SF & Fantasy

Cage Match 2012: Final Four Recap!


Granny_Weatherwax recap

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

And two of those characters lost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

Apparently it didn’t work.

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

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

So who will he be facing?

Surprise, surprise: a Wheel of Time character!

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Granny image courtesy of Outskirts Battle Dome


64 Responses to “Cage Match 2012: Final Four Recap!”

  1. Matador says:

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

  2. Metacognition says:

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

  3. Chris says:

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

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

  4. Patrick says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. bibliophile785 says:

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

  7. theAKpal says:

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

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

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

    Kate Daniels (Au: Ilona Andrews)

  8. Patrick says:

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

    Thanks.

  9. Chris (a different one) says:

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

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

  10. theAKpal says:

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

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

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

    ********

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “I am.”

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

    “You saw this coming, did you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Moraine Damodred.”

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

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

    “What’s balefire?”

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

    “Why don’t I remember?”

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

    “Then how am I here?”

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

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

    “I did.”

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

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

    “To what end?”

    “Revenge, of course.”

    “Revenge on who?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “What are those?” Anomander asked.

    “You remember me mentioning Kylar Stern, correct?”

    “I do.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Who’s the Dark One?”

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

    “Hold on a sec, you fought him?”

    “Yes, I fought him.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. Not Telling says:

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

  12. Viridian says:

    @Not Telling

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

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

  13. Oden says:

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

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

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