

She  forced herself to relax. She didn’t even need to play dead, she just needed to go limp for a second, just long enough for him to shift his grip, to loosen it. Just long enough for him to feel confident.

It happened. The fingers around her throat relaxed, not much but enough, and that was all Chess needed. She lunged to the side and yanked the strap of her bag, lifting her arm so it swung through the air and hit him on the side of the head.

It didn’t really hurt him. She didn’t really expect it to. She just wanted to distract him, and it worked. Worked for long enough for her to slam the heel of her hand into his nose, hard and fast, and that gave her enough time to push him off of her and sit up, already digging in her bag. There had to be something she could use, anything she could—

Her hand closed around her pillbox. Heavy silver, pure silver. He’d left it, he hadn’t taken it, and given his apparent metal mojo that had to mean something. So she clenched it in her fist and brought her hand up—he’d pulled a shiny blade from somewhere, and she let him drive it into her arm because she didn’t have time to stop him—and slammed it into his head with every bit of strength she could muster.

Pain. Pain from the knife in her left arm, pain jangling up her right from the impact. Her pillbox had sharp corners, intricate filigree on the sides; the corner had broken the skin, and she watched the blood pouring down the side of his face with hot, vengeful glee.

And then she hit him again. And again. He stabbed at her with the knife but she ducked out of the way this time, and it was easy because his movements were slowing and she kept hitting him until he toppled over. Her arms hurt, her body hurt, her fingers were slick with blood and gore, but she kept going.

Feeble hands pushed at hers, trying to stop her next blow, but she ignored them. He made one last attempt to—well, not to beat her, she guessed, since the rapidly-spreading pool of blood and the way his face started to look like a dented-in fender kind of indicated that wasn’t going to happen—but to mess with her, to get his own back. One more push into her head, one more rummage in her memories.

One more time with the pillbox, square in the face, and she was done. She dug through his clothes, taking back what he’d stolen from her and shoving it all back into her bag, and stood up. It was coins sticking out of her arm, she realized; he’d somehow managed to fling them at her, or use his mind to throw them or something, which made sense given the whole iron-filings-cloud thing.

She stood over him, looked down. His breath rattled in his chest, a horrible sucking kind of sound that would have bothered her if she hadn’t been so pissed off.

“Nobody gets in my head,” she said, and left him there to die.

Predicted Winner: Chess Putnam


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match in the Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: Danger Room bracket!

Check out the Bracket

Kelsier is a character from the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson; Chess Putnam is a character from the Chess Putnam series by Stacia Kane

Kelsier image courtesy of Ben McSweeney. Chess Putnam image courtesy of Del Rey 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!”


  • sacredhonour

    While I enjoyed the write-up, as far as I can remember Silver is not an issue for push/pulling a metal. Plus, she actually comes into a fight with Kelsier while wearing metal and with a metal knife? DEAD!

  • Emily

    This was a hard one because I love Chess and I love Kelsier but in the end I will route for Chessiebomb!

  • sacredhonour

    Did she really bring a metal knife to the fight against Kelsier? DEAD.

    Also, he can can push/pull silver…

  • george

    I don’t think Mrs. Kane has read Mistborn. As I recall, the first action scene in the series involves Kelsier killing a bunch of people with what I believe was a silver ingot, although I don’t have the book on hand at the moment, so I’m not 100% sure it was silver. In any case, silver can be pulled/pushed. Also, Rioting doesn’t work that way. It should inflame emotions, not conjure up old memories. Of course, if all else fails, Kelsier could just use Atium to predict her movements. Sorry, but I don’t think Chess has a chance here.

  • Anion

    According to Sanderson’s website, silver cannot be pulled/pushed.

  • Anion
  • CamperWen

    ‘Nobody chose you… Just like Katniss’

    I still haven’t stop laughing. Oh gods, keep it up Suvudu voters!

  • D.I. Waisanen

    This write-up is absolutely ridiculous.

