Cage Match 2012: Round 4: Erevis Cale versus Kylar Stern



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Click to view original image source

The Contestants

Erevis Cale
First Chosen of the Shadowlord
Age: 40s
Race: Shade
Weapons / Artifacts: Weaveshear
Redirect magic back at caster with Weaveshear

Kylar Stern
Age: 20s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Knives; throwing spikes; sword…pretty much any weapon
Black ka’kari
Don’t be near a ley line if you want to survive. Or near Jenks.

The Breakdown


  • Infused with shadowstuff (as a result, can teleport from shadow to shadow, make shadowy duplicates of himself, merge with darkness)
  • Regenerative flesh
  • Powerful user of priestly magic

  • Powerful Talent (magic)
  • Skilled assassin
  • Has endured much in the way of pain and heartbreak

  • Sometimes “angsty”

  • Somewhere, deep down, he’s got a bit of a conscience


  • Gimli
    Well, you might make a cameo in The Hobbit movie
  • Harry Potter
    The Boy who died
  • Julia Wicker
    Dying is one way to go to a magical new realm

How we think the fight will go


How Paul S. Kemp, creator of Erevis Cale, thinks the match will go:

Cale sat in the center of Elgrin Fau’s ancient graveyard, surrounded by the dead, shrouded in the perpetual night of the Shadowfell. A crumbling temple to some long-forgotten god brooded over the graves, supervising the decay. Above, the interplanar rift split the starless sky. It was leagues wide and still growing, spitting green, sickly energy into the multiverse.

It would destroy everything unless Cale closed it, unless he stopped Anomander Rake.

The ground shook, gave a pained groan, existence fraying at the edges. A thunderhead loomed to the west, a rolling mountain of black clouds veined with yellow and green lightning. Universes were folding in on themselves.

Cale did not have much time left.

He ticked off the names of those he’d killed while making his way to Rake: Rico, Tannen, Morgan. Cale was already tired, tired in his bones from carrying the weight of those murders. None of three had done anything to earn them. They’d just been in his way, standing on the ground between him and Rake, and each one he’d killed had eroded his soul a bit more.

He accepted that – what other choice did he have? – but he didn’t know how much more murder he had in him.

His divinations had provided him more names, victims he’d have to cut through to get to Rake – Kelsier, Moraine, Wednesday, Kylar Stern, others.

He thought about those names a long time, the shadows swirling around him, and mustered what resolve he could dredge from his fading will. In time he stood and said the name of his next victim aloud, a small honor to presage a murder.

“Kylar Stern.”

He started to draw the shadows about him, preparing to move between worlds, but a soft, cold voice from behind halted him.

“Erevis Cale.”

Cale turned, saw a man standing ten paces from him. He was younger than Cale, medium build, cloaked, non-descript but for the weapons he wore: an anyman, perfect for a killer. Cale could guess his name. The multiverse must have grown impatient with Cale’s hesitation.

“Kylar Stern,” he said, not a question.

The man nodded from within his cloak. “You were about to go find me. About to go kill me.”

Cale didn’t bother to deny it. He looked up at the rift, then back at Kylar. “I don’t have any choice.”

“Then I don’t either,” Kylar said.

And with that he drew blades and bounded over the graves toward Cale, his movements preternaturally fast.

Cale barely managed to clear Weaveshear from its scabbard before Kylar was upon him, spinning, ducking, lunging, slashing. Cale stumbled backward, parrying as best he could with his larger blade, but stabs were everywhere. Kylar was a whirlwind made of sharp edges.

The shadows swirling round Cale turned some of the blows, his armor turned others, but others bit flesh. He bled from a dozen wounds and would have been dead already had the shadowstuff flowing in his veins not sealed the wounds almost as fast as Kylar made them.

Cale kept retreating, walking over the ancient dead, until he’d recovered enough from the initial onslaught to hold his ground. He sidestepped a stab, ducked another, leaped over a spinning leg sweep, and loosed a decapitating strike for Kylar’s head. Kylar ducked it, stabbed upward with a dagger, and Cale avoided being gutted only be careening backward, stumbling, nearly tripping.

Two hurled daggers Kylar produced from somewhere pursued Cale in retreat. Cale tried to lurch aside, but both hit home. They’d have pierced his heart had the shroud of shadows that cloaked him not killed their momentum and caused them to fall to the ground inert.

For the moment, Kylar did not follow up and Cale was grateful for it. Shadows churned around him. His breath came in gasps.

“What are you?” Kylar asked, pacing back and forth like a caged predator, eyeing Cale from under the hood of his dark cloak.

“What are you?” Cale responded, trying to figure out how in the Nine Hells Kylar had tracked him down. It was supposed to go the other way.

For answer Kylar sprinted toward him, once again moving faster than an ordinary man should’ve been able to move. Cale backpedaled, in his retreat hurriedly intoning the words to a spell that would shatter bones and ruin flesh. A black beam shot from Cale’s pointed finger, struck Kylar in the chest and…did nothing.

He was immune to Cale’s magic, perhaps to all magic.

Cale had only an instant for that to register before Kylar was upon him again, all blades and stabs and edges and pain. Cale answered as best he could, a flurry of blows with Weaves hear, a kick, a punch with his off-hand, but he only once put a glancing blow with his blade on Kylar’s shoulder. It rang off as if the man wore plate armor, yet he wore only leathers. Some magic warded his flesh.

Cale cursed, trying to think of an advantage he could use. The man was fast, stronger than he should have been for his size, and as well-trained a swordsman as Cale had ever seen. Steel rang as they attacked and parried, dancing through gravestones and time-eroded statuary, leaping over tombs. Shadows roiled while thunder growled. Flesh bled, mostly Cale’s.

Cale feinted to gain some room, then stepped through the shadows and materialized to Kylar’s right. He stabbed with Weaveshear, opened a gash in the man’s side, and stepped through the shadows once more, this time behind Kylar, and stabbed for his kidneys. But Kylar was too skilled for the ploy to work more than once and countered with a spinning parry that he rode into a kick. His booted foot caught the side of Cale’s head and sent him reeling, stumbling over a gravestone. Kylar lunged after him, both blades positioned for a killing stab.

Cale rode the shadows out of the way of the attack and appeared behind Kylar, but in the instant it took him to rematerialize, Kylar had disappeared.

“Shit,” Cale said, and hurriedly merged his own form with the darkness, likewise disappearing to normal sight. He stood still and listened, but heard nothing, not a footfall, not a breath.

Kylar was good. Very good.

Cale rode the darkness onto the roof eaves of the god of the dead’s temple. He winced with pain as the shadowstuff in his veins closed his many wounds. Lightning tore through the sky. He took the time to softly intone a spell, pulling on the divinity within him. He grew to half again his normal size, and his already shadow-enhanced strength and speed increased further. He’d need it if he was to defeat Kylar.

“Invisibility is just prolonging this,” he shouted into the dark. “Can you hear me?”

Kylar’s disembodied voice answered from somewhere to his right. “Prolonging what? Something brought me here and I knew your name somehow, that you were…evil, and that I had to kill you. So what is this?”

Again the earth shook. Above them, the rift yawned.

“I don’t know,” Cale said, shaking his head. “Not for certain. I only know the world’s ending if it’s not stopped.”

“Your world,” Kylar said.

“All worlds! Yours, too.”


“Did you hear?” Cale called. “Yours, too, Kylar. Is there no one in your world you care for? No one you love?”

More silence.

“If there is, to save them, one of us is going to have to die. Here. Now. There’s not much time left.”

Thunder boomed. Lightning split the sky.

Kylar re-appeared twenty paces away from the temple, blades in hand, violence in his face, cold eyes fixed on Cale. “I’ve no intention of dying here, Erevis Cale. So that leaves you.”

Cale gave a hard smile and shadows spun. “I guess we’ll see.”

He made himself visible and leaped from the roof toward Kylar. While airborne, he formed the shadows around Kylar into perfect duplicates of himself while riding the darkness into the air twenty feet above Kylar.

The shadow duplicates charged Kylar from all sides. Kylar responded, his movements a blur. Two daggers flew, struck duplicates, and dissipated them into nothingness. After that he must have deduced Cale’s ploy, or sensed his danger, for he bounded aside into a roll as the real Cale descended from above. Weaveshear chopped through empty air while Kylar regained his feet, reversed direction, and charged back at Cale.

Cale parried with Weaveshear, sidestepped a dagger thrust, and landed a kick to Kylar’s chest. Despite Cale’s increased size and strength, Kylar took the impact, gripped Cale’s leg, and twisted him to the ground. His blade whistled for Cale’s throat, but Cale rode the shadows back to his feet and behind Kylar.

Cale stabbed for the lungs, but Kylar spun, again with that inhuman speed, slapped Weaveshear to the side with his long blade, and drove a dagger overhand into Cale’s chest.

Cale groaned, staggered backward while blood poured from his chest. Shadows swam around him. Kylar stayed on him, unrelenting, and slashed at Cale’s throat. Cale parried the blow, fought through the pain, and did the only thing he could think of — he lowered his head and charged.

He caught Kylar off-guard, got his hands on him, rode the momentum of his charge into a spin, and flung Kylar fifteen paces through the air and into the doors of the temple. The impact shattered the doors, cracked the jambs, and Kylar careened into the dark interior of the temple.

Cale did not hesitate. He jerked the dagger from his chest while the shadowstuff healed the wound, roared, and sprinted into the temple. He expected to find Kylar prone on the polished stone floor.

Instead, he found nothing.

A sound from above pulled his gaze up but it was already too late. In the mere moment it had taken Cale to follow Kylar into the temple, the man had climbed into the temple’s ceiling beams and there waited, a dagger in each hand, both blades black with some kind of poison. He leaped down, landed on Cale’s back, wound his legs around Cale’s hips, and started stabbing him in the sides and chest, again and again and again, the blows coming so fast that Cale bled from a dozen holes before he’d drawn two breaths. The poison did not affect Cale but the blades did. Blood soaked his cloak; he swam in pain.

He dropped Weaveshear, tried to reach back and grab at Kylar, but still the stabs came, still the blood flowed. Shadows whirled around them, a storm of darkness. Cale backpedaled hard into the stone wall of temple, slamming Kylar against it. The man grunted, but did not relent. The blades continued to rise and fall, spraying crimson lines on the air, putting bloody holes in Cale.

Cale slammed Kylar against the wall again, again, again.

“Just die!” Kylar said, his voice a hiss, his blades a blur.

“I…can’t,” Cale grunted, feeling steel scrape ribs, feeling a lung puncture. “I won’t.”

His shadow-infused body almost kept up with Kylar’s blows, closing wounds moments after they were made. Still, the pain made him see sparks, summoned gasps and groans. He slammed Kylar into the wall again, dislodged him just enough to cause Kylar to rear back.

And that was what Cale needed. He threw his head back and caught Kylar hard in the face. Kylar groaned, recoiled, sloughed from Cale’s back. Cale whirled, throwing a sloppy elbow as he turned. It caught Kylar in the cheek and sent him reeling to the floor. Cale leaped atop him, his hands digging at Kylar’s face. Kylar dropped his daggers and his hands climbed Cale’s chest until they reached his throat. They closed on the windpipe, squeezed.

Darkness enveloped them both; and sharp breaths, grunts of exertion, and gasps of pain populated the darkness. Cale got a finger of one hand in Kylar’s mouth and tore at his cheek. He got the forefinger of his other hand in Kylar’s eye and rooted in the eye socket, digging deep.

No doubt sensing his danger, Kylar twisted his head to the side and bit down on Cale’s finger, severing it. Cale screamed, recoiled, and as he did the finger of his off-hand hooked Kylar’s eye and jerked it from the socket.

