SF & Fantasy

Cage Match 2012: Championship: Moiraine Damodred versus Kylar Stern

The Contestants


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Moiraine Damodred
Aes Sedai of The Blue Ajah
Age: 44
Race: Human (Aes Sedai)
Weapons / Artifacts: The One Power – Sai Dar; Angreal to boost her power

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

The Breakdown


  • Strong in the One Power—a veritable demigod amongst men
  • Battle-tested veteran
  • A woman (and therefore underestimated, because let’s face it: SF/F women often get a bum rap)

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

  • Obsessive about her life’s mission, to the point that she’s willing to risk unraveling the fabric of space-time to achieve it.

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

  • Tarzan
    Del Rey editor Frank is crying right now
  • The Dagda Mor
    One Power trumps the Staff of Power
  • Jardir
    He lost to the very Core of his being
  • Kelsier
    She tested his mettle (metal) and he was found wanting
  • Anomander Rake
    When you bury a Rake, you still need a shovel

How we think the fight will go

We’re still looking for a fan write-up (see this post for more details, but note you can start putting your write-ups below), but in the meantime, we’re happy to give you one more from Abyss

With a note of thanks to all of you who have posted comments re my other write ups, and my deepest apologies and respect again to Brandon Sanderson and the later Robert Jordan, and now to Brent Weeks…

An assassin, by nature and practice, does not seek out a face to face and blade to blade fight. It’s antithetical to the whole ‘assassination’ thing. Kill. Don’t be killed. Kill fast and with finality. Don’t leave anything to chance. Don’t even take chances. Plan for everything, then back-up plan, and then plan some more for when those plans go ass-up.

A wet-boy is an assassin writ large. Not so much a killer as an artist in the act of killing. Magic, weapons, magic weapons, brains, every piece of their body, is committed to the art of murder, the elimination of the target… or rather, the deader. As in you can’t get much deader than being targeted by a wet-boy.

It’s why they’re the best there is at what they do.

And even among wet-boys, Durzo Blint was one of the best. And he trained Kylar Stern.

Kylar has had other names, but Kylar will do. Kylar is so good at murder, he has, in many respects, surpassed Durzo. There are god-like beings who could attest to this, except that they’re dead.

Point being, Kylar is extremely good at killing. He may not like it, but he is so very very good at it. Fucking brilliant in fact. And oddly enough, Kylar has saved his world with his skills.


Aes Sedai, by nature and considerable effort, cultivate an air of power and focus that conveys, when a Sister turns her ageless face to a viewer, a sense that they know more, know better, know EVERYTHING, and the target of that gaze is best off doing exactly what the Aes Sedai tells them to do.

Practice and attitude have a great deal to do with this. So does the One Power. Theirs is the female half of the Power, and with it, they wield Air, Fire, Earth, Water and Spirit in many ways.

It’s not a good idea to anger an Aes Sedai. They take Oaths that prevent them from doing some of the nastier things the One Power permits, but really, that just motivates them to get creative.

As an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Moiraine Damodred concerns herself with righteous causes. Her particular cause happens to be saving the world. This focus led her to find the Dragon Reborn. And the Dragon may indeed yet save their world, but fair to say, without Moiraine’s efforts, he would likely never have had a chance to try.

Moiraine is extremely strong in the One Power. There are other channelers, some Aes Sedai, some not, who are stronger than her, but not many. And even among those, most haven’t figured out Balefire, a particularly nasty weave that erases its target from existence. It’s as bad as it sounds. At least one particularly powerful servant of the Dark One has found that out the hard way.


A contest has raged across worlds… across universes. Champions, chosen for many reasons, have been forced to fight each other.

These two… Moiraine Sedai and Kylar Stern… are the last. To get this far, each has overcome a host of opponents… vicious warriors, clever mages, gods even… and many who would have been friends or allies in other circumstances.

And now their only bar to victory, to survival, to have done with this entire business… is each other.


The White Tower stands proudly, one hundred spans of gleaming bone white structure at the heart and centre of the island city of Tar Valon.

It is the home, training ground and gathering place of the Aes Sedai. Hundreds, possibly thousands of the Sisters may be found there, to say nothing of their warders… some of the most deadly warriors ever known.

Sneaking in to the White Tower to kill one of its residents would be a daunting task for anyone.

Even for Kylar Stern.

Cloaking himself in white and climbing up the outside of the Tower in broad daylight, however, was easier. Much easier. His own Talent, used frugally, didn’t seem to trigger whatever weaves the Aes Sedai used to protect their place, and while his invisibility wasn’t perfect, people, even apparently ageless magic-users and their watch-dog swordsmen, seldom looked up, and if they did and caught a slight hint of motion, well, even bone white walls cast shadows. They should have kept their stonework less ornate if they didn’t want people using it as camouflage and climbing grips.

It was a long climb, even so. His talents and the black ka’kari gave him strength and endurance beyond any normal assassin, however well trained, but one hundred spans was still one hundred spans. The climb took a while. Almost a whole hour.

He reached the top, relieved to find it empty and blissfully flat. No obvious threats presented themselves at his first glance over the railing. He scanned with his talent, drew on the additional power and focus that his sword, Retribution, gave him and scanned some more. Weaves revealed themselves. Powerful ones, all the elements and a weird ephemeral fifth form as well. Had he leapt up onto the roof, he may have set off a number of nasty surprises. As it stood, this was a delay, but a minor one. He called on the black ka’kari and drew it around him like a bodysuit as he rolled over the railing and onto the roof. The first weave almost activated…. and the ka’kari devoured its essence before whatever it was meant to do fully formed. Another redundant weave flared, that strange fifth ‘element’ swirling around him, and was devoured in turn. He felt a slight tingle through the ka’kari this time, but the Devourer would not be denied, least of all by unformed, raw power. The elements could hurt him, but they had to exist first.

Kylar allowed the black ka’kari to quest around him, absorbing a few more closer weaves, then pulled it inside. He looked over the edge of the railing at Tar Valon spread out below him. A beautiful city, with tall graceful buildings, cleaner, more brilliant than anything on his world, surrounded by shining walls, and all laid out across an island in the middle of a gorgeous blue river.

