Cage Match 2013 Round 3: Bene Gesseriti vs. Inigo Montoya


The Contestants



Bene Gesseriti
Dune by Frank Herbert
Age: Various ages
Race: Humanoid
Weapons / Artifacts: Long-term deception, courtesan-style training, and the bond of sisterhood
Weirding Way, The Voice, and Deception

Inigo Montoya
William Goldman’s The Princess Bride
Age: 31
Race: Spaniard
Weapons / Artifacts: A sword made for a six-fingered man
He’s not left-handed

The Breakdown


  • Years of physical and mental conditioning
  • Can turn poison in their bodies into harmless toxins
  • Acute observational skills
  • Can pass on memories through Spicy Agony

  • Master of swordplay
  • Fueled by vengeance

  • Dependent on melange, which can lead to death if addicted

  • A bit of a drunk
  • Works for a Sicilian


More like Med-Die-Ya

How we think the fight will go

ACT 3 SCENE ONE: The Castle Hall

Three women dressed in long black cloaks standing in a large room. Its walls are lined with bas-relief decoration and hand-painted plaster and brick decorating the upper parts of the walls. The ceiling has constellations of stars shifting ever so slightly every thirty seconds. In the center of the room is a large ornamental chair situated on a dais. Behind it is a large blue and gold tapestry. At the center is an image of a ship with its sail at full mast. On the right wall is a window that goes from floor to ceiling. Outside the sun is shining upon a glistening sea and rolling green hills. On the left wall is a large door with an ornate iron knocker.

Why are we here, Reverend Mother? Why did you insist on coming here? Folding space is expensive.

There is space enough for this. We stop here for your final test. What do you see?

It seems to be a place of power. A place where minor kings play at being gods. Nothing like my father’s throne room.

Be careful not to judge who is not a god. Arrogance and fear is what caused your father to lose his throne. Plotting against greater man than he to keep what was never his to take. We barely saved you.

Enough of your lecturing. Your feelings are well known. However, she is here to be tested.

I am out of patience with the games you play, old woman. Hopping us from place to place with no real purpose. The time on the lost island was useless. Tell me why we are here or return me to heighliner above.

Reverend Mother, the girl is not up to the task. There are others. Her bloodline has already proven to be a failure. Why test her?

Enough of this squabbling, the both of you! I sense the person we have come to see is near. He has simple desires: wine and vengeance. So hush while I convince him to hear our cause.

Reverend Mother, the girl is made of empty words and silly behavior. She thinks this is the stuff of politics. You taught me our task means survival. Why trust her?

Once again, I say enough. You know this has to happen. (She looks toward the door.) Ready yourselves. He approaches.

Entering the room is a man in his early thirties. He has dark features and a mustache, and wears a dark brown leather vest, a white tunic shirt, and leather pants. His boots are black with a sturdy buckle. At his waist is a beautiful rapier. He sees the three women when he enters the room. He walks forward and makes a simple bow.

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. What are you doing here in the throne room?

We have come seeking a sword master.

(OLD CRONE gives MIDDLE-AGE ONE a look of annoyance. Then turns back to INIGO with a motherly smile.)
Master Montoya, Duncan Idaho has told me of your skill. I wish you to test my student. It would be an honor for you to do the valuation.

(Surprised at the statement, he takes a step back.)
Duncan Idaho, you say. (He shakes his head in negative fashion.) I don’t know a gentleman by that name. Is he a bartender at the Den of Despair? As for my lowly skills, they would not do you much honor. You should just ask Vizzini.

(OLD CRONE stares at INIGO intently. After a long pause, she takes a deep breath and pitches her voice.)
Master Montoya, Duncan Idaho did tell me of your skill. Lying to me will not end well for you. It can be quite painful. Speak the truth.

Madame, there is no reason to sound like that. I don’t know a Duncan Idaho. Maybe it’s one of Vizzini’s aliases. He is Sicilian after all and he lies often. Does he owe you money? Let me go fetch him for you.

