Cage Match 2012: Round 3: Anomander Rake versus Bast



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The Contestants

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

Age: Unknown
Race: Fae creature
Weapons / Artifacts: Doesn’t seem to need any
Gets others to attack you to “bring out the best in you”

The Breakdown


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

  • Incredibly charming
  • Faster and stronger than you’d expect
  • Might have picked up a thing or two from Kvothe

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

  • Softness for the ladies and his master


How we think the fight will go


The dragon cocked its head for a moment, and then, rather suddenly, a large, dark man with silvery-white hair was standing in its place.

“That should have worked.”

Bast shrugged.

“No, seriously,” Rake said. “You don’t have any abilities that I know of that would prevent you from being devoured by a dragon.” He shook his head. “Then again, you should have been destroyed when I cut you in two with my sword.”

“Or that fireball thing you did on me.”

“Exactly!” Rake looked around. “What’s going on?”

“I think you might have answered your own question,” Bast said.

“How so?”

“Well…you said I don’t have any abilities that you know of that would keep me alive. And yet…”


“Well, what about the abilities you don’t know about?”

“But you don’t have any! That’s my point.”

“That you know of,” Bast repeated. “Who knows what’s going to be revealed in the next book.”

“But…but…,” Rake spluttered. He stopped, realizing this was probably the first time he had ever “spluttered.” He regained his composure. “So what do we do now?”

“I think some other guys did a coin toss—want to do that?”

Rake sighed. “Do…,” he sighed again. “Do you have a coin?”

“Right here,” Bast said, holding it up. “Heads or tails?”

Rake shrugged. “Heads.”

Bast flipped the coin…

Predicted Winner: ???*



Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match in the Starfleet Academy: Holodeck bracket!

Check out the Bracket

Anomander Rake is a character from the The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson; Bast is a character from the Kingkiller Chronicles series by Patrick Rothfuss

Rake image courtesy of Michael Komarck and Subterranean Press. Bast image courtesy of ~YasminaMihaylovna

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!”


*Rumor is that a Bast/Zaphod match-up could result in a Patrick Rothfuss write-up…

  • Chandran

    Hahaha, nice write up. Pretty sure Rake would never become that flustered, but entertaining none the less. Still, I’m leaning towards Rake for this one.

  • wcarter4

    Wow, I think Bast is becoming the true dark horse character of the tourney (we all know why Zaphoid is doing well–most of us love the Hitchhikers series– but Bast he’s just so…intriguing. I’m curious to see if he can go any further.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    Okay, this is just ridiculous.

    If we’re just going to say, “Duhhr, we don’t know Bast’s full abilities, so we can’t say for sure that he’d lose,” then what’s the point of having him in Cage Match at all?

    Not to mention that if he had any abilities even nearly at the level of Anomander Rake, given the power level comparison of the two series, he would shatter the plot of The Kingkiller Chronicles into so many pieces that there would be no book left to read.

    I vote for Rake. His power is well beyond anything that Bast could counter, and his experience is well beyond being flustered by an enemy who can (somehow) resist his attacks. He’s seen worse many times over.

  • Loki ~TQB~

    Worst write-up ever. Rake asking after a coin? You may as well have had him challenge Bast to a break dancing contest. This is just insulting.

  • Rhulad

    That write-up is terrible.

  • rose

    Hehehe. Awesome. Completely sums up what’s been going on, and I like it.

  • AMR

    To be fair to poor Bast, he did show some reality warping powers in the second book( creating a crow out of beer and ink and setting it on fire) but yeah, if any Kingkiller Chronicle character had the power to stand up to Rake, the Chandrian would have been long since dead.

  • Spectre of Eschaton

    I can’t even think of a set of circumstances where Rake would be motivated to even fight a guy like this. Even if the Omnipotent Lords of Suvudu commanded it, I think he might just refuse and suffer the consequences. It’d be pretty dishonorable for him to actually fight this Bast character.

  • Stonetwig

    This write up is great. It’s true that Bast’s character isn’t fully developed, and he probably isn’t as strong as Rake in absolute power, but subtlety sometimes beats out brute force, and bast is a devious guy that we don’t know everything about. He could have a few small advantages that give this one to him.

  • Samuel

    Lol at the Malazan fans getting all huffy…

  • Archon

    @ Samuel: Only the fans who can’t tell the difference between a fun write up designed to not bore everyone with a one-sided slaughterfest and a serious write up of how they actually think it might go… I found it amusing…

  • “Rumor is that a Bast/Zaphod match-up could result in a Patrick Rothfuss write-up…”

    Is…is this Suvudu code-speak for “Vote for Bast”? Are you kidding me? I think I just lost interest in this and all future Cage Matches. Have fun.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    “This write up is great. It’s true that Bast’s character isn’t fully developed, and he probably isn’t as strong as Rake in absolute power, but subtlety sometimes beats out brute force, and bast is a devious guy that we don’t know everything about. He could have a few small advantages that give this one to him.”

    I agree, but I seriously doubt that Anomander Rake is going to be easily out-maneuvered. He’s survived for three-hundred-thousand years or so, and is considered one of the top political players in a world filled with powerful, ancient, and crafty beings. If anyone is going to be winning on craftiness, it will be Rake.

    I’m not trying to just fanboy this with “NOOO Rake is invincible, he cannot lose!” but seriously, to have Rake lose this fight would be to be untrue to the nature of both characters and both worlds.

  • What the hell is this? I understand that the writers have to “think out of the box” because otherwise it’d just be boring with Rake destroying everyone in the blink of an eye, but come on. Be imaginative.

    This is just lazy writing.

  • The Infamous Princess Ben Cuddles

    “Rumor is that a Bast/Zaphod match-up could result in a Patrick Rothfuss write-up…”

    This is very odd, why would you put this on the page at all? It just seems like Suvudu is trying to sway people into voting for Bast. This write-up is terrible, and it isn’t like Rake at all. It would be like taking Moiraine and turning her into a loving housewife. It doesn’t make any sense.