It was a shame about the flood.

Kylar reached into a sack tied to his secondary equipment belt, drew out a small blue pearl, dropped it on the roof, and then vaulted back over the side of the Tower.


The River Erinin flows freely around the shining walls of Tar Valon. It is a part of the city’s defenses and its beauty.

The city itself was built by Ogier stonemasons and Aes Sedai channelers. It has never been taken by an enemy. And it has never flooded. Until today.

The water of the Erinin didn’t so much rise as creep. Slow flows, narrow as vines, made their way up the banks and then the walls like shallow streams flowing upwards, reaching the top of the walls and then flowing down into the streets. At first, in the fading light of dusk, the flows went unnoticed. But a guard walking the walls stepped in a puddle, looked up at the cloudless sky and then down… Tar Valon had seen its share of random ‘bubbles’ of evil in the Dark One’s recent activity… and men who stood guard on a city of Aes Sedai soon learned to be sharp, suspicious, and extremely careful … the alarm was raised quickly on the walls, the extent of the problem quickly observed… even as the streets started to fill with enthusiastically bubbling brooks and widening streams all running towards the White Tower.


The alarm drew the attention of the Aes Sedai instantly. The steadily rising streams of water running onto the grounds of the Tower, then into the Tower itself and up the stairs level by level drew a whole other escalation of alarm.

Sisters from each Ajah hurried to investigate. Circles of sisters formed, drawing immense weaves of Air and Water to try to reverse the flows. Novices and Accepted from the Seafolk were pressed into service, some with almost no Tower training finding themselves leading whole circles of full Sisters in weaves learned and learned well on Atath’an Miere ships long before they ever came to the Tower. Water was redirected, forced, cajoled, but it all came back. Steadily, the tower was being flooded. Whole ceilings were slowly being covered with water that defied reason and logic in its travel upwards.

Moiraine Damodred held back when her Blue Ajah sisters moved to begin their own efforts against the flood. She watched as three sisters attempted to bring Fire down on a stream of water flowing along a staircase. The cloud of steam sent them into retreat. Moiraine directed her own flow of Air to dissipate the heat, and studied the water.

It flowed up. She looked around. Everywhere, along walls, between almost invisible seams of Ogier wrought stone, the water flowed up.

She diverted her attention briefly to her Warder. Lan was many floors below. He had been training with other Warders when the flooding began. The steadily increasing flow of water was causing panic and making the stairs difficult to navigate. He would get to her when he could, but for the moment…

Moiraine wove Water, not trying to stop the upwards flows but pushing them aside enough to ensure her footing. Having no difficulty – the water merely continued on its way to either side of her steps – she began to follow the flow.

The climb to the top of the White Tower was not itself difficult, but the water flows were increasing. There was no feeling of Saidar being channeled, but something was drawing the water… she prepared a offensive weave of Fire, another defensive, of Air, and moved to the roof.

What awaited her above was stunning… frightening even… the flows of water had converged into a massive waterspout, a twisting, writing pillar of water growing from the centre of the roof of the White Tower… it was immense, almost as high again as the tower itself… the weight alone would have shattered a lesser structure… she allowed herself a moment to fear what would happen if the streams of water were allowed to continue to gather, before a second sight drew her attention… Aes Sedai Sisters… three… five… six or more, all unconscious, tied up, gagged, their heads propped up above the flows of water and pushed to the edges of the roof… she had not been the first one to follow the flows… which meant…

A stabbing pain broke her line of thought even as she was about to unleash the Air…

An arm, hard as steel, powerful, reached around her throat and pulled tight. She threw herself forward, pushing out Air around her as hand as she could. Her attacker grunted and twisted the blade enough to break her concentration and dissuade further efforts.

“Listen. Don’t fight. Moiraine Sedai. Just listen.”, he hissed in her ear.

She paused. If he had intended to kill her, that knife could have gone deeper before she could stop it. She steeled herself, ignored the pain of the knife tip in her side, and spoke with full Aes Sedai calm and confidence.

“You must know there is no escape from here. And I still breath, so you did not come here to kill me.”

“Or maybe I did. And I can be down the side of the Tower before you can blink. Don’t posture. Just listen.”

She could feel Lan approaching. She could feel channeling in the floors below as the Aes Sedai efforts to control the water grew. Someone would be here any moment. She would have a chance. Drawing on her angreal, she barely nodded.

“Three things you need to know. First, the blue ka’kari will keep drawing the river here until your tower breaks under the pressure. Second, the knife in your side is poisoned and you have only moments to live without the cure I can provide. Third, you can end this, save your tower and live, with two simple words: ‘I surrender’.”

Moiraine’s mind raced, but she asserted the same calm consideration she did to everything. “How do I know you’re telling the truth about any of this?” she asked.


Kylar’s perfectly plotted kill had one snag… this woman was not a deader, he was not being paid to kill her, and as far as he could tell, she was not a bad person. Which meant her really wanted to avoid her death if he could.

“You see your Sisters who got here before you. They aren’t dead. This contest has to end and your death doesn’t have to be a condition of that. Give up and we all walk away.”


Moiraine’s mind raced… the contest… again the blood and bloody ashes contest… four times already she had fought … the last almost too close… now this… he claimed a simple ending, but she had heard otherwise… the consequences of a loss could be dire…


Kylar felt her tense…

“Don’t be foolish. You’ve lost. I don’t want to kill you. Without the cure you’re already dead… give up.”


Moiraine’s thoughts settled. She prepared weaves of Air and Fire…

“No. You give up. I can wipe you out before you ever stood on this roof. You will never stab me. You will never threaten the Tower. It will be like you never existed.”


“So much as blink and this knife goes through your heart. Last chance.”

Even as he spoke he felt her tense, and by reflex borne of hard training and harsher lessons in life, drove the blade upwards…


Even as he spoke, Moiraine completed the Balefire weave…

Predicted Winner: Your votes will decide!


Check out the Semi-Finals

Check out the Bracket

Who will be Cage Match 2012 Champion?