(A dark, mad laugh bubbles out of her.)
I knew it! Duncan would never have sent us to a real sword master. He is nothing but a fool.

OLD CRONE whips her head around to look at the MIDDLE-AGE ONE. She looks furious. The MIDDLE-AGE ONE stops laughing and starts to choke. Grabbing at her throat as if she cannot breath, she starts to fall to the ground.

(He shifts his foot back and slightly to the right. He angles his body as if to prepare to pull his sword.)
Stop that right now or prepare to die.

Master Montoya, you can admit to knowing who Duncan Idaho is or I can kill her with my next thought. The choice is yours.

(He draws his sword and his eyes harden.)
Witch, Idaho may or may not have told you about me. But he certainly told me about you. Don’t you try to use the voice again! Release her or you will die before your next breath.

The OLD CRONE and INIGO stare at each other for a moment. Suddenly the swordsman lunges forward. The OLD CRONE cries out and grabs her shoulder. MIDDLE-AGE ONE is now on the floor, panting. YOUNG ONE stands there wide-eyed. INIGO steps back with his sword still drawn.

Thank you, Master Montoya (she pauses to take a deep breath) for your help. She was killing me.

(He smirks and rolls his eyes.)
Witch, I no more believe that than when Vizzini tells me that job is above board. So tell me what you want.

(OLD CRONE using her sleeve to stem the blood coming from her wound, she reaches slowly into her pocket.)
Master Montoya, this is Duncan’s daughter. He told me of you because he wants to make sure she knows what she is doing. Here is the letter.

(He shakes his head in a negative fashion.)
Witch, we still burn Bene Gesserit on planet Florin. I know you are capable of poisoning me with a touch. Use the tongue in your head to tell me what you want.

(OLD CRONE nods her head at the YOUNG ONE, seemingly to encourage her.)
Speak up. I don’t plan to bleed to death on this rock.

I want a duel. (She says this all in one breath.)

(He tilts his head and taps his finger on his lips as if in thought.)
To first five hits? To the first blood? To the death? What kind of duel are you discussing here? You should be specific about these things.

YOUNG ONE looks with panic at INIGO. She then turns to OLD CRONE with a beseeching look. OLD CRONE rolls her eyes.

How about a duel to the pain?

(He drops his sword to his side and lets loose a deep sigh.)
Madame, do I look like the Dread Pirate Roberts to you? If you wish to duel, then let’s do it properly.

You would duel a woman?

In general? No, I wouldn’t duel a woman. If Vizzini tells me to, I would certainly think about it. But for vengeance, most definitely, Witch!

I never did anything to you. For what do you seek vengeance?

It is true you have not dishonored me in any way. But the sisterhood dishonors men in general! Look at what you have done to the men in your sector of the universe. There is Idaho, Atreides, and every other male you have abused to get your bloody Kwisatz Haderach! I seek vengeance on their behalf.

(She turns to the OLD CRONE and MIDDLE-AGE ONE with a look of shock upon her face.)
He can’t be serious! Tell me that he is not serious.

(He smirks and scoffs.)
No, I am not serious. But it has been a slow day. Fezzik is taking a nap, Vizzini is off gambling, and I promised not to drink too much. I have been waiting for Westley and Buttercup to get back all morning. A duel is something to do. (He draws his sword.) En garde!

Wait, I am not ready!

(He drops his sword to his side.)
Fine, get ready. Take your time.

YOUNG ONE throws off her dark cloak and reveals a woman clothed in a black tunic and long, tight, black pants, bound together with a rope at her waist. Her face has scrunched up in anger. She slowly drew a sword from her belt, the blade making a hissing whisper as it is removed from the sheathe. All the while, she is holding INIGO firmly in her gaze.

(He looks on, unfazed by the actions of his opponent. He stretches out his neck and arms.)
Care to stretch a little bit? No? Okay, then. Where were we? Ah, yes. En garde!