    Kelsier mugging people on the street, rummaging through memories, not being able to manipulate silver, and not using half of his powers? Sorry, no. Kelsier’s strongest metal allows him to predict every one of his opponent’s moves a few seconds before they do them, and enhances his reflexes to the point where he can counter them with ease. If she was using a metal knife, he would pull it out of her hand and then shoot it back at her, point first, with his atium telling him exactly where she would be and where he should push it to achieve a killing strike.

    As mentioned, Kelsier’s mind powers do not conjure up memories; they enhance or dampen emotions. If Kelsier wanted to bring her down, he would concentrate on ideas like “Despair, sadness, apathy” and weaken her mental state to the point where it wouldn’t matter what memories were in her head, because her emotions were turning against her.

    In close range combat, Kelsier possesses superhuman strength, toughness, reflexes, and senses; he wouldn’t be fooled by her playing possum; he’d know for certain whether she was dead or not, see every move coming a mile away, and he brings his own knives to the fight, made of glass or obsidian, and could easily slice her up in close combat.

    Chess has an initial advantage with Stacia Kane writing the (albeit very inaccurate and poorly researched) match-up, but any considerations of the factors as they actually are points to an overwhelming victory for Kelsier.

  • Whatis7x6


    Silver is only usless as a metal to burn for allomancy.

    Silver can still be pushed/pulled while burnign iron or steel, it just cant be burned.

  • JOE

    yeah… The person who wrote this doesn’t seem to have a clue how Allomancy works… and also, Kelsier is kind of a FREAKING BOSS NINJA… who is this chess person? Some Paranormal investigator/drug addict. As far as I can tell… I tried to look her up and could literally find nothing but this and a stump of a wikipedia article on the author… So maybe she had a chance, but, Kelsier could totally have killed her at least three different times through this.

  • JBuxton

    I agree with what has been said about Kelsier. The author’s write up was good writing style, but poorly researched. Even if Kelsier were to “mug” Chess, he would just take the whole bag and jump away into the night. But Kelsier doesn’t leave witnesses and would have all of the metal at his disposal. Chess wouldn’t even have a chance of getting within five feet of Kelsier. If she did, he would use pewter and throw her into the building or up into the air.

  • Sarah

    aaww c’mon, lol, can’t we all just get along? It’s supposed to be fun, no need to be so bitter. GOOOOOO CHESSIEBOMB!!

  • Tim

    This write up is a complete joke. Kelsier would have carved her up with her own knife and never gotten within striking distance.

  • @D.I. Waisanen: Good arguments! I agree wholeheartedly that Kelsier would utterly dominate this match and put paid to this opponent as easily as he did to the last.

  • Alli

    Wow, the point of these things is to get new readers for these series but if the people that are responding are any indication of the fans of the Mistborn series I will be staying as far away as possible. That’s okay though, I’d rather re-read any Downside book anyhow.

    Go Chess!!!!!!!!

  • Not Telling

    The point is that Stacia Kane was obviusly biased, has never read Mistborn, and completely messed up on Kelsier. She probably went on Wikipedia (or a similar site), looked up Kelsier, and saw, “Thief”. Silver can be pushed and pulled, it’s just usless to burn, and she ignored Pewter, Brass, Tin, Atium, and other metals. This match goes to Kelsier, hands down. He doesn’t miss with coins, and he would aim for the head, not the arm.

    Go Kelsier!!!!!!!!

  • Pony

    Ch ch ch ch ch ch… CHESSIEBOMB!

    Wow, Kelsier fans are snarky! Lighten up, people… this is supposed to be fun. Sheesh.

  • Am curious why readers think that authors involved in these have read who they are up against or even have the time to adequately research in the few days they have to prepare something. And besides, it’s not the point of this endeavor. It’s for fun, and gives authors a chance to show off their characters and maybe garner a few new readers to their work. Enjoy it for what it is. It’s not a forum for ragging on an author for how accurately they represent another author’s character. Anyway, Chess gets my vote, because I’m always for the down-trodden underdog.

  • Samuel

    Yeah…no way around it. Kelsier wins. Even if she did manage to start hitting him (a big if), he can burn pewter and turn go Hulk Smash on her.