  • Kvothe_the_Bloodless

    I take back what I just wrote on the Jardir/Moraine forum…THIS is the best write-up yet! Brilliant!

  • JLV

    The writeup wasn’t well done on Rake’s side. But eh, it’s not a big deal.

    I don’t see the point of including Rake in a cage match. There are a ton of better characters to choose from Malazan (Kalam or Fidder, anyone?). Rake is a god, immortal, carry’s the weight of thousands of creatures he slew. What could he lose too?

    Makes the writeups hard to write, surely, and I can understand why the Suvudu guys want him gone. Shouldn’t have included him in the first place, though.

  • Andarist

    All of the Rake write ups have been terrible and this is no exception. Obviously Rake is ridiculously powerful, which makes it hard to invent competition but the greatest crimes haven’t been against his powers but his character.

    I don’t care if he loses out to an obviously weaker character.. that’s how this show goes down. I’d just like to see an author of one of these fights show his character a little respect.

  • Spindle

    This write-up isn’t very amusing. Rake doesn’t go about asking his enemies why he couldn’t beat them.

    The coin-toss part was good, though.

  • Obdigore

    The previous fight for Rake with Ferro was very truthful to both their characters, I thought.

    This ‘fight’, on the other hand, is apparently about Suvudu trying to get Bast through to the next round so that you get a Patrick Rothfuss write up.

    The only people in this years match that could conceivably stand against Rake are Tomas and maybe Revan. Yet you have this bartender, who has nearly no powers, who is learning from Kvothe, who most likely could not have stood against Rake, somehow immune to any and everything rake does?

    Maybe next year Suvudu could do a double cage match? High Powered characters in one and low powered characters in another? That would avoid something like Rake vs Bast or Khellus vs Ray Lilly (and Khellus lost? Please.)

  • Meggs

    Nice try. 😉

    Still voting Rake. 😛

  • Jam

    Love how you guys have embraced the whole Bast’s unrevealed abilites thing that’s been running through the comments section. But what really swung my vote from Rake to Bast was the promise of a Patrick Rothfuss writeup. Yes, please!!

  • Shadow’sBane

    Best Write-Up ever.

  • MTS

    I agree with JLV. Choosing Rake out of the quite literally hundreds of other characters in the Malazan world was a mistake. Quick Ben was a smart move last year because, mysterious though he is, we know he has at least some limits that enable fair fights between characters in other series. Rake on the other hand has been built up since MOI as a character so utterly, pants-shittingly powerful that nothing can stand against him. I don’t think even Tomas or Revan could cause him to break a sweat, and therein lies the problem: it’s boring. I don’t think anybody even remotely familiar with the series is seriously entertaining the thought that Rake could possibly lose to Bast of all people. The fact Suvudu had to dangle the candy of a Patrick Rothfuss write-up in front of everybody to make this a fair fight speaks volumes of the laughable inequality of this and all Rake match-ups, which is why he shouldn’t have been included in the first place. I said it last year, and I still hold to it: Iron Bars would have been the perfect choice for this.

  • Darkest Lord

    this is totally ridiculous.
    Us Malazan fans are gonna flood this poll, make no mistake about that.
    mess with rake and u are going to face the consequences.
    i am not saying rake should win every match. im saying if he is to lose, it’s got to be convincing and realistic. not this sh**.

  • Archon

    They need to bring in Karsa Orlong… Theres a character who could have a reasonable chance to fight anyone, but not necessarily beat anyone, and he would prompt some fantastic write-ups because he’s a fun character…

  • Shadow’sBane

    i seriously hope that Rand Al’thor isn’t withe audience watching the Battle between Rake and Bast….or else the flipping coin would turn out a very very Bad idea…
    :if u know what i mean: 😉

  • Kolo Navi

    Eh…again, choosing Rake was bad, bad decision… And write-ups like this only underlines it.

    Also…Bast…really…? But why not, but from Malazan universe, you could chose a hundred characters and have “realistic” write-ups…and even score of characters that would give you drama and absurd humor (Iskaral Pust, Kruppe, some Mott Irregular)…

    …instead, you have to choose demigod who refued goship and still, even gods are trembling from him…

  • Rhulad

    There are a few characters that could possibly, maybe almost kinda give rake a run for his money. Most of them are part of the Malazan universe. The others are Cthulhu.

  • Shadow’sBane

    Moiraine (WoT) from this tournament can take Rake down…and Also Richard Rahl(SoT) would matchup with him…
    and also other characters from Wot universe can fight Rake Head on…Even Kelsier has a chance

  • Kolo Navi

    Really? I write polite, non vulgar criticism of your choice and you delete my post?

    What a style…

  • Kolo Navi

    Really, I didnt refresh the page and then criticize you?

    What a stupidity…

  • Ru Mo

    I think this write up is awesome. After all the screeching people did in the comments about how wrong the writers of first two match ups were about Bast’s abilities and his hidden talents, this is a great humorous “well, we gave you what you wanted so shut up” slap in the face by the writers. I loved it! Go Bast!

  • The Dragon Reborn

    I will do a write up of Rake against one of the ta’veren on and put it on the facebook group – Fantastic lands – fantasy discussions. It’s something that has to be done.

    Group link-

  • Archon

    @Shadow’s Bane

    You’re not talking about the same Rake… MAYBE Balefire MIGHT work against Rake, but to hit Rake with it, you would have to see him, AND hit him… Rake, as the Son of Darkness, is Mostrously stealthy when he wants to be, And he’s as quick and elusive as anyone if the need arises… although it very seldom does. Other than that, No… Nobody that you mentioned has a prayer… You clearly don’t understand how powerful this guy is.

  • Spectre of Eschaton

    That *is* something to keep in mind — Rake is terrifyingly fast. Karsa, who is a superhumanly-fast warrior himself, was unable to even *see* Rake and Dassem’s duel.

    T’lan Imass are *fast* as we all know, and Apsal’ara, as a thief goddess, is likely a fair bit faster, and yet even getting the drop of Rake, he had Dragnipur out and hitting her before she even got near him.