She rushes at Inigo. He dips and weaves right as she is about to reach him and slashes downward with the sword. She parries with her blade. He sidesteps to the right just enough and the blade passes within a hair’s breath from his face.

Quickly, before Inigo can respond with a follow-up, she swiftly punches him in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of the Spaniard, and stunning him for a brief moment.

The fight had taken them dangerously close to the edge of the window and Inigo has his back almost to the wall when Inigo moves to push this duel back toward the middle of the room. Advancing. Advancing. Inigo charges at the Crone with the blade upheld, going to his foreswing and following it with a backswing. She dodges the first and meets the second with her sword. The weight of the swing sends Inigo’s blade back, but not far enough to knock it from his hands.

Inigo’s years of practice helps him recover quickly. He strikes back in a parrying move that slices the fabric of her shirt at the midsection. It misses the flesh behind it by only a centimeter.

She staggers. He swings. His rapier misses. She smirks, and manages to dodge spryly at his next attempt. Inigo is impressed, but now he is annoyed. He has no intention of losing this fight. He is done toying with her.

Young One senses the mood shift in her opponent. She tries to push Inigo back toward the window but now he is swinging and parrying with speed, forcing her to choose with each step between a step back or the spilling of her own blood. The Spaniard is quick and his tells are nearly impossible to trace. She comes to decision. Finesse is not going to help here.

Young One quickly performs a handspring to create more space between them. She crouches and swings at his feet just as he moves forward. Inigo jumps to miss the blade and she explodes from the ground toward his rising form. She grabs the Spaniard around the waist, twisted mid air, and arches the two of them toward the wall, easily angling his head toward the raised lip of a wooden lighting fixture.

Inigo collides with the wall and his head plows through the woodwork with a cracking and crunching as the wood shatters under the enormous pressure of the attack.

Young One lets go and lands with ease on her feet. She looks back at him and a look of brief sadness flashes across her face. Inigo slowly slides down the wall into an awkward position on the floor. Though his head struck solidly, he is still breathing.

That had to hurt. (She looks down at one of her hands and notices one of her nails bleeding.)
Damn it! I broke a nail!

Apparently, the sleeper has awakened.

End Scene

Predicted Winner: Bene Gesserit

NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON Friday, March 22th, 2013, AT 5 PM, EST

Check out all the Cage Match 2013 posts!

Check out the round 1 recap and Cage Match 2013 Bracket!

Check out the round 2 recap and Cage Match 2013 Bracket!

Bene Gesserit is a character from Dune by Frank Herbert; Inigo Montoya is a character from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.

Bene Gesserit image courtesy of Universal Pictures. Inigo Montoya image courtesy of MGM.

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!”


  • Metacognition

    Bravo on this write up! The matches in the past seemed to focus too much on the Gesseriti’s mental prowess and seemed to forget that they have the capability to fight as well. While I think they will win, I did say I wanted to argue for the other side this time.

    Montoya is no easy foe. I’d say that the Gesseriti wouldn’t even be able to place a seed in his mind. There’s two reasons for this: 1- If he is battling within a drunken stupor, as he tends to do, his mind will be too unfocused for any seed to grow. 2- When he’s not drinking, his mind is already fill… with vengeance. His mind is so focused on it that he is willing to die for it! The Gesseriti’s mind tricks hold no weight here.

    Without the ability to trick their opponent, the Gesseriti have to rely on actual physical combat. This isn’t necessarily a problem… unless they’re going up against someone as trained as Montoya is. For one, he’s dueling against a woman. His Spaniard heritage would demand that he first attempt to make it a fair fight and as anyone who has read the book (or even watched the movie!) would know that he would start off left-handed in the idea of giving them a sporting chance.
    This is an important problem I have with the write up. Montoya would’ve been more testing and calculating. Once he realized how skilled his opponent was, he would stop holding back and switch hands, so I can easily say that we have yet to see Montoya at his best (and his best is DAMN good!). Add that to his determination and you have an opponent that won’t fall to a single blow, unless that blow is from Fezzik, who’s pretty much The Hulk of that world.