Kylar’s screams joined Cale’s and both men rolled away from one another, bleeding, for the moment solitary in their agony. Neither stayed prone long. Both swallowed down their pain and rose at the same time. They stood on pain-wobbled legs, bleeding, breathing hard, staring at one another across the temple floor. Kylar’s eye dangled from a string of veins and sinew. Blood poured from Cale’s mangled hand, from the dozens of wounds in his chest and back. He shed his cloak and it hit the floor in a wet, gory pile.

Kylar had produced another pair of knives. “How many more holes can you take, shadowman?”

Cale spit a mouthful of blood, winced as another wound closed. “More than you can give.”

He looked over at Weaveshear, but dismissed the idea of using it. This wouldn’t end with steel.

“We end it in close,” he said. “Close work, yeah?”

Kylar winced at some pain or other and nodded, his eye bouncing on its gory string. “Close, yeah.”

A pause, a nod, a look, and then they charged one another, colliding at speed, both of them past training, past technique. They embraced in savagery, nothing more or less. Cale’s greater size and strength allowed him to drive Kylar to the floor. Kylar stabbed him while Cale loosed a flurry of punches, blows powered by his shadow and spell-enhanced strength, blows powerful enough to crack the floor when they missed and stave an ordinary man’s skull when they hit.

But Kylar was no ordinary man.

Cale shattered his nose and Kylar continued his stabs. A punch crushed Kylar’s cheek, collapsing one side of his face, and still Kylar stabbed. A blow popped the gory grape of Kylar’s dangling eye and still the man fought, still he stabbed, finally slitting Cale’s abdomen wide open in his screaming desperation. Cale’s guts spilled out and he shrieked in pain while his body tried to regenerate the horrific damage.

And still they fought, in a cloud of shadows, in a pond of gore, the one stabbing and screaming, the other punching and shrieking.

“Die!” Kylar said, his dagger blows punctuating the words. “Die!”

“I can’t!” Cale answered, punching, turning Kylar’s face into a ruin. “I can’t or we all do!”

Another punch, another stab, another punch, another stab, another punch, a spray of blood and the give of bone and cartilage and…

Kylar arms fell limp to his side. He went still.

Cale collapsed atop him, exhausted, his exposed guts pressed between their bodies. His body shook from the exertion, from the agony. He was lightheaded. He rolled to the side, gritted his teeth, and started shoveling the slick ropes of his entrails back into the hole in his abdomen. He screamed with pain as the shadows swirled around him, remade him.

Beside him, a wet groan passed the ruin of Kylar’s mouth.

Cale was instantly back on alert, reaching for a dagger, but there was no need.

Kylar turned his head to look at Cale, the bloody pulp of his face a map of pain. His ragged, bloody lips moved, made whispered words.

“Why won’t…you die?” he said to Cale.

Cale regarded him a long moment. “Gods, man, why won’t you?”

Kylar laughed, the sound bubbly and wet. He turned his head to look back up at the ceiling. His breathing slowed, grew fainter. He lifted his forearm off the floor, hand open. Cale understood the gesture right away – a warrior’s farewell, a sign of respect. He clasped Kylar’s hand in his own and held it while it grew cold.

On a shared world, Cale thought that maybe he and Kylar Stern would have been blood brothers. Or if not, they’d have been the worst of rivals. But on this one…

On this one Kylar was dead, and Cale was his killer.

And that was as it had to be.

After a long time Cale rose, still pained from his many wounds, and left Kylar and the temple behind.

He stepped outside, into the graveyard. He was one step closer to Rake. He looked up at the rift, Rake’s rift, and made a promise.

“I’m coming for you , Anomander Rake.”

Predicted Winner: Erevis Cale



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

We’ll be down to just eight characters in Round 4, starting March 26th!

Check out the Bracket

Erevis Cale is a character from the Erevis Cale trilogy by Paul S. Kemp; Stern is a character from the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks.

Erevis Cale image courtesy of Raymond Swanland and Wizards of the Coast. Kylar Stern image courtesy of *syku-wolf

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!”


  • As always, please forgive any typos. And also please forgive any screw ups regarding Kylar’s presentation. I have enormous respect for Brent and his work and hope that shows.

  • Andrew Jaden

    AWESOME FIGHT. Even better than the Rico one!

  • Bradleelee

    [POSSIBLE (but not really) Night Angel Spoiler]

    Excellent write-up and an extremely entertaining fight! A minor question/contention, not complaint, would be if Kylar has Retribution. When Kylar fought the Ferali, which could heal itself instantly as well, it was explained that if he cut it with Retribution coated with the Black Kakari, then it would not be able to regenerate. It effectively negates the magic that heals the wound. So the question would be if this would be the case with Cale? Again it was a lot of fun, just a minor point of contention. Thanks for the write-up!

  • Xebicls

    Must say, favorite writeup yet. Considering the similarities of the contenders, its a real close fight. Kemp never lets us down for a good short story.

  • Tempest

    Brilliant write-up, best in the Cage Matches thus far =)

  • JOE

    sorry, Cale, but Kylar’s got this. Even if Rake makes it to the final (which I personally doubt, he’s gotta get through the wall of BRANDON SANDERSON EPICNESS that is… well either Kel or Moiraine. If the latter, he’s got a whole lot of ROBERT JORDAN EPICNESS to get through too.)

    Kylar will win everything. don’t worry, he’ll close your rift for you!

  • wcarter4

    @Mr. Kemp,

    Sir that was an excellent write up. Yours was probably the best presentation of Kylar Stren’s abilities I’ve seen in this series yet right down to the poison on the blades. I could see the fight going that way. In fact the only thing I wonder about is if the Black Ka’Kari could interfere with the shadow stuff’s healing Cale. I honestly don’t know if it works like that, but it’s the only thing I can think of that could possibly shift the outcome of this fight to something different that what you thought of.

  • TheSaintWithinTheSinner

    Awesome write up!

    I’ve never read Cale’s books and am a HUGE fan of the Night Angel trilogy, so of course I’m disappointed that Kylar died, however, I thought it was a fairly accurate representation of him (aside from the error about Retribution of course) and overall an extremely entertaining read. Best write up so far this year, in my opinion. I’m still voting for Kylar, but good luck to both characters. May the best win.

  • Maethona

    Thank you Paul for your awesome write-up! Now I really must read your books and don’t worry, even tough, Kylar lost this fight you paid him and Brent a lot of respect. A great fight and even as a big Night Angel-fan after this write-up I just had to vote for Cale.

  • Kyo

    Excellent representation! Ofc i’m still in the firm belief that Kylar would win – i mean even if he is killed he will just come back, but sad for whoever that distant friend is that dies under mysterious circumstances the day before :P. Vote Kylar :p

  • Michael

    I love the similarities between the two in the fight. Was like watching Cale fight Riven or something.

    Also, if one were to start reading about Kylar, where would one start?

  • see

    Night Angel Fans please please read the Erevis Cale trilogy’s. I’m am huge fan of Erevis and now a huge fan of kylar also. I didn’t know who kylar was until these cage matches. Last week I downloaded the audio version of the night angel finished it while working everyday. Both stories are fantastic. KUDO’s to you Kemp best cage match write up so far. I’m gonna vote for Cale though both are pretty much dead on even both has ways to negate magic so it comes down to brute strenght n speed. Kylar being faster while Cale can shadow step to any shadow. Shadow stepping is kinda OP and it doesn’t even have a cooldown. 🙂 To be honest though it doesn’t matter who wins since I loved both character. But Cale must win so I can see the Amanda Rake vs Cale fight. If kylar wins and who will write the epic battles against Rake. The previous Kylar fight was lackluster 2 paragraph of bordem.

  • see

    “Coming from a big Cale fan here”

    Night angels Trilogy. get it man its worth the read. Starts off a little slow and you might get mad at AZoth at the beginning for being such a p us sy but remember he’s only 11.

  • Jlingo

    Another great write-up from Kemp!

  • D.I. Waisanen

    *Pant* Intense write up! This is quite possibly one of the most evenly matched fights we’ve seen yet in the entire tournament. Round 4 is turning out to have some of the best battles in the whole thing.

    I’m not so sure that Kylar’s poison would negate Cale’s healing, though. Since they’re driven by different types of magic, they might not interact entirely well. Regeneration from one thing isn’t necessarily the same as regeneration from another.

    Besides, doesn’t Cale have a spell that can cure poison? Kylar wouldn’t be able to negate that, if it doesn’t go anywhere near his body.

  • ricochet173

    “I’ve never read Cale’s books and am a HUGE fan of the Night Angel trilogy, so of course I’m disappointed that Kylar died, however, I thought it was a fairly accurate representation of him (aside from the error about Retribution of course) and overall an extremely entertaining read. Best write up so far this year, in my opinion. I’m still voting for Kylar, but good luck to both characters. May the best win.”

    I don’t think it was really an error… Paul has been toning down all of the characters in these write-ups, especially his own. Cale’s sword dispels all magical protections, so I think it was pretty fairly depicted. This one was interesting and, as someone else mentioned, it really did feel like he was fighting his partner in crime (Drasek Riven). Will have to check out the Night Angel series now! Great stuff!

  • Eltar

    I loved the write up. While I personally want to see Kylar win, Erevis is a cool and deserving character to continue onwards too. And I love how Kemp keeps mentioning that Cale has his eyes set on defeating Rake, my overall pick for the championship.

    So until then, let the best sneaky death dealer win this fight!

  • Iskaral Pust

    Well what can one say except …. WOW!

    What a fantastic write-up. I am a big Brent Weeks fan and have never read and Erevis Cale books but I have got to say that is going to change. The quality of Mr. Kemp’s writing has blown me away over the course of the cage matches and although I am a Kylar fanboy I have got to reward Mr. Kemp by giving my vote to Cale.

    Bravo Mr. Kemp

  • TheO

    Absolutely amazing write up! I will have to read the Cale books now! Thank you for giving Kylar an honorable death, though he still gets my vote.

  • PrinceInTheSpring

    I personally wasn’t a big fan of this write-up. A match-up of assassin vs. assassin doesn’t seem like it should end in a savge, bloody, drag-it-out fistfight. It was good if you where looking for a fistfight, but I personally wouldn’t have chosen to do that with these two characters. Seeing as most everyone else loved the write-up, I’d like to point out that this is justmy personal opinion and I’m not trying to be a hater or anything. These two characters are probably my favourite two left in the tournament, but I had to go for Cale.

    Prince In The Spring

  • Kayla Karma

    Sorry I don’t know the extent of Cale’s powers but Kylar doesn’t save his invisibilty for mid-fight. He spams it a lot.

    So the fight should have been like this:

    Invisible Kylar cuts of Kales head with Iures.
    Kylar lets the black Ka’Kari devour the head.
    The end.

  • Archon

    Well written indeed, and with the clever added ploy of making Rake to be the eventual Antagonist should they meet in the finals… good thinking ahead.

    Although the notion of Cale calling out Rake is about as ridiculous as Jose Aldo calling out Alistair Overeem….

  • Dnton

    @Kayla Karma

    Well seeing as Cale has his excess to his own brand of see invisibility spells, it wouldn’t have been quite so simple. Also as many have mentioned before, Mr Kemp is intentionally downplaying the magical aspect of both characters. If Kylar and Cale showcase the full extent of their magical power, the whole plane of Shadow may have been fractured or at least shoved sideaways to the left.

  • krimshail

    Loved the fight.