  • sassy

    I’m torn. I totally love both characters and series. I do think the metal knife is a big problem though. Kelsier would have used it against her. Hmm. Got to go with Kelsier, I think. He also could have ducked out of the fight, too, if he was losing.

  • Not Telling

    It is fun- When our favorite character is portayed correctly. If Cesaria Putnam wasn’t written properly, you wouldn’t be complaining.

  • sacredhonour

    @Alli: You should definitely read the series, it is excellent (the first few chapters are on Brandon Sanderson’s site). I think what you are mostly seeing right now is people being upset that the write-up is pretty wrong about multiple points of Kelsier and his magic (allomancy). Its fine to have your own character win, but you need to at least have the other character right.

    Maybe it also needs to change in his character description up top. As others have pointed out, he is a full Mistborn with the ability to burn any of the 16 metals, though he mostly only used basic 8 plus Atium. “Ironpulling” & “Steelpushing” don’t begin to cover the other abilities… Summary of what he has access to:

  • Novouto

    Hey if the chessi lady was portrayed with half her powers and acted very out of character, you would be justified to be at least a little peeved wouldn’t you? And come on, this is supposed to be fun, don’t be hating because fans of the other side are poking holes in your favorite author’s write up lol.

  • Alli

    Thanks @sacredhonour but I absolutely won’t be reading this series. I guess it’s not entirely fair that I’m judging the author or the series based on these fans but I’d never be able to enjoy it after reading these comments. People are being mean for no reason. Wanting your favorite character to win is one thing, this has gone too far.

  • Chris

    The instant she drew the switchblade she was dead. It would be hard to kill her with it before it was out, but after one push and dead.

  • Well, guys, I’m very sorry that you didn’t like my write-up and that I apparently failed in my portrayal of Kelsier. I’m sorry to say I have not read the MISTBORN series, and only had two days to do this (in the middle of other deadlines and projects, preparing for the release of the fourth Chess Putnam book two weeks from now, and moving house), so I did the best I could with the info I had.

    It certainly wasn’t my intent to be disrespectful to the character, at all. In fact, in Chess’s world the type of magics Kelsier performs are impossible and do not exist; within the laws of magic in my books Kelsier would be pretty much powerless. I briefly considered writing it that way but actually felt *that* would be disrespectful and a bit of a cop-out, and that I owed it to Mr. Sanderson and his readers to at least try to come up with a way for the fight to be fair (and of course I’m biased; Chess is my character! Of course I want her to win) and to adhere at least a bit to the laws of BOTH worlds, rather than all mine or all his, and not simply a \Chess was walking down the street when the knife in her pocket flew into the air and stabbed her in the eye. She fell down dead\ type of game-over scenario.

    That just didn’t seem like it would be much fun to me, either to write or to read.

    I know the MISTBORN books are very popular and have a very loyal readership, and that Chess is seriously the underdog in this fight; frankly, all I wanted was to at least try to write an exciting/interesting scene, even if it isn’t completely accurate to the laws and rules of a world I’m not familiar with and that my character does not inhabit (just as it is not completely accurate to the laws of the world my character DOES inhabit; like I said I thought it would be rather unfair of me to do that).

    Either way it was fun for me to write and I was excited to do so, and I’m excited to be part of the Cage Match no matter the outcome.

  • Sir Read-a-Lot

    @Stacia Kane

    Don’t mind the comments. We realize that this is a difficult write-up for someone who hasn’t read the books.

    I think the reason the commentary is more negative than is sometime seen is that Allomancy is very well-defined in scope and ability, and inaccuracies are therefore more obvious than in magic from other books like Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time.

    Combine that with a slightly negative portrayal of a popular character, and you trigger an strong defensive response.

    I think the writeup was excellent, all things considered. The errors were minimal for someone who hasn’t read the series.

    I’m particularly impressed you found the bit about silver being inert. You misunderstood what it meant (the metal you were looking for is aluminum, by the way), but I’m amazed you found that detail at all. You win a cookie from me.

  • old aggie

    @Stacia Kane
    Agree with Sir Read-a-Lot.

    After all, this venue is meant to be fun, not “canon,” so I’m glad you had some fun writing up the match. 🙂

    Best wishes on your new book! (And consider taking “Mistborn” along to read on your book-signing tour!)

