Cage Match 2012: Final Four Recap!


Granny_Weatherwax recap

I realize we never did a Round 4 recap, but, well, people won, and then made it to the Final Four.

And two of those characters lost.

I’ll start with Granny Weatherwax, as I think she was one of the more controversial characters in the competition. Why?

Because no one seemed to know what her powers were, so the write-ups tended to be a little…action light.

Well, can I point out that that’s what Cage Match is (slightly) all about? To learn about characters you aren’t familiar with, and figure out why they might do the things they do?

For, with Granny (as people in the comments pointed out), she really is way more powerful than you might imagine. But, her powers aren’t what you might consider “typical” fantasy characteristics. Rather, because of Terry Pratchett’s ability to both revere and skewer the genre we all love, her magic comes almost as much from respect and expectations than it does from a “magic system.”

Hence the write-up. While we often do write-ups to provoke reactions, we also like to do write-ups that don’t show the obvious ending. Rather, we want you to see how, just maybe, a character could take out a seemingly more powerful one. Yet, in this case, I honestly believe she would have beaten Kylar–that she was, indeed, the stronger character.

And that has nothing against Kylar Stern, Brent Weeks, or his fans. Brent is an amazing writer (who we’ve been luck to have involved in some of the early rounds of Cage Match 2012), and one of the reasons he is so good is because his characters are flawed. Kylar is very strong, but he’s also very raw. And, while the black ka’kari is indeed an amazing artifact/being, one thing Granny is phenomenal at is understanding and influencing other beings…no matter how alien.

Could she definitely have won? No, of course not. But is it interesting to explore how she could have won?


As for the fans–the idea was not to insult them (you), but rather use “the fan” as a way to be able to shoot down any arguments pre-emptively.

Apparently it didn’t work.

Still, if you haven’t read Pratchett, and want to know more about Granny Weatherwax, do yourself a favor and get into Discworld. You won’t be disappointed.

And, obviously, congratulations to Kylar, a worthy member of the Cage Match 2012 finals.

So who will he be facing?

Surprise, surprise: a Wheel of Time character!

Moiraine was a no-brainer Number 1 seed, and she proved it time and again. Again, with many of these matches, her beating Rake didn’t come without a bit of controversy. Did her being popular help her win? Of course–like the gods, sometimes a character’s power derives from the fervor of their followers’ beliefs. Does that mean she couldn’t beat Rake? I’m not sure–I think she could, but I think it would take one of those once-in-a-million battles.

But I also think that’s what fantasy is about. The hero, against all odds, beating someone they didn’t think they had a chance against.

Cage Match tries to have a little bit of that every year.

Thanks so much for making this year’s so much fun, and enjoy the Championship!

Once again we got a great write up from fan Abyss. Thanks!

So here’s the breakdown from Round 5 (winners in bold; % = percentage of vote for winner). You can check out all the matches and brackets here.

Miskatonic University: Field House division against Starfleet Academy: Holodeck division

  • Moiraine Damodred versus Rake: 3,326 to 1,989 (61.93%)

Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: Danger Room division against Hogwarts: Quidditch Pitch division

  • Granny Weatherwax versus Kylar Stern: 1,164 to 1823 (61.03%)

And don’t forget: The Finals starts Monday, April 9th at 10 AM EST, right here on Unbound

And one last thing: We hear you all, concerning the state of the write-ups (and while we don’t necessarily agree, we definitely hear you!). So, as such, we want YOU to give us how you think the fight will go.

The one we like best will be kept on the site permanently, with the writer getting full credit.

If you want to start submitting, just start placing your write-ups in the comments below.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Granny image courtesy of Outskirts Battle Dome

  • Baco

    How’s about a third place battle, eh?
    Come on Abyss, write us a Rake vs. Granny.
    However, I do envision that as being one long conversation……or one short sword swing.

  • JOE

    I honestly didn’t expect Moiraine to win that. I’m a HUGE wheel of time fan… and I still thought that it could have gone either way, but somehow I expected more people to side with Rake.
    I was certain Kylar would win the Cage Match a few rounds back… and now despite his continued presence, I begin to doubt…

  • Shopvac311

    Love both of these characters. To be honest, I think Kylar has more “power” assuming he has his… tricks. But i know Moiraine is a LOT more wise than Kylar, and that i think could give her the edge. However if you look at this as Moiraine being Kylar’s Deader then the tides may change. I really don’t care who wins, just happy the two I chose to favor made it.
    Can the Black Kakari eat Balefire?

  • David

    the oddest thing about this match up is how both of these characters would have struggled killing most of there competitors due to there moral codes. I think Balefire is the sole reason people have placed moraine this far and The KaKari is why Kylar fans have put him this far so to me this fight comes down to Balefire Vs KaKari. One will unmake the other or rip the entire metaverse(yes i know it isnt a word but i like it anyway) apart…

  • Not Telling

    I am dissapointed in the outcome of Rake’s match, as the WoT fans admitted to making it a popularity match. I would say that Cagematch can survive one year without a WoT character, anyone agree?

    I am voting for Kylar next round, as he seems to be perfectly suited to dealing with Moiraine, so my vote is what I think will happen, not out of spite.

    Characters I want to see next year:

    Malazan – Kruppe, Karsa, or Fiddler
    Mistborn – Rashek or Marsh
    WoT – None
    Earthsea – Geb (I know he was already in, but I think he deserves another shot)
    aSoIaF – None (same reason as WoT)
    Harry Potter – None
    Erevis Cale Trilogy – Azriim
    Temeraire – Lien

    I will add to this list later, not yet complete.

  • Not Telling

    More people on the list:

    Doctor Who – The Doctor
    The Lost Gate – Danny North

    Still not done, will post more later.

  • Not Telling

    Even more characters for the list:

    Bartimaeus – Bartimaeus (Kinda OP compared to normal humans though, provided they don’t have silver or iron)
    Graceling – King Leck

    Excepct more later, then a complete list soon afterwords!

    Oh, and Suvudu, can you have popular demand matches at some point? I bet a lot of us want to see Rand fight Rake, even if it’s just a writeup.

  • OB1Kenobi

    Although I’m not sure if the Doctor would be eligible as he isn’t originally from a book, I agree that it would be awesome to have him next year. Also would love to see some more characters from the night angel trilogy.

  • Not Telling

    From what I’ve heared about Kylar (and WoT fans, I’ve heared even more insane things Moiraine can supposedly so, so no flaming this post), he could go invisible and stab Moiraine in the back of the neck (bet the WoT fans would say she could heal herself there). Now, I know what Moiraine can do, and I know she isn’t a ‘Powerful channeler’ like the fans say she is. She is mediocre for an Aes Sedai, not at the level of Rand, as some fans are making her out to be. The Wheel not being done with her is not a good argument, and neither is the Pattern being everything in every universe. If that were true, the main character of every series would likely be a Ta’veren, who has even MORE influence than she does. Lastly, Balefire is not the autowin button people say it is. Nynaeve in skirts dodges it twice in a few pages, most characters are faster than Nynaeve in skirts. Therefor, most people have a fair shot of dodging it.

    That is all, for now. Well, more like a few minutes, but who cares?

  • freaker

    people I want to see in next year’s cage match : )

    Marsh from Mistborn. C’mon! Pweeese?

    Durzo Blint from Night Angel Trilogy. He’s MUCH more smart than Kylar, and well, he’s Durzo.

    Jace Wayland or Clary from the Mortal Instruments series.

    Mortimer Folchart from the Inkworld Trilogy.