Moiraine Damodred is a character from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan; Stern is a character from the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks.

Moiraine image courtesy of Jason Chan and Tor Books. Kylar Stern image courtesy of Orbit Books.

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!”

Also–let’s keep it civil. We’re all fans of the the genre, and while we want spirited debate, we also want to hear everyone’s opinions.


323 Responses to “Cage Match 2012: Championship: Moiraine Damodred versus Kylar Stern”

  1. WeStandForSomething says:

    As a huge fan of both series, I can honestly say that I have no idea who would win, or if The Black could devour balefire. For those of you that haven’t read Wheel Of Time, simply saying that balefire is magic and The Black devours magic isn’t a valid argument, since balefire is SO strong and it’s a different type of magic in a different universe. Personally, I voted for Kylar, simply because since I don’t know who wins, I decided to vote for my favourite character, and Moiraine never was my favourite from WoT. If it were Mat however….. :)

    Anyway, as always, may the best win, and have fun everyone; don’t take this to seriously!

    PS. Suvudu – Mat NEEDS to be in this next year. Just sayin’. :D

  2. Luke says:

    *Spoilers on the Way of Shadows series*
    Personally, I don’t see why the Devourer wouldn’t be able to absorb Balefire. It isn’t the devourer of magic, it just… devours. Everything, even objects, pain, time, to an extent, by making Kylar ageless, and even death when it has the right form of energy… I won’t say what that energy is or where it is aquired, as that’s too horribly spoilerish to say…

    Now I’m just curious how Kylar managed to get his hands on the Blue from within the Tlaxini Maelstrom.

  3. Chris says:

    Have to go with Kylar here: he’s the character best suited to taking out Moiraine, if any. Just a note, when Moiraine prepares Balefire, I don’t think she could have prepared the weaves without touching Kylar and causing them to dissipate. It was still a fantastic write-up and there are other ways Moiraine can win.

  4. The Riddler says:


    I have been trying to decide what would happen when the Black would do when it met balefire I have decided that there is no way finding out and stopped trying :D

    also i would agree with you about Matt but as was said by someone one either the list annoucement or bracket reveal “WoT fans would not let him lose under any circumstances what so ever”

  5. Not a Fan of Either says:

    Its funny how the Kylar fans say all other fans cheat but they dont. They can do no wrong.

  6. Caleb says:

    The balefire trick at the end was cool. I still voted for Kylar, but I almost voted for Moiraine because of that. Still, I like both series, but the Kylar character is cooler. My opinion of course.

  7. yocxl says:

    As I’ve said before, there’s about a 99% chance that cheating has gone on in some form for nearly every character in one of these matches. So quit bitching about WoT fans cheating, because I’m sure that NOT ONE of you has cast multiple votes for Kylar, Rake, or anybody else in the match, only those disgusting WoT fans… It’s such a silly thing to get all worked up over, too.

    A possible fix would be Suvudu requiring registration to vote and letting each registered account vote only once per match. That probably wouldn’t kill it entirely, but it’d make multivoting much more of a hassle. But I’m sure people would still bitch about those horrible WoT fans cheating all the time.

  8. Lee Monroe says:

    I just don’t see why the Black wouldn’t devour balefire. Balefire is a form of magic, from my understanding, that means it gets devoured, all Kylar is facing at this point is a normal girl, no offense, but a normal girl doesn’t stand a chance, and without her magic, that’s all she really is, a women.

    Don’t get me wrong, women can be powerful, but without her magic, she’s got nothing on Kylar. I will definitely be multi-voting, seeing as the WoT fanbase seems to be doing it, which is fine, that just means Kylar fans need to do it to.

  9. Chris (a different one) says:

    @Chris: weaves don’t have to touch the target to be prepared, they only touch after being completed and used, and balefire is… unique.

    Note: The cheating this time is going to be rampant.

  10. The Riddler says:

    @Lee Monroe

    I don’t see how the fact (if it even is a fact) that fans of WoT multivoted justifies fans of NAT multivoting really if you win unfairly its worse than losing imo

  11. WeStandForSomething says:

    @Lee Monroe: I see your point, but I, personally, won’t be multi-voting. I don’t care if they do it – I’m not. (Not necessarily saying they /are/ doing it. I’m not trying to point fingers, just saying.) I don’t want Kylar to win because of multi-voting and then have everyone say that he only won because we’re cheaters. I’d rather lose honestly than win by cheating. :P

  12. bibliophile785 says:

    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.

  13. Metacognition says:

    Just based on the the write up (Nicely done Abyss!), Kylar has already won, IMO. She’ll be poisoned and unless the balefire actually works (I don’t believe it would), Kylar would be gone with the antidote. Before anyone could reach her to try to heal her, she’d be a goner. Kylar on the other hand has survived falls like that before and that’s if he doesn’t use the Ka’kari to anchor himself to the tower.
    I posted this in the round 4 recap thread and I don’t think it’s as good as Abyss’ write up, but I thought I’d share my write up for how I thought things would go down:

    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. Now that he knew, he mentally checked which daggers he had that would kill a human deader.

    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 no 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 it from possibly 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 though. After her attempt to catch him with air, he seemed to almost glow dimly, 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 leaped 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 what 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 so complete! 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 slightly 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 one 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 like something hit by balefire typically did, she wasn’t willing to count on a glancing blow to be enough 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 one of the pews, inches from her face. As darkness closed in, she found herself thinking, “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.”

    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 taught him to plan for every eventuality. Without it, he didn’t know what he would have done.
    At least if was finally finished.

    I’ve read both series, but it’s been a while, so hopefully I didn’t make too many mistakes.

  14. Zangetsu says:

    This write up was brilliant! I have only read the nightangel books but the WoT is on my to read list and I will be reading it in the future. This is by far my favorite write up and I have real trouble voting in this fight as it seems that it should just end in a draw as both characters are brilliant and neither deserve to loss :)

  15. Ashayden says:

    @Darthcaz – True. I should also mention that Kylar can control all the magic the Black takes in as well. The next scene from the one I mentioned earlier has Kylar literally channeling that extra magic he was bleeding out and blasting it out his hand where he leaves a hand shaped tunnel through a 4 foot door.