  • Not Telling

    I agree with Sir Read-a-Lot. It wasn’t Stacia Kane I had a problem with, it was the fans. They were claiming Mistborn fans to be overreacting when we explained what innacuracies were, saying they would never be able to read the series. It’s just that I get a bit (all right, VERY) defensive of my favorite characters, and when the fans were telling us to calm down, I just got a little ticked off. If you want to see how bad it gets, read the comments on Ray versus Kellhus. Spectre’s comments, to be exact.

  • EmilyE

    I am as big a fan as anyone of Kelsier but to badmouth Stacia Kane? That is just rude. Brandon Sanderson would not agree with his “fans” behavior. Get a life and look at this as what is should be………….FUN………………..

  • Jacob

    @Alli – I have never read Sanderson’s books either, but you are ridiculous!

  • D.I. Waisanen

    All right, since there seems to be some misunderstanding over my comments, I’ll explain myself.

    I’m not trying to badmouth Stacia Kane here. If she hasn’t read anything about Kelsier and didn’t have time to properly research his powers, then that doesn’t mean she’s a bad author or deserves to be attacked. Notice, however, that I didn’t do anything of the sort: I said the write-up portrayed Kelsier incorrectly and had many inaccuracies, and it did. I’m not ragging on Stacia Kane for that–even the best authors can run out of options if they have to produce a piece about things that they have minimal knowledge of–but an inaccurate write-up is still inaccurate, and if this match is to be decided on any rational grounds, then the mistakes need to be pointed out so that people will know what these characters can do and won’t vote based on misinformation, even if that misinformation had no malice whatsoever behind it.

    I’m not saying that Stacia Kane is wrong for supporting her character. I’m not saying that anyone who votes for Chess Putnam here is an idiot. I’m not saying that the Chess Putnam books are worse than the Mistborn series. I’m giving my reasons as to why I believe Kelsier would win and why, and I haven’t insulted anyone, unless you count pointing out honest mistakes as insults. Perhaps I could have been less blunt, and I regret it if I offended anyone, but I’m not the one who’s overreacting here or turning this match into something personal; it’s those like Alli who are assuming that we’re giving insults when we’re not, saying that we’re being mean “for no reason,” criticizing us for supporting Kelsier, complaining that we took issue with his inaccurate portrayal, deciding that they’ll intentionally avoid a really good series because they don’t agree with us, and then proceeding to shout “GO CHESS!” with absolutely no logical points or real arguments as to WHY she would win. I’d be perfectly fine with Chess winning this match, provided that such a victory was both logical and didn’t gimp Kelsier unfairly.

  • Matt

    To anyone saying the wont read mistborn because of the fans, we are jsut mad that he was inaccurately portrayed, as i assume you would be also if it happened to one of your favorite characters. I know for me when i first saw kelsier in the book she was instantly one of my favorites, especially with his massive push and pull on metal techniques. To bring a knife to this fight is literally like bring a knife to a gunfight, and should’ve been an instant win for the Allomancer.

  • george

    @Stacia Kane

    That’s quite all right. We’re not blaming you for not having read the series; just trying to clear up a few points.

  • Matt


  • Sarah

    meditate for a monkey state 😉 or maybe just have a cocktail……or two

  • Sir Read-a-Lot

    @Stacia Kane

    Don’t mind the comments. We realize that this is a difficult write-up for someone who hasn’t read the books.

    I think the reason the commentary is more negative than is sometime seen is that Allomancy is very well-defined in scope and ability, and inaccuracies are therefore more obvious than in magic from other books like Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time.

    Combine that with a slightly negative portrayal of a popular character, and you trigger an strong defensive response.

    I think the writeup was excellent, all things considered. The errors were minimal for someone who hasn’t read the series.

    I’m particularly impressed you found the bit about silver being inert. You misunderstood what it meant (the metal you were looking for is aluminum, by the way), but I’m amazed you found that detail at all. You win a cookie from me.