    If any one of them make it to next year’s cage match, I’ll be extremely happy.

  • Not Telling

    Also, forgot to mention something. Someone outside of fate can have extreme effects on it, as shown in the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning game. There would be no thread in the Pattern for them, therefore they could change it.

    This is my last post this morning, or at least this five hour period.

    Totally random, but my idea for a magic system in a book. Based on the five ‘Planes’, as in seperate planes of reality, each plane is stronger than the next.
    1st plane – Your average fantasy mage, simple elemental control.
    2nd plane – Stronger than average fantasy mage, mental control.
    3rd plane – This is where it gets tricky, third plane is spatial control, control of the third dimension.
    4th plane – Very complicated, fourth plane is temporal control. Strong and rare, most fourth plane users would mop the floor with contestants here.
    5th plane – WAY overpowered, control over the four basic forces. These are gravity, electromagnitism, Strong Force, and Weak Force. The last two are what makes it overpowered, allowing users to disentigrate atoms. EXTREMELY rare, one born in maybe 1,000,000 years.
    Any thoughts?

    One last thing to say; So long and thanks for all the fish!

  • Not Telling

    Yes, he would be eligible, The Master and Cartman were in the villains match first year, and The Doctor has appeared in books based on the show.

    Yes, let Ironeyes in next year, Suvudu!
    Not sure about M.I. series, maybe. Simon would be a better choice IMO. Of course, the Mark of Caine is kinda cheap, right?
    Maybe for Mo, does he have any books handy? If so, he has a shot.

    Alright everyone, I lied about that being my last post. This one now is.

  • freaker

    @Not Telling

    Yeah, maybe not M.I series… Oh and yes, Mo with a book. If that’s allowed, I think it’ll make interesting materials for write ups. : )

    Also another person that would be interesting to see in next year’s cage match

    Torak from Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Yeah, I don’t think he’d last that long, but it would be interesting…

  • Metacognition

    @ Not Telling:
    Really? For next year, you’re more than willing to leave out WoT characters, but are still willing to put Malaz characters in the running?
    Isn’t that kind of a one sided interest, considering you’re a known Malaz fan? True, the characters you’ve picked out are better than some, but if you want to call for NO characters on one side and support your own… well, that just seems like you’re trying to stack the deck.

    Personally, I’d like to see some other authors that we haven’t seen yet.
    Caliban, from the Nightlife series interests me for these cage matches.
    How about Asher, from the Innocent Mage? Breaker from The Wizard Lord? Kaladin from the Way of Kings? Hell, even characters from Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality for that matter!

    The entire idea is to bring new books to the readers in an entertaining way and you won’t do that by continuing to introduce them to the same series over and over again and in that right, I’d agree with you, but your favoritism for the Malaz books over WoT seems almost too personal (please don’t make me hunt for quotes by you throughout the threads here) for me to disregard your willingness to shun WoT and still add in your own candidate. At least be fair.

  • Plan R

    They did do a cage match without a WOT character in it, the Villians matches a couple years ago, you know who won? A WOT character, no acually it was an aSoIaF character. Who Rand trounced in the supplemental match afterwards. The good folks at suvudu are welcome to include or exclude any characters they want. But wining it all in a cage match that did not involve a WOT character would be a hollow victory, Quick Ben winning it all last year is awesome because he went through brackets that included WOT, aSoIaF, and a Mistborn characters, that’s why he is the Champion, not a paper champion, if you have to gimp the field in your favor, its not a win, its just pity.

  • Not Telling

    I don’t think that Torak would last long, he can’t do much besides spirit walk. He never actually does much in the books, but maybe he could be in.

    I’m not saying that becuase I want Malazan to win next year, but becuase I want other series to have a chance. Again, I vote for who I think would win, not my favorite character. Now stop acusing me of saying that for selfish reasons and think about it. That way, some books have a chance of winning, not being taken out first round by a WoT charater. Fine maybe include a weak on, but NOT Mat. Yes, he’s my favorite WoT character, but a lot of WoT fans said they would vote for him in any match. Include one if you want, but NOT Mat.

    @Plan R
    That’s why I said no aSoIaF characters. They are the other group that can turn it into a popularity match.

    Updated character list due to these comments:

    WoT – Min Farshaw
    CoAD – Torak
    Mistborn (other possiblity) – Sazed (not final boss mode)

    All done now, remember, keep calm and eat cake!

  • Bruce

    @ Plan R

    Eh, you could argue that QB was still a paper champion who only won due to massive amounts of cheating by his fanbase (over 4 times as many votes as Rake got…seriously), and the good fortune to be facing an unpopular WoT character. It was stated on the other board that the methods usually used by the WoT fanbase to win were not used in that match because Perrin wasn’t well-liked enough for them to decide he ‘deserved’ to win… and even still, he got 6000 votes, which would have trashed anyone in this year’s contest. It’s not any less pity if your opponent decides to let you win and you still have to cheat to do so.

    In the end everyone knows that the WoT character will win, so they would rather have a tourney without one so that the matches will be more interesting (to the non-WoT fans that is).

  • PrinceInTheSpring

    Since so many others have been suggesting for next year, I figure I’ll put in my two sense:

    Bartamaeus: This would be a really cool character to see, and if they could somehow include footnotes in his battles, that would be awesome!
    Will, Halt, or Horace from Ranger’s Apprentice: Hear me out, I know that these guys are from a children/young adult series, but they could really kick butt in this tournament. Will and Halt could have beaten more than half of this year’s entries and Horace is more than a match for any other swordsman.
    Brienne of Tarth: I wouldn’t really expect her to go far, but she would be good to have in there.
    And my personal favourite:

    Darth Bane: His first book is my favourite book EVER. Such a good character, powerful, evil, and would make for some great write ups.

  • PrinceInTheSpring

    *cents* sorry about that…

  • Shadow’sBane

    @Not Telling
    i support your recommendation of Having Bartimaeus in the Cage Matches…he totally rocks…but getting his voice right might be a problem…

    if cage matches are not to be as Popularity contests than Division within cage matches in very necessary.
    Light-Weight-Division :
    melee/range fighters with no magic,
    though slight enhanced ability may be included

    Middle-Weight Division :
    regular Wizards/Sorcerer/Channelers/Mages,
    highly Enhanced ability characters,
    weak and medium Monsters

    Heavy-Weight Division :
    Highly Powerful Wizards/Sorcerer/Channelers/Mages,
    Powerful Monsters,
    Powerful Demons,
    Powerful Entities.

  • Plan R

    If suvudu were to make changes to the matches they should go with groups or armies instead of singles matches. I would love to see matches like The Band of the Red Hand vs The Black Company, or The Bridgeburners vs Bridge 4. I think group matches would make for better write ups and better discussions. Even when there are mismatches in strength it is more probable that a group would over come the odds the one lone warrior vs someone like Rake or Sparhawk.

  • Not Telling

    Complete list (so far) of who I want to be in:
    WoT – Min Farshaw
    CoAD – Torak
    Mistborn – Sazed (not final boss mode), Rashek or Marsh
    Bartimaeus – Bartimaeus (Kinda OP compared to normal humans though, provided they don’t have silver or iron)
    Graceling – King Leck
    Doctor Who – The Doctor
    The Lost Gate – Danny North
    Malazan – Kruppe, Karsa Orlong, or Fiddler
    Earthsea – Geb (I know he was already in, but I think he deserves another shot)
    aSoIaF – None
    Harry Potter – None
    Erevis Cale Trilogy – Azriim
    Temeraire – Lien
    Wardstone – Tom Ward
    Inkheart – Mo Folchart

  • Not Telling

    Oh, and Galbitorix from Eragon. He’s pretty strong.

