Cage Match 2012: Round 3: Kelsier versus Ray Lilly


The Contestants


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

Ray Lilly
Twenty Palaces thug
Age: Early 30s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Ghostknife (can cut through anything and destroy magic)
Limited magic

The Breakdown


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

  • Street smart
  • His magic can be very effective in a tight situation
  • Magical tattoos protect him from most physical attacks (as does the golem flesh spell)

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

  • Has to eat burgers all the time…and not in a cute, Wimpy way, but in a gross, Morgan Spurlock way.
  • Kills


    How we think the fight will go


    “Ouch?” Kelsier didn’t quite expect “ouch” to be the response of one of his coins going through a man’s eye. And yet…

    “You son of a bitch! That hurts!”

    This is going to hurt even more, Kelsier thought and, pushing off a dropped coin, he flew into the air, a glass knife ready. As he descended he flared pewter, and coming at the man on his now-blind side, he drove the knife right at the man’s chest…and nothing happened. The glass didn’t shatter, but it didn’t penetrate, either. It just…didn’t. The shock from the contact did cause him to drop it to the ground, but he still had another strapped to his leg.

    “Did you just try to shoot me in the chest?” the man asked.

    Kelsier backed up, taking in the situation.

    “Hello—are you there?” The man pivoted his head, and with his good eye spotted Kelsier. “Oh, there you are. What the hell?”

    Kelsier didn’t know how to respond, but he tensed when he saw the man reaching into his pocket. Digging into his own cloak, Kelsier withdrew a vial and downed the contents. He burned some of the atium just in time to anticipate the other man…pull out a piece of meat and eat it.

    “Are you going to fight?” Kelsier asked.

    “I’m getting there,” the man replied. “I just didn’t expect to get a quarter lodged in my face so quickly. But now that you mention it—“ Even as he was saying the words his hands reached behind him and pulled a Glock from the waistband of his pants. Kelsier didn’t recognized the object—but it gave off the tell-tale signs of metal, and he knew a weapon when he saw it. He burned iron and pulled the gun towards him.

    “What the…”

    Kelsier turned the gun over in his hand. As complicated as it seemed, it didn’t take him very long to figure out it was some kind of fancified crossbow. He pointed it towards the man and pulled the trigger.


    This is getting tiresome

    “Listen,” Kelsier said. “Do you know anything about Allomancy?”

    “Not really. This guy—what was his name? Marshall?—well, he said it had to do with metal, but I guess I didn’t listen enough. Figured a Glock was mostly plastic, and…”

    “Shut up.” And he burned bronze to calm the man down.

    “…I even got some rubber bullets, seeing how most bullets are metal. I knew they wouldn’t kill you, but thought they might hurt you enough to slow you down.” The man rubbed his shoulder like something was bothering him there, but he didn’t seem at all affected by the soothing.

    “The reason I ask is because you seem incredibly able to ward off my attacks.”

    “Just the right powers on my side, I guess. Can’t seem to hurt you back, though, so not really much of a threat to you.” However, even as he said that, he was reaching back into his pockets, and soon the man pulled another object out. It wasn’t meat this time.

    It was a piece of paper, laminated. Kelsier flared tin and could make out the writing. It said “knife.”

    The man flicked it towards Kelsier, and it went zooming towards him. Flaring his atium once again, he dodge the piece of paper, only to find it came at him once more. He wasn’t sure why he was afraid of the paper, but he knew he didn’t want to let it touch him. Again and again it flew towards him, and again and again the atium showed the path of the piece of paper.

    Until the atium burned out.

    Atium is damned expensive, and that was all he was able to find for this fight. Unable to know it’s path now, Kelsier was shocked when the “knife” connected—and went right through him. He slumped to the ground.

    The man walked over to him. “Kind of takes the fight out of you, huh?”

    Kelsier could just nod. He knew something was wrong, but for some reason, he just didn’t see this strange man as a threat.

    So when the man held up Kelsier’s dropped glass knife and plunged it into the Allomancer’s chest, Kelsier wasn’t angry or upset. He just…was.

    “Sorry, man,” the guy muttered. “Wasn’t really supposed to be here in the first place. But as long as they keep calling my name…”

    Name. Kelsier had to know the name of the man who killed him.

    “Your…name…?” he gasped.

    “Ah, right. Don’t usually bother, since no one here seems to recognize it anyway. But it’s Ray Lilly.”

    And Ray walked away, popping more meat into his mouth even as his wounds began to heal.

    Predicted Winner: Ray Lilly


    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; Ray Lilly is a character from the Twenty Palaces series by Harry Connolly

    Kelsier image courtesy of Ben McSweeney. Ray Lilly image courtesy of Chris McGrath and 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!”


    • JOE

      Aw, shucks. This guy might actually have a chance of beating Kel…
      grrmphnjkaenvujikruenak. I shall now look him up to determine whether or not that’s true.