  • freaker

    I did get a bit mad when Kelsier got walloped by Chess, since(to my mind) is impossible, but Suvudu Cage match is, *Sigh* for fun. So we really musn’t be so riled up about it.

  • Alli

    @Jacob, you’re entitled to your opinion, as am I.
    @D.I. Waisanen, my comments were not aimed at you in any way.

    Some of the comments were nasty, even if perhaps that wasn’t the intent, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the series because this was my introduction to it; which is contrary to the intent of contests like this. Somehow I doubt it will matter to anyone that I don’t read this series, lol.

    If, as it appears will be the case, Kelsier & his author win, Congratulations to them.

  • I agree that it’s fine to point the how’s and why’s of how one character would actually win over another. If we looked at most of these matches purely from a nuts and bolts perspective, 90% of them would be absurdly lopsided. Given some of the powers of characters in these matches there are likely three or four that would wipe the floor with everyone else without blinking an eye. So, again, not really the point of this endeavor. The fun is in the write-ups, however far-fetched they might be. It’s a fan contest and a chance to see some other authors you might not have heard of before. For me, if someone writes up a stellar match and I enjoy the blurb, they win regardless of the accuracies in the characters.

  • Laura

    Kelsier fans – We (as Chess fans) are very sorry you feel he was misrepresented, as we would be if Chess was. However we are very protective of Mrs. Kane and Chess, and some of us seemed to take it personally and got very defensive when we felt they were being attacked personally and (again, we felt) unjustly. I think everyone has said their piece, and mostly cleared up what they meant.

    This whole thing is for fun, and I for one (I can’t speak for everyone else) am sorry to see it got out of hand, and maybe a little nasty. Let’s all agree that both our characters are awesome, and though it looks like Chess might not win, I may continue to vote for Keliser in future rounds, just so if my favorite lost, at least she lost to the ultimate winner. 🙂

    And by saying we aren’t going to read another author’s books because of a few nasty fans, we would only be hurting ourselves. Obviously Kelsier books are well written, otherwise the fans wouldn’t be so adamant about him. I for one, plan to read them, just as soon as I finish the next Chess book, out at the end of the month! 🙂

  • Alli

    @Jacob, you’re entitled to your opinion, as am I.
    @D.I. Waisanen, my comments were not aimed at you. I was trying not to be personal and call out specific posts, sorry if you felt I was referring to you.

    Some of the comments were nasty, some of the comments were based on knowledge of the character and series. The comments that were nasty will be what stays with me and what makes me not read the series. Somehow I doubt it will matter to anyone that I don’t read this series :0) .

    I won’t be back so if, as seems to be the case, Kelsier and his author win this match, Congratulations to them.

  • JBuxton

    I apologize to anyone who may have taken offense from my previous comment. That was not my intention. Mrs. Kane is an excellent writer as I can tell from the write up. I will be reading the Chess books in the future because of how impressed with her writing I was. I hope that Chess fans will give Mr. Sanderson a chance as well.

  • Sarah

    hey, lol, I wasn’t being mean……why did my comment get removed?

  • Oh, geez. My screen wasn’t refreshing properly so I didn’t see any of the comments after mine until I finally left the page and came back through the tags. So apologies again, everyone, I wasn’t ignoring your comments.

    I’ve actually had the MISTBORN novels at the top of my list for some time, so I’m definitely planning to read them! Unfortunately life has just gotten in the way, as it tends to do. But seeing the comments from readers and how passionate everyone is about Kelsier makes me even more excited to read them; any character who can inspire that sort of loyalty is definitely one who interests me.

    And really, isn’t that what the whole thing is about? To root for the characters we love, to see them in different situations or perhaps up against the types of characters etc. they wouldn’t otherwise be? It’s exciting to see other readers who are just as passionate about their favorite characters we we are about ours, and personally as a writer I think it’s fucking awesome. Every time I see some doom-and-gloom article about The Death Of Reading or whatever I think about things like this, and how that will just never happen because there are too many smart, awesome people in the world who won’t let it happen.