    So there’s my argument for Montoya. If the votes show him as NOT the underdog, I’ll argue the case for the Gesseriti as well! 🙂

  • Metacognition

    You guys that are voting for Montoya do realize that the Gesseriti SHOULD win this easily, right?

    Montoya isn’t even the best swordsman within his universe. He’s bested by Wesley. On top of that, he’s still just human.
    The Gesseriti are practically superhuman. They train both physically and mentally 24/7. They are an elite group and all that training pays off. They’re immune to poisons. They can control others through the use of the Voice (which is FAR more influential than it has been shown so far. The writers before did a great job of utilizing the Voice, but they forgot how immediate it can be). They’ve controlled entire GENERATIONS through their manipulative abilities. Hell, they have the memories of their ancestors at their disposal. Finally, they have mastered the art of multitasking. Simulflow as it called in Dune, allows them to concentrate on multiple tasks at once. To give you an idea of why this is important within a fight, they can focus on their own moves and their opponent’s moves AT THE SAME TIME.
    So let’s say that you think Montoya could overcome all that, after all, that’s mainly mental abilities, right? Well the Gesseriti also train the body. Take all of the above and put it into a body that can do prana-bindu. Prana-bindu is basically means that they have COMPLETE control of their body. This allows them to perform acts that would seem inhuman to anyone else.

    So let’s recap:
    -Incredibly well trained
    -Immune to poisons
    -Can control opponent’s actions
    -Draws off of lifetimes of experience
    -Can multitask to the point of controlling every inch of the body
    -Can do all the above while still being aware of their opponent’s actions

    And somehow, a regular swordsman is supposed to win?

    I know I said I’d argue for the underdog, but I never expected people would actually vote for him, if they were being fair!

  • Jlingo

    “And somehow, a regular swordsman is supposed to win?” The majority of what you said I could probably agree with except this statement. Inigo is far from a “regular” swordsman. Even the Prince commented when studying the tracks of the duel that they were both “masters”.
    It is “conceivable” that in his world, Inigo is of the best swordsman ever. He has studied for over twenty years, ambidextrous and killed armed guards in under five seconds. That is far from a regular swordsman and a master swordsman could defeat many things that underestimated them.

  • Metacognition

    I meant regular in the idea of his opponents. I’m not trying to take anything away from Montoya in that right. He’s indeed a worthy adversary, thus why I argued for him initially, but I never expected him to win against such formidable foes as the Gesseriti. He’s (rightfully) the underdog in this match and while it’s not inconceivable for him to win, it’s still unlikely.
    He’s trained for a lifetime.
    The Gesseriti have as well and can pull upon the experience of those before them.
    He’s ambidextrous.
    The Gesseriti have absolute control of their bodies, making them ambidextrous of all their limbs.
    I honestly can’t tell you how quickly the Gesseriti have taken out guards, because it’s been quite awhile since I read their book, but I have no doubt it’s comparable.

    Again, I’m not saying Montoya couldn’t win, he’s very skilled, but ‘it’d take a miracle.’ Definitely lucky for him that he exists in a world where that’s possible!

  • Jlingo

    I would agree he is by far the underdog and it would probably take a miracle. Ha! But they do happen and Montoya is no dunce with the blade. There would still be chance and what would challenges be without the charismatic underdog causing an upset once in awhile?

  • Cleveage

    I mean…sure, of course the Gesseriti SHOULD win. But Voldemort should kill Harry, Vader should kill Luke, Frodo and Sam should’ve died a thousand times, and I don’t know how the hell any in A Song of Fire an Ice is still alive; they spend too much time fucking and stabbing to eat. So clearly things don’t work as expected in these places.

    And I’ll be damned if I’ll let Inigo Montoya lose to ANYone!

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