    From what I recall, Balefire is not light-speed in the books, i.e. it *can* be dodged, so if Rake has any warning, I can’t see why it would hit him. Also, RJ said in an interview that in order to Balefire the Dark One, such an amount as the obliterate a planet as collateral damage of hitting him would required. Rake, being for all intents and purposes, a god, may require more than a normal dosage of Balefire to erase, also. On top of that, Balefiring Dragnipur could have some serious consequences, possibly even resulting in the eradication of the universe if your hit the Gate of Darkness with enough Balefire. @_@

  • HoosierDaddy

    Moiraine (WoT) from this tournament can take Rake down…and Also Richard Rahl(SoT) would matchup with him…
    and also other characters from Wot universe can fight Rake Head on…Even Kelsier has a chance”

    No, Moraine couldn’t take Rake. No, Truthiness Rahl couldn’t either. The Survivor would stand no chance. The power levels are just not comparable and completely unfair. But, that’s not what this is about.

    Jaime Lannister beat Rand al Thor for Christ’s sake. The Dragon Reborn lost to Jaime Lannister because GRRM has legions of fans that will go out of their mind to get a write-up from GRRM. Which is what Suvudu is seemingly trying to accomplish here with Bast and Rothfuss.

    I seriously doubt you ever see Erikson write one of these. He’s too busy you know, actually publishing books.

    I recommend adding Twilight Characters, Suvudu. You’ll really get the page-hits then.

  • Stonetwig

    Do you know who could beat Rake…Goku! Ya, super saiyan up in his face! He’s killed everything in the galaxy, and i’m pretty sure i saw his picture on a cereal box or something, so it’s literature and he can be included in the tourny.

  • JLV

    That said, I think the Suvudu people have a great thing going with these Cage matches. I really hope they continue to grow. A great way to discover new authors, and remind yourself of the old.

  • Archon


    Gotta call you out for your facts, even though your point is semi-accurate… Nobody beat Rand… Not Jaime, not anybody… Now, it is true that people do win based on popularity, but as last year showed, in the end, you have to have the popularity AND the power to win it all… Both Rand and Quick Ben were very deserving champions, even if they weren’t necessarily the MOST powerful people in their respective tourneys, they were AMONG the most powerful, and they were also very popular… if it was ONLY about popularity, then every final would be WoT vs. GoT…

  • HoosierDaddy

    Moiraine (WoT) from this tournament can take Rake down…and Also Richard Rahl(SoT) would matchup with him…
    and also other characters from Wot universe can fight Rake Head on…Even Kelsier has a chance”

    No, Moraine couldn’t take Rake. No, Truthiness Rahl couldn’t either. The Survivor would stand no chance. The power levels are just not comparable and completely unfair. But, that’s not what this is about.

    Jaime Lannister beat Rand al Thor for Christ’s sake. The Dragon Reborn lost to Jaime Lannister because GRRM has legions of fans that will go out of their mind to get a write-up from GRRM. Which is what Suvudu is seemingly trying to accomplish here with Bast and Rothfuss.

    I seriously doubt you ever see Erikson write one of these. He’s too busy you know, actually publishing books.

    I recommend adding Twilight Characters, Suvudu. Jacob v. Edward in the final with Meyer herself getting the Twihards all a frenzy!

  • Shadow’sBane

    i really hope that u upgrade and debug the comment system of this Website….becoz it has been 2 yrs since the cage-matches…and the stupid problem of loading comments still is solved…still all comments load once u comment….and when u comment 2nd time …then all comments below ur first comments don’t load…making many comments including ur own invisible…its bloody irritating…becoz it happens continuously until u put a 3 comment…then after that there are many other problems too…get this comment system debugged…or use a FB integration for comments like 9gag does…it would be better…

  • Shadow’sBane

    Jaime Lannister DID NOT beat the Dragon Reborn!!…i will remember that bloody fight all my life.

    and Richard Rahl CAN match-up to Rake if he uses all his War-Wizard’s strength along with Sword of Truth’s power….

    and as for Moiraine….well she has a small chance against Rake…if she can somehow Balefire him..

    and Kelseir has a chance too…u know Kell’s friend Sazed now holds power of two Shards (Preservation and Ruin) …with his help it is possible….and with Atium and Duralumin there is a chance.

    and Rand Al’thor may have a Chance….he is very powerful…plus he is a ta’varen…that helps a lot….and on top of that if Perrin and Mat are in audience…chances of victory becomes very high….

    i haven’t read the Malazan books…so i don’t know how powerful he is…from what research and heard i can tell that he is as powerful as Goku in Super Saiyan-mode.
    but that doesn’t mean he is invincible….just a method of defeating him has to be figured out.

  • HoosierDaddy

    It’s possible, but improbable. All things being equal, Rake would win. I’ve read all of the series we are talking about, and it’s just not fair. But, still, it’s possible. The key would be a good write-up to make it not just possible, but believable. But, I doubt Erikson would care to and it’s hard to capture Rake’s essence, despite the first author’s intent.

    But, it’s fine, vote for your favorites and hopefully we’ll get better write-ups. I’d much rather Rake lose to Moraine or Kelsier than Bast. But, it’d be fun to see Rothfuss’ take on these. He’s a clever author.

  • Macready

    I once heard the phrase somewhere on the internet: “Anomander Rake: he simply walks into Mordor.” I think that sums it up quite well. Especially for this fight. It’s too bad, I enjoyed the first write up of Anomander’s, the second was okay and believable with Ferro Maljinn, and I considered that one a given considering Anomander needed at least one writeup like that. But this one was lacking. As a fan of both authors I can hardly consider this a good writeup (after all isn’t that why we all come here to this site? For a badass writeup that can marvel our curiosity as do these fine authors).