    For those unfamiliar with it, in the NAT world, Magic (what us NATers generally refer to as Talent) requires 3 things. Energy Reservoir in the body (the glor vyriden), a Conduit (its literally how the body translates the energy), and a way for the user to absorb light (either through the eyes or skin). Primary sources for mages and magaes are the Sun and any fires around (Meisters of any sort are an entirely different matter and one I don’t need to go into as it has no bearing here). Kylar has all this and one other thing: the Black Ka’kari. Any type of energy it devours, magic or otherwise, is given to Kylar to use. Eg. Kylar puts out a fire in the woods at night with the Black which then infuses him with the energy from the fire itself. (”Beyond the Shadows” Kylar and Durzo meets Eris in the woods just before Durzo goes into the Wood). Any magic Moiraine tries to throw at him can potentially be used against her.

  16. David says:

    please forgive me for anything i get wrong and if you dont enjoy it im sorry i wrote this after reading abyss writeup which i liked but i hope you enjoy reading it at least as much as i did writing it.

    The Assassin was good, not the normal brand of pickpocket turned killer she was used to, but a real threat. This was a trained killer who showed no fear of taking on an Aes Sedai and her warder. She felt the little knot in her brain again to make sure Lan was still alive, whatever the man had stabbed him with had not gone deep enough to cause a lethal wound but the poison on the blade was working quickly and Moraine could feel his strength fading, he would be of no help now but if she could end this quickly Lan would survive. The fight had been so fast if Moraine had not been bonded to Lan she might not have been aware of what was happening in it at all.
    To the world it probably had looked as if Lan was training, like he did in the Courtyards of Tar Valon almost everyday, but the intensity flowing thru the bond made her aware that the fluid movements were his only defense against an unseen foe. Years of training and instincts put to the test while gracefully moving from one technique to another but still no enemy appeared before him. A dagger had appeared from nowhere to lodge itself in Lans side, Doing little damage but slowing his deadly dance. Slowly each swing became harder and less precise; every step became a struggle till Lan slumped to the ground unable to defend himself.
    “Well that was a big boy there, almost a shame to fight him like this, He probably could have killed me in a fair fight” Kylar’s voice seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Morraine had found herself a wall to put at her back and embraced Saidar, weave after weave flowed from her ones meant to detect, others to bind, and still more to react if he attempted to approach her.
    “I have fought Trollocs, Mydrall and Even some of the forsaken, Do not think a few tricks can frighten me” Morraines statement came with the full calm and authority that only an Aes Sedai could portray.
    Kylar tested the black on the strange magic that seemed almost threadlike as if someone was trying to knit magic into something, while strange the black devoured it like everything else it came across. “hmmm odd this stuff is almost like what Ezra used to make the silver” The black rarely talked but when it did Kylar always took note. The magic he was dealing with here was powerful maybe powerful enough to break the black so he would have to be cautious.
    As the weaves spread further and further they began to disappear one by one. IT was as if the world itself was Devouring them. Still able to see nothing and her defenses being removed one by one Morraine embraced Saidar Once more, Combining fire and air and sweeping it across the field in front of her. Kylar bartely had time to coat himself in the black before the fire hit. Walking thru the flame as the Black Devoured it around him, Kylar looked to be a Glowing black and red Coal in an out of control fire. Seeing her attack had no effect but finally having a target she could pinpoint, the weaves for Balefire began to form almost immediately.
    Kylar could tell the next attack was going to be her biggest, she was trapped he had the upper hand and her bodyguard, warders he remembers them being called, is almost dead. If he could he would save the man, a pure soul if there ever was one he would have but nothing short of killing him would have stopped him from protecting his Aes Sedai.
    He knows instictivly this is what the black was warning against a power like the attack she was gathering is not one he could survive directly, but glowing as he was he couldn’t risk trying to dodge it either, leaving him with one option. The black, if it could devour her other magic maybe it can devour this attack. Both prepared for the assault Kylar pooling the black around himself and forming a thick shield in front of his arms. Morraine filled to the brink with saidar unleashed the torrent of balefire directly at Kylar. As the two forces collide the black begins to devour the balefire but as it pushes forward to devour more it is ripped out of the pattern, the two forces struggle back and forth devouring one another only to be renewed again.
    Morraine collapses from the use of Saidar the balefire disappearing as suddenly as it appeared but instead of the silence that normally follows a clap as loud as thunder shakes her and kylar both tossing him away from the collision and her into the wall behind. Next the ripples begin to appear, First small but they begin to grow larger as a whole forms where the black shield in front of kylar’s arms met the balefire. Kylar stands a little shakily but observes the whole slowly growing in front of him. “what is that?” he says mostly to himself but the black responds anyway. “that is a hole in the world… Its going to devour this world and there is nothing I can do to stop it” kylar let this sink in for a moment, So many innocents about to die and nothing he can do to stop it. Then the black is there again “RUN!!!! Get a move on it the closer you are to that the quicker were both going to die we need to finish this and get back to our world” by this of course he meant the half dazed Morraine who was finally on her feet….