    • D.I. Waisanen

      Okay, another misrepresentation of Kelsier.

      Firstly, bronze is not used for soothing. It is used to sense another’s magic/use of allomancy. Brass is the metal used for soothing.

      Secondly, Kelsier had a pouch filled with SEVERAL beads of Atium in the first Mistborn book. He wouldn’t run out so quickly.

      Thirdly, even if Kelsier did run out of atium, he could still burn tin, which gives him enhanced senses. He would know that paper knife was coming a mile before it hit, and with his enhanced agility and reflexes, would evade it easily.

      Fourthly, Kelsier burns copper almost constantly, to protect against unforeseen mental attacks. If the effect of the paper knife is in any way mental, his coppercloud would block it.

      It seems that Kelsier is constantly not using several of his most useful powers and carrying a huge idiot ball in any write up that he loses in. If he meets a worthy opponent and loses, that’s fine, but misrepresenting him in order to make him lose to an opponent he should logically defeat doesn’t make a good match-up for anyone.

      Kel wins this without any problems. Even if Ray Lilly can heal and has limited defense against him, that won’t mean anything when Kelsier snaps his neck and rips his head off with pewer-enhanced strength.

    • Phil

      D.I. Is right, Kelsier wins this without much of a fight.

      His tin enhanced senses allow him to easily track the movement of the paper and his enhanced speed and strength make dodging fairly easy.

      Besides, he’s not stupid enough to continue using a method once he has seen it fail.

      Seeing the paper still trailing him, Kelsier would spray coins in Lily’s direction and burn steel. Pushing himself away from the fight and hundreds on coins through Lily’s body.

      The coins tearing through Lily’s body and the impact when he eventually hit something (Kelsier would be fine, he burns pewter just before impact) would kill Lily. If that wasn’t enough Kelsier would next position himself between Lily and the piece of paper. Pull a heavy steel object towards himself (and Lily along with it once it hits him) and then drop a coin and push himself straight up just before impact.

      Don’t know a lot about the knife, but unless it has incredible maneuverability it goes right through Lily and that should end it.

      Perhaps I’m wrong and Lily can win this, I haven’t read the books so I can’t be sure. But what I can say is Kel would make far more of a battle of it then this. Atium is a last resort for him, he’d only start burning it when everything else he tried had failed. And he has an arsenal of other weapons.

      Dodging something like a piece of paper (even one moving incredibly fast) should be a piece of cake for Kel without the use of Atium. And if one coin could hurt Lily, Kel would hit him with coins until his body stopped twitching (and he carried hundreds).

    • Samuel

      Kelsier wins this easily.

    • Cas

      Ray is covered with an Iron Gate tattoo, this pretty much stops impact/slashing damage. Any damage that makes it throw this, he eats meat to heal. ray’s not exactly a normal human any more, but there you go. He’s been ‘re-molded’ into a sorceror killer, a wooden man ho can soak up the damage, and act as a suitable distraction while his… Boss… takes down the opposition.

      I seriously recommend reading the 20 Palace books. Rays not someone to idly stand by and let someone stab him 🙂 regardless of whether he’s in pain or not.

    • cgraves

      Does anybody else realize that according to the poll count from the match between Tyrion Lannister and Ray Lilly, that Tyrion won? So why is Kelsier fighting Ray Lilly? Am I trippin or is this janked?

    • vath

      I find it odd Cgraves, that you can read the comments on this match but not those on the tyrion/lilly match.

      Cas, its not the iron gate that does that, iron gate protects him from magical attacks. I dont recall the name for the physical protection spell on his chest and arm.

      Phil, the knife manuvers with rays thoughts, and how it has been described so far it is literally an extension of his body. While reflexes can make projectiles easy to dodge and predict, i think many underestimate how difficult it would be to dodge a projectile that can change course at any time.

      It would be interesting to see what would happen if ray got fully hit by his ghost knife though. He knicked himself with it once and the knife nearly consumed him with its want to kill and cut, a full strike could produce interesting results

    • Phil

      vath, so without Ray being able to see the target, the knife is pretty much useless?

      It would be hard to dodge something that can change direction at any time. On the other hand, Kel can change direction at any time (using allomancy) and he is a lot stronger and faster then a normal person and has faster reactions. Wouldn’t be easy to hit him even with a mind controlled projectile. Eventually the knife would catch him (through luck if nothing else), but it would take a long time.

      I think Kel would realize he is having problems, throw out a bunch of coins and burn steel. Push himself in one direction and Lily in the other. Through that he would learn he is safe from the knife if Lily doesn’t know where he is…

      Either way Kel isn’t dumb enough to just stand there and take it, and he only burns Atium as a last resort. As soon as he realized he couldn’t dodge the knife forever he’d get out of there and try a new tactic.