    Eragon – Galbitorix

  • Not Telling

    Oh, and Malazan isn’t the biggest fandom on here. Not even the second or third biggest. They would have as much of a chance as anyone.

  • Not Telling

    @Plan R
    Naw, I don’t think groups would work. Maybe more ‘Common’ people, such as T’lan Imass or or Razac, but not a group.

  • OrchestructionX

    Next year I know for sure I would love to see these characters for sure.

    Robert Jordan – Mat
    Brandon Sanderson – Kaladin
    George Martin – Daenerys or Milisandre
    RA Salvatore – Cadderly

  • Not Telling

    y Kylar Stern versus Moiraine Damodred Writeup

    Kylar willed the Ka’kari to render him invisible, approached Moiraine from behind, and planted a dagger in her neck.


    Moiraine unleashed Balefire and removed her opponent from existance.


    The stranger was a whirl of knives as he ducked and weaved under, around, or through Lan’s guard. Both parties had inflicted slight scratches, but no serious wounds, though, amazingly, Lan seemed to be slowing. With a start, Moiraine realized the knives were poisoned.
    She had been unable to assist in the fight at all; the stranger seemed to dissolve any weave the moment it touched him, and she couldn’t dare use Balefire, as she might catch Lan in the blast as well.
    Lan was doing poorly now, he was unable to get enough of a break to switch to the offensive, and was hard pressed to block serious wounds. With a grunt, a knife found its way into his chest, and he dropped to the ground.
    Rage filled Moiraine, rage at the stranger, rage at Lan for losing, and rage at the Pattern for making this happen, and she began to weave. When the ground was blasted from underneath the young mans feet, he climbed out of the resulting pit, balls of fire dissipated harmlessly against him. Drawing more Saidar than she had ever before, she wove Balefire, and it lanced forth at the man before her. He barely had time to blink in surprise before he vanished from sight.
    Running over to Lan, she sighed in relief at the faint rising and falling of his chest.
    ‘I may be able to heal him,’ she thought. Just before she completed her weave, however, she felt the unexpected pain of a dagger in her back.
    “I don’t kill innocents, but you killed the last hope of another world. You have the death of a world on your hands, and that is not innocent,” the young man said as the life faded from her eyes.
    Predicted winner: Kylar Stern

    Ok, sorry if I screwed up on Kylar. Did I get him close to right? Its the best I can do, I haven’t read his book!

    If you didn’t get the first two parts, those are the fans excuses of how each character autowins. I just thought it could be an amusing part of a writeup. My inspiration was from Moiraine versus Jardir for those two parts.

    Hope it gets chosen!

    My reasoning on three parts

    1 – I figured Lan needed to be defeated for WoT fans to not cry foul about leaving him out. However, this is against MOIRAINE, not LAN.

    2 – Weaves don’t work on Kylar due to the Black. He can also climb out of any pit Moiraine digs, so Saidar is rather useless.

    3 – Balefire doesn’t work because the Black Ka’kari absorbs it. This is due to the Black either always existing, or it being a god-made object, due to the fact that there is no other way a sentient blob of metal could evolve. Thus, Ka’kari beats Balefire.

  • Not Telling

    Oops, typo. The first word of my last post is missing an M.

    BTW, the whole thing was typed on an iPhone, then emailed to a computer, where the completely unedited version was promply posted. Will try to post an edited version later!

  • freaker

    @Not Telling Kylar wasn’t too out of character-nice! : )

    Although WoT fans might have a thing or two to say about it…

  • Metacognition

    Oh I’m not trying to hate on the Malaz fan base, sorry if you got that impression, but after everything I’ve heard of the books throughout this and last years matches, I find it difficult to think that the characters there wouldn’t be any more OP than someone from the WoT.
    That’s why I wouldn’t mind seeing the next battles filled with characters from series that we HAVEN’T had in the cage matches before. After all, how are we to have new book series to read if we continue to repeat the same series? That’s why all my suggestions were from series we haven’t seen yet.

  • Not Telling

    Sorry, not trying to bash on WoT fans either. Heck, I like the series myself, I just like Malazan more. I tried to reccomend weaker characters from Malazan to make way for a champion from another series, but WoT fans would have found a way to cheat to bring Mat victory, and he is almost definently going to show up next year. If you look, I just brought up the point that WoT SHOULD have a represenative next year, just not a popular one. Therefore, I reccomended Min.

    For those that don’t know, Suvudu is offering to accept writeups posted on the comments here, their favorites will be up on the site permenantly. I don’t want to win because no-one else shows up!

  • Shade

    Nice write up. In this battle, I can’t see how Kylar would lose. Against Rake… /maybe,/ considering it would really come down to swordsmanship, but even then Kylar has been trained with every weapon and against every weapon.
    Against Moraine, no contest. The Devourer gives him the edge.

  • Tye

    Next year:

    Warbreaker (Sanderson)- Vasher
    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Abraham Lincoln
    Runelords- Gaborn Val Orden
    Farseer- Verity Farseer
    Sword of Truth- Cara
    Acacia- Aliver Akaran
    Wheel of Time- Bella

  • Matador

    @ Metacognition
    The problem with Malaz characters vs WoT characters the last few years is that Suvudu seems to have selected the MOST OP characters from the Malazverse, against comparative lightweights. It makes it difficult to argue that the WoT characters (especially Perrin, I mean… c’mon. Seriously?) could pull off a win. Rake in particular is a ridiculous character to enter an a fair playing field, so as much as I am keen to see Moiraine go down in flames (have never liked the woman), it’s hard for me to complain too much about fanbases being the difference.

    As much as it irks me to agree with some of the commenters, the competition IS about fanbases. Power-wise, there are some results that just don’t hold up otherwise (ie. Morrolan e’Drien getting wiped out in round 1, or Rachel Morgan making it so far in). Steven Brust is one of my favourite authors, and I still think he deserved a better run than one round… But with small fandoms, it rolls that way. You have to think someone at Suvudu knows this as well, otherwise including characters like Tyrion Lannister in the same bracket as Kellhus or the Dagda Mor would be laughable. It just seems odd to me that this question only seems to rear it’s head when the big fandoms are involved.

    I’d love to see fresh blood… If only because I’m having a tough time finding new authors right now. But the fans will always have the final say.

  • Tim

    Have we had anyone from the Scavenger trilogy by KJ Parker? Poldarn or Monach could be pretty good. Not overpowered, having little to no magic, but able to give most characters a run for their money.

    From the Erevis books, have we had Mags or Riven yet? Or any of the princes of Shade? Any of them would be pretty cool. And if they wanted a real heavyweight they could put in Furlinastis (I think that was his name. The massive shadow dragon thing).

    On the Bartimaeus books, Kitty could be interesting, seeing as she has that spell resist thing. And as an alternative to having Bartimaeus in, Jabor or Faquarl could be good.

    Have we had characters from The Belgariad before? Because just about any of them would be great. Belgarath, Polgara, Silk, Barak, Belgarion, any of the villains…

    From the Nightangel trilogy, I would love to see Solonariwan Tofusin in one of these. Garoth Ursuul, Vi Souvari, or Scarred Wrable would also be cool, though if the point’s to introduce people to new series, there might not be much point due to the number of people who have said they’d try out NA after these matches.

    I don’t think Torak would be good to have in these. He’d just be a super easy kill for nearly any character.