  • Dnton


    UFC references aside =P!! Cale has faced down the equivalent in his books. A Shade prince who is the chosen of his goddess and over a millenium old, able to wield both divine and arcane magic at world-shattering levels. A Archdevil of the Nine Hells who has lived since the near beginning of the multiverse. Even his own god. Also he faced down a 2 (or 3) millenium old epic psion and mage who has ridiculed gods and archdevils, and came out of it alive.

    So him calling out Rake isn’t ludicrous, its just par for course. He sees a target and zooms in. He is also a minor godling in his own right. Of course it doesn’t make it any smarter =P. But in D&D a priest’s dump stat is intelligence hahaha.

  • Well, this was a good write up, but again, Kylar wins.

    He’s just faster then Cale from what I can see. So, my vote goes to Kylar, but this is a close fight.

  • Abyss

    Great write up. Loved it.
    I didn’t know Cale until the match-up, so i can’t speculate vs Kylar, but i’d take Paul’s word for it based on the solic depiction of Weeks’ character.

  • Ligaia

    Wow. What an amazing writeup. I’d read the Night Angel trilogy before, but not the Erevis Cale trilogy. After reading this writeup, I’m going to go read them right now.

  • Huh


    Laughing my ass off at “Amanda Rake”

  • Stc188

    I’m rooting for Cale. However, just got off the phone with the bookstore and will be picking up The Way of Shadows shortly :).

  • Tye

    Excellent write up. I had not heard of Cale before this tournament, but Mr. Kemp has gotten my attention.

  • Archon


    Frequently facing down characters between 1 and 3 millenia old?


    Rake is over 300 Millenia old! He’s taken craps that have lasted longer than those wannabe trifling godlings that Cale has faced down… In fact, Rake can’t even claim to have “faced down” those types of opponents, because any encounter for those types against Rake result in them fleeing in terror, or Rake owning them in the blink of an eye…

  • Dnton


    Haha what I was saying is that Cale isn’t very bright and usually spits in the face of very very long odds.

    Also Cale faced down an Archdevil who is older than Rake is, so ancient he is more of a concept than an entity, so yeah =P

  • Morgradin

    Wow is indeed a word to be used here…. Certainly the best write-up I’ve read so far and a very good description of Kylar, to that I’ll have to agree! So it seems like I’m picking up some new books soon!

    My bet’s still on Kylar though, no doubt about that.

  • Archon


    LOL I figured that was what you meant… but I just wanted to use an old Monte Python referrence and the comment about Rake crapping longer than thier existence… I’m satisfied…

  • Archon

    In all seriousness, I do have to ask (again) are Cale’s powers strictly shadow based, or darkeness based? In otherwords, If there were no shadows, would his powers be moot? Like say, if there were ABSOLUTLEY no sources of light anywhere…

  • Wow what an awesome right up!! I really want to read both series now, and even more importantly I want to see both of them go up against Moraine in the finals. Although they both are assassins their fighting styles and magics are very different, I would like to see how Moraine would face them. However, since that cant happen, I have to say that I would rather see Kylar go on. My reason? If Moraine beats Kelsier then Cale can R.I.P because Rake is going down. :p Hopefully Mo will balefire Rake so bad that the rift closes and Cale and all those he killed to close said rift are brought back to life. 🙂

  • L Lawliet

    This was the best right up that I have read but it didn’t take into account one thing. Kylar can heal himself just as rapidly as Erevis can as seen by book three in the NAT. Durzo thought him this in the final chapters.

  • Bryce

    Im voting for Kylar to win it all- although I’ll be sure to check out the Ervis Cale trilogy. NAT is beastly, and I’m pretty sure retribution could negate Cale’s regeneration. Also Kylar would not have revealed where he was in the beginning. He would have just gave Cale a “red grin”, ripped his head off and then fed it to the black ka’kari for lunch. FATALITY

  • Dan

    Both seem amazing, and i may have found a series iwant to read. Though, as always, i must go with my boy Erevis Cale.

  • david

    so when will the novel be out? cause forget the rest of the matches i could read a hundred books about these two fighting and never get bored. even though the ka’kari didnt get in on the fight i think this was a grest portrayal of how the fight would go both sides deciding to fight for real only because others lives hang in the balance and not there own. Ive got to say though this write up has made me a fan and i will be reading your books the second im done with WOT….

  • Marvelous, marvelous stuff. Great fun, and though I was worried to see Kylar in another writer’s hands, you were more than gracious to him, Paul. Thank you! And excellent write-up. I admire the approach to the meta-fiction, and in your respect to the other characters. Excellent work.

  • SheriMc

    I’ve read them all -Cale’s and Kylar’s. I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better write up and now wish fervently that there will be a collaboration between the two authors for, what would be, an amazing series featuring both character’s. 🙂

  • Brent,

    I really appreciate that. Thank you kindly. 🙂


  • Darkmaman


    First things first great write up. Agreeing with every1 that it truly was the best yet. I just have to remind everyone that this is a death match not a stay dead match, so even if we take into account that Kyler can resurrect it doesn’t mean anything because hes still got killed. However my vote still goes to Kyler because of ‘retribution’ and from the black kakari being as potent at stopping heals. (As seen in the end of the 2nd book when Kyler was fighting that shapeshifting beast of the godking’ and kyler used the black kakari and as a sword to stop it healing itself.)
    But being as I have never read tge trilogy on Cale’s I cant make a truly accurate assessment of the abilities of Cale, so I don’t know if he in turn has something left up in his sleeve to contour the black kakari. Atleast I now know what’s my next fantasy trilogy will be to read as I wait for Branden to finish ‘wheel of time’ and too continue his ‘stormlight chronicle’. Not even mentioning Patrick Rothfuss and Brent Weeks books slated to be out soon. (Doesn’t really apply to Patrick Rothfuss but one can always dream :-).

  • bibliophile785

    Several of the readers have made the point that Iures/Retribution has properties which would prevent magical healing. In truth, it is the black ka’kari that prevents this magical regeneration. Kylar could have had the ka’kari form a sword or a punch dagger, or coat any weapon he’s carrying (in the references made, it was coating Retribution, and that’s where the confusion is coming from.) Against a purely magical opponent such as the ferali, the ka’kari can even coat Kylar’s skin, and he can win that way. Cale’s shadowstuff would have been powerless to heal wounds formed by the ka’kari. There’s a reason that even Ezra was unable to perfectly replicate the black ka’kari. It’s vastly powerful, sentient, and (for all intents and purposes) ageless.

  • Stifler

    As great as Erevis Cale seems to be… he seems to have similar qualities to the Godking in the Night Angel Trilogy – with the Vir being a slightly more inhibited magic type to Cale’s shadowstuff. Kylar defeated the Godking in the NAT and I think he would do the same here. Kylar’s ability to fast heal and absorb/severe/devour magic that in itself further empowers and sustains him would ultimately lead him to defeating Cale. I think the battle in the write up was accurate, just the outcome was slightly biased. Kylar would take this one.

  • IAN

    i want Cale to win cause the showdown between him and Rake will be EPIC!!!!

  • Eltar

    The creator’s have spoken. And, evidently, both are pleased with the write up. Can anyone say sweet?

  • Rysan

    People are saying that Kylar can stop Cale’s regeneration but what happens when Cale disappears and uses powerful priestly magic to instantly heal himself ? And as for Kylar turning invisible , Cale can turn invisible and jump from shadow to shadow, plus cast spells to detect. I vote for Cale.

  • Dnton


    His powers work anywhere in the darkness too, as long as there is absence of light, he can move. His powers are more connected to travelling via inter-planar transfer than anything else really. Think Nightcrawler, only without the restrictions and much longer range. (Cale can shadowwalk limitlessly, covering kilometers at a time easily eg moving from an isolated cottage to a city hundreds of kilometers away)

  • Not Telling

    @all those who say Kylar takes the who thing
    No, he doesn’t. He gets to Rake, then promptly dies. Rake is almost OP in his world, in which most characters are OP here. Last years tourney winner summoned a demon capable of destroying cities in order to slow Rake down. It bought him about fifteen seconds. Not only that, he is the Segulah Seventh, in other words, the seventh best swordsman in the city of master swordsmen, and that was after killing almost everyone he ran into in that city.

    Next year they should use Tool for a Malazan rep, he is much more reasonable of a character to include.

  • Arch Draggon

    I have not read any of your books, Kemp, but I still believe that Kylar will win this fight. I will, however, say that if Kylar is going to lose, I’m glad it’s against Cale. Your write-up showed a lot of respect towards Kylar and Weeks and because of that, I will be buying this series.

    Kylar all the way!

  • Tim

    Stifler: Erevis is NOTHING like the Godking. And Kylar lost to the Godking anyway.

    As much as I loved the writeup, I have to disagree with all those who said it was an accurate portrayal of Kylar’s powers. His character was pretty spot on, but his abilities were not (although probably about as good as could be expected form someone who hasn’t read the books).

    Already mentioned have been Kylar’s ability to heal himself of any injury pretty much instantaneously, and the Black ka’kari’s negation of regeneration, which are the two most important elements of this fight.

    Also significant but not quite as important in this writeup is Kylar’s ability to use illusions. Generally when Kylar comes up against another skilled opponent, he’ll use these to trick/distract/outmaneuver them, just about the key feature of a fight between two characters of this sort. He is very good at this.

    On Kylar’s immunities (more nitpicky here): He’s not impervious to blades, and has no sort of warding. Same for spells. What he does have is the black ka’kari, The Devourer. This is an sentient artifact that absorbs basically anything, magical or non-magical. There are a handful of things it can’t eat, including a pair of magical weapons (Curoch, the Sword of Truth (I think that was what it was called, correct me if I’m wrong) and Iures, the Staff of Law) which are basically the only two artifacts on a similar level of power to it in the Nightangel trilogy. Weaveshear might be impervious to it, seeing as it is a powerful sword designed to negate magic, so it would probably cut Kylar perfectly fine. If not, rather than just bouncing off him, it would get eaten before it hit him. In the same way, spells cast at Kylar would get absorbed, rather than just not having any effect.

    Invisibility: I’m not sure how well Cale’s merging with darkness would work for hiding from Kylar, my DnD lore’s not that great. But if he’s just kind of wrapping/covering himself with shadows, that’s not going to work. Kylar can see through shadows probably more clearly than daylight. If he’s actually sort of evaporating and spreading himself through the shadows somehow, merging his body with the shadows or something (which I think he can do but I’m not sure), that might work a bit better because there’s nothing to see through those shadows. The other thing is if there’s anything off about those shadows at all, or Cale makes even the slightest sound, Kylar will be onto it.

    Nitpicking aside though, an amazing writeup, Paul’s done both character’s justice and really got Kylar’s character spot on. I’ve been looking forward to this fight since I saw the brackets and was not disappointed.

    And finally, to anyone who has read the Nightangel trilogy but not Kemp’s books, or has read the Erevis books but not the Nightangel trilogy do so. They are both amazing, and if you like one chances are you’ll like the other. And the Cale books aren’t too difficult for those who aren’t up to scratch in Forgotten Realms lore either, things are generally explained well enough for if they weren’t set in a previously established world.

  • Darkmaman


    I’m sorry to tell you but I think you are mistaken about Irues. Its written in the beggining of 3rd book of the night angel trilogy that Jorsin Elkasly made his sword Ceur’caelestos with the ability to kill someone without the possibility of ressurection. (A point of credit on your part however is that fact that the black kakari never said explicity that the same power of finality applies to Irues, however being as both Irues and Ceur’caelestos was made by Jorsin Elkasly we can safely injecture that both was imbued with said ability.) If however my analysis is wrong would the auther of said book confirm or deny my Injecture

  • Spindle

    Wow, what a brilliant write-up!

