SF & Fantasy

Cage Match 2012: Round 3: Julia Wicker versus Kylar Stern

The Contestants


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Click to view original image source

Julia Wicker
Witch-queen of Fillory
Age: 27
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: None
Magic missile

“>Kylar Stern
Age: 20s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Knives; throwing spikes; sword…pretty much any weapon
Black ka’kari

The Breakdown


  • Genius-level intelligence and extensive magical knowledge
  • Mystical bond with Fillory
  • Raging anger

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

  • Raging anger

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

  • Kull
  • Peter Grant
    Maybe it’s time you learned a bit more magic

  • Gimli
    Well, you might make a cameo in The Hobbit movie
  • Harry Potter
    The Boy who died

How we think the fight will go

Unlike with the dwarf and man-boy, Kylar felt there was nothing funny about this next assignment. Killing a woman—no matter how vile—left that little bit of him that was still Azoth disgusted. To kill for survival was one thing.

To kill for the pleasure of others…

Yet there was an aspect of survival here, too. And that same piece of Azoth recognized the need to survive more than anyone. It just didn’t do anything for his conscience.

Not that it mattered—both he and Julia were simply pawns in this morbid game. And while he moved about the stadium, he knew there was nothing to be gained by losing—not that there was any concern about that.

Julia’s attacks were becoming repetitive, as if her knowledge of magic, while certainly great, was still limited compared to some of the great wizards Kylar had met and battled. And, despite her ferocity, he could see her frustration mounting as magic missiles, fireballs, waves of darkness, and blinding light were all devoured by the black ka’kari. Her curses—though unfamiliar to his ear—nevertheless struck a chord.

But Kylar said nothing. He simply dodged what he could—especially the attacks that weren’t directly magical, like the rocks Julia lifted from the earth to hurl at him—and let the ka’kari take care of the rest. He knew it was a matter of time…

Julia stumbled.


The poison he had selected to put in her dinner last night had been a subtle one. It was a mixture of vineshade and a rare sun-pepper root, both incredibly toxic, and yet with odd effects when combined. For one thing, the death wasn’t instantaneous. Indeed, if anything, death might not come at all. For the two plants basic natures opposed each other, and it was only through a catalyst that their potency could be observed.

In such a combination, the catalyst was anger.

Kylar knew of Julia’s temper. And he knew she would be frustrated by her inability to harm him. That her emotions would consume her—and ultimately, so would the poison.

As she fell to the ground, he breathed a small sigh of relief. It wasn’t much, but the fact that it was her own personality that was her downfall somewhat assuaged his conscience.


He knelt over her body and closed her eyes. Azoth whispered something that almost seemed like a prayer, then stood up.

He was once again Kylar Stern.

And there was more killing in his future.

Predicted Winner: Kylar Stern


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

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Julia Wicker is a character from The Magicians series by Lev Grossman; Stern is a character from the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks.

Julia Wicker image courtesy of ~amybillingham. 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!”


52 Responses to “Cage Match 2012: Round 3: Julia Wicker versus Kylar Stern”

  1. Tim says:

    see: I’ve read both sets of books, and I have no idea how it’ll go. Been hoping for a Cale vs Stern match since I saw the lists. If I have to guess, I’m going to go with Cale by a hairsbreadth, but there are so many variables when two people with these skillsets clash. Like who’s hunting who? Because they’ll be the best prepared. If they’re hunting each other, that’ll probably come down to who finds the other first. I think Kylar would win that, as he can turn invisible, and from memory Cale just hides in impenetrable shadows. Seeing as Kylar can see through all normal shadows, he either can see through Cale’s too and see him perfectly, or he knows that Cale’s the shadow he can’t see through. I think Kylar’s probably the better fighter, and a black-coated Retribution would probably cancel out Cale’s regeneration, but might not. Weaveshear’s power is going to be next to useless, as Kylar’s doesn’t generally cast offensive spells. Honestly though, I don’t think it’s going to come down to swordplay. It’ll be more about maneuvering, as in Kylar’s fights with other wetboys in the Nightangel trilogy (would give examples, but spoilers…). And when it comes to that, it’s basically going to end up between Kylar’s illusions, Cale’s shadowstep, and the reflexes of each once they realise that the other’s in all probability standing behind them with a sword aimed at their neck/heart. And in that case, I think Cale’s shadowstep’s probably the more useful technique, but Kylar’s reflexes might be a smidge better. Of course, if Cale starts using all those clerical spells he’s been holding back from on us, it could be a whole different sort of fight.

    Archon: So he sees, what exactly? Life itself somehow? So we treat it as basically like the detect life effect from the Elder Scrolls games? In which case, I would say it would be entirely plausible that Kylar could hide his sorta life aura thingy. In which case this would probably work in Kylar’s favour, as Rake would see that there was no life there and assume that that meant there was no Kylar there. Most similar example I can think of is in Robin Hobb’s books, when Fitz is so badly thrown off when he can’t detect Forged with his Wit.

  2. Luke says:

    I can see Revan giving Kylar problems, but I think it would be a strange match up. The force isn’t magic so the ka’kari may not devour it but Kylar is still a mage so they could both hit other with those and Revan could predict SOME things like poison and kylars next move. But both Sith and Jedi are known to not for see things, there senses aren’t perfect and tend to only give them a moments notice. So I would be interested to see how that turned out, Kylar is my favorite character out of the two but I also love Star Wars so I look forward to that.

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