      And Kel is a highly skilled thief and assassin. Not to hard to see where this goes. Long-shot volleys of hundreds or thousands of coins. Eventually he will wear lily down (or get bored and plan a trap involving something very large and metallic falling on Lily’s head).

    • Honestly, I’ve not read either author, but I do know that Lilly is the major underdog here, so that makes my vote easy. That aside, there’s enough clues here to make this a really interesting battle if you have an assassin with superior attacks and a “guy” who is more or less impervious to physical and magical damage. Still, everything else being equal or in this case unknown, the underdog gets my vote.

    • Cyb’

      Ray Lily used to be the thug next door, but he’s got a job hunting and destroying Lovecraftian cyclopean/non-euclidian horrors. Not that he does this casually : it usually takes one book each ! But he surely has defeated things scarier than this grand brother of Magneto 🙂

    • KevinB

      @ cgraves

      The reason for that is that there were technical issues that caused that poll to stay open for 20 minutes longer than it should have. At the time the poll should’ve closed Ray was leading by about 20 votes. That’s why Suvudu gave the win to Ray.

    • Not Telling

      This so called, ‘grand brother of Magneto’ has killed an Inquisitor. I’d like to see Ray kill one of those. Let’s see, two ways to kill them. Decapitation, and removal of a certain spike from their back. Other than that? None. They are so hard to kill, in fact, that before Kelsier kills one, they are thought to be immortal.

    • Sir Read-a-Lot

      Ray is definitely the hardest opponent Kelsier has had yet. A one-hit KO non-metal knife that’s maneuvered by thought is pretty powerful, but if there is one thing Kelsier is good at, between Atium and his mastery of pushing and pulling, it’s maneuvering. Also, if Ray’s knife can cut himself, that’s a surefire way for Kelsier to kill him. Normally, I’d say that Ray would be unlikely to kill himself with his own knife, but Atium is a wonderful thing. Yes, it’s expensive, but Kelsier’s smart enough to keep enough in reserve for one final gambit.

      Protection against physical injury is useful against someone who’s main form of attack is physical injury, but Kelsier’s killed an Inquisitor – after that, nothing’s impossible.

      My final opinion: abilities wise, it’s a toss-up, so pick based on your favorite character, or you’re view of their will to live.

      Kelsier is called the Survivor for a reason. He’s not going to go down easily.

    • Ilithyia

      I have to agree with D.I. Waisanen about the knife. I must say I never read the Twenty Palaces books, but the way I understand it Ghost Knife/Soul Knife works mentally: Use on humans renders them docile and compliant, even apologetic for past aggression. (wikipedia) This will never affect Kelsier inside his copper cloud. So after he has been hit by the knife which will take far longer than this writeup suggest, he will have two cuts in his clothes and wonders what the knife is supposed to do.

      For the physical immunity: Closed Way: Appears as black tattoos […] that cause total numbness while bestowing total physical imperviousness in the area of the tattoo. Ray has them on his forearms, chest, and back. (wikipedia) This means he can be hurt on his legs, head and possibly lower abdomen. Which will lead to him looking like swiss cheese after some time with Kelsier.

      Of course, he could try to heal himself with meat, but it won’t take long for Kelsier to figure that out and Kelsier will do everything to keep Ray from eating anything.

      All in all, I think it is finally a fight that could get interesting but the writeup is not doing this fight justice.

    • freaker

      I wonder if Kelsier would stand a chance against Moiraine…hmmm

    • Chris

      Depends, if her Angreal counts as medal and we are taking the most recent Moiraine, then Kelsier can easily win if he figures out the angreal is important and removes it before she can react, as without it she is pretty much useless with the One Power now. On the other hand, most Mistborn tricks wouldn’t be that effective against someone using the One Power, as long as they had a vague idea what to suspect. (coins<wall of air, that sort of thing).

    • Maul

      Since Ray has already killed Kellhus, one of the most powerful characters in the tournament I dont see anyone else standing in his way now. As stated before by many others Ray simply kills anyone who uses magic NO MATTER WHAT. Kelsier uses magic therefore Ray will easily defeat him. Probably with a throat punch.

    • Lantern


      The angreal would count as an invested object (ok… magical object). Allomancy wouldn’t be able to affect it whatever it’s made of.

    • Phil

      I’d say Kel is used to facing more powerful foes. He’s not gonna go out and confront Moiraine head own, he’s gonna do his research, some testing and come out with a good plan.

      Whether that can beat Moraine I’m not sure. Probably depends on luck. With he will rely on surprise and tricks rather than a straight up battle. Something along the line of faking a head on attack by pushing a bunch of coins towards Moraine, while pulling just one or two coins laying unnoticed behind her towards himself.