    Going to add the Erevis Cale books to my growing to-read pile now…

  • Asteron

    As someone who has read both series, I have to go with Cale.

    First, Cale’s healing isn’t really magical, it a function of his body being infused with shadowstuff (it is listed as an Extraordinary ability in the Shade template in the 3.5 Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, not a Supernatural ability.) Second, he has the ability to become completely invisible just like Kylar can. Third, if he uses his Cleric abilties as buffs rather than offensive spells, he can easily replicate the physical enhancements that Kylar can do with his Talent (Haste spell, anyone?) Finally, Cale was killing powerful creatures when Kylar still went by Azoth… he knows how to handle the unexpected.

    Now somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe that Kylar’s ability to heal himself was a product of him concentrating on it. It’s not automatic like Cale’s fast healing. It would be pretty hard to heal himself when he is pinned to the ground getting his head pummeled by a 10ft tall, super strong Erevis Cale.

    For those reasons and more, I pick Cale (although it is a close match and I do like Kylar against most other opponents.)

  • Asteron

    Oh, and Weaveshear would be immune to the black ka’kari’s devouring nature due to it’s powerful magic and superior craftmanship. It’s a +3 enhancement with other magical abilities.

  • Dnton


    Cale turns invisible via spells, it would function the way Kylar turns invisible. Also as many have pointed out, his healing isn’t magical, its a part of him, much like if you fought a monster which wounds healed instantly due to its biology. Also most of the best cleric spells are buffing spells. A Cale fully decked out with buffing spells can match or even outmatch Kylar’s physical prowess.

    Also Weaveshear is an artifact class weapon, the Devourer might have more than a little trouble chowing down on this sword =P.

  • Novouto

    Time for Erevis fans to take out that little brat Kylar.

  • Tim

    Asteron: Superior craftsmanship? To the Black Ka’kari? Are you serious?

    Was +3 as high as enhancement bonuses went in 3.5? Because whatever the highest enhancement bonus you could get back then is what you’d need to have even a slight hope of withstanding the ka’kari. I’ve only played 4ed before, though I’ve recently started playing in my first pathfinder campaign, but being at level 2 the upper limits on enhancement bonuses don’t seem very important right now, and wouldn’t necessarily be the same as 3.5 anyway.

    I’m pretty sure Cale’s regen doesn’t need to be strictly magical, I think that the Black would stop it anyway. The ferali didn’t regen by magic, remember, it just incorporated anything it touched into its body using those little mouth things, and the ka’kari basically made wounds that were unfixable. I think that where it cut wouldn’t bond with anything else or something? And there was something about the holes it left smoking too. Basically, this implied to me that it made wounds that wouldn’t be closed up. Besides, whether in-game rules list something as a supernatural or extraordinary ability is hardly an accurate way to tell if it’s so lore-wise. He’s basically having his wounds mended by shadowstuff, and I’d call that pretty supernatural.

    You are correct on Kylar’s healing needing concentration, unlike regen, but as if Kylar’s going to let himself be “pinned to the ground getting his head pummeled by a 10ft tall, super strong Erevis Cale.” And he’d probably have the focus to manage it anyway. Remember when Durzo threw daggers within millimetres of his face he didn’t even flinch. That’s pretty good focus.

    Are you sure he can turn completely invisible? I don’t remember him ever doing that in the books, only sort of melting into the shadows so he was near enough as made no difference (unless you were fighting someone who could see through shadows…), but it’s a couple of years since I’ve read them.

    On reflexes etc.: Was anyone questioning that? It was even included in the writeup that he could do that…

  • RyanB

    All I have to say is.

    Cale made a big mistake leaving Kylar dead body behind. Guess who is coming back and It might not take a few days if he makes a deal with the Wolf.

  • Xebicls

    I think, considering DnD rules are widely accepted in the proper circles, which Forgotten Realms is a DnD franchise, that if it speculates these abilities as one or the other, that the decision they state in the rulebooks would follow in any hypothetical theorum, as is going on now. Not to mention that Erevis and his “kind”; being shades, are widely documented in Forgotten Realms as men infused with shadow, unlike in other lore being that shades are undead or other. So, that differentiation is the key to any conjecture.

  • Dave

    As strong as Kylar is he’s a dummy at times. SPOILER”

    When he was young his guild leader Rat was raping his best friend and he knew that eventually Rat would rape and beat the little girl that he was protecting. Even though a legend promise to take him under apprenticeship if he killed Rat. Kylar just hesitate and waits unit his little girl friend gets mutilated.

    In book 2 after killing the god kings son. he tries to start a new life w/ Aline and Fos. Daughter, but doesn’t bother to change his name. They send and assassin and find him right away. After the Sin kills his friend who showed up earlier right in front of his face. He cleans the blood and goes after the wrong people without even warning his soon to be wife or fos daughter. Minute after dummy leaves sin come in and snatches daughter. kylar follows and runs right past them. Does this guy have any common sense or instincts? How’s about going invisible and looking out the window first

    Kylar is just a boy, If you wanna read about MEN and not boys go read the Cale trilogy. Cale and his friend Ravin puts Kylar to shame when it comes to killing. They are ruthless, decisive and nothing scares them. They’ve faced down arch devils w/out flinching.

    Cale can will himself anywhere w/ Weaveshare. While Kylar tires out and aches from just riding horses. Kylar is still a boy. He’s has no where the experience that Cale has or even face anything near the Caliber of opponents that Cale has dealt w/. What’s a couple of mages and a Godking. Compared to thee Arch-devil of Hell, Shape shifters, shadow dragons, Gods and Demi-god.

    Seems like a lot of kylar fans here who hasn’t read the Cale trilogy. While the Fans that have read both books are clearly saying that Cale would win.

    It’s a shame though. Without Paul Kemp here writing these stories I’m afraid after this match you will be getting boring stories. If you don’t believe me go and read the other matches.

  • Aloquis

    3e has a +5 total, with up to an additional +5 worth of abilities. Technically +10 total.
    In light conditions, Weaveshear is a +3 Bane Absorption weapon… As far as I’ve read. In darkness it gets an additional +2 to-hit and damage. Bane is against arcane casters who use the Weave in the FR setting…

  • Dnton


    Cale is a priest whose God has the domains trickery, he could cast invisibilty spells easily. Just cos he doesn’t use it in the course of the novels, doesn’t mean he can’t. If you play pathfinder you should know that a cleric who has access to level 2 spells would be able to cast invisibily, which is pretty damn common. Also, he doesn;t melt into shadows to hide, he does it to transport himself. He has a natural shroud of shadows which protects him, but that is not the invisibilty spell we are talking about. He can also create shadow duplicates and the like.

    Tbh because I am not sure how the Devourer manages to neutralize healing, I couldn’t tell you definitively if would neutralize Cale’s healing, which has mended the most horrific of wounds.

    Also don’t kid yourself about weaveshear, its an artifact class weapon and it isn’t because of it’s +3 enhancement bonus. It has the ability to negate, absorb and return all magic limitlessly, even those cast by an epic spellcaster. No weapon in D&D can emulate those properties limitlessly, only other unique artifact weapons which are just as rare and powerful. It’s definitely not some common chew toy for the Devourer.

  • Dnton

    @ Aloquis

    It’s far more than that. If you can, here is Mr Kemp’s write up for Weaveshear.

    Weaveshear (minor artifact), a +3 bane absorbing dispelling longsword.

    Bane: Weaveshear acts as a +5 weapon against arcane spellcasters who tap Faerun’s Weave. Weaveshear also does an additional 2d6 damage to such spellcasters.

    Absorbing: Weaveshear’s absorption property works only against arcane magic cast using Faerun’s Weave (not the Shadow Weave). Whenever the holder of Weaveshear is individually targeted (i.e., not an area spell) with an arcane spell powered by the Weave, the holder may make a Will saving throw with a DC equal to 10+CL of the caster. Success means that Weaveshear has absorbed the spell. Failure means the spell affects the holder as normal. Weaveshear may hold any single spell of ninth level or lower at a time. A held spell can be discharged as a free action at any time by the holder (retargeting the caster, or another target).

    Dispelling: If Weaveshear touches an arcane spell effect (cast by a user of the Weave) for a spell with a duration other than instantaneous, the holder may attempt as a standard action to dispel the effect as if with a Greater Dispel Magic.

    Please note that absorbing and dispelling weapons usually have a limit like once a day, or 3/day as such. Also no dispel effects cause a Greater Dispel Magic on hit like Weaveshear and an item which can absorb magic has a finite limit see “Rod of absorbtion”. Please note that Weaveshear has no such limits.

  • The Riddler


    Every example you just used to demonstrate kylar’s lack of intelligence is ridiculous.First when Rat rapes Jarl and kylar is told to kill him he hesitates because he is ELEVEN YEARS OLD and Rat is SIXTEEN and he isn’t a murderer like Rat is yes he knew that Doll Girl/Elene would eventually be targeted but he didn’t know when which is why he told some people to watch over her at all times. He thought that it would be enought but it wasn’t and Rat mutilated her.

    Second when he starts that new life he didn’t change his name because nobody knew who had killed the Godking’s son except for the two people he started that new life with. When Uly is kidnapped by Vi, Kylar didnt know she was kidnapped only that someone had sent an assassin or wetboy to kill his best friend who was in charge of the Sa’kage and therefore had dozens of enemies and he didn’t go to avenge his friend he went to get Logan out of the Hole. He left his house before Vi kidnapped Uly and left a note saying he was sorry he failed to keep his promises along with two wedding rings that could be sold for 32 thousand something dollars he didnt tell them where he was going because he knew they would try to stop him.

    Third that “boy” was trained from the age of 11 to be the perfect killer by a man who had been the perfect killer for about 700 years

    Also he didn’t just kill the Godking he killed an entire army of Kruland a Titan then not even an hour later killed 3-4 dozen meisters and a goddess i dont know what an Arch-Devil is but I’d bet its easier than that

    I admit all i know of Cale I learned from this cage match so I cannot comment on his abilities or history or anything along those lines but your portrayal of Kylar is exceedingly inaccurate

  • Hmm… I wonder how they will play Kylar’s inability to die into all this. I mean… He can’t just be left there. We *know* he’s going to come back, perhaps sooner than a couple days if he gets impatient and makes a deal with Ezra… It was a good battle but I’ll be disappointed if they don’t integrate this important event in future matches. It would leave out a major piece of Kylar’s character.

  • Asteron


    No, a +3 isn’t the highest enhancement bonus one could have on a weapon. In epic levels of play you could have up to +10. However, Weaveshear has several other enchantments that add up to a total bonus of +7 or more. Also, it had an encountee with an artifact that changed it. It could be considered a minor artifact its self.

    I would say that the Ferali’s healing is magical in nature since the Ferali’s nature relies on magic. A shade is a shade even without magi since they can be made without magic.

  • The Riddler

    However he did have some help with the army of Krul and the3-4 dozen meisters i mentioned

  • Dave

    @ the riddler
    I’d give you that he was 11
    I’d even give ya he was going to save logan.

    But , didn’t even change his name come on now his master is dead who else is able to kill Roth Everyone knows he’s Durso apprentice. Knowing the god king, did he think that the god king wouldn’t put his whole resource into finding it out who killed his son.