    Plus, getting–even briefly, and even only sort-of, and even with only two days’ notice–to play in another author’s pool is just plain cool, especially when it’s such a challenge to try to come up with any kind of possible scenario, even a rather far-fetched one, heh, in which your own character won’t be turned into a pile of bones and goo within about five seconds. I really enjoyed writing Chess vs. Babcock, too, since vampires don’t exist in my world either, and her kind of “What the hell is that/who is this creepy guy with the fake teeth?” response was a lot of fun. Magic in my world is based very heavily on British Traditional Witchcraft, so it’s mostly about bones and blood, hair and knots and cobwebs and dead things. And of course psychopomps (which aren’t British Traditional Witchcraft but are just so cool). So again, really fun to even touch on a different sort of system.

    (And as for a slightly negative portrayal, again, it totally wasn’t meant to be! In my head I had some idea that Kelsier had suddenly found himself in Downside, sensed Chess’s magic, and needed to take what he could from her in order to survive/get back home. Of course being from her POV I couldn’t really fit that in there, but I hoped I’d at least given him some sort of nobility in that he didn’t actually try to kill Chess; he just stole from her. She just couldn’t let it go, heh, and that’s why it ended in violence [and had she been in that situation, finding herself suddenly in some unfamiliar world/area with no money or anything? Yeah, she’d almost definitely steal something to try to get home–she’s a pretty practical I’ll-do-whatever-I-have-to-do-to-survive kind of dame]. But hey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pointing out inaccuracies, and again, at least you guys found something interesting in the write-up, something to comment on, rather than falling asleep in the middle of it or something! Really, I’d rather have people disagreeing with my scene than people thinking it was so mediocre and dull they just couldn’t be bothered to finish reading it, even.)

    Anyway, I’m rambling now. But I really hope nobody turns away from Sanderson’s books because of anything here; my agent tells me he’s a good guy, and I’m inclined to believe him. 🙂 People getting passionate about books and characters is an awesome thing, not a negative, right?

    And I, for one, would LOVE to hear some of the Kelsier fans tell me what it is they love so much! Tell me what to look for and what I can look forward to when I finally have a free afternoon to start reading! What is it about him that makes him so special?

    Seriously, guys, I think it’s pretty clear my poor messed-up little underdog is going to lose (sigh), but at least we can have some fun here, and talk about why this particular match has brought out some passionate feelings on both sides?

    Thanks so much, guys! Now I’m going to go eat the cookie @Sir-Reads-a-Lot gave me, because I loves me some cookies.

  • chosen

    The funniest part is that Sanderson’s fans are mostly incredibly nice. Espeacially when compared to many of the other fandoms. These comments have been down right tame when compared to WOT aSoIaF or Malazan fans. If Mrs. Kane had misrepresented one of their charaters, they would be out in the streets hunting her down. Blood vendettas would be sweared and probably a few ritual animal killings would be preformed as well.

    If you want to see some actual fandom zealotry find the Rand vs Jaime match from the first cage match. Then you will see a real fadom flame war.

  • Hmm…I posted a reply that’s not showing up, too, Sarah. Maybe they’ve been sent to spam?

  • Sarah, I posted a comment that’s missing, too, and I’m having trouble seeing comments at all; maybe a problem in the system?

  • chosen

    You need to delete your cookies Mrs Kane, suvudu has a bug centered on cookies that keeps your comments section from updating properly. Your post is here its just hidden.

  • Where is my comment? I’ve cleared my cache like four times and restarted my computer.

  • Jess Bewers

    WOW this was a good fight, I really enjoyed the write up for this match (even if it was a bit inaccurate) it was really fun and very well written.
    It was great to read the fight from the vantage point of someone who has never encounterd allomancy and who found it all a mistery.

    I have never read any of the ‘Chess’ books but this write up has given me a thirst for knowledge and you can rest assured that they have been added to my must read list 😀

    I think that it is obvious that Kel would win this fight as a fully trained allomancer would be almost impossible to beat, but still I thought that Chess gave a good battle, but ultimately would have been defeated within seconds by an Atium burning ~ or even an Atium-less allomancer.

    I would love to see an Allomancer up against a Channeler (from Robert Jordens – A
    Wheel of Time) as I can’t help but feel that that is the only way Kel would find any kind of competition.