    …In the moments that followed the unraveling Moraine was faced with her greatest fear, the pattern was failing and it was her fault. She had been so desperate to stay alive, insistent that only she could guide the Dragon Reborn to the final battle. She had always known there was the chance of unmaking the pattern when using to much balefire but she had never considered the possibility that someone would have an Angreal that matched the power of her Balefire. Even in the records telling of the Age of legends there was never a mention of anything withstanding Balefire but the hole in the pattern twisting out of control in front of her told her all she needed to know.
    This Assassin possessed some Angreal or Tangreal that had unrivaled powers but here he was using it to do the most loathsome type of work it made her very blood boil, but even with the fear of the pattern unraveling her outward Aes Sedai calm did not waver once. With the whole beginning to grow rapidly and her opponent standing near by Morraine did the only thing she could think of to save the pattern, the weave began to form but with being so weak it took her a few moments to gather the necessary will to wield enough saidar so soon but the weaves formed and she directed them at her target.
    Kylar could not believe the drive of this woman, he was beginning to respect her in a way only someone who had fought to death could appreciate when he saw her forming another attack. The black didn’t need to urge him this time, instincts kicked in kill or be killed and the daggers appeared smoothly as he ran and dived for moraine…
    Morraine saw the attack coming but instead of launching the balefire at Kylar she did the only sensible thing left to her the only thing that could save her world and allow for Rand to defeat the Dark one in the final battle. She launched the balefire onto herself, Smiling as she was ripped out of the pattern ceasing to exist. As the fire ripped her from the pattern the hole in the fabric went as well the rippling stopping.
    Kylar landed with a thud, so surprised at not colliding with her and his brain still trying to comprehend just what happened his instincts don’t kick in until hes already hit and he forces himself into a crouch to look around. Realizing there has been no trick she really sacrificed herself to save the world Kylar is hit once again with a feeling that he has just killed a true hero, this world would never know of her sacrifice to save them but he would. Walking over to where Lan, now unconscious and barely breathing, he turns him over and leans in to pour the antidote in his mouth.
    “no point in killing you now” Kylar says as he lays him on the ground and turns to walk back to the portal that will releases him from this bloody contest. “you shouldn’t have turned your back on him” The black says as the pain of the blade passing thru his chest registers to kylar. Lan is barely standing as he pulls the blade from kylars back, and watches him fall. “I guess I was wrong, you can take me in an unfair fight too” Kylars last words struggle to come out as his vision begins to fade. Lan walks away from the dieing assassin and collapses onto the burnt ground were morraine last stood, weeping for a loss so deep only a warder could understand…..

  17. Asteron says:

    I would like to make a couple of points:

    1) Lots of votes doesn’t mean that the WoT fans are cheating. WoT is one of the most popular fantasy series ever. They typically get a lot of votes.

    2) The Black isnt invincible. ****SPOILER**** Remember when Kylar blocked Curoch with the black? It nearly killed it. Balefire is not magic. It is the effect created by the weaves, like lightening or a flame. Can Kylar be hurt by lightening or fire? Yes he can.

    3) By entering the WoT world and interacting with it, Kylar effectively becomes part of the pattern.

    One can even argue that all worlds are just different parts of the greater pattern. This is theorized in some part of a WoT book, i think.

  18. sacredhonour says:

    Just a couple of points for consideration. (I have read both series, multple times)

    1) People need to remember Balefire needs to be targeted. It is basically like a lazer so Moiraine needs to hit Kylar with it. Admittedly as long as her aim is good he would not be dodging it, but it is a targeted weave and small in diameter (especially at Moraine’s strength).

    2) The Black Ka’kari should be considered Cuellendar (sp). In the NAT universe, the Black is nearly indestructible along with a few other weapons. In a cross-universe space like this, my opinion would be it sits firmly in the Cuellendar ranks. The Black can be destroyed (as can Cuellendar, eg The Seals), but it takes Saitan like power levels (similiar to WoT).

    3) Kylar is basically invulnerable to direct magic. In-direct attacks would still mess him up pretty decently. In the trillogy he is never immune to damage even at the end of book 3. Strong enough physical attacks can do serious damage. I.E., dropping boulder on him would cause issues.

    4) Moiraine (like most Aes Sedai) uses her hands for a lot of weaves, Balefire being one them. Disabling her hands would throw her off.

    I seriously have no idea what would happen if the Black/Balefire met. I think it would be a bit like crossing Balefire streams.

  19. Josh says:

    Well, it appears that Brent’s tweet might have done the trick xD The other WoT fans must be sleeping…
    Either that, or all the fans of people Moiraine beat are exacting their revenge :’)

    It’d be nice if there were a way of discerning the winner without overwhelming fanvoting. This match especially presents a conundrum. If the ka’kari absorbs Balefire, Kylar wins. If it doesn’t, Moiraine wins, since she’ll make it strong enough to burn him out until BEFORE the poison was administered.

    It’s a tricky one – I voted Moiraine, on the basis that Balefire doesn’t work quite like other weaves, and also because I like her more than I like Kylar.

  20. Rand Therin says:

    Moraine Damodred is the baddest chick alive in Randland. Say that them three bratty bitches are stronger than her if you wish, that does not by any means make them more dangerous than Moraine. Balefire for the victory, An unstoppable superweapon, use it early, use it often. Use it always.

  21. bibliophile785 says:

    Typos, the bane of my existence…and they’re always obvious right after I press the submit button:

    3rd to last paragraph: “No more of that” and “It was almost enough to tear me apart” are supposed to be in italics. The ka’kari is speaking.

    2nd to last paragraph: “…still radiating from the ka’kari wrapped around *his* hand,”

    Sorry about those….

  22. Jon Schiavinato says:

    The write up was beautifully done (I thought) and really seemed to respect both characters.

    I came here thinking that Moraine would win tbh but the write-up tilted me in Kylar’s favour. He seems to have already won, regardless of if the Banefire is successful or not.

    Either it isn’t successful and gets devoured, she dies from the poison. Kylar wins.
    It is successful, Kylar survives (barely) because he’s actually lived through worse.
    It is successful, Kylar dies from injuries but AFTER the poison kills Moraine.
    It is successful, Kylar dies BEFORE the poison kills Moraine, but her death is final where-as he comes back to life.

    That is just my take on how the write up laid things out though. Still, I thought it was really well done, very respectful to both characters, I really like how you showed Kylar’s conscience and Moraine’s thought process.

  23. Jon Schiavinato says:

    Balefire^ made a typo and called it Banefire, my apologies

  24. Jon Schiavinato says:

    Balefire^ called it Banefire by mistake, my apologies.

  25. Sam Thurmond says:

    I voted once but I love that BITCH. Have grown up with her since I was 18. I might need to pick up this other series. Looks interesting. GOOD LUCK AND THE WIND IS STILL BLOWING!