    From Ranger’s Apprentice, Will and Halt could be interesting, as they might have enough subtlety to make up for their lack of power at least for a couple rounds. I don’t think Horace would be a great idea though.

    Galbatorix from Inheritance could be interesting, might end up being a kind of unbeatable-save-by-fanpower Rake though. Better option might be Brom or Arya – powerful, but don’t dictate the rules of the universe.

    I’m not sure I like the idea of having The Doctor in this. I have a nasty suspicion he could end up another Zaphod…

  • Metacognition

    I hear you there. Mat is probably my favorite character from WoT and with the way his luck plays, it’d be 10 times worse than Zaphod’s improbability drive, meaning he’d take it for no other reason than, “just cause” (as it stands, I think Min would get eaten alive within these contests. Aviendha would stand a better chance, IMO). Hell, I’d probably still vote for him based on his entertainment value to the series, but that’s why I want to see nothing but new books for the next one. No favoritism for the more “popular” books and a chance to find new series/books to read.
    If you haven’t hit up those that have been used within multiple cage matches yet… well, you’re wrong. There’s a reason they are brought up time and again. I personally just bought the Gardens of the Moon because a series that has made it in here twice HAS to be worth reading.

    To answer your challenge, I offer up this humble write up. I’ve read both NAT and WoT, so we’ll see how well this goes:

    Kylar watched from the rafters as Moraine entered the cathedral. Shadows played within the space between the torches that lit the walkway between the pews. Upon the altar there was a simple note. It read in a simple hand: Moraine Damodred.
    Moraine glided down the walkway with a grace born of years within a noble house and even more years as an Aes Sedai. Her eyes never seemed to search, but every glance said that she had taken in her surroundings, seeing every crack within the pillars. As she reached the altar, she slightly frowned at the note left for her before channeling. She had been too long trained in the Game of Houses for her to actually touch the note. Even though her weaves didn’t reveal any traps, they wouldn’t stop something more mundane. In truth, she almost burned it on the spot, but she had come too far for her to give in to such childish notions now.

    Kylar didn’t know exactly what happened, but he saw his note lift off the altar without being touched. The seal was removed as she read.
    “So much for the easy way,” Kylar said to himself. He’d laced the paper with a contact poison that would numb any creature that came into contact with it. Since he wasn’t sure what properties his opponent would have, it was best to err on the side of caution and something that even slowed his opponent down even just a bit would be more than enough of an opening for him.

    Moraine read the note with little expression, yet her eyebrows wanted to rise.

    “Moraine Damodred,
    It seems that we are destined to meet. I do not like games, so let us finish this ruse. If you are holding this, SURPRISE! If not, well… surprise anyways

    Quickly Moraine dropped the note and spun around, looking every which way, yet taking it all in. Suddenly a figure dropped before her. It wasn’t quite entirely there. Blue lightning against the black seemed to emphasize every curve of it’s muscular body and the mask that seemed to be it’s face showed on emotion except disfavor.
    “So you are the so called Night Angel,” she said diffidently only slightly looking up to him. “I expected someone taller.”
    The blue flames flared as she weaved sheets of flame around him.
    The illusion burst into smaller fragments than dust mites. “Crap, ” Kylar whispered. He was still only halfway down a pillar behind Moraine by this point. Not where he wanted to be, but maybe still close enough. He swiftly threw two daggers at her.
    The two daggers almost lazily fell to the ground from the shield of air she had woven around herself before she even entered the cathedral. Moraine spun around, catching her first glimpse of her opponent. It was only a glimpse though, as he shot off away from where he was towards another pillar as soon as the daggers flew. Channeling towards the pillar where he would land, she focused earth and fire.

    Kylar expected to have something to latch onto, but just as he reached his target, it burt into flames. No, it BECAME flames! The entire pillar was gone and the building shook from losing one it’s supports. There was nothing he could do but pass through it. Gritting his teeth, he finished his leap as the flames licked at him for an instant. Charred flesh and screaming nerves reminded him of one of the many rules Durzo had drilled into him: Don’t leap around, as it only let’s your opponent know where you’ll be. He felt stupid for discounting his opponent so far, after all, only the best would have made it this far.
    He didn’t let the pain stop him though, as he dodged between pillars, slowly circling his deader.

    Moraine almost grunted after trying to capture the shadowy figure with weaves of air the first time. It almost seemed as if the weaves were sucked in and only her cutting off the weave herself stopped them from devouring every last inch of saidar. After that rude lesson, she contented herself with fireballs and eruptions of earth and everything else she could throw at him. If the one power couldn’t touch him, the effects possibly still could. Yet the shadow was FAST. It wasn’t as if he was hard to follow. After her attempt to catch him with air, he seemed to almost glow, yet every time she thought she knew where he would land, he changed directions.

    Kyalr dodged for all he was worth. He barely ducked a fireball there only to be confronted with the earth rising to meet him right afterward. He spun and twisted and tumbled his way around the building, barely one step ahead of the chaos left behind him. He felt the rhythm of the battle sweeping through him and was able to time out every move as if they were planned by an orchestra. The crash of the fire hitting a wall was the crash of the cymbals, the shattering of earth, the beat of the drums.
    “Almost there,” he said to himself as he started back to where he first leap from.

    It was growing dimmer. It wasn’t till after she could barely see anything but this Night Angel that Moraine noticed that she’d doused most of the torches around her during her attempt to destroy him. She tsked herself for being so careless, but was done was done. She wouldn’t be able to weave at targets she couldn’t see, so she let up her assault long enough to weave a blue orb of light, balanced above her head. In her moment of distraction, she lost sight of her opponent.

    “There!” Kylar thought, as the destruction around him faltered for half a second. Using the Ka’kari, he wrapped it around himself as he stopped where he was and went invisible. He was standing almost right in front of the altar, where this battle began. On silent feet, he started towards her…

    Moraine looked around, hoping to catch a glimpse of Kylar. She had heard of his ability to become invisible, but never expected it to be like this! Weaving earth and air, she gathered the dust and ash from around the shattered remains of their fight and wove them into the air around her in a swirl. A humanish shape emerged before her, not two paces away. She smiled slightly. It was time to end this. Though she didn’t like using it unless it was needed, it was now or never.She began weaving the flows for Balefire…

    A small quirk of her lips and a light of recognition in her eyes was all the warning Kylar had. He’d been spotted. Almost without thought, he threw himself away from where he’d been. A beam of fire and light seared through the air where he had been standing and even with the slight warning, it still caught him on his shoulder as he dived away.
    “OOOOWWWWW!!!” Echoed the Ka’Kari in his head. “I don’t know what the hell that was, but it’s like getting hit by Curoch! Let’s not do that again!”
    Kylar wasn’t about to argue, but the beam kept on coming. Everywhere it touched, walls, pillars, pews, everything seemed to disappear. He threw a a dagger at it only to have it vanish, reappear within his hand for half a second as if it had never been thrown, then it was gone as if it had never been. He barely kept ahead of the beam as it cut away behind him. Finally, knowing he could go no farther, he ducked underneath it along on of the walls to the cathedral, keeping his invisibility going. Luckily the beam continued on and Kylar climbed the wall back up to the ceiling again.

    Moraine saw the Balefire hit him, but since he didn’t just vanish, she wasn’t willing to count on a glancing blow to finish him off. He’d dived off to her right, so she continued the beam that way even though she could no longer see him as she shattered the ash and dust she’d kicked up before. halfway across the room, she finally stopped. Was it done? Could she finally move on to more important tasks?
    The only warning she had was the shock of the web of air around her being severed. Her eyes widened in shock as she felt a slight pinch on her shoulder, but when she whipped around, there was no one there. What seemed to her as very slowly, she eyed her shoulder, where a tiny droplet of crimson blood was just starting to bead. She felt her legs weaken and her breath started coming in bursts. Before she knew what had happened, she was staring at the legs of on of the pews, inches from her face. As darkness closed in, she found herself thinking, “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel will.”