    So after killing the Shinga and finding out it was Vi not anyone of that shinga wet boys he still didn’t warn his family. Remember Vi ASKED FOR KYLAR NOT JARL at the bridage so the shinga would of said she asked for you. Yes Vi original assignment was to kill Jarl. But she went to kill kylar not Jarl and the fact that Jarl showed up was coincidence. SO THAT KILLS YOUR POINT THAT HE DIDN;T KNOW THEY WERE COMING FOR HIM…

    “You bet an ARCH-DEVIL( KIng of hell) is easier than that?” I’ve read both books I’m pretty sure I have a good assessment of their opponents and thier abilities.
    Don’t get me wrong I loved the Night Angel Trilogy. Its just where Kylar is sometimes hesitant and not sure of himself, Cale is all confidence and it is not false bravado.

    but I get it….. your a kylar fanboy so you would defend him. In fairness though you haven’t read the Cale trilogy so we can agree to disagree

  • Archon

    All these stories about how these guys have fought these, gods, devils, and demons without flinching… THAT’s how you know that these guys aren’t on Rake’s level… Most of these characters weren’t even alive when those sort of stories were told about Rake…, In recent lifetimes, the only stories people know about Rake are: “Hey, remember when those gods that Rake was going to smash backed down and ran away from him?”

    As impressive as it is to say that a person took on gods and devils without flinching, it’s FAR more impressive when those gods and devils flinch at the idea of taking on you…

  • The Riddler


    You are correct that he did find out they were coming for him i had forgotten about that however on the point of him being Durzo’s apprentice and him being dead.

    Durzo died the night before Kylar killed Roth so word wouldn’t have gotten out that durzo was dead yet and also the Godking doesn’t see the need to find out who killed his son because all the blood they found in the passages Elene and Uly dragged him through indicatted that he had died although I agree it would have been a good idea for him to change his name nontheless

  • Jousa

    Excellent write up Paul.

    I’ve had the privilege of reading both of these trilogy’s. It’s good that you are familiar w/ Kylar’s powers . Sure both character have other powers they didn’t use but it’s good that you toned it down a bit or else the fight would of dragged out forever. I’ll vote for Cale since the longer the fight goes the more it favors Cale . Kylar’s doesn’t have an unlimited amount of stamina and does tire unlike the Shade that is Cale. Also Cale is so confident, so fearless of pain or death itself even when losing he’ll never waver from his confident where as Kylar might start to doubt and that simplest thought would cost him.

  • Kellyw

    Great write up. I’ll be honest I don’t know either character so I won’t vote. I have 2 more trilogy to read now. By the comments It seems that the people who’ve read both book has all voted for Cale maybe not all but the majority. Kylar fans at least on their part are honest to say that they’ve not read Cale. the later might be a little bias but the fact that both Authors posted on this thread and was happy w/ the write up is Epic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • david

    @ dave and the riddler

    First off the Godking doesnt give 2 shits about any of his kids he has hundreds literally and just because roth was one who was having some success he was barely a blip on his fathers radar which is eviident when he doesnt care to track down his killer and instead rewards his other sons with the task roth was supposed to do….

    Now to clarify some stuff for people. From the description in the book a ferali is not magical in nature but comes from the Vir- A demonic power controlled by the God Khali- The difference being is its abilities were physical in nature not magical there control was done via magical focuses implanted on the creature but its for all intents and purposes a demon impervious to magic and able to heal physical woounds through consumption of its own mass. The black Ka’kari was able to literally create a wound that would not regenerate magically or otherwise so i do not believe the shadow heal of cale would work to its fullest. I envision it stopping the wounds from bleeding but leaving holes in his body the would never heal.
    Now there is some debate on if kylar would be able to see him cloaked in shadows and from the fight with durzo i would assume he could cause wetboys can do the same trick and Kylars enhanced vision was able to see durzo even though he was using magic to cloak himself in shadow. now if cales move worked differently then smply cloaking him in shadow it may be different.

    A couple points on kylar that the story had off that may help in assessing his abilities vs cale.
    His healing while requiring concentration can be done while he is invisible so if he got a wound bad enough that he was worried about its effect on him in battle IE the eyeball part of the write up… im a certain that kylar would just use the invisibility to heal and find a new approach to the battle.
    the Kakari is not kylar and can think for itself. why is this important it has thousands of years of experience that it can call on to give kylar information. also in a fight where people can be invisible and pop out of every shadow having a pair of eyes that can watch in all directions and give you warnings as well as react to subconscious commands would prevent allot of the damage kylar took in the fight up.
    Some people have pointed out that cales blade would not be devoured and i think you are ale is correct but the writer made a better point when he focused on the fact that at the speeds in which kylar moves using a full sword against him is suicide at best cause hes as least as fast if not faster then cale and using a sword would slow you down if simply in the motions your arms must make to use the blade effectively. Which is why i am assuming we do not hear anything about retribution being used since Kylar is using daggers to take advantage of his speed.
    Now i understand Cales a badass and he is a hard kill but what is preventing Kylar from coating his hands in the black when there choaking one another? like literally the black would have just devoured cales throat until his head fell off fight over????

  • Eli

    This was a great writeup because it was really a true fight, not a little comical thing like most I’ve read with references to the character’s book (not that they are bad). I’m disappointed that Kylar lost in this writeup but I still voted for him anyways 😛
    Cale seemed sooooooooo cheap XD. This shadowstuff automatic healing was like autowin for him. But in a reeeeeeeeal fight, Kylar would just go invisible, heal his injuries, and then wait until Cale dropped his guard and then ended it quickly without this prolonged fighting business.

  • The Riddler


    you are correct on some of your points however you are wrong about the vir.

    In the second book when Solon is at Screaming Winds while Khali is on her way through it is stated that he realizes that the vir is controlled by Khali (meaning she decides who uses it) but that it is like a magical bank run by the mafia of sorts. With everyone in Khalidor emptying some of their glore vyrden into the bank then Khali decides who gets to use the magic while the rest of the people are kinda left out.

    Also I am not sure whether the Black would do as you describe to Cale as it is never shown consuming anything that is still alive, only that which is already dead or was never alive in the first place and magic. That being said I believe you are right about the rest.

  • Isabelle

    I loved reading this! I think that I will be adding the Cale trilogy to my reading list. I have to say though, I don’t think that Kylar’s main strategy would be stabbing Cale over and over again. He would have had a lot of variation in both offence and defence. But thanks for writing this, I loved it!

    PS. The discussions in the comments were a treat to read!:’)

  • bibliophile785


    Firstly, the sword you’re talking about is Curoch (this becomes important because, by the end of the series, The Blade of Heaven exists independently of The Sword of Power.) You are absolutely right that a death caused by Curoch was said to be permanently fatal to any opponent, even the possessor of the black ka’kari. However, that is a separate point from the one I was making. Curoch wasn’t relevant to any aspect of Kylar’s battle with the ferali, nor does it have any bearing on the fact that the ka’kari is capable of making wounds that stifle any magical healing. Unless one makes the argument that Curoch has some place in this fight (which I don’t think anyone has done or is planning to do), The Sword of Power’s abilities are irrelevant.

    Furthermore, Iures certainly cannot be assumed to have any properties in common with Curoch, beyond an extreme boost of magical ability for the wielder (and even that boost occurs in different ways- Iures boosts control while Curoch boosts power.) They are fundamentally different weapons. One might as easily say that, because the ka’kari(s?) (all except the black) were made by Ezra, each must have the same properties. It’s simply flawed logic.

  • JohME

    Voted for Cale. But Night Angel Trilogy kicks ass…..
    Having read both of these books I’d vote for Cale he has more experience while Klyar is still a little green. On the second book of the night Angel when he got himself shot on the way back to save Logan and dies instead to a simple arrow wound. The wolf scolded him saying you are arrogance w/out the wisdom of his late master Durzo who has 700 years. Yes hes immortal but not invincible. There are several mentions in the book where he even admits to misread something or made a bad decision.

    After he made it back and when he fought Hughe Jebit he was exhausted from having to uses magic to run back which brings up the stamina issue mentioned from some post above. Kylar tires, and has to concentrate to stay invisible or mend while Cale has turned into a shade and his body self mends and he doesn’t tire.

    Like one of the comments above to be fair people defending Kylar have not read the Erevis Cale books and are only refuting what is written in the story and comments. While readers of both books all tend to sway towards Cale.

  • Kyle

    I must say this. Kylar is extremely powerful, Cale is extremely powerful. Both have had powerful enemies and tough battles. Both could easily die to a mundane thing. What im saying is no matter how powerful two characters are they can both die so i believe this whole Cale is superior and this whole Kylar is superior is mute. Didnt you know the turtle beat he hare right??? Just because someone is Powerful doesnt mean he is invincible and just because he seems OP doesnt mean he cant be beaten. All these cage matches just seem to be a popularity contest. Personally i think Kylar would be able to win with his given abilities but i could see Cale winning just as easily

  • Jon Schiavinato

    After the write up, I WILL be buying your books Mr Kemp. You have gotten yourself another book sale, your writing of the summary was pretty fantastic and the respect you showed to Kylar and Mr Weeks in making the battle so close/the ‘how things might have been in another world’ well done.

    I did give my vote to Kylar, but I would like to ask for anyone capable of answering – it seems Magical, mystical at least, how Cale turns to shadow/a shade… if that’s the case, couldn’t the Ka’kari just consume him at that point?

  • Asteron


    There are ritual’s to become a Shade but it can happen naturally through too much contact with the Plane of Shadow. Cale’s mortal flesh was infused with/ turned into shadow. He isn’t truly magical, but neither is he truly mundane. His healing isn’t magical, but he can do some magical things with his new body like step from shadow to shadow and teleport.

  • theAKpal

    Tough one! But, I have to go with Cale.

    Since round 3, I’ve read the first two NAT books – excellent. Kylar is pretty kick-ass. As of book 2, Kylar does get exhausted quick(-ish) and dies multiple times in the space of a couple months because he’s not good enough. He’s also naive and not particularly intelligent (except when it comes to herbs/poisons). As has been mentioned, he forgets to do things when stressed into a sense of urgency (which he could actually do with minimal affect on time). Maybe things change in the third book.

    I haven’t read any of the Cale books, but I have played D&D. Given what’s been described by fans, Cale is fairly bad-ass himself. The difference, he has a lot more experience with a lot stronger things (Kyler may have fought one or two strong things, that’s about it; this makes a difference). Question: did he beat the arch-devil? If so, where? If he did it on the devil’s home plane, then I’d say Kemp took some serious liberties with errata, which would piss me off to no end if I was reading and it occurred.

    Anyways, back to the match. Regeneration, they both have it. Cale’s is automatic. Kylar seemed to have to work at it pretty hard. He wouldn’t be able to while fighting, as all his attention is focused on staying alive. Ka’kari and Weaveshear: both artifacts in D&D terms. They should be able to negate each other, possibly even destroy each other. Devouring would have to be a magical property in of itself, implying a magic absorbing/destroying object of sufficient strength could affect it. Along the same lines, the nice thing about priests/wizards/etc., is that their abilities aren’t limited to one or two. There are a vast range of ways to use them. Kylar is fast, strong, can go invisible, and can wield the black stuff (he might have some invisible magic hands also). The black stuff can only be used to damage or devour things ; in other words, limited. Cale should be able to use shadow-stuff to mimic the black’s effects, then he can pile on any spell he has access to. Others have mentioned ‘buffs’, but there are others: chaos, time, divination, elemental, healing/harming, guardian, protection, numbers, necromantic, summoning, wards, etc – although I don’t have any idea what spheres Cale has access to. I said it in the previous Cale match, there are books (that’s plural) dedicated to simply listing/describing all the spells in D&D. Non-spellcasters are no match for any prepared high level spellcaster.

  • Not Telling

    Am I the only one who noticed the error in Kylar’s special attack thing?

  • Not Telling

    People, his is to the death. SINGULAR, not plural. If someone kills Kylar once, they win, and he comes back. Even then, versus Rake, Rake wins. Dragnipur steals peoples souls when they are dead, so Kylar couldn’t come back.