    Here’s hoping both Kelsier and Moiraine Damodred make it to the finals. That would be a truly entertaining match and Mr Sanderson (Author of the Mistborn Trilogy and also the finishing Author of A wheel of Time) could write this match fairly from both perspectives.

    (To Suduvu: If you haven’t already approached Mr S about a match write up, I suggest that you do, as he is a very kind, generous and giving writer who seems totally willing to share and enjoy his talents as an amazing writer of some of the best books in the FA genre)

    Kindest regards
    Jess Bewers
    (Anaya Sedai – of the yellow Ajah)

  • Gela

    To answer Ms. Kane’s question about why we love Kelsier so much, it’s because he’s so well-rounded. The Survivor has a noble goal, freeing the skaa. But, as you’ll see when you read it, his flaws are so far on the evil side of things and his hatred of nobles so intense that it can be almost disturbing.

  • Sir Read-a-Lot

    @Stacia Kane

    How to describe Keslier…

    Nothing I say will do him justice, but here are two of my favorite lines:

    “You’re insane!” she said quietly.
    Kelsier smiled. “I think that’s the second time today you’ve said that to me. You need to pay better attention – if you’d been listening to everyone else, you’d know that my sanity departed long ago.”

    “I had to do some crawling tonight,” Kelsier said, waving an indifferent hand. “There’s an unused drainage ditch that passes right under Keep Lekal’s defensive wall. You’d think they’d get that patched up.”
    “I doubt they need worry,” Breeze said from beside the desk. “Most of you Mistborn are probably too proud to crawl. I’m surprised you were willing to do so yourself.”
    “Too proud to crawl?” Kelsier said. “Nonsense! Why, I’d say that we Mistborn are too proud not to be humble enough to go crawling about – in a dignified manner, of course.”
    Dockson frowned, approaching the desk. “Kell, that didn’t make any sense.”
    “We Mistborn need not make sense,” Kelsier said haughtily.

    It’s only a small taste of him, but it’s the best I can provide without spoiling anything.

  • Freelancer

    ::respectful nod to Anaiya Sedai::

    Umm, nope. Anyone who has read the fight between Kelsier and the Inquisitors, the one where he died, would know that he couldn’t lose a fight against someone whose primary power is the ability to ignore mental anguish. He would not enter a fight without a full compliment of metals available to burn. That means tin for heightened senses, pewter enhanced physical abilities (reflexes, strength, speed, healing, resistance to wounding), iron and steel for pushing/pulling, zinc to riot emotions, brass to soothe emotions. When Chess began to attack in spite of his rioting, he would have hammered her with brass until she didn’t care about fighting. With a full pewter burn going, her attempts to bash his head with a pillbox would have been simple to oppose through greater reflexes and speed, greater strength to restrain her, and even if hit, the ability to shrug off the initial wounds without slowing down his own assault. A coinshot can always get away from an attack by pushing off any metal they select, including a coin on the ground. Any metal Chess was wearing that didn’t pierce her skin could be used to push her away. There are simply too many weapons in Kelsier’s arsenal, and he knew how to use them all in a fight, even against those who knew what they faced, and Chess certainly did not.

  • KevinB

    Just as you can’t dodge a monster trying to rip out your throat that is ten times stronger and faster than you and is lying on top of you (like she did the last round), you can’t charge at a Mistborn with a switch knife, tackle him to the floor, restrain him and beat him to death with a pillbox, no matter how angry you are. Unless you’re the Hulk …

    I like the writing style of the write ups, they’re pleasant to read, but the actual events in there are just so skewed and inconsistent. It really puts me off.

  • D.I. Waisanen


    You might want to give a spoiler warning before you mention things like Kelsier’s fight with the Inquisitor. Not everyone here has read Mistborn.