    Personally I find this writeup lacking, especially for Bast–despite how goofy Anomander acted–in the way he used none of his intellect /devious/and savagery other than standing there and ‘somehow’ surviving every kind of death visited upon him. At the least Bast could have downplayed his skills to ambush Rake. Still not sure why people find this a great match other than hoping Rothfuss will write a short, semi-entertaining writeup for the next match… I mean really, it won’t be action packed, we know he will write it (if he even does) so that Bast will win, and it certainly will not release more information on Bast’s past and capabilities.

  • TapperMalaz

    If the cage match wasn’t about popularity but about raw strength, ability, magic, cunning, experience, tactical stratagems, allies and about who has skidmarks in their underwear after your name is mentioned, then we ought to just skip the tournament and crown Rake.

    Since Suvudu isn’t exactly about who would win, but about popularity, fair game to Bast being of an equal level as Rake in the write-up. Now that he is here, both Suvudu and readers have to deal with it and that means that you can’t do Rake justice without obliterating his every opponent and can’t give them a chance without making a charicature out of Rake.

    If Rake wins, maybe next write-up Suvudu ought to post the following:

    Rake: “I can kill you in so many ways it is not even funny, and there’s nothing you can do to even inconvenience me.”

    Opponent: “I could block your first swing, maybe your second. Dragnipur might get nicked. And if I call on all my magical aids, allies and experience I can perhaps dodge your warren-blast once.”

    Rake: “That would mean I’m late for lunch. What about settling it with Rock-Paper-Scissors?”

    Opponent: “Best of one?”

  • dry009

    Bast with 40% of the vote? Really? Reaaaally?

    Completely preposterous.

  • HoosierDaddy

    Only 40%? To the machines!

    But, sir, they weren’t built for that magnitude!

    They’re built for what I demand!

    Sir, your demands are preposterous. Really, reaaaaaally preposterous!

    Damn the expectations man! Bast is go for launch in 10:






    Denna has upset the launch sequence again. Denna? Seriously? We have to do this at least once. Yes, I know you like to interrupt the story. Yes, you are beautiful. Qvothe isn’t even here! He’s checking out a Marriot in west somewhere. You’ll head somewhere else? Great. Awesome.




    2. Why’s the ignition flame all wrong?

  • Darkest Lord

    by the way Patrick Rothfuss has written a short write-up for this fight on his blog

  • Sashan

    god damn it, a write-up by Rothfuss for a Zaphod vs. Bast would be legendary…

    but no, let’s vote for the other guy se we can read about another coin toss…you people are morons…

  • Matthew

    The more i read about the Malazan characters in these cage matches, the less i want to read the Malazan books. Is there anything in them besides super mega awesome unbeatable magical badasses eating gods and shitting flaming miracles?

    A Rothfuss writeup of Bast v. Zaphod offers more entertainment value than any other possible outcome.

    Bast ftw.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @Darkest Lord
    that’s not a write-up….Pat just bribed the fans by offering them a Write-Up ;-)…

  • This is absurd. If you chose Rake for the tournament, don’t make a mockery of him in your write ups. And to insinuate that Bast should win just so that we get some “treat” is a just cheap.

    It means you’re using other considerations and outside factors to determine the outcome of a match. Stay “in universe”.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    I think having Zaphod and Bast going on would be a worse bore than Anomander Rake continuing to defeat everything. A fight with Anomander could be made entertaining if all factors are considered and the fight is drawn out, as with Ari Marmell’s write-up of Mellorin vs. Rake. However, I’m thoroughly tired of “Zaphod escaped by this infinitely improbable luck! The universe molds itself to suit him!” nonsense. There comes a point where these match-ups are too silly to offer any actual insight onto who would actually win in a fight and just become insanity.

  • Just Just

    as the polls are now, zaphod is done for this cagematch. bast however seems to be going down, so there propably won’t be a zaphod vs bast write up from Pat…

    damn shame…

    I hope he will still do such a write up at his blog, just for fun.

    the good news would be; finaly no Zaphod messing with the probabilities anymore.

  • Primateus

    @Matthew – The Malazan books are most commonly told from the narrative of common soldiers barring a few special cases. There, indeed, quite a few rather powerful characters, but the story is rarely told from their perspective. So it’s well worth the read.

    As in regards to not knowing what powers Bast might have in an upcoming book…Utterly irrelevant. That’s the problem with series that are not yet done. You simply cannot discount other players because one character might have some crazy power in a book that has yet to be published. Certainly, pitting anyone in this years lineup against Anomander Rake is woefully unfair, to everyone but Rake. But it is also unfair to completely negate one competitors abilities, skills, powers, etc. because of one characters hypothetical power in a book that has yet to be published.

    This writeup, while amusing, is actually rather stupid.

  • Matthew

    In Steven Erikson’s books Anomander is not as overpowered as he may appear here. In fact that is apparent from the very first scene in the first of the novels.

    I have read a lot of fantasy novels and Steven Erikson’s Malazan series is still by far my favourite of all. It is certainly not for the faint of heart. His world is enormous. I highly recommend it for anyone who is hesitant.


    I have heard a rumour that claims Steven Erikson may be considering a Rake vs. Moiraine write up if Rake gets that far. Considering how Erikson writes action scenes – that would be A-mazing

  • MTS

    ‘Is there anything in them besides super mega awesome unbeatable magical badasses eating gods and shitting flaming miracles?’

    Much, MUCH more, and Rake and QB are not at all representative of the relative power-levels of characters in the series – they’re very much at and near the top end of the spectrum respectively, thus their inclusion in these Cage Matches. I wouldn’t judge the entire series based on those two characters.

    In any case, it must be remembered the Malazan series arose from tabletop RPG’ing – ridiculous over-the-top badassitude is to be expected sometimes.

  • Loki

    The problem with pitting characters from different series against each other is that there is no way to scale them in regards to power and skill as each universe/world has it’s own set of rules and cannon. I mean, having people like Zaphod and Potter in the same competition as Cale, Rake and Revan is like having the local primary schools under 11 basketball team go up against the Lakers or Bulls. But while the cage match ups may make no sense and seem completely ridiculous more often then not, let’s not forget what the true intention of these cage matches is – to introduce people to knew authors and to encourage them to go out and read their books.
    Every year I end up with a new To Read pile as a result of these cage matches and I believe that if Suvudu can get even just a handful of other people to do the same thing then the cage matches are a success.