      If Moiraine can score a direct hit then it’s an easy win. But as Chris noticed, Kel’s greatest skill is maneuverability (well that and cunning use of his abilities). Mainly depends on if Moiraine can stop all the tricks Kel pulls out of the bag, then hit him before he escapes to come up with a new plan and give it another go.

      Would like to see Sanderson do the write-up. Wonder who he’d predict to win?

    • Rasmus B

      It comes down to a few things.
      1) The maneuverability of the knife – if it can change direction at any angle at the speed of thought, it will be darn near impossible to avoid.
      2) The allomantic powers Kelsier posses does not actually protect him from mental attacks, it protects him from the Allomantic mental attacks. As he has not encountered any other magic system, it is unsure if this would protect him from the “Knife” but my gut feeling is that it would not.

      This leads to the conclusion that the kill of Kelsier (as described here) is down to the maneuverability of the “Knife”.

      That being said, Kelsier is noted for his cunning and his ability to take advantage of weaknesses and he would have done so here. The second time he dodged the “Knife” he would have begun thinking up a plan and it could involve using a tactic already proven effective. As he would probably have deduced that the knife was controlled by Ray, Kelsier would have used a few coins to blind him. He had already done it to one eye and saw the effectiveness of it. He would then have continued to attack the head – as attacks to the body did not work and resorted to another known tactic – decapitation. This would have concluded the battle.

    • Voidus

      Sorry, but atium is a pretty much instant win, all Kel would have to do is burn once see every possible immediate path he could take and which one leads to a dead Ray.

    • DashWatson

      Here’s a guy who actually might pose some danger for Kelsier (which is more than what can be said for Kell’s previous opponent). I can see multiple ways for Kelsier to dodge the ‘knife-paper’ and kill Ray, but I won’t comment on that, because I don’t know what all magics Ray can negate, and the extent of this healing abilities, and any other special abilities…

      I read the character profile for Ray (and he seems quite capable, unlike Kell’s previous opponent). I haven’t read the Twenty Palaces books, so I won’t comment about Ray (which Kell’s previous opponent deserved quite well). But, as a GIANT fan of Kelsier, I’ll still root for him!!!

      And I’ve added the Twenty Palaces books to my Goodreads to-read list. I just want this Ray fella to somehow come up against Harry Dresden (of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files). The results would be interesting. Unfortunately Dresden is not one of the participants of the cagematch…

    • freaker

      Air…right. Sigh. I suppose Moiraine would have a bigger chance to win the next match then. 🙁 But then, there’s the votes..

    • TheJaguar

      What the shit? Tyrion won the last round. So why is he “dead” and Ray not?
      Tyrion Lannister 50.15% (1,468 votes)
      Ray Lilly 49.85% (1,459 votes)
      It’s right there to see. Close, yes, but Tyrion is clearly up by 9 votes.

    • vath

      Jag: I wonder if we should even write an answer to you as you clearly cant read these comments anyways.

      On a side note: holy crap is ray getting clobbered.

    • Randall

      So, I think I know why Ray is getting pwned in this match, despite being more or less immune to physical damage (which is Kelsier’s only weapon): Brandon Sanderson has promised to do the writeup for the Moiraine vs. Kelsier match-up. I’m sorry Ray, I think you really would win this battle, but I’ve got to vote to keep Kelsier around for at least one more round.

    • Sashan

      What the hell? the previous fight says tyrion won by about 20 votes, how did this happen????

    • Sashan

      what the hell happened here? the previous fight says tyrion won by something like 20 votes, why didn’t he move on?

    • sacredhonour

      Technically he didn’t. When the Polls were supposed to close, Ray Lilly was beating Tyrion by about 15 votes. The poll stayed up too long and Tyrion had a boost that made it look like he won even though the poll should have been closed.

    • Chris

      @ Randall: He did? I certainly didn’t know, and I honestly think he would actually hate it happening, because it, unfortunately, means that he has to pit two characters against eachother, both of whom he has an obligation to support from his perspective (his argument for begging us last time to not make it a Vin-Perrin final).

    • Rose

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I haven’t read either of these books, but I’ve enjoyed the Ray write-ups far more than the other guy. Enough that I’m going to have to read up on Ray over the summer. As well as Erevis Cale. They both sound cool. This is not to say that everybody else isn’t too, just that those two are my favorite new-to-me characters this Cage Match.

    • Alyssa


      Yup, he did. here, about third paragraph down (–Updates)

      and him doing the write up would be AWESOME. Because he has an obligation to support both, he is the best person to ensure it is fair. Anything he types up pretty much *has* to be accurate. Plus, for once Allomancy will be portrayed correctly. It’ll be a pretty sweet fight, I’d bet!

    • Joel

      yes yes YES. We NEED Brandon to write the next fight. Allomancy an the One Power are the two most inaccurately portrayed magic systems in these write-ups. He might be the only person alive who CAN write a fight between Kelsier and Moraine.