    Kylar made his way back up the silk rope he’d hung from the rafters earlier. He’d hung it there ‘just in case,’ but he was very glad Durzo had made him plan for every eventuality. Without it, he didn’t know what he would have done.
    At least if was finally finished. He had plenty on his plate as it was, even after everything and he was sure that none of it was going to go any easier than this.

    So, that wound up taking longer and thus being longer than I thought it would. I tried to account for all the possible things I thought they could throw at each other and at the same time tried to still keep true to the characters. Hopefully, I didn’t screw it up too bad.
    Oh, and while I’m not sure, I won’t be surprised if there’s a few mistakes throughout. I wrote this during the middle of the night, so please forgive me those.

  • Kosmiczny Duch

    It would be fair if there were two write-ups for the final. One where Kylar wins and one where Moiraine wins. I don’t know if it would make voting more even but it would allow for both fanbases to feel included and respected rather than if only one write-up is written and it is decided Moiraine or Kylar wins through it and causing unnecessarily heated arguments on wether the write-up is fair or not.

    I’m a WoT-fan, have not read anything by Brent Weeks but I like the write-up by @Metacognition. A channeler can be killed as easily as any other human if they fail defending themselves with the OP.

  • Kosmiczny Duch

    The write-up could of course also be written so as to end with a “???” as to who would win.

  • Shade

    Heh, “I expected someone taller.” That wasn’t half bad. You could’ve explained that she’d been poisoned at the end a bit better, but all in all, not bad.

  • Not Telling

    Great writeup, better than mine. Hope that THAT one wins.

  • Not Telling

    The problem with Aviendha is that she’s a Channeler, and therefore WoT fans will think she is automatically unbeatable. The requirements for a WoT character in here should be:

    A – No Channelers. WoT fans assume they autowin everything.
    B – No ta’veren. WoT fans think that every odd will go in thier favor, and ends up with Zaphod like matches where no-one can hit them.

    Maybe Thom would work. What do you think?

  • Arcane

    Characters I want to see next year:

    NAT: Durzo or Dorian(before he goes mad) maybe Vi, just so she can own Cara
    ASoIaF: Khal Drogo
    WoT: Moraine
    Lightbringer: Gavin Guile
    Eervis Cale: Erevis Cale
    Inheritance: Murtagh
    SoT: Cara

  • Jonathan

    Personally, I’m happy enough with the final matches. I’m especially hoping they will continue the tradition of the battle for 3rd place…
    While Malazan, Wheel of Time, and A Song of Ice and Fire tend to do well with the popularity, I don’t think they and other popular series should just be excluded off-hand. The tournament is just as much about seeing your favorite characters fight it out as it is about finding new characters who you might just want to learn about.
    And with that said, I’ll follow the lead of some other here and post some characters I’d like to see…( I’m putting in characters who I would enjoy seeing matches for, not necessarily thinking if they’d win or not).
    Vasher – Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker)
    Gavin Guile – Brent Weeks (Black Prism) (I want to see a fight between Gavin and Vasher…)
    Miles Naismith Vorkosigan – Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan Saga)
    Murphy – Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)
    Jace Wayland – Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments)
    Mo Folchart – Cornelia Funke (Inkheart)
    Bartimaeus – Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus)
    John Ross – Terry Brooks (The Word and the Void)
    Count Olaf – Lemony Snicket (Series of Unfortunate Events)
    Oedipus – Homer (You shouldn’t need me to tell you this one)
    Christopher Carrion – Clive Barker (Abarat)
    Monza Murcatto – Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
    Katsa – Kristin Cashore (Graceling)
    Jig – Jim C. Hines (Goblin Quest)
    Sabriel – Garth Nix (Abhorsen Trilogy)
    Nita – Diane Duane (Young Wizards series)
    John Perry – John Scalzi (Old Man’s War)

  • Jonathan

    Oh my, I completely messed up one of those in my last post. So sorry. Got Oedipus and Odysseus confused. In my defense, they both start with the same sound.

  • Anon

    Characters I think should be included next time:
    Holly- Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer)
    Nico- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Rick Riordan)
    Bean- The Shadow Series (Orson Scott Card)
    Milla- Seventh Tower (Garth Nix)
    Gandalf- The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien)
    The Luggage- Discworld (Terry Pratchett)

  • Tye

    Oh! and also Westley from “The Princess Bride”

  • Terez


  • Metacognition

    I was right about the writing mistakes. There’s more than I would’ve liked there to be, but I think it’s still readable. Thanks for the kind words Kosmiczny. Shade: I thought it would be fairly evident without spelling it out, but perhaps I should’ve added that in a bit better.

  • Metacognition

    Am I the only one that is having difficulties seeing all the comments?

  • Metacognition

    There we go. Now I’m catching everything again. Thanks for the thumbs up Not Telling. It’s not perfect, but I tried.

    The reason I say Aviendha is because she’s a channeler, true, but she doesn’t know how to weave Balefire (I think. I haven’t reread the series in quite a awhile. I’m about to start again on the idea of the last book coming out though). She doesn’t have the all powerful trump card that WoT fans like to play. Without that, channelers in WoT become workable opponents, IMO.

  • Matador

    Balefire is no more a deus ex machina than any other “all-powerful” tool is in any other book… And it seem to be being given so much more power than it probably should be. The assumption seems to be that the One Power is superior to all magics, and that no other form of magic or power can block or nullify Balefire. Hell, cuendillar can do it in the books, which is essentially weaved iron. There are so many magic-nullifying items in literature for it to be a flawless trump card.
    Same goes for being Ta’varen, really. Someone made the point a while back that you’d have to assume that EVERY major character in their own series is automatically a Ta’varen if you go down that path, os it makes it hard to rule it a point in someone’s favour. Hell, if you give every “Chosen One” that has been prophesied about the same advantage, none of them could die… After all, there’s a prophecy involved :p

  • Metacognition

    I kind of forgot to answer your suggestion on Thom, Not Telling, sorry.
    I’ve stated above why I don’t think that ALL channelers necessarily need to be removed, but I think if they don’t go that route, Thom would make a great character. After all, he’s survived more threats (Whitebridge anyone?) that would’ve taken out even some of the hardiest characters in WoT and has a lot of style to boot.
    Hopefully Kylar will put Moraine in her place this year. That way, if they do include Mat next year, I won’t feel too disappointed if he does wind up winning it!

  • Chris

    @anon Yeah, the luggage would be great. I don’t think Gandalf would work because we never see much of his magic in the series. Its always kind of a D Ex M. (I’m not going to try and spell that.
    @Not Telling I really like the idea of Thom. The would probably catapault him further than appropriate, but I can’t see him winning it. If next year’s match is going to avoid the rabid WoT love, Mat will be a disaster… perhaps Faile instead?