    My only issue is when the write-ups clearly misrepresent characters, especially characters that I know about and/or like. Especially since the write-ups are what encourage me the most to investigate and read a new author. Hence why my copy of Ari Marmell’s The Conqueror’s Shadow arrived today – Marmell wrote a very interesting write-up that showed off his own character while at the same time being respectful to Rake. He could have have written it so Rebaine won and I still would have liked the write-up because it was RESPECTFUL to both characters.
    I know nothing about Bast but I do know enough about Rake to know that this write-up was very untrue to his character (at any point in the Malazan series). I would love to see Rake win the entire thing but I’m not going to kick up a fuss if he gets voted out – I’d just like him to at least leave on a decent write-up, not something competely at ends with who he is and how he’d behave.

  • Loki

    March 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Lol at the Malazan fans getting all huffy…

    I think you’ll find it’s more a matter of Erikson fans being upset and/or annoyed at how Rake is being portrayed in the write-up then it has to do with winning.

    We just want Rake to be represented fairly and this write-up doesn’t do that. The previous write-ups have been quite good and while they may not have been accurate they at least tried to be – this write-up shows no attempt to do justice to both characters.

    I think Erikson fans are also getting a little annoyed and concerned at how the Malazan series is being represented and coming across to people who haven’t read it – Suvudu has included two characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series and both are at the high end of the powers scale. It would be like only talking about Rand and Moiraine or Sauron and Gandulf – it doesn’t give a fair idea of the actual division of power and the types of characters included in the series.

    Allow us our frustration and ‘huffyness’ – you’d might even do the same thing if it was your favourite author and your favourite series that was being misrepresented.

  • Seriously, the point of cage matches is to have a realistic visualization of how a fight will go to satisfy our wish fulfillment fantasies. Having to resort to “out of world” incentives like promising a write up is cheating. Worse, it shows the management of suvudu is itself biased and is willing to interfere in a match.

    If Rake loses this, I’m out of Suvudu forever since this isn’t why I read these matches.

  • Just Just

    I think Loki is absolutly right, Cage Match is meant to introduce you to new authors. Personaly I just ordered Gardens of the Moon, just because this cage match got me interested. I hope that this will not be the only book that I order thanks to this cage match.

    and though write ups like these, or the one with granny vs the fool, might be fun, they don’t encourage me to read the original books.

    so maybe it should be just as in 2010, when both authors submitted a write up, so you could see them honour their own character, get a good look at what you might consider reading, and showing of their style of writing.

    Patrick Rothfuss’ write up on his blog ( might not portrait Rake at his best, or even remotly accurate, it is at least a little more fun than this one, so if you are fed up by the fact this is a boring, stupid write up, or just if you had expected a little more, click the link and enjoy!

  • Matthew

    Anyone who thinks this series is anything more than a glorified popularity contest is kidding themselves.

  • Matthew

    And by “series” i mean the cage matches – not the books.

  • Kvothe_the_Bloodless

    The Pat-Rothfuss-Call-to-Arms seems to be kicking in…Go Bast Go!

  • Bast!

  • One Point

    To everyone who is complaining that Rake is overpowered and why did Suvudu include him in this Cage Match:

    Rake was not the only god-level being included, and in the beginning, there were several other characters quite capable of giving him a run for his money. Guys like Kelhus, Caine, Tomas, and The Dagda Moor. Notice something about the above guys? That’s right, you killed them all in favor of your favorite characters. And Mr. Wednesday’s going down for the count. About the only character left that could logically stand a chance is Granny Weatherwax.

    So don’t complain about Rake steamrolling over the competition. You killed the only guys capable of opposing him (though from the start, I have been salivating over a Granny vs. Rake match).

    And, dear Suvudu, maybe you’re not trying to be biased toward Bast (benefit of the doubt here). If so, it would have been better to have this match end in Bast’s favor. Because now, it looks like you’re saying, ‘vote whichever way you want, but if you vote this way, you’ll get a really juicy write-up’.

  • Rose

    I think the Gods of Suvudu have just as much right to be drooly fans as the rest of us: they can get excited about the matches and leave it open if they love both characters or whatever. We shouldn’t demand that they behave perfectly decorously at all times just because they’re the hosts. This isn’t a fancy dinner party, this is a cage match geek-out partaaaayy!!!.

    Plus they’re probably as flummoxed as everybody else as to why Bast keeps illogically succeeding. I’m quite happy with their job here. (Better than some write-ups, not as good as others.)

  • theAKpal

    I finished the first Rake book earlier today. I read it because of these matches. In it, Rake is shown (but mostly implied) to be extremely powerful. Mostly, it seems his sword is the biggest scare factor. The story, however, only has Rake as a minor character. Not minor in the sense that he is weak or unimportant, but minor in the sense that he’s just not in it that much. I’ll probably read a few more of the books, but I’m not sure I like Erikson’s style. It’s too jumpy, constantly switching from one character/plot-line to another.

    I’ve read both Rothfuss’s books. He is a fantastic writer. I love the series so far (also, the physical hardcover itself: love the paper used to print it). Neither Bast’s nor Kvothe’s powers have been flushed out so far, only implied in the storyline. As with Rake, Bast is a minor character.

    Given what Rake’s fans have said regarding his power, I believe he’d win and have voted as such.

    BTW, I like the write-up. To all those complaining about how Rake has been portrayed, pull the stick out. Also, I don’t think riling up Rake fans is nearly as dangerous as riling up Rothfuss fans. Has any of the Rake novels hit #1 on the NYT bestseller list (fiction)? I’d be surprised. You don’t get that high unless a lot of people buy the books.

  • Darastrix Thrae

    People leaving comments here don’t seem to realize that with the difference in power of the characters and the fact that the votes from fans determine victory, this is a popularity contest. The write-ups are just for fun on everyone’s part. Don’t tell us to stay ‘in universe’.