  26. Steve says:

    I wasn’t sure I how I was gonna vote and this was an amazing read, and I’m definitely gonna buy the Moiraine book as i’ve already read Night Angel. however, i don’t believe you can stop your own death, not even Kylar’s “immortality” can stop death, so if Moiraine got killed she’s dead. Can’t change that, even if the killer didn’t exist anymore…i didn’t read the book so i’m not sure this logic works, but i stand by the belief that you can’t stop death, so I voted for Kylar.

  27. Joel says:

    Absolutely fantastic write-up. Thank you!

  28. D.I. Waisanen says:

    I will stand by the stance that balefire will absolutely NOT be absorbed by the Black Ka’kari. Balefire is not something that can be absorbed, can be eaten, or consumed. It isn’t matter, it isn’t energy, it doesn’t even fully play by the rules of reality. Anything that balefire touches is unmade before it hit them. Even Kylar’s ability to come back from death won’t save him, because balefire canonically prevents resurrection. I.e. the Dark One could not bring back the Forsaken after they were balefired.

    Even if, somehow, the BK was able to resist balefire, the result of the fight will still be the same. What’s to stop Moiraine from sucking all of the air out of the area where Kylar is and leaving him to asphyxiate to death? What’s to stop her from picking up a boulder the size of a person and throwing it at him? What’s to stop her from using spirit weaves to cut him off from his Talent? What’s to stop her from killing him through indirect means regarding the environment, such as opening a pit a hundred feet deep below his feet?

    All I’ve been hearing is this endless “The Black Ka’kari eats everything and is unlimited and all powerful.” If anything could destroy it, balefire could. The fact that anything exists in Kylar’s world that could damage or destroy the BK is very convincing evidence that it could not withstand balefire.

    I also can’t really see any way for Kylar Stern to really hurt Moiraine in any permanent sense, she could just cover herself in air shields and tie off the weaves, leaving her effectively impervious to physical attacks as long as she continues to pump saidar into them.

  29. Random Man says:


    Balefire burns anything it touches out of the Pattern, and erases actions directly caused by the target a certain ways back in time. The memories of what the target did remain but the actions are erased. It’s a bit of a paradox and could bring about instability in reality. The more powerful the balefire, the further back in time a target’s actions are erased. Moiraine has said the strongest she could manage was a few seconds The actual numbers are kinda fudgy on this, we’ve never actually seen the limit on it. We have seen \dead\ characters brought back due to their killer being balefired some minutes after. If she could manage a strong enough weave of balefire it could perhaps burn Kylar’s actions back to before he poisoned her.

    If the ka’kari is able to absorb balefire and treat it like magic in his world, then balefire wouldn’t work since it would be considered a direct weave. I don’t particularly think balefire would work. However Moiraine’s come across an object of Power that can block direct weaves of the Power before. The carrier of this same object has also had others independently figure a way around it — you can’t hold someone fast with Air but you can use Air to throw, say, a spear at it, or pull down the ceiling and bury him in 4000 pounds of masonry. I’m sure she would be able to figure that out against Kylar and work around it seeing she does have the experience with seeing such a thing before.

  30. Pete says:

    Moiraine cracks open the ground beneath Kylar’s feet, dropping him into a fiery chasm. I think its funny that everyone is reducing Moiraine to just spamming Balefire at Kylar. You all DO remember that the One Power can be targeted at things other than people, right?

  31. Random Man says:

    I think the majority’s arguing within the context of the writeup. Totally agree though, especially as Moiraine has only used balefire twice in the entire series due to understanding the dangers of it.

  32. Andrakis says:

    Depends how quick kylar is and wether he will abandon the knife, Balefire still has to hit him. And KaKari in my belief will react like it would to curoch. Not good! But kylar is quick and Moraine will probably die, kylar would of used White Asp’s poison probably. She would be dead before she would be found and Healed. Unless Nyneave was literally watching. I love both these series and WoT is probably liked a tiny bit more than Night Angel But i’d have to give to kylar if it was on the situation written above!

    Good Use of the Blue Kakari. But Why not the red in the Mountain beside the white tower? It exploded once befeore :) Or would it be to hard to get from a volcano u reckon?

  33. Metacognition says:

    Few things to consider when making a case for Moraine using her magic to interact with the environment to deal with Kylar.
    1- It’s highly unlikely that she’ll be at any extreme distance from him, so she also has to worry about whatever she’s throwing around. If she could pick up a big enough boulder (remember there’s still limits on what individual Aes Sedai are capable of picking up with the power), she has to concern herself with being crushed right along with it, or falling down the same pit, or being burned by the same flames.
    2- It takes time to move any substantial amount of the environment along the lines that have been suggested. Need I remind everyone of outside Shadar Logoth in the first book?
    3- Kylar is FAST. The Ka’kari not only protects but enhances. Plus, he’s been trained to a fine honed weapon. A little ground shaking isn’t going to be enough to disrupt him.
    4- It’s very hard to hit what you can’t see! Where are you planning on throwing that boulder? On top of yourself? Cause that’s probably the best chance of hitting him. Add into this that Kylar can (SMALL SPOILER) create his own illusions and she’d find herself tearing up the entire countryside/building without hitting anything but air.

    Just some food for thought. I could go through any specific scenarios you’d like to throw, but I think that on the whole, these things need to be taken into account before you just start making blanket statements.

  34. Happy says:

    Let me also second everything Metacognition said. Especially (4). It’s surprisingly difficult to hit something you can’t see.
    Remember Kylar can do magic as well. In fact, his magic is derived from light and fire. His ka’kari enhances this, among other things, meaning he can quite happily absorb any balefire and use it against Moiraine. Even if you’re not inclined to believe this, Kylar is very fast and dodging it wouldn’t be a problem. Tbh, I wouldn’t worry about balefire at all, Moiraine has always been very frugal in her use of it. Of course, fire and lighting could be a bit more of a problem.

  35. Jerry says:

    I love both series but Moiraine should win. The write up was good but the error almost all of the responses on here make is thinking that the black kakari will stop balefire because balefire is magic. The weave that Moiraine uses to make balefire is the magic and could be stopped by the black kakari but the balefire itself is not the magic, it is the weapon formed as a result of the magic, a weapon that destroys whatever it touches from existence before it touched them.