  • wcarter4

    @Ms. Kane and all of the fine fans of her series

    I have not read Unholy Ghost so I wont comment on Chess, I only want to say that if any of the commenters who have a problem with the way Kelsier was portrayed offended you, then I am embarrassed for them.
    Mistborn is a fine series and Brandon Sanderson a great author, but I don’t think he or the vast majority of his fans would appreciate someone flaming another author on his behalf. I for one enjoyed the write up.
    The cage match is a game and a popularity contest. There is literally nothing at stake. Some of us just like to get a little passionate about our favorite characters sometimes. I hope matches like this don’t discourage the authors from doing write ups themselves in the future.

  • sk

    I read this and feel like the author really doesn’t have a grasp on what the mistborn can and cannot do. Burning pewter alone would be enough that Kelsier could take a normal person’s head off with his bare hands, let alone what could be done with rioting and pushes and pulls. Again where the author doesn’t seem to understand in that steelpushing and ironpulling can be done to ALL metals, the steel and iron are what the mistborn burns to do the pushes and pulls.

  • The write-up was nice, though a little in-accurate, but we’re all allowed some inaccuracy in life, right?
    What I want to see is Kylar Stern against Keslier. Apparently he has some magic absorbing weapon (The Ka’kari I think?), so…
    Assassin vs. Assassin.
    Indirect magic vs. Magic Absorber…
    A guy who had no problem killing towers of men vs. An assassin who can’t kill the innocent,, just trick them.


  • Spindle


    Kylar would be OFFENDED if you called him an assassin.

  • Kyo

    Kel wins hands down! He has a plan for everything, and he isn’t afraid to do what it takes (or kill who it takes) to get there. And he is the funniest man in literature ^^

  • Samuel


    Actually, not all metals can be pushed/pulled, like aluminum and most of its alloys.

  • Hey @wcarter4, no worries, I’m not offended at all! A few people maybe got a little heated, but I don’t think anyone can judge an entire fanbase on one or two comments, and again, I just think it’s awesome that any characters make people so passionate.

    Like I said earlier, I knew the odds were way against Chess in this one. I just wanted to at least give her a decent fight scene that showed a bit of her character, and give everyone a little something to read. 🙂 Personally, I consider the fact that Chess pulled in like 4 times as many votes against Kelsier as poor Gale in Round 1 did to be a *huge* victory. He got 8% and she got 29%, and that’s enormous for me. I didn’t expect anywhere near that much.

    Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it. And thanks again to everyone else who commented; you made this whole thing fun for me to participate in.

  • @Spindle

    Sorry! I didn’t read the series yet! I’m getting it soon…
    Okay…the Night Angel then?

  • Spindle

    Oh, I thought you already read the series… My bad. Call him a wetboy.

    Well… Kelsier won. It’s to be expected.

  • Veo


    Yeah, also, it’s a minor (really, really minor, not even spoiler-worthy) plot point in the third Mistborn novel that silver is also allomantically inert, like aluminum — steelpushes and ironpulls don’t work on silver either.

  • Tess

    I am a massive fan of the Downside Ghosts series & have not read the Mistborn series. Kelsier seems to have a lot of fans so they must be awesome! I admittedly wanted Chess to win but that’s ok that she didn’t. If you’re here because you love Kelsier, you should reaaallllllyyyy check out Stacia Kane’s books; they’re amazing! xx

  • DashWatson

    Kelsier slayed her!!! And looks like Stacia Kane hasn’t even read the Mistborn books. Portraying Kell as a common thief wanting to steal 50 bucks! Ridiculous! He’s a thief of the highest level… And he slayed her!!! 😀

  • DashWatson

    Lady with a purse hits Kelsier (the guy who taught Vin mostly everything from badass combat to all subtle applications of Allomancy) with her purse, till he topples!!! Amusing! Though quite impossible, it’s still hilarious Kelsier getting into her head!!! (How?)… He could easily kill her before the match started, by sending a couple of metal objects through her heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain, and all other vital organs! 😀
    And yeah, I’d love to see Kelsier against Kylar Stern, and Sanderson and Weeks both to write their viewpoints to make their characters win, though with proper understanding of the strengths of the opponent, not ridiculously hammering the opponent with a purse till he falls… 😉

  • DashWatson

    This Chessi person brings a knife and all other metal thingys to a fight with Kell, it’s more like bringing a knife to an anti-matter-bomb-throwing fight…