    Quoting The Riddler, though not in the way he wanted.

    “Third that “boy” was trained from the age of 11 to be the perfect killer by a man who had been the perfect killer for about 700 years”

    Rake has trained for close to 300,000 thousand years, and you think Kylar can match that? Sorry, he can’t. He has less of a chance against Rake than Quick Ben, and Quick Ben would just pull him down into the ground and leave him there.

  • Tempest


    “Question: did he beat the arch-devil? If so, where? If he did it on the devil’s home plane, then I’d say Kemp took some serious liberties with errata, which would piss me off to no end if I was reading and it occurred. ”

    *Spoilers ahead*

    The Arch-Devil in question was none other than Mephistopheles, Lord of the Eight Hell, and he obviously didn’t beat him seeing as how even most Gods would think twice before attacking an Arch-Devil in his own plane.
    There wasn’t really a fight, but Cale managed to stand his ground before this primordial being, in his full power and in his personal realm none the less, and still manage to work out a deal with him to avoid getting him and his friends killed.
    The scene was just so fantastically written, you really get a good idea of how absurdly powerful a being Mephistopheles is, I really can’t put it into any words which would do Mr. Kemp’s scene any justice =)

    *Spoilers ended*

    The Erevis Cale books are fantastic, and only rarely does it make Cale out to be some immortal badass who can walk over every challenge presented to him, which imo is important when you want to write interesting books.
    This is also one of the reasons why Rake seems like an empty character to me, where’s the fun in reading about a guy who can bat an eyelash and destroy every opponent? It’s bad writing in my oppinion, and all these Rake/Kylar fans telling me just how badass/invincible/overpowered their ‘hero’ is, are just turning me more and more away from actually reading the damn books.

  • Tempest

    On another note, I’m going to miss Kemp’s write-ups if Cale loses, they were all fantastic and deserved to go all the way to the finals. I guess that’s what happens when a cage match becomes a popularity contest.

  • Adam


    this was a tough vote for me, i’ve not read any books by Kemp but this fight scene was awesome, they seem well matched i honestly was wondering who was going to win and i will definately be reading some of Kemps stuff when i have the chance i’m afraid kylar still gets my vote in the end though especially as kylar gained rapid healing abilities at the end of book three

  • Dave



    They promised the Arch-Devil the soul of a Demi-god in exchange for Mag’s Arch-Devil’s son’s life. Mags is one of Cale friends.

    When the demi-gods power was destroyed all of his powers went to Cale, Ravin, Rivalen. Remember when he meets the Arch-Devil in Hell again he see the Arch-Devil as an equal but kept his promise for Mag’s life.

    Afterwards Ravin show up and kicks the shit out of the Arch-Devil and punishes him for taking Cale. Ravin and Arch-Devil both knows that The Arch-Devil Can not be killed in his own plane. But that doesn’t stop Ravin from punishing him anyways. Cale being stronger than Ravin could of also, but instead kept his promise n sacrifice his life for his friend. A true killer but a better friend.

    One thing that I love about Cale, n Rivan is against all odds they do not fear death. They have unwavering Devotion and r confident even w/ the odds stacked against them.

  • Abyss

    Is it bad that i’m tempted to vote Cale just to see Paul’s next write-up?
    I can’t help it… the whole ‘RAKE I’M COMING FOR YOU!’ thing has me curious…

  • Abyss

    so tempted to vote Cale just to see where Paul is going with the whole ‘RAKE I’M COMING FOR YOU!’ thing…

  • Abyss

    wuups double-post fail.
    MOD/ADMIN feel free to delete as well as this one.

  • Damon

    Sorry I’m a little late to the party, but I wanted to point out a few things…


    First, from Dave: “Third that “boy” was trained from the age of 11 to be the perfect killer by a man who had been the perfect killer for about 700 years”

    This is not true. Yes Durzo is 700 years old, but he was not a “perfect killer” that entire time. If you read Perfect Shaddow: A Night Angel Novella…

    ** SPOILERS AHEAD for said novella **
    We see that Durzo (at the time, Gaelan Starfire) is trained to become a wetboy by Scarred Wrable. At the beginning of the training, Durzo is inferior to Scarred Wrable when it comes to almost everything, including fighting. My point is that while Durzo is the perfect killer in NAT, he only became that a few decades ago, not a few centuries ago.

    ** end Novella spoilers **

    All that said, Durzo is the perfect killer and did train Kylar for several decades.

    Something else that has been bothering me about all these comments. Many people have stated that Kylar kills a god. As I recall, the only “god” he kills is Khali. The problem with this is that Khali isn’t a god at all. She is one of Jorsin Alkestes’ original 6 champions to whom he gave the White Ka’kari. This means that she is very powerful, specifically the White’s power of Glamour, and she is as old as Durzo. However, to say that Kylar has killed a god because he killed someone who bonded a ka’kari is a bit of a stretch.


    I have also have a quick question about the Erevis Cale series. I was very interested to get the books and read this trillogy after reading Kemp’s write-up, (which I was fantastic by the way!) but then reading some of the comments, I see people arguing about actual DnD stats for items seen in the books which is making me skeptical. So, can anyone who has read the Cale series tell me whether or not the books get into the “nitty gritty” of item statistics? Thanks.

  • Tempest


    There’s absolutely no rule/mechanical references to DnD at all, in any Forgotten Realms books for that matter.
    It’s just that DnD fans who also read FR novels tend to put stats on everything in the books, for the sake of possibly using it in their own games and such =)

  • Dave


    No there are no item statistics in the book its just a story and a dam good one. I read both Cale trilogy and don’t even know the D & D lore of it. I think what they’re talking about is the D & D board game where the they pretend to be dungeon master and can use the Cale charcter’s… those nerd 😛

    I’ve Also read the Night Angel trilogy. both character are similar in ways Kylar’s more of a boy, emotional and reacts to thing and does things when he has to. Maybe in time he’ll gain the experience as Durzo did and become close to invincible since he’s already immortal. Cale on the other hand is a leader among powerful friends very sure of himself fearless and calculating. Like Kylar he’s very powerful the only different is Cale doesn’t only think he won’t lose, He knows he will win someway somehow even if everything in the world says he won’t.

    Look at amazon books the second cale trilogy first 2 books are a perfect 5 stars and the other one’s are 41/2 stars. there’s a reason for that…..

  • Raivih

    Seem like Cale’s not gonna make it through. With Paul’s character Cale out we won’t get no more writings and the story ends here without the epic showdown w/ Amander Rake.

    Kylar fanboys ruin it 🙁

    Kylar fan here…. I just finish your Erevis Cale Trilogy and just started on the twilight wars (shadowbred) and wow. Paul can you go ahead an finish up this story ending w/ Rake and Post it on your website. Bet you would get ton’s of hit.

    Who will write for Kylar now if he makes it through, his previous cage matches were lackluster.

  • Damon

    @Tempest and Dave

    Thanks guys. I had a susspission that it was just the DnD nerds (I mean that in the best way possible since I am basically one myself) taking the basics and running with it, but I wanted to confirm before I got the books.

    Side note, cage match or not, I would totally read the Cale vs Rake post if it gets written!

  • Asteron

    @Tempest &Dave

    You are correct in that there are no mechanics in the novels themselves, but Paul has drawn up Cale’s stats and abilities in D&D PC form. He has levels in Rogue and Cleric. He also has the Shade template that can be found on pg 314 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3.5.) Weaveshear has also been detailed.

  • shizzlenitts

    Fantastic write up Paul , i’d love to spend a day in the Kemp imagination theme park.

    @ raivih

    I agree , even if cale doesnt win i would love to see Pauls write up on the events.
    I am a huge cale fan and after all the scrapes cale has taken i think he has the metal to see him through to the end.
    My votes for cale. Kinda wishing Paul had written a “Cale with part of his gods Divinity” fight.

  • Joeshmoe

    Those who think that Kylar would win obviously have not read any of the Cale books.

    How many times did Klyar get himself kill because of his bad judgement. Arrow through the back because he misread a situation and didn’t pay attention to his surrounding. losing an arm to the ferali then getting stabbed in the back and dieing in front of the god king and demanding to go back like a little child. come on now.

    He has no instinct whatsoever. Knowing that Vi had a compulsion spell, he still allowed her to stab his back. ( yes he though she was cured) but still any good sin would be wary. Did he not hear her behind and wonder why she isn’t attacking from another angel. Vi killed the God king not Kylar. He’s a kid that makes alot of mistake. Cale has something KLYAR doesn’t it’s called instinct, situation awareness. To bad it’s a popularity contest.

    no more stories now from kemp. good job Kylar fan’s

  • notafanofeither

    Pretty sure I just voted for Kylar because Kemp always predicts Cale will win. Also, I’m more than annoyed at all of the bluster and name calling from round 3.

  • Rysan

    Seems like we Rachel fans voting here now….

  • David

    @ joeshmoe
    major spoilers for NAT but im guessing if your here your not gonna care much about spoilers anyway…
    Im not sure you realize this but im certain D&D is way more widely known then the NAT and popularity would give it to cale based solely on the fact the series has a connection to a major sci-fi community in D&D. Now as to why i think Cale just wouldnt have won is the KaKari would have just devoured him and there is nothing ive seen from either description by the author or anything listed by anyone else as to why that isnt possible. so until someone can explain an ability that would stand up to something devouring ANYTHING not made specifically to unmake it on contact IE balefire or a weapon capable of unmaking both physical objects and magical forms of energy with great efficiancy.

  • Dimitri

    That was a very good fight but you happen to forget that Kylar Stern is unable to die. Also Kylar learned his lesson when The God King had him killed. Fists to fists wouldn’t work because Kylar would know how to use the black KaKari to devour Cale. Anyways My vote goes for The Night Angel

  • Jonathan

    Okay, reasons why Cale would win:

    Spoiler alert:

    The last iteration of Cale was as a God. Yes, Cale received the essence of a God to add to his already being a fairly epic character. Not to mention that as you talk about Kylar’s KaKari devouring magic, you seem to miss that Weaveshear does the same thing, and then sends the magic back at the caster. They both operate best in similar environments, the big difference is that Cale is now of a race that benefits specifically from that environment. Yeah, Kylar is pretty good, I just don’t see him defeating Cale.

  • Joeshmoe

    People who think that the black ka’kari can swallow everything is wrong..

    Remember also Kylar got the shit kick outta him by (untalented ) Lantano wielding Curoch. If lantano hit any harder w/ Curoch it would of destroyed the Ka’kari. Yes later on he trained w/durzo and got better.
    When faced w/ adversity KYLAR always has doubts. Whenever he’s losing he always had doubts. When Cale is losing he doesn’t have doubt instead he has conviction.

    But then again i don’t expect Kylar fans to understand because they have no clue who CALE is….

  • Cwhite

    One of the most entertaining fights I’ve read in a long time. While I felt that the write up did Kylar justice, the result is still obviously skewed (I can’t imagine any author predicting a loss for their character but I could be proved wrong) as is my vote for Kylar. I think this contest did its job because I’m now very interested in reading the Erevis Cale trilogy.

  • Lee Monroe

    I believe it would come down to a pure physical fight,in which case, kylar wins,because he is clearly far faster then Cale,and the Ka’Kari would prevent his healing.

    So yeah, Kylar wins.

  • Lee Monroe

    Also, I think everyone is trying to factor magic into it, which makes this fight more complicated.

    Here are the facts as I see them.

    1. magic is useless against Kylar, so it’s pointless to even try and use against him

    2. Magic also seems to be ineffective against Cole, but only Offensive magic, as from what I understand it just gets used against the caster.