    Some also think that balefire would only destroy the black kakari and that Kylar would then be alive to kill Moiraine. No. The balefire would hit the kakari first and destroy it and immediately hit Kylar and destroy him. The Kakari winks out of existence once touched and Kylar gets hit immediately. You cannot dodge balefire. I don’t know where some of you got that idea from. Balefire moves at the speed of light. It cannot be dodged. If Moiraine’s aim is off because she is falling or something then she could miss but you can’t react fast enough to dodge something that moves at the speed of light.

    Another error people have been making is thinking that the kakari will bring Kylar back to life after he has been balefired. Balefire prevents souls from being brought back to life. In the Wheel of Time universe the Dark One who essentially has the powers of a God can bring souls back from the dead but cannot do so for those that are balefired. The black kakari is freaking powerful but the rules for how balefire works simply overmatch the rules for how the kakari works. It does not matter how powerful the balefire is for it to work. It works everytime to kill pre-instantly. The power of the balefire only affects how far into the past the person actually dies before he was hit by balefire. So even if Kylar stabs her first when he is balefired his action of stabbing her would likely not have accurred because his death actually takes place at least several secinds before the balefire hits him.

  36. Terez says:

    @yocxi—They’ll never require registration to vote because that would seriously cut down on the number of people who vote at all.

    @Josh—We haven’t played any power cards yet, and probably won’t until Wednesday, if we do at all. Maybe we’ll forgo the biggest one, but as I mentioned to Loki, usually when we advertise for a second match on the WoT Facebook page, it doesn’t pull in as many votes as it does the first time, because people think they’ve already voted.

  37. Ka'Carrie says:

    @Daruya – It wasn’t the ‘other side’ that said you guys cheated – it was Terez and other WoT fans. Sure, they all said that ‘they themselves didn’t do it’ but the fact remains that WoT fans DID using cheating (the Malazan fans may have as well) and as far as I know, those of us in the Weeks fan circles haven’t and don’t know how. If cheating is the only way to beat WoT as was said about last years Quick Ben versus Perrin win then I think we should have that option available to us as well. Otherwise, these entire competitions are nothing more than a playdate for the WoT characters.

  38. Terez says:

    Ka’Carrie—I can guarantee you that there are plenty of Weeks fans who know how to cheat, even if none have said so. It’s pretty simple if you have any real knowledge of how computer stuff works. That being said, it’s a pain in the ass, and few people have bothered. But again, Moiraine did not win because of cheating. I didn’t bother because I knew it wasn’t necessary; we had powercards still in the hand to play, so why sit in front of a computer for hours voting by proxy? The people who were cheating on the WoT side early on in the match were people who had no idea what was going on and really thought she was going to lose. And I can guarantee there was also cheating on the Malazan side, though I tried to warn them that resistance was futile. :p

  39. Loki says:

    The easiest way to stop cheating would be to allow for multiple votes, either one after the other or one per day etc. That way, the size of an authors fanbase would be irrelevant. An author with a small but dedicated fanbase could still win the competition. Plus, it would make it more like a game – to see which fanbase can out vote the other. Since there is no actual prize to this competition I see no real need for a ‘one vote only’ approach. Plus, it would remove all the cheating discussion.

    @Terez – I think it woud be interesting to see how the match ends without rallying the WoT troops – most of the votes you pulled in for Moiraine were from WoT fans who had no interest in the Suvudu Cage Match – they just voted for their character in some poll. I reckon it would be interesting to see how she does based purely on the votes of people who actually follow and participate in the Cage Matches. I’m not a WoT fan but I won’t hold it against you either if you decide victory is preferrable and play your aces again :)

    @Baco – I know how you feel. Of all the series, the spoilers for Brent Weeks series have been consistant and more annoyingly, not forewarned – at all in earlier rounds. I had actually bought the first book but by the time it arrived I just handed it to my partner because I saw no point in reading it anymore. It would be like finding out the ending to the Sixth Sense or Primal Fear – why bother seeing the movie still? Really annoyed by it.

    There are some really nice write-up heres. I’m not sure how accurate they are since I haven’t read WoT in some time and I’ve never read Kylar Stern’s series but they read well and are enjoyable. I still prefer Abyss’ though – partly because he is our bewhisked overlord but mostly because I simply enjoy it the most (so far, at least :D )

  40. NightAngel4theWIN says:

    ***Spoiler Alert***

    Firstly I wanted to say, this is an awesome write up. By far one of the better ones I’ve seen here. Second i want to acknowledge that i have not read any of the WoT books, and therefore my opinion is possibly based on flawed information and I’m also a huge fan of Brent Weeks and the Night Angel series. Regardless of my personal feelings (Kylar is AWESOME!!!) I could easily see this go either way. The ka’kari is unable to absorb too much magic at once, as seen towards the end of the second book Shadow’s Edge. Also immensely powerful magic such as that of Curoch will kill him even beyond the point of revival as stated by Durzo in Beyond the Shadows. That being said if Kylar can get the ka’kari to absorb the weave of the Balefire spell before Moiraine can hit him with it she is pretty much screwed. Personally I voted for Kylar (I know, Fuccilo \HUGE\ surprise there) but i could understand if he lost.

  41. Metacognition says:

    I disagree with your concept of balefire. That’s like saying that a weave of air couldn’t hold anything or a mask of mirrors wouldn’t be able to hide anything or that traps that are woven wouldn’t do anything, especially tied off. The effect of the weaves is still apart of the weaves. As far as dodging it goes, many of the forsaken have dodged weaves of balefire or else some of Rand’s fights would’ve been very boring! ;) And Nynaeve has dodged it before as well. Those are just the circumstances off the top of my head that I can think of.
    As far as it destroying anything and everything it touches, there’s at least one item even in the WoT that resists balefire, cullendar. Considering that, it is no more a stretch to think that the Ka’kari would be able to resist it than it is to make a case that the black wouldn’t be able to eat it because there’s a weapon in NAT that can hurt it.
    Finally, balefire is a targeted weave. You have to have a place to shoot it at! If your target is always moving (Rahvin) or you can’t see your target (Nynaeve in Tanchico), you’re probably going to miss. It’s not as point blank as you make it out to be IMO.