    A few more ideas..
    The Lady or Raven from The Black Company
    Gorst or Jezal from the First Law
    Anyone from the Way of Kings
    Fitz from Farseer
    Elric from Elric of Melnibone

  • Patrick

    Moiraine stopped in the clearing at the center of the grove of trees that was the allotted meeting place. She sensed a presence amongst the elder trees that had stood to the north of the White Tower since the breaking. She thought on the others who had stood in her way, strong competitors that had tested her. The last, Kylar Stern, was here, but not visible to her eyes.
    A flicker of movement announced him as he emerged from the trees, another shadow in the forest. Dressed head to toe in black, Moiraine was surprised at his size, much closer to her own that many of the others she had faced. That marked him as a dangerous man.
    “Moiraine Damodred,” he said, bowing in respect. Moiraine noticed his eyes never left her through the bow. “Thank you for meeting me. It would not due to finish this match with a knife in the dark.”
    A slight nod was her answer. “Kylar Stern. I walk in the light. Your knives will not find me as my previous challengers will attest.”
    Kylar laughed a warm, rich sound that belayed the sternness of his image. “I have no wish to harm you. I only use my talents to eliminate evil. While I know you work towards the good, there is enough in you to allow me to fight you.”
    “I will not stand down to an assassin, no matter why you kill,” Moiraine said, opening herself to Saidin as she spoke.
    “My lady, you make a great mistake to fight me,” he said, the black ka’kari sheathing his knife, readying itself for battle. “I know you possess a fearsome power, but I have fought many that are stronger and more ruthless than you.”
    “I will not use balefire against you, for you are not a darkfriend,” Moiraine said, gathering in more power through the Sa’angreal that rode in the pouch at her waist. “But, I must fight the Dark One and you will not stop me.” With that she unleashed a weave of Fire and Air which dissipated as it reached Kylar.
    “The ka’kari will not allow your magic to touch me, Aes Sedai,” Kylar said as he approached, his knife glistening in the dappled sun of the clearing. “I will ask again, will you yield?”
    “I will not yield.”
    “I will make this as painless as possible.”
    “Kylar?” A new voice said from behind him. A lovely blonde woman stood, a flowing white silk dress that any queen would have been honored to wear. She held a bouquet of red tulips in her delicate hands.
    The knife hand dropped to his side as he took in the vision that stood before them. “Elene?” He stammered. “But how?”
    “Come be with me again,” She said, her hand outstretched towards him. “Lay down your burdens. Let the ka’kari choose another, my love.”
    “You are dead,” he said, his eyes turning to Moiraine. “Is this an Aes Sedai trick?”
    “On the three oaths I pledge that I have no hand in this,” She said, a puzzled expression on her face. “With the Dark One so close, the boundaries between life and death are weakening. She may have been able to cross when she felt you here.”
    “But to join her, I must die,” Kylar said. His shoulders straightened as he turned to face his adversary. “When I say now, strike with all the power you have. I would join Elene rather than live without her.”
    Moiraine shook her head. “My powers cannot touch you as we have seen.”
    “I will take care of that. You must burn my body to ash or I will return to life,” he glanced back to where Elene stood waiting for him. “Now.”
    Moiraine threw the weave of Fire and Air as Kylar threw his ebony blade away from him. His body shuddered as the flame tore through him. She kept the power flowing, burning away cloth and flesh until there was nothing left.
    Motes of light danced in her vision. A black mass slithered off the dagger, spun into a sphere the size of a marble and vanished. Moiraine looks to where Kylar’s wife still stood. She had expected her to have departed with his spirit.
    “Nicely done Moiraine Sedai,” She said. Her form seemed to waver as she became Cyndane. “I refuse to allow an outside to take the pleasure of killing you.” With a gesture a portal opened and she was gone, leaving Moiraine alone in the clearing.
    She retrieved the knife from where Kylar had thrown it. “I pray that you find your wife, Kylar Stern.”
    With that she left to continue her preparations for the Final Batlle.

  • bibliophile785

    Here’s how I see this fight going. Please forgive me any inconsistencies concerning the characters, and feel free to point out the typos. I tried to get rid of them all, but I’m sure they’re there 🙂

    Moraine stepped lightly in the unfamiliar woods. Trees held many places for an assassin to hide, and she didn’t plan on being killed from cover. Not that she expected any attacks would penetrate the shield of Air she had woven around herself, but caution never hurt. The Blue Sisters had a large network for gathering information, and she’d heard impressive things about this Kylar character. One of which was that he had a dangerous habit of making unwanted magic disappear. She had done difficult things to get this far in the tournament (she didn’t think she would ever forget that Void-Black dragon…she still wasn’t sure how she had triumphed over it), and now nothing would prevent her from returning to The Dragon Reborn. Especially not a teenage boy.
    With new energy suffusing her steps, she strode forward. Her eyes moved in all directions, and nothing escaped their regard. She had reliable information telling her that Kylar was in the area, and she was sure he would take the opportunity to strike.
    “I should just let you keep walking…” The voice came from behind and above her. A young man of middling height, fairly attractive and well-built, clearly a warrior. He was crouched on a tree limb, ten feet back on the trail and twenty feet above her head. Moraine was mildly surprised; he hadn’t been there when she passed the tree, and she didn’t think that he could have gotten up there without her noticing.
    “That’s why I had you come out here, you know. “ His tone was smug, as only a young person’s could be. “Momma K heard about your friends asking around for information on me. You should be more careful. They weren’t obvious, but this is Cenaria. If it happens, Momma K hears about it.”
    Nothing of Moraine’s discomfiture showed on her face. Apparently, the informants of the Blue Ajah were more fallible than she had believed. “So you lured me out here to strike.” It wasn’t a question. “Why would you have let me keep walking, then?”
    “Huh, Momma K does that, too. That thing where you ask a question without asking it. And, actually, the second part of the plan was Durzo’s idea. You see, if you were to walk another ten yards or so down the path, you would enter Ezra’s Wood. There’s a Hunter that calls that patch of trees home, and no magic in the world is powerful enough to save you from it. Trust me, it’s been tried.”
    More blind certainty. It was beginning to get irksome, as was the unrelenting self-assurance. But, despite these things, Moraine’s interest was piqued. “If what you say is true, why didn’t you stop me? You could have won the match without even getting your hands dirty.”
    His reply was curt, as though he was annoyed. “I don’t like killing people who don’t deserve it. But I definitely don’t want that angreal on your forehead getting into the Wood. No telling how The Wolf would twist that to his advantage.”
    She didn’t know who or what The Wolf was, but two things had become very clear. Firstly, he knew what her angreal was, which meant he was not entirely ignorant of what she could do. Secondly, he hadn’t let her walk into the cursed forest for one reason: he enjoyed what he did. The Blue Ajah concerned themselves with justice, and she had easily read the reticence in his demeanor when he denied his profession. He hadn’t let the monster in the woods kill her because he needed to feel the joy of her death himself. That was more than enough for her. The man was as bad as any Darkfriend, and he meant her harm. “Sadist,” she muttered with distaste.
    “Hold on!” the boy protested, “I’m no Hu Gib—“Whatever he was saying was cut off as Moraine drew upon the One Power and used Saidar to cast a weave of Fire at him.
    Kylar sent Talent surging through his muscles as he leapt into the air, avoiding a massive fireball. The ka’kari could have absorbed it, but sitting around getting hit by fireballs wasn’t his style. Instead, he soared thirty further feet into the air as his superhuman strength propelled him upward. A small knife and a smaller dart, both coated with fatal toxins, whipped towards the maja who had attacked him. Both were turned away by some sort of magical protection. He brought the ka’kari over his eyes, even as it coated his skin, and studied her again. There was some sort of magical shield riding the air currents around her body, floating and shifting but never leaving her exposed. The blue stone on her head glowed fiercely in the magical spectrum, showing some serious otherworldly power being brought to bear.
    At the pinnacle of his jump, Kylar vanished. Or, rather, he called upon the ka’kari and vanished from sight. As did Retribution, now sitting in his hand. He came down, not directly on top of her, but streaking towards a tree to her right. As he impacted against the trunk, he kicked his legs with precise timing, flipping through the air and coming down on the unsuspecting woman from a different direction. Retribution cleaved a path through the air, the Black eagerly consuming the arcane shield it encountered.
    Except that the maja was no longer in the sword’s path. She had moved, at exactly the right time. Retribution swung down where her skull had been, hitting nothing. She was fast, Kylar admitted, and clever to have heard his change of approach, but not nearly fast or clever enough. Retribution darted out again, and she had no defense. At least, she had no defense until a large wall of earth sprung from the ground and intercepted his strike. The unbreakable blade, fuelled by Talent-strength, cut a large divot in the wall, but wasn’t nearly enough to break through and spear her. Kylar leapt lithely to the top of the wall, knowing that she couldn’t delay him forever.
    Two powerful blasts of air struck him. They were strong, enough so that they would have crushed his body like a pathetic doll had they impacted. But, again, with the ka’kari, this wasn’t much of a battle. The magically propelled air was effortlessly absorbed. Kylar noted that the maja’s eyes were tracking his movement, and realized that, like nine out ten maja, she could see through his invisibility. He stepped lightly from the wall…and fell into the fissure that opened at his feet. He snagged the edge and swung himself up, avoiding what looked like a nasty fall. He saw that there wasn’t going to be a victory as long as she could continue to defeat his attacks with her magic. She had already woven another shield around herself, making her impervious to his projectiles. He would have to change his tactics.
    He reached out and snatched the angreal from her forehead. She seemed surprised…which was understandable, since he wasn’t anywhere near grabbing distance, and the hand holding her talisman was a phantom hand constructed of pure Talent. Her shield of air hadn’t impeded it in the least. He smiled in satisfaction, just in time to be utterly blinded and deafened by a roar of light, ridiculously powerful. He felt the magic crawling over his skin, sinking into the ka’kari without surcease. It flowed over and around him, among the most powerful magic he’d ever experienced. More powerful than Solon’s use of Curoch in Cenaria, almost as intense as the glancing blow Garuwashi had delivered to him with that almighty blade.
    The attack ended, only an instant after it had begun. No more of that. The ka’kari’s voice, alarmingly weak in his head, sounded vaguely sickened. It was almost enough to tear me apart. Kylar saw that he was glowing, dull red light bleeding off of him in waves. Suddenly fearful, he glanced up, expecting to be struck down by a second blast of that awful power. Instead, he saw the maja staring at him with an identical expression. From the corner of his eye, he saw a glint of gold and a flash of sapphire blue. The angreal, torn from the woman’s head by his phantom snatch, skittered into the undergrowth.
    He saw his opportunity. Moving with all the speed his Talent could give him, Kylar lunged. His hand stretched out, reaching for the maja’s neck. Even as he moved, though, yet another blast of air struck at him. It wasn’t as powerful as the first ones, and the ka’kari absorbed some piece of it, but it still cancelled his forward momentum. His lead finger barely brushed her windpipe as he swung his arm wildly. It was enough. Focusing the ambient energy still radiating from the ka’kari wrapped around hand, he released scorching heat from his fingers. The gentle brush against the maja’s throat left a searing, bubbling track. She collapsed, even as his wild lunge caused him to fall beside her.
    Moraine watched as the wetboy regained his feet. He recovered his enormous sword, holding it easily in one hand, and stood above her. “I told you I wasn’t a Hu Gibbet,” he said in an awful, powerful voice. In the voice of Judgment. “I’m the Night Angel.” Retribution came down in a blur, and she knew no more.