  • David

    @Baghwad “Seriously, the point of cage matches is to have a realistic visualization of how a fight will go”.

    You’re right…it’s all just soooo unrealistic. [/sarcasm]

  • HoosierDaddy


    The pov shifting is something that remains fairly constant throughout the series. However, before bailing I’d ask you to read the next two. They are widely considered to be “the best” in the series, and they are really, really enjoyable. However, if after the third you are still meh, you can probably give it up with no worries about missing on something you’d really, really like.

    And Rothfuss is a very good writer. Just wish he wrote a little faster. 🙂

  • Chris

    Rake becomes more important later on, and exactly why that sword he carries is so terrifying and how he came to have it are explained.

    The jumping in pov is something I got used to in the WOT, but Erikson dumps you right in the middle of an ongoing story, and never pauses for introductions. You have to watch your footing so you don’t get swept away, but it is a very entertaining series if you don’t get overwhelmed. (I think POV jumping is something epic fantasy loves doing).

  • Abyss

    With my utmost apologies and gratitude to Steven Erikson and Patrick Rothfuss, an attempted write up is below.

    Most of this is conjecture based on the thinnest of hints from the first books each of the characters appears in. But there are things that one would only learn from reading those books, so consider yourself warned… here there be

    “Teacher told me there’d be days like this.”
    Bast sprinted through the forest. Behind him trees shattered and burned, peculiar ripples of darkness and burning light playing at the edges of his vision as he sprinted away from the dragon’s breath yet again. He risked a glance over his shoulder, through the trees at the massive night black beast circling above the trees. His eyes, sharper than any human’s, focused on the head, a massive alligator-like nightmare crowned with a mass of white spikes, and he saw what he was looking for.

    Kvothe’s voice spoke from memory… Watch, learn, strike. …another fae trick… perfect recall… another lesson from a teacher to his brash fae student, not so brash any more after so much time, so many lessons… he had watched, and now he had learned, and it was time to strike. Slowing just enough for the dragon to see at least a blur fleeing below it, Bast ran back the way he had come.

    Rake circled. Furious draconic thought warred with cool logic. His draconic nature screamed at him to reduce the forest below to ash. To raze it to the ground and find his prey and feel its blood on his fangs. The Son of Mother Dark was not one to succumb to such urges. Darkness was order. Darkness was patient. His elusive prey below was circling back, perhaps trying to return to the empty ale house where Rake had first found him, perhaps for a weapon or escape. No matter. He had a sense of the man’s speed and agility now. Banking to line up a blast, Rake let his warrens… Kurald Galain, elder darkness, and Starvald Demelain… the breadth of Chaos, of dragons, build within him.

    Bast glanced up again. The dragon was lining up for a shot. The massive jaw unhinged. In a moment it would spread wide and that horrific energy would spill down again. This time Bast was ready. Choose your ground… Kvothe again… and if your opponent chooses it, make it yours. He had. The dragon needed moments to open wide. Those moments were his. This stretch of forest was his.

    Still on the run, his arm snapped out, uprooting a young sapling he had spotted on the run when the pursuit had begun. It tore from the ground easily in his grip. Bast spun it once, snapped off the thin roots at the base, again halfway up the trunk, and as he entered a small clearing he had spotted earlier he skidded to a stop and threw the sapling with all his inhuman strength, straight at the dragon’s mouth.

    Rake saw the motion, saw the missile flying at his face and banked, almost too late. The sapling tore at the edge of his open jaws, throwing off his aim. The scales of his draconic form were too strong for such a simple weapon, but the skin at the edge of his mouth was not. The pain was surprising, shocking even. He reared back, discharging his warrens into the sky, brilliant white and deepest black energy dispersing in a massive blast that hit only air.

    Bast had been hoping to send the tree right down the dragon’s throat but the spoiled shot was still useful for two reasons. It gave him a moment out of the dragon’s sight, and it rewarded his faith that the thing was vulnerable. He just needed to hit it in the right place. Now was his chance. Six saplings, six clear lines of attack through the forest canopy. He had marked them all while fleeing from the dragon’s assault, and now the dragon was dead centre in a target range and didn’t even know it. Kvothe’s favourite lesson… Don’t kick your enemy when he’s down… stab the fuck out of him.

    The next tree hit Rake in the throat. Not hard enough to penetrate, but enough to make him flinch after the hit to his mouth. He swung his long neck, looking for the prey. Another tree flew up, hitting his side. He barely felt that one and banked again. The next one took him full in the wing joint. Another right in the sail. And another in the joint, hard enough to make the wing almost buckle even while the skin and bone held.

    Rake wavered in the air. A mere dragon, a simple beast, would likely have fallen from the sky at that point. As it was, he drew in power from his warrens. Pure Starvald Demelain this time, a wave of force gathered below him to lower him to the ground.

    Conscious that his form was static in the air, and not wanting to give his foe the opportunity to strike with yet another tree, Rake sembled forms as he floated towards the ground. A thrown tree flew through where his draconic head had been an instant before.

    Bast cursed as the massive dragon suddenly blurred in the air, the thrown sapling passing through the blur as it lowered. Bast had a brief view of a more human form congealing before it dropped below the treeline. He kept his last tree in hand, stripping the branches and the trunck down to a quarterstaff length, and slowed his run. Not at all winded from the extended chase, Bast drew his longsword and slowly closed on where his opponent had landed. Kvothe’s words yet again… delivered with a heavy sigh… Sometimes it just comes down to sharp pointy things.

    Rake sensed the man approaching. There was enough power in his foe, enough ingenuity and fighting spirit, to at least merit a short meeting before the inevitable. He stood still in the clearing, and waited, turning to face the direction he knew the man approached from. His sharp eyes picked out the human form. Simple homespun clothes, white skin, brown hair. Bright eyes and an aura of power that was unusual. Not immense, but different. Unusual even. Not any shade of Tiste, not Jaghut embedded or a K’chain Che’malle experiment, nor any other race he was familiar with. But not human. Clearly not. No warren, Elder or new, that Rake had ever sensed before. Unremarkable to look at, but he held the longsword with familiarity, and the staff in his off-hand with an ease that demonstrated he clearly didn’t require two hands to wield it. A true opponent, perhaps.