    3. The Ka’Kari renders Cole’s regeneration useless, as shown by Kylar’s fight against the Ferali.

    4. Kylar’s speed makes him dangerous against Cole, as shown above, Kylar’s dagger giving him a huge advantage.

    5. If Cole’s shadow ability works like I think it does, then Kylar can see him.

    In conclusion. It comes down to a physical fight, with virtually no magic involved. This means Kylar has a huge advantage, because he can fight well even without magic. Cole is good with a sword, but as shown above, it’s suicide to go up against Kylar’s speed with his sword. So, knowing that Cole cannot regenerate, Kylar wins.

    Oh, and one more thing. Kylar has a devious mind, he won most of his last matches by trickery, so I’m betting Kylar could figger something out rather quickly, and exploit Cole’s weaknesses with deadly effectiveness.

  • Tempest

    A few things people are clearly missing:

    Kylar is not unable to die, he’ll simply be able to return from the dead by having a close friend/loved one killed in his stead, if he died during these Cage Matches he’d still lose, regardless of the fact that he’d be able to return at a later time. Dying = Losing

    The Black Ka’Kari can’t swallow everything, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be able to simply swallow Cale

    The Black Ka’Kari won’t stop Cale’s regeneration, even if it did he’d still be able to use priestly magic to heal his own wounds

    Kylar needs to concentrate in order to regenerate, Cale does not

    Kylar is faster, but not by much, and Cale is much stronger after applying divine buffs to himself

    Weaveshear is no able to absorb anything but magic drawn from the Weave, so that ability of the sword is pointless in this fight, just like many of Kylar’s abilities won’t have any effect on beings from an entirely different setting.
    Setting specific strenghts and weaknesses most likely won’t apply in these Cage Matches, considering that some characters would simply be immortal or nigh-unbeatable if that was the case

    Mr. Kemp is placing Cale as the winner in all of his matches for one clear reason: he’s writing a story wherein Cale overcomes a number of enemies in order to finally fight and defeat Rake. Having Cale die just because he thinks another character might be stronger than him, would ruin the continuity of the story.

  • Tempest


    Ferali =/= Cale, they’re not the same being, stop trying to argue that the Black Ka’Kari would stop his regeneration, it won’t.

    It’s clearly stated that Kylar is unable to see a person who has become invisible with magic, therefore he also wouldn’t be able to see Cale, if Cale was just hiding in the shadows he’d be able to, but he isn’t, it’s an actual magical effect

    It doesn’t come down to a physical fight with virtually no magic involved, Cale has a huge number of buffs and spells available in order to strenghten himself, there’s no need to use any sort of offensive spells against Kylar

  • The Riddler

    the ka’kari can swallow anything other than Retribution and Curoch

    also to all those people saying Kylar needs to concentrate to regenerate you are only half right, he heals passively but it is much slower than if he concentrates
    also don’t bother argueing on whether the ka’kari would stop Cale’s healing there is no way to find out and trying to prove it one way or another will just incite a rather large argument

  • Rysan

    Its CALE not COLE.

    As for their weapons this is what I see.
    The Ka’kari can swallow anything except those 2 things in Kylar’s world. Weaveshear works against weave magic of Cale’s world.

    Cale can Buff himself to more than match or overmatch Kylar’s speed. Doesnt need to cast spells on Kylar. Cale wont need his regeneration if he can just heal himself instantly with a spell.

    DnD is probably better known than NAT but DnD encompasses ALOT of worlds and characters, not all DnD fans follow Forgotten Realms characters, many like and are loyal to the other DnD settings. If all the DnD players would vote for Cale it would probably be a landslide victory for Cale.

    I voted for Cale because I love the character, but he also comes from my favorite setting/world which is FR.

  • Lee Monroe

    Sorry, Cale.

    I’m fairly certain the Ferali and Cale’s regeneration work the same, which means he cannot regenerate the way he does, so he has to use magic. Kylar could absorb that magic.

    Also, the only thing the Ka’kari cannot devour is the Blade Of heaven and iures, aka, Retribution.

    Everything else is fair game because they weren’t made to not be devoured by the ka’Kari.

    Anyway, Kylar has this, so I don’t care so much anymore.

  • david

    @ tempest
    Im not sure where your refrence comes to not being able to see invisible people? cause Kylar sees durzo in there fight and durzo is better then anyone else in the NAT at making himself invisible yet with the Ka”Kari he was able to see Durzo once he concentrated and looked directly at him while Durzo could not detect Kylar from the same distance away. On top of this the book even mentions there is a difference between hiding and wrapping yourself in shadow like others do with magic and what the Kakari does. It grants real invisibility as in leave no trace visible, while it never directly says it effects heat output it does say it removed even the harshest of smells and muted the noise Kylar makes while moving so im assuming ( and i think very fairly) that it removes any and all detectable traces which would include heat detection sound detection smell visual instinctive (ie magic driven tracking or detection).


  • Jon Schiavinato


    Thank you for answering my question.

  • shizzlenitts


    I’d like to see anyone stand up to cale when he has just stolen some of masks divinity.
    Cale would ruin them all.
    So technically it really all depends at what stage in a fighters development they are vs ea other.

  • Asteron

    While it is a moot point now, I would like to say one final thing:

    Does the black stop natural healing? If i recall correctly, it doesn’t. Cale’s healing is just like natural healing, except that it happens much faster than ours does. Wounds that would take days or months to heal for us only take seconds or minutes to heal for him.

    Also, the black would NOT be able to devour Cale or his sword. Not once do you see the black devouring a living person or animal (the ferali is different, it is a being created by magic and therefore susceptible to the black’s ability.) Nor can it devour artifact level items, which Weaveshear qualifies for.

    However, it is a moot point since Kylar won…

  • Mess

    Actually, Asteron, the Black ka’kari can absorb living people. *SPOILER* After all, the true killing blow against Godking Garoth Ursuul was made with the Black Ka’kari, which Dorian notes isn’t a simple cut, but that part of Garoth’s head simply wasn’t there anymore. It was Devoured.

    Also, there is a possibility that Cale’s healing COULD be negated by wounds inflicted by the Black Ka’kari. However, I cannot stress enough that this is mere speculation, as this supposition is based off of extrapolation and am not overly versed in Cale’s abilities. *MORE SPOILERS* When Kylar stabs Elene to kill Khali, Sister Ariel notes that no wound inflicted by Curoch can be healed. As the Black Ka’kari is arguably the most powerful magical artifact in the NAT universe, the same could be true of the Black Ka’kari, as the creator of Curoch studied the Black Ka’kari in great depth.

    Regardless of the speed of Cale’s healing, since he can’t use magic to heal the Black Ka’kari’s wounds and even if his natural regeneration is unaffected that isn’t a winning strategy on which to rely. (Again, I can’t stress enough that I’m not overly fluent in Cale’s abilities, so I apologize in advance if my suppositions are wrong.) Since as I’ve noted before, when the Black Ka’kari wounds someone, it doesn’t just cut them it actually devours the section of the person’s body the Black passes through; Cale would need to rely on his body’s natural resources to heal. He would have to create flesh from the rest of his body and divert his body’s natural resources to heal said wound. Anyone that has really been wounded would know this is exhausting. A normal cut can be knitted with little drain, and normally magic can easily pick up the slack with no noticeable drain. In this case, Cale would become exhausted after healing only once or twice. Even a little exhaustion can lead to a minor mistake, which is suicide against Kylar.

    Final thing to remember when bringing up Cale’s buffs, is that they can very likely be matched by Kylar’s use of his Talent. It’s been stated since fairly early in the first novel that Kylar has a natural affinity for body magics, and can increase his speed and strength to unbelievable heights. Of course, how these would stack up against each other is debatable, I just wanted to point out that you simply can’t write Kylar off because of Cale’s ability to magically buff himself.

  • Mess

    Sorry for the double post, but after I made the last one I felt I should add this.

    I enjoyed Mr. Kemp’s write-up, and hold not even the tiniest bit of ill-will against him for killing Kylar in his post. After all, Cale is his character and he’d want him to win, and as others have said it’s in-character for him to try to get all the way to the end to fight Rake. Regardless, it isn’t the authors who determine who is projected to win each battle, but the sponsors of this tournament. And they’ve admitted that while they’ve read up on the characters, they also admit that they aren’t masters of the source material. That’s why it’s a guideline, not absolute.

    Anyway, this is fun. Whether you disagree or agree with the decisions, it’s still a fun little jaunt. And it’s a good way to find out about other good stories to read. I think that’s the really great thing about this whole thing. The opportunity to expand our fantasy/literary horizons.

  • theAKpal

    Finished the 3rd Kylar book. The black does not devour everything. Period! If it did, there would’ve been no need for them all to *****SPOILER****** touch Curoch and kill the krul army. He could’ve just walked outside and stood there letting them attack and devour them all. Prior to this, he could’ve just devoured the titan rather than fight it and end up broken after falling off. Also, with this, he could’ve used the black to devour the ground below him so he didn’t get hurt and slowing himself gradually. Heck, he could’ve just told the allied armies to head home and gone out to devour everyone else. Then, he and Durzo could’ve gone in to kill Khali. Moreso, if it could devour everything, then Durzo would’ve just devoured all the other ka’kari rather than spending so much time hiding them around the world. *****SPOILER END*****

    So, no, the black does not devour everything. And, even if it theoretically could, Kylar is neither intelligent nor wise enough to do so to its full potential. So, keep this in mind for Kylar’s next match, as he obviously won this one, whether deserving or not. I’m going to miss Kemp’s meta-storyline. It added that extra something to the whole cage match process lacking in all the others. Of course, why Rake would be doing the whole reality-merging thing in the first place is beyond me…

  • Jlingo

    Man I wish Cale won!!! Kemp’s write-ups were the best I ever read in the Cage Fights! He had an ongoing narrative with a mission that tied them all the fights together and great motivation for the character. Mr Kemp, virtual bow and applause…….

  • Lathspell

    Honestly, no one can accurately predict how the outcome of the fight will be without knowing BOTH characters and their abilities well (well enough being that someone could fully explain how Cale’s regeneration and shadow manipulation works while still being able to explain, in detail, the gifts granted by the Ka’kari). I don’t know much about Cale, but I can tell from his stats that even with Kylar’s abilities this would be a good match. They seem to have very similar-if not some of the same-abilities and that makes for an interesting battle, since they kind of cancel each other out.

    To put some things at rest about the Ka’kari, NO, it cannot devour everything (as it cannot devour Iures, the Staff of Law, or Curoch, the Sword of Power) but it has been proven that it can in fact devour many other things aside from magic: clothes, weapons, of course the ferali, and, as proven when ******SPOILER******the Ka’kari devoured the head of Godking Garoth Ursuul,*****people.

    But with all that aside, I think this write-up was amazing, and Cale is definitely being added to my ever-growing list of books I need to read. Respect to Kemp; I think he did a great job trying to overlook the magic (as I said, they have similar abilities that cancel each other out) and sticking to close combat. I feel like the fight might actually have gone something like this.

  • JohME

    Kylar fanboys are just stupid. If you look at all the comments above people who’ve read both books, all of them said that Cale would win.

    Its like asking someone who just watch a basketball college player who amazing and is their favorite player w/out ever seeing Jordan playing,

    Don’t bother arguing w/ kylar fans they’ve never seen Jordan play…. You notice all they do is say I don’t know much about Cale’s ability but it must be like this. No it’s not like that take this w/ a grain of salt don’t blame kylar fans for being ignorant. That’s their favorite wetboy. They’ve never read about the Shade that is Cale. Unlike whining kylar always throwing away his lives and crying about it, Cale is everything that kylar isn’t w/ the power.