  • bibliophile785

    Also, @ Patrick….I’m not perfectly fluent in the WoT magic system. Isn’t the side of the One Power Moraine uses called Saidar, because she’s a woman? And the stone she wears on her forehead….Isn’t it just an angreal, not a Sa’angreal? Or am I just completely off base?

  • theAKpal

    Since it seems people are making recommendations for next year, I have a few suggestions:

    Elminster (Au: Ed Greenwood; Dungeons & Dragons). If they’re going to bring in Mat, an ultra-popular character from WoT, why not bring in one of the most popular from D&D.

    Lila Black (Au: Justina Robson; Quantum Gravity series).

    Kate Daniels (Au: Ilona Andrews)

  • Patrick

    @bibliophile785 it is Saidar, my mistake there. The Sa’angreal is is referring to is in her pouch not the gem on her forehead. Good catch on the one power.


  • Chris (a different one)

    The gem isn’t anything, just a mental focus.

    Just because a channeler is down one can’t count them out, that ending of yours, bibliophile, has an issue: Even with Moiraine near-fatally injured (or even fatally) and on the ground she could likely still one Saidar, and as long as she can hold it and weave, Kylar taking even a second to talk would easily be his undoing, particularly from that distance.

  • theAKpal

    I decided to put together a little bronze medal write-up: Granny vs Anomander. It has some association with my write-up between Kylar and Granny, as well as my write-up between Kylar and Moraine (both found in the comments of their respective matches if you’re interested).

    I welcome all constructive criticism, but I did this for fun, so please keep that in mind if you read it. And, if anyone’s interested, feel free to continue the story from where I stop.

    Usual disclaimer: liberties have been taken with the characters and works.


    It was a beautiful, sunny day, and Anomander was with Granny, chilling at a coffee table on her veranda. They hadn’t had much chance to catch up over the last few years, being busy doing whatever nigh-demi-gods do with their time. Granny had just brought out some refreshments, tea and biscuits. The tea of choice this day was Darjeeling, strong and black.

    “One or two cubes,” Granny asked, pouring a spot in his cup before seating herself.

    “One, please. I only care to smooth out the rough edges of bitterness.”

    Using miniature tongs, Granny removed a single cube from the pile, a pile stacked pyramidally, and placed it in his cup. She gave him the one off the very top.

    After pouring herself a cup, without sugar, she said, “I find that this particular tea can be very agreeable when it cares to be. When you’re proper pleasant to it, the anger, and subsequent bitterness, are alleviated. If you scowl at it and constantly complain about how bitter it is, it gets offended, perpetuating the downward spiral of bitterness.”

    “It has been too long, Granny. I had forgotten how fun you can be.”

    “Oh, Anomander deary, flattery, while not necessary, is always appreciated. You’re no bore yourself.”

    “Coming from you, that’s quite a compliment.”

    “The same could be said for you, what with always inserting yourself into mortal affairs.”

    “I only do it to troll the gods. Are they that insecure that they have to mess with the mortals to justify their existences and make them feel better about themselves. For ancient beings, they certainly have issues. But, to think they managed to coordinate so well with the wrong sort from other realities concerns me.”

    “You’re referring to these ridiculous cage matches aren’t you?”

    “I am.”

    “Rather ingenius, it is. Different groups have tried this tactic the last couple years, gathering together heroes from all over and convincing them to fight each other, preferentially to the death. You know, if you’d embrace the infinite more readily, rather than being so focused on what goes on in your own realm, you wouldn’t be as taken aback as you are.”

    “You saw this coming, did you?”

    “Of course, I did. Tournaments on this scale are hard to miss.”

    “If you knew they were going on, how’d you end up involved? I never would have thought you could be forced to do anything.”

    “Nor you,” Granny said. “But, as I was telling that young Kylar Stern last week, some forces are beyond our control, and even the most powerful and seemingly invincible people are subject to them at times. The important thing is how we react to the situation.”