    Bast gave up the stealthy approach when the tall dark skinned man looked right at him through the trees. Sword and staff at the ready, he walked into the clearing and looked at his opponent’s new form. Shapeshifters were nothing new, but this form was different from any fae or human Bast had encountered before. Tall, taller than most humans or Fae, with dark skin that seemed to absorb the fading light from the sunset. White white hair framing sharp features, and eyes without iris or pupil that shifted colour again and again. And, most important, the handle of a massive two handed sword over his shoulder. All in all, very intimidating. But… Looks aren’t everything. And sometimes looks aren’t anything. Kvothe’s lesson, but Bast had proven it himself many times. He stepped into the clearing.

    “Thank you for not destroying the inn.” Bast said. It seemed like the polite thing to acknowledge the gesture. Or appear to.

    Rake shrugged, wiping a thin line of dark blood from the edge of his mouth. “You had to exit eventually. I have a fondness for such places.”

    Bast tilted his head. This part-time dragon liked human ale houses? Talk is a weapon. And less messy than the sharp pointy things. Bast almost grinned at his teacher’s wisdom.

    “I am Bast. I don’t suppose we could just go back there and have a few drinks and talk this out?”

    The tall man shrugged again.

    “I an Anomandaris Dragnipurake. Or simply Rake. You were told I was coming. You know why. We have no other choices, though I regret the…”

    Bast put every bit of Fae speed and agility into his attack while the tall man… Rake… was mid-sentence. Talk is also a distraction. Kvothe had used that trick on Bast back when they first met. He led with the staff, a high wide sweep towards the head while his longsword stabbed forward and low towards the groin.

    He barely saw Rake move and a wave of power slammed him downwards. Pressure, his ears and nose aching, eyes watering, chains… CHAINS… the sound of a thousand thousand chains in his ears and on his bones, he stumbled short of the man, his longsword dipping, barely finishing the swing of the staff, barely at Rake’s shoulder. A sweep of the massive sword… Bast hadn’t even seen him draw… split the wood, sending half its length flying out of the clearing. Bast stared at the severed half in his hand, still upraised, all power of the swing gone. His inhuman eyes caught the barest hint of motion and from his knees he threw himself back hard, just barely dodging the massive sword as it swung down past his face. Shacking his head to clear it, he forced himself up. ‘Up, dammit, UP…’ he thought. ‘Die on your feet, or better yet, don’t die at all.’. Not Kvothe’s words this time. His own.

    Rake looked down at Bast as the Fae struggled to his feet. He allowed him a moment, forcing down Dragnipur’s power enough that the sword’s warren didn’t echo as strongly as it had when he drew it.

    “An admirable attack. Surprise, speed, considerable power though I did not sense you draw on any source.”

    He held up the two-handed sword at guard. Thin trails of vapor rose where the setting sun’s rays filtered through the trees and danced across it.

    Bast felt the echoes of those chains again. What WAS that sword? The vapor almost seemed… no. He blinked and drew on his own Fae nature, that power beyond anything humans had. Strength filled his limbs. He steadied. He saw Rakes eyes widen slightly as his false human visage dropped away, showing his true face.

    Bast attacked again. Striking with his sword, stabbing with the short spear his staff had become. Rake defended and the two handed sword was everywhere, weaving a defence with impossible speed, battering away each weapon, striking in with massive sweeps that Bast had to leap and duck. The fight went on for seconds, each man moving faster than humans could follow, had any been there to watch the fight. Rake perhaps faster, but Bast attacking with a savage, brutal, style… one Rake thought could only be human in origin.

    Bast saw his opening. The two handed sword was a long weapon, huge even. Not meant for close fighting. Bast charged in hard, feinting with the longsword, catching the two handed sword’s weight and momentum, then dropping it, moving in, batting Rake’s weapon aside with his bare hand and stabbing with the spear into Rake’s chest.

    The spear barely penetrated. Rake grabbed the haft with one hand, the tip just barely through Rake’s dark tunic. Bast gripped the two handed sword’s blade in his hand, ignoring the pain that caused, and bore down on the spear, straining to jam it into his foe’s chest. Rake stood, tall and still. After a moment all the strength left Bast’s body and he lost his grip on spear and sword both. He fell to the ground. His cut hand was suddenly ice, then numb, the feeling spreading through him mercilessly. He felt himself… fading.

    Rake’s dark face, eyes shifting blue, now red, now black, filled his fading vision. Bast dimly heard the man speak.

    “I regret… that you have earned Dragnipur.”

    Rake stood in the fading light and watched Bast’s body fade. After a moment he stepped back into the centre of the clearing and veered to his draconic form. Flexing the wing Bast had struck, he propelled himself into the sky with a burst of power and departed.

    Bast woke up what seemed like an instant later. He wanted to spring to his feet but he felt… tired… no, more like… empty. Sound flooded his ears a moment later. Chains… so many chains, and groans, metal on wood and wood on hard earth, like something huge being dragged…he opened his eyes and sat up. A chain dangled from his neck, its length disappearing into murky darkness behind him. A footstep landed near him and he jumped up, ready to defend… a short, slender figure in dirty clothing and a remarkably shiny white mask decorated with red symbols regarded him briefly and kept walking past. Bast noticed the figure was also chained at the neck, dragging the length behind it as though moving something heavy. Other figures appeared from the murk now. Tall, hulking, demonic, others quite human, others less distinct. Above him shadows that resembled Rake’s dragon form flew… and although it was difficult to see anything clearly, they too seemed to be chained. The shuffle of feet and rattle of chains became louder now, all around… and the other sound… the sound of wheels… impossible, massive wheels. A huge, square form resolved now, so slowly out of the darkness. A wagon, bigger than any such construct had any right to be. And running from its every angle, chains. Hundreds, thousands of chains. The vision was stunning and horrifying and Bast could barely take it in. A hooded figure, chained and pulling like the rest, walked by, then paused near him.