  42. dawoad says:

    liked the write up, glad that it came down to these two and congratulations to whoever should win.

  43. Novouto says:

    Kylar sucks because his series does. Moiraine is awesome because her series is awesome.

  44. yocxl says:

    @Metacognition: You’re probably wrong on that one.

    (SOME WoT SPOILERS, NOTHING TOO MAJOR) There are many instances in which the effects of a weave do not count as the weave itself. That’s why a channeler could hit Mat Cauthon with a projected rock, or a bolt of lightning, or a fireball, and his amulet wouldn’t make said projectile dissipate. The weave conjures lightning; lightning is not itself a weave. Granted, it could be different with balefire (i.e. balefire itself is a continuous weave rather than a conjured substance; some have theorized that may be the case) but that seems unlikely to me.

    Additionally, if I remember correctly, Moghedien moves her balefire stream when she attacks Nynaeve in ACoS, so if one does miss one could presumably move the stream after the target. A bit reckless, but it could make a big difference, possibly hitting the target.

  45. Longshanks says:

    Much as it pains me to see Moiraine go, I can’t see a realistic way for her to escape this fight alive. Kylar takes it. Ruidiculously over-powered he might be, but at the end of the day, Moiraine’s only method of survival is the One Power. Fighting a skilled assassin with the ability to neutralize any sort of magical attack, she would not be able to survive long enough to bring Balefire into play (even if it would work – which is by no means a foregone conclusion).

  46. Lee Monroe says:

    Lets not forget that a big part of Kylar’s training was to take out magic users. He took out many powerful magic users in his world, some whom I think might be better or equal to Moraine(Spelling?)

    The Ka’Kari absorbs any type of energy, I believe, so Balefire would still be absorbed, even if you don’t consider it to be magic.

    I’m sorry, but Balefire is the deciding factor here, and even if it did work, Kylar would most likely dodge it, seeing how it has to target something. Kylar is wicked fast, it would be a peice of cake for him to dodge it.

    Kylar has this, there really isn’t anyway to say he doesn’t. It all comes down to who you personally want to win. I’m hoping Kylar does. If he were going up against someone that could beat him, I wouldn’t vote, because I wouldn’t be able to not vote for Kylar.

  47. Chris (a different one) says:

    I”m unsure of how the Black would handle trying to absorb Saidar, it is truly and utterly alien compared to the magic of its world. When weaves are used the power is not used up, it then returns to the source. And the magic of the WoT is very specific: A man CANNOT see weaves of Saidar and a women weaves of Saidin, except in the one case where there is a link that includes both genders, in which case the one weaving, and everyone linked to them, can see both powers at work, but only so long as the link lasts.

    This makes it likely that Kylar would have… issues trying to find and counter weaves. In fact, Rand was struggling in a fight against a user of Saidar because he couldn’t see the weaves being thrown at him, and had to wait until the absolute last second to counter them, though he was admittedly not very good at that point.

    Balefire is useful when the target doesn’t expect it, is distracted, or is too close to dodge. In making a killing blow kylar would get too close, and weaves can be prepared in advance, as Moiraine knows. Simply wait until the last possible moment, when he is but an inch away and release the weave. The balefire then undoes his fatal blow. Risky, but the kind of thing Moiraine would, and has, done.

  48. Sam says:

    Terez, g8 to see your still lurking.

  49. Metacognition says:


    What you are talking about are effects of weaves. The reason Matt was capable of being hit was because the effect of the weave was to release the projectile. The weave didn’t target him as much as the rock. Same with lightning.
    There are really only two things you’d have to convince me on to believe that balefire is a product of a weave rather than a weave itself and those are:
    1- The sweep. As you said (and it’s been done in more than just ACoS, my example with Nynaeve in Tanchico as well, for example), you can move the weave around. It’s more dangerous to the pattern that way, but it can be done. The reason this is important is because it can no longer be an effect of the weave at that point. Can you change the direction of an already thrown fireball?
    2- Pin point accuracy. At one point, Rand shoots smaller weaves of balefire, stopping them from going any further than his intended target (iirc, it was either in the stone of tear or before he faced Rahvin… I’m trying to find the specific instance I’m thinking of). That wouldn’t be possible unless it’s a weave, based on the arguments made so far. If it travels at light speed, it wouldn’t be something you could stop at a certain distance because it would have already traveled past the point you thought to stop it at. Also, if it released by the weave, it would continue on and on and on, since nothing would stop it except cullendar.

    Those are the two points I’d have to be convinced of to consider it not a weave itself. As far as targeting goes, far too often have numerous members of the forsaken dodged balefire for me to think that it’s as A: instantaneous as stated and B: undodgeable. Even with a sweep, a smart character could dive underneath it (Nynaeve) or leap over it, or even out run it, as it’s based on the caster’s line of sight. I can’t think of a single person casting balefire behind them, can you?

  50. Tim says:

    First up, a very, very good writeup, great work Abyss (although I’m a little confused at the inclusion of the Blue Ka’kari – Kylar doesn’t have it, and if he did, I’m not sure it could do that, or why he’d do that instead of just sucking all Damodred’s blood from her body in an instant, the one thing we know the blue can do. But that’s not really important)

    I’m not going to pretend to know enough about Moiraine to say if she’d beat Kylar or not, though from everything I’m seeing here, it looks like Kylar probably could counter everything she could throw at him (that is, I’m yet to see anything in the comments Kylar couldn’t get around). But, it depends on the day I guess. Kylar has messed up seemingly simple assassinations before (although generally when he was much younger). These things happen. And in some of the cases it might depend on how much Kylar knew about Moiraine in advance. I’m not voting in this one, just because I don’t know enough about Moiraine and her world, and even from what I do know it seems like it could go either way. I’m still leaning towards Kylar though, but I probably always will.

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