    “You’re right, of course. I, of all people, should know this. And, I suppose I did. Maybe I have been overly obsessed with my own realm these last few years.”

    “No need to beat yourself up over it, just learn from your mistakes the best you can.”

    “How is it that at 300,000 years old your words have such an effect on me?”

    “It’s my appearance. Intelligent beings are genetically programmed to respond to their elders. Even though you’re older than I am, your senses recognize it as being the other way around.”

    “If I may ask, how have you been reacting to the situation?” Anomander asked.

    “At first, I tried to be subtle about my feelings on the matter. I burned down that god-awful arena of theirs, figuring they’d get the hint I don’t belong. But, that didn’t work, they dragged me right back into it the next week. They can be smart at times, but as you know, at others, they can be dumb as dumb rocks. So, I figured if I made that fight an utter snooze-fest they’d get bored with having me around. But, that didn’t work either. Logically, the next step was to develop a plan. I used my witchy wiles to gather what information I needed. And, that brings us to where we are today, the two of us in the bronze medal match-up, a match not entirely necessary to the tournament.”

    “Wait, bronze medal? This isn’t the finals? Who did I lose to?” Anomander asked.

    “Moraine Damodred.”

    “Moraine!?! I vaguely recall that name. But how, what happened?”

    “Balefire happened, Anomander. By all rights you should’ve won. Moraine just happened to get a lucky shot in, as I hoped she would.”

    “What’s balefire?”

    “An automatic win button, kind of like your sword, Dragnipur,” Granny said.

    “Why don’t I remember?”

    “That’s the thing about balefire, it erases you from existence.”

    “Then how am I here?”

    “You see, balefire’s effects are limited to a set amount of time, depending on the strength of the wielder. Moraine isn’t strong enough in the One Power to erase you completely. She’s just about strong enough to erase you for a week.”

    “Did you say you hoped she’d win?”

    “I did.”

    “Why?” Anomander asked, his temper beginning to flare.

    “So you’d end up here, silly, with me, in this match.”

    “To what end?”

    “Revenge, of course.”

    “Revenge on who?”

    “Really now, Anomander, I think you know the answer to that question.”

    “I would like to clarify. You’re motivations are sometimes hard to gauge. For all I know, you could want my help getting revenge on all those fans trampling your daisies. Just look at them, pressed up against that invisible barrier you put up ringing the manor; standing there, mouths open and banging their heads against it. As if they could bust through on shear physical strength alone,” Anomander said.

    Granny laughed a good hearty laugh, “As if I’d need your help to take care of a mere few thousand fans. I’ve destroyed larger armies in my sleep. But, I see your point.

    Against the organizers of this tournament: all those negative influences in the various realities.”

    “I bet the fans are complaining about us drinking tea together, wondering why we’re not fighting,” Anomander said.

    “I wouldn’t bet against you on that,” Granny said

    “Did you have an idea for dealing with Them?” Anomander asked.

    Granny laughed again, “Oh, yes! I do believe I do. And, won’t it be wondrous. Let me make some calls.”

    While Anomander and Granny were organizing their battle plan, the fans were getting restless, whining and moaning worse than colicky newborn babies. Their entitled, instant gratification-minded lifestyles didn’t prepare them for getting anything other than their own way, when they wanted it.

    A few hours later and Anomander and Granny were sitting around a different table, this one in Granny’s dining room. It was made from cherry, it was lacquered, and it was highly stylized. Joining them at the table were 60 balls of black oozy stuff.

    “What are those?” Anomander asked.

    “You remember me mentioning Kylar Stern, correct?”

    “I do.”

    “Well, he works with a nifty partner called the black ka’kari. The black ka’kari is a sentient being with symbiotic tendencies. Among other things, the black bestows upon its host a form of immortality. These here are his black ka’kari’s relatives and friends. They and I go way back.”

    “I think I understand. You plan on using these black ka’kari to raise the other 60 participants in the tournament from the dead, should they require it. It’s been a while, but I think I remember learning about the black ka’kari people back in school. I thought their immortality gift was dependent on the loss of a host’s loved one in exchange for being resurrected?”

    “A lot of them do, but not all; some aren’t as sadistic as their brethren. Besides, it’s a moot point. Most of the people we’ll be resurrecting have lost loved ones in their lives. The black will just be using those deaths as ‘payment’, where necessary. Generally, this isn’t allowed, but this is a one-shot deal and we’ve come to an agreement. I’ve convinced them it’s in their best interest to help.”

    “Not to nitpick, but doesn’t the host have to be bonded to the black at the time of death for it to work?”

    “A technicality, one I don’t believe in.”

    “Works for me. What’s next?” Anomander asked.

    “We wait for Kylar to finish off the Dark One.”

    “Who’s the Dark One?”

    “He’s the big baddy from Moraine’s reality. Very nasty, very dangerous, and perfectly suitable as one of Kylar’s deaders. During our match, mine and Kylar’s, I basically took out a contract on the Dark One.”

    “Hold on a sec, you fought him?”

    “Yes, I fought him.”

    “This whole loss of a week thing has left me feeling out-of sorts. It’s annoying. How did you lose?”

    “I gave the match to him. Just before he breathed his last breath, I conceded. His black ka’kari took care of bringing him back to life, at no charge. His mu’mari wouldn’t have approved. I may have messed with his memories a little bit while I was at it. No harm, no foul.”

    “All right, then, why did you choose to lose?”

    “A couple reasons. One, to get Kylar to Moraine’s reality to kill the Dark One. And, two, so you and I would end up together to take care of the rest. Kylar’s strong, but his powers aren’t suited to dealing with multiple god-like beings (and their minions) at once, as ours are. He’s more of a one-on-one type of guy, and in a duel between Kylar and another individual, I’d be hard-pressed not to bet on Kylar – ourselves excluded.”

    A few hours later, Anomander asked, “Are we all set?”

    Granny looked out at the 60 other contestants, many of them stretching and working the kinks out of their necks – rigor mortis can be a bitch to work through – and said, “Yes, I believe we are.”

  • Not Telling

    I’m fine with any WoT character apart from Ta’veren or Channelers. IMO, that leaves a lot of options open. Of course, WoT fans would whine and complaine saying I was trying to stack the odds. I’m not. I just want all of the series to have equal chance. If one of the people is an unpopular, weak character, they will get less votes, meaning they won’t go as far, meaning another series can win.

  • Viridian

    @Not Telling

    Which unfortunately also means that basically. You’d like to stack the odds. I can understand not wanting WoT characters to win every year, The fact is they don’t. Just last year was that one ridiculously overpowered guy. Every year you get that character your sure “Would win” undoubtedly, and unquestionably, but this is, a popularity contest. Just is.

    I’ve never even read WoT btw, was rooting for Granny 🙁

  • Oden

    I thought that Granny’s headology would god-win everything. The only thing that could have stopped her was if her opponent was clever enough to not make her able to use the headology or if the foe was a non-conscience being. Kylar, as an assassin, could have won (which he did) but all the write-ups I have read so far makes him a possible recipient of Granny’s headology.

    As for WoT characters’ fan based advantage, I believe that if everyone started thinking of what the One Power is – usage and effects – and what it means to be Ta’veren, then they wouldn’t get as many votes. I would refrain from using Mat as there is dispute of where his luck comes from. It probably wouldn’t work in any other world. He might be lucky, but probably wouldn’t.
    GRRM’s write-up of Lannister vs Al’thor was brilliant as it did consider the usage of One Power in another world. When the magic was gone he was left with only himself.

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