    “Best start pulling lad. Once Rake sends you here, it’s pull or be pulled. You pull, well, that’s something ain’t it? You be pulled… well…” the figure gestured vaguely towards a mess of chains dimly visible being dragged behind the wagon. There were… things… forms… among the mess.

    Bast stared back at the wagon. He tried to think of one of Kvothe’s lessons that could help him here. Nothing came to mind.

  • Arai

    I’ve read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and the two books published so far in the Kingkiller chronicles.

    In terms of pure martial firepower, Anomander wins hands down.

    However, as written, the contest is to be decided by a coin toss, and c’mon it’s Bast’s coin!!

    The Fae definitely do not play fair, particularly when it comes to luck.

    Anomander might as well challenge Oponn to the toss of a coin.

  • Voight


    That is a BRILLIANT write-up – well done! 😀

  • Reader

    wow just wow

  • Alcor’es Rand


    I’m still voting Bast but that it a fantastic write-up. I’ve read both series and while I’m sure Rake would win I just really want to see a Rothruss write-up. So, Bast gets my popular vote but your write-up is how it WOULD happen. Very well done. And I’m sort of sorry I already voted for Bast given how well you wrote that. But still – ROTHRUSS WRITE-UP!

  • Loki


    Simply brilliant.

    This is why *you* win 😉

  • HoosierDaddy

    Hot damn, Abyss!

    Brilliant! A true write-up. Perhaps weighted towards Rake, but Bast was given his due at least!

  • Trippy

    I haven’t read either serious but I have been following Bast and Rake’s battles as they seem like interesting characters in very different ways. I’ve been reading the comments trying to decide who to vote for – I understand that Rake is powerful but Bast appears crafty and sometimes that is more likely to see you win a battle then raw strength. However I have now made my mind up having read that fan writeup by Abyss. That was just a great piece of writing and if it is at all indicitive of how the Malzan series is written I think I’m going to really enjoy it. Either way, wonderful writeup.

    These is what makes the suvudu cage matches great – encouraging people to read AND write 🙂

  • KL

    *Abyss wins* 😀

  • Loki

    Apt doesn’t have a chance in Hell after this.

    Well played, Abyss. Well played XD

  • Lord Eltar


    Fantastic write up! Maybe Suvudu could possibly place your write up next to the original one. Food for thought.

  • HoosierDaddy

    Apt never had a chance.

  • TapperMalaz

    Nice one, Abyss!

  • Spindle


    Awesome write-up!

  • AnomanderRakeSoD

    And… we all know Abyss was being very kind to BAST. Still nice write up mate

  • KL

    I disagree, ARSoD. Abyss did a great write up that was fair to both characters. I really don’t see why you needed to make such a condescending comment. If you’re going to be like that, don’t include the rest of us in it.

  • Lizra

    That write-up is absolutly awesome, Abyss!

  • Loki

    @HD – True ^_^

  • Darkest Lord

    is this the ABYSS from the malazanempire forums? great write up man

  • Just Just

    best write up so far posted on cage match I think.

  • Wibbet

    I have NO IDEA why Bast fans think this is a good write up? They’ve made a complete fool of him. Bast is much more sauve and charming and this is not how even he would settle the fight – think about it.

    I haven’t read the Rake series but that guy Abyss wrote a better battle and he had Rake winning!

    Maybe suvudu should ask for fan submissions or something.

    Go Bast!

  • Baco

    And the mystery that is Abyss becomes….mysteriouser?

  • bravo abyss!

  • Bryan

    Vote Abyss! Awesome write up…

    Rake is just too damn powerful. Suvudu shouldn’t allow gods in cage matches, but oh well.

  • Rhulad

    Well played Abyss.

  • Onrack

    Rake is not a god.
    Anyway i agree that it’s not fair to always pick characters from the top of the power scale, especially from Malazan (who’ll be next? Draconus?).
    It would be WAY funnier/more interesting to see characters like Fiddler, Hedge, Hellian or THEOL (a tehol beddict cage match would be awesome) .

  • Abyss

    Three things:

    1) Tnx muchly for the compliments. They mean a lot, especially when i’m dabbling with characters created by seriously talented authors. At 2am. From memory. Without a spell-check, proof reader or source book in sight.

    2) At root, this sort of thing is a popularity contest to an extent, but even so i don’t agree with the ‘Rake is a powerhouse so it’s unfair’ pov. Last cage match, Jaime Lannister beat Cthulhu. On any face-to-face basis, that can’t happen. Tentacle-face could eat a hundred Jaime Lannisters. But go read the write-up by GRRM himself no less. Jaime wins there through some judicious use of brains and Tyrion. Underdogs beat powerhouses all the time in fantasy lit. It’s a staple of the genre (and gods’ vulnerability to mortals is actually a key element in the Malazan books). It’s not rocket science to come up with a workable resolution to virtually any cage match (unless of course the character involved actually uses rockets, in which case it IS rocket science). Do i think Rake should win? Absolutely. He’s the more interesting, developped and powerful character, altho Bast is one of my favourite parts of the KCs. But ffs, we’re talking about fantasy here… NOTHING is impossible.
    3) I can’t match Patrick Rothfuss, but if Rake advances i WILL take a shot at a write-up of whatever his next match-up is. So there. 🙂

  • sacredhonour


    That was a great write-up.

  • Marler

    Abyss all the way!

  • dpomerico

    @Abyss: Want to write up the next match? e-mail me at

  • kelly

    How did Bast beat The Seeker??? As much as i love Bast he would not have beat Richard Rahl! He is a Rahl after all!!

  • Vestrian

    Great, letting Rake win you just prove the evil of the world:

    Sorry, I might understand the disappointment, but that’s hardly a surprise, and that reaction is just too good…