  • JohME

    Once they go and read the Cale book’s please admit you were wrong, in the future matches. Kylar got his ass handed to him by lantano. I see durzo w/ the black ka’kari w/ the experience would be a better match than you stupid kylar.

    Send me back send me back, I’m so stupid i got stab in the back i must kill the god king

    … Do you want to escape kylar the king has put contract to save you. “no i’m a stupid kid that needs to make a point dont worry because i’m immortal…

    ..What, I fucked up again an this time Elene is gonna die …. no no no sorry i’m a brat…….

    this is the guy that beats Cale really,,,

  • Asteron

    The point at which the Godking died, he obviously ceased to be a living thing! The black itself said that it can’t control what it devours (when it ate the crotch out of Kylar’s pants.) If it could devour living things, it would have eaten bits of Kylar all the time. Or how about all of the times that Durzo handled it? Even after it rejected him? It cannot devour living things!

    I’ve read bofh series, multiple times. I would have picked Cale every time because he is one of the more powerful beings in a universe filled with vastly overpowered beings. Nothing in the NAT universe comes close…

  • @ JohME Mate, what if I called you a reatrd for arguing against Kylar? Your a fricken hypocrite, you know that? Your obviously a fan of Cale, and so your bashing on Kylar. Not only that, you seem to be a sore loser. I admit, I haven’t read Kemps books. I’m sure Cale is an excellent character, and I’m sure Kemp is an amazing author. However, I don’t know Cale, and I don’t go by what others state, I go by what I have read. I voted for Kylar because I know Kylar. I know that he’s amazingly good at what he does. Sure, I’ll take your word for it that Cale might win, but I haven’t read the books so I can’t say for certain. So, if I can’t say for certain, I vote for my favorite. Also, I try to go by what would happen in a TRUE fight, without all these rules. The fact is, Kylar is immortal;, he can keep coming back. Not only that, there are probably many things that Kylar would choose to do instead of a straight on fight like this. For one, all he needs to do is go invisible and shank Cale with the Ka’kari. I’m pretty sure Cale wouldn’t be able to regenerate from a wound the Ka’Kari inflicted.

    Now, I suggest you stop bashing Kylar fans, as you wouldn’t want your favorite charcter bashed on either.

  • Chris

    @Lee Yeah, I’ll second everything you said in response to JohME. I’ll also recommend the Cale series to you. Quite enjoyable and similar to NAT.
    @Asteron The ka’kari is sentinent, which is a major factor as that was the reason Durzo’s dagger was eaten. Kylar was initially using it as a tool, so devouring his clothes was its way of getting his attention.

  • Metacognition

    JohME: I’m very sorry to say that I was really looking forward to reading Kemp’s books (I didn’t vote, as I don’t know both characters). I thought the argument back and forth here was (for the most part) very well handled and very thorough. I already respected Cale as an opponent after reading through the write up and after hearing all the praise others were giving to him, I was eager to jump into Cale’s story.
    Your poor reaction to the outcome has dampened that. Not enough to keep me from reading them, as I won’t blame the author for having such lackluster fans, but I’m not as excited as I once was, just because of your narrow mindedness. I want to apologize to KEMP for your attitude, as if this the general reaction of his fan base, I truly feel sorry for him.
    These fights aren’t the end all say all. In my opinion, they are only there to drive discussion. I would’ve never learned as much about Cale (or Kylar for that matter) without the comments and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    So, thank you, JohME. You’ve taken a fun, enlightening debate and turned it childish. I hope you haven’t turned others away from reading Kemp’s books just so they don’t have to associate with you as a fan.

  • Mess

    Well, I do rather admit that while I really do like Kylar, for the purpose of this tournament Durzo would have been a better choice. And I have liked the dialogue from he fans, other than JohME’s whining of course.

    Kemp’s write-ups were all very well done, and the only shame to the defeat of Cale is that he won’t be doing any more write-ups. Of course, though Cale won in the write-up, there were faults in the narrative that resulted only from Mr. Kemp not knowing the character of Kylar perfectly, for which he really cannot be faulted. I can’t stress enough that I am not criticizing Mr. Kemp and his amazing write-up, I just want to provide more facts for ardent supporters of Cale as to why I believe they are still underestimating Kylar Stern. For example, when Kylar had his hands around Cale’s neck, he could have just brought the Ka’kari to his hands and decapitated Cale. Not to mention, at the end when Cale scoops his viscera back into his body and heals, *SPOILER* Kylar would have healed himself at the same time, since he learns very rapid healing right before the confrontation with Khali at the end of Beyond the Shadows.

    @theAKpal – Well, there are flaws in your reasoning. *MORE SPOILERS for the rest of this paragraph* First, the Black can devour everything but Curoch and Iures, and can only absorb so much before the energy needs to be released. As seen when he snatched the diamonds out of the neck of the Ferali when he and Vi were going to kill the Godking and absorbed so much magic that he glowed while still invisible. As for the krul army… if he’d have tried that, everyone would have been slaughtered long before he could have devoured millions and millions of krul. Not to mention that after he’d just had to kill Elene, the literal love of his entire life, he wasn’t thinking clearly. When it comes to Khali, if Kylar had used the Black rather than using Curoch, then he may have been able to kill Khali (assuming she didn’t see it coming and just become disembodied again), but then the Vir wouldn’t have died as well. Doing that required the use of Curoch, unless he wanted to hunt down all the Vir everywhere and devour them one at a time. And keep in mind that Durzo never said he wanted the other Ka’kari destroyed, only that he wanted to keep them out of the hands of people that would misuse them… it’s been hinted more than once, especially in Perfect Shadow, that gathering all the Ka’kari as well as Curoch and Iures is required for some unknown purpose. And finally, Kylar is intelligent enough to use the Black effectively, the problem is that he had neither knowledge or training for the overwhelming majority of the Trilogy. I’ve been reading these matches under the assumption that they take place AFTER the final events of Beyond the Shadows, when he starts to get a grasp on what he can do.

    @Asteron Like Chris said, *EVEN MORE SPOILERS* the Black Ka’kari is sentient and it can choose what it devours and how much. The reason the Black didn’t devour Durzo and Kylar is because it bonded with them in a symbiotic co-existence. They were immune to being devoured in the same way that bearers of the Red Ka’kari were immune to being burned by their own magical fire. Of course, they were still affected to degrees, having their scents, poisons (including alcohol) and other things devoured from their body.

    I want to echo the sentiments of Lathspell, Lee Monroe, and Metacognition.

    Finally, what I know of Cale I learned from a friend who is an ardent fan of his, so again I can’t express enough that I’m not an expert. But the amazing write-up by Mr. Kemp and many of Cale’s fans (with the obvious exception of JohME) here that have participated in this discussion have assured that I will be reading these books the next chance I get the funds together to go buy books.

  • Not Telling

    @Lee Monroe
    This is to the DEATH, not DEATHS. Any people who have more than one life only need to die once, OK. It’s bugging me that Kylar fans are saying, “he can come back after he dies!!!11!” PEOPLE ONLY MUST DIE ONCE TO LOSE.

    That being said, I am planning on reading Kylar’s books after MBotF, Temeraire, and Erevis Cale. They sound like a good series.

    Don’t be a fanboy. Fanboys ruin series for me, I don’t need the series to be ruined for me.

    @everyone looking for new books
    Try the website, “”. You can trade books to people to recieve credits, and use credits to get books from people. They are lacking some books, but it’s a nice way to get rid of books you don’t want, and get books you’ve heard about and want to try.

  • Josue

    We need to have Kylar Vs Drizzt Do’Urden. :3

  • Warby


    Your so right. I’m just reading the Forgotten Realm books, the battle between them would be so amazing. It would have to be a couple of pages long, to bad they didn’t put Drizzt in the poll.

  • Asteron


    Drizzt was in it 2 years ago and took 3rd


    *****SPOILERS******?I’m sorry, but you are making extrapolations that were never mentioned in the books. First off, the Black SAID OUTRIGHT that it could not control what it devours. Also, Durzo used the black to steal Curoch back from the woods (the name of which escapes me.) Which is long after the black abandoned him. Thus, he wouldn’t have been protected from any symbiotic relationship (which isn’t mentioned in the book, btw…)

    Second, Curoch and Iures are the only examples that we get to see that the Black can’t devour. I would venture to guess that the Earrings that he and Vi wore were also impervious because of their potent magic (just hoping that is the case, otherwise they were just an annoying plot devices that diminishes the books a bit for me.) Perhaps there are other things that it wouldnt be able to devour, like the other ka’kari, or the new Blade of Heaven…******END SPOILER******

    My point is, you are coming up with info that was never put in the books…

    Rake will totally own Kylar just as bad as he would have Cale…

  • Mess

    Asteron, yes, I am coming up with information that was never said explicitly in the books, but some of which can be inferred from things that were said in the books.

    *SPOILERS until the end* About the symbiotic relationship, it essentially defines the relationship between the Black and its bearer. If it weren’t, it would have no need to find a bearer in the first place. The bearer gets access to their Talent, immortality, and numerous other benefits that they would not have without the Black Ka’kari. It, on the other hand, not only finds someone that will act with it on its ideals; but its magic is powered by the love of its bearer. Without a bearer, the Black Ka’kari is just a metal sphere imbued with latent magic and sentience. Two beings co-existing in a way that benefits both parties involved is the very definition of a symbiotic relationship, regardless if the terms was used in the books or not.
    As for the Black choosing what it can devour, it’s something that can be extrapolated from a conversation between Kylar and the Black Ka’kari. When Kylar asks it to stop devouring his things, the Black says that it “won’t comply” not that it “cannot comply.” It even goes into its speech about how devouring things is in its nature and about the eventual futility of fighting one’s own nature. It can be done for a while, but not forever. Durzo even tells Kylar later in Beyond the Shadows that the being Kylar is sharing his head with is more powerful and sentient than he knows, only acting simpler in order to keep from scaring Kylar until he gets used to it. And if this is indeed the case it explains why Durzo wasn’t devoured when he went into Ezra’s Wood to get Curoch, as the Black Ka’kari did not want to devour him even though we know it can devour people.
    The true Ceur’caelestos aside since it would be flimsy speculation no matter which side one chooses to take, Curoch and Iures are the only confirmed things the Black cannot devour… and there is a logical explanation for those. Ezra, who created both Curoch and Iures, had studied the Black Ka’kari in extreme detail and could have forged both to be immune to the Black’s devouring effects. At the very least, we know Iures was made after Curoch and the other six Ka’kari. Now, why Kylar didn’t (or couldn’t) devour the earrings is a very debatable issue, as I myself can imagine multiple reasons. Aside from being incapable, it’s highly plausible that it couldn’t devour the earring because of its compulsion. Kylar would have had to have willed the Ka’kari to devour them, which the compulsion could easily have rendered moot. The same thing happens when Khali takes control over him at the end of Beyond the Shadows; he could have broken the compulsion but he would have needed to be able to actually will it to happen.

  • keegan

    i am a Kylar fan and have not yet read any of Kemp’s books about Cale. That being said, it is my understanding from the material provide here about Cale that this is one fight that never should happen and if it does will never really end. When u get down to the bare basic’s about both characters, there prity much the same.

  • gary

    How do you vote here? I can’t seem to find any way to do it.

  • mike mann

    kylars ka’kari can eat organic material. it doesnt eat kylar because it is intelligent and CHOSE kylar as a host. its not that it CANT devour him…. it chooses not to. and no it wouldnt just eat cale. kylar still would have to make the ka’kari come into contact with cale in order to do that. the ka’kari can not simply reach out and grab stuff on its own after al

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