SF & Fantasy

Cage Match — Round 5 — Granny Weatherwax versus Kylar Stern

The Contestants


Click to view original image source


Click to view original image source

Esmerelda “Esme” Weatherwax
Age: It’s rude to ask a Witch her age
Race: Witch
Weapons / Artifacts: Flying broomstick

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

The Breakdown


  • Incredibly powerful witch
  • Particularly skilled at tricking people without using magic
  • Can “Borrow” another’s senses

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

  • Committed to doing “Right”

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


How we think the fight will go

The arena was abuzz with anticipation, hoping finally to see Granny Weatherwax actually fight someone this time.

They weren’t disappointed…too much.

She looked slightly ridiculous as she swung the massive sledgehammer down on Kylar’s head, but not quite as ridiculous as the young man who simply stood there, catching the full brunt of the heavy weapon. With a sickening crunch, Stern’s skull was nothing but the container for blood pudding–and not the kind you’d find in a delightful Irish breakfast.

Later, when all the fans clamored that the black ka’kari would never have let such a thing happen, Granny simply shrugged and pointed out that what happened happened. With a nod of her head, she referred them to the neck and torso lying prone on the floor of the arena, and the pool of gore that seemed to flow from the top of it.

“Seriously, though–the black ka’kari makes Kylar invincible,” a fan said.

Granny sighed, as if the proof wasn’t in the–ahem–blood pudding. She tapped a long finger against her temple.

“Listen, sonny. If I say a thing is so, then it’s so. And if I happen to convince someone that something is so, then it’s so, too.

“Now the black ka’kari is a nice-enough sort–although a bit disrespectin’ in my opinion. So when I suggested to it that this Stern character was a bad seed, it listened. When I also told it that treating people like objects is sinful, would you believe it was ashamed?

“Well of course it was! Shameful thing, acting like people is things. People are people, and there ain’t no nevermind about that!”

The disbelieving fan stared at her with his jaw agape. “You…you…”

“Spit it out, boy. I ain’t got all day.”

“You used Headology on the black ka’kari?”

“If you say so.”

“And it just left Kylar?”

She simply shrugged.

“But that’s impossible!”

“If you say so.”

“No–seriously. It’s impossible! And even if it wasn’t, Kylar still is one of the most skilled, fearsome fighters ever.”

“Didn’t seem like that to me,” Granny huffed.

“But…but…,” the fan spluttered.

“Listen: power is power. And I ain’t one to brag, but if Death doesn’t scare me, do you think a young man will? Do you think a bit of black goo will? Maybe the ka’kari is a bit more naive than you or I think. And maybe Kylar thought I couldn’t hurt him, because he had the ka’kari–even though he didn’t. And maybe he thought he’d just come back to life after, being so ‘immortal’ and all. And maybe…”

“But that’s bull–”

Granny slapped him across the mouth. She narrowed her eyes on the fan.

“If you want bull, I can give you a bull,” she said menacingly. “Maybe turn you into one–with some nice pink bows to go with it.”

The fan shook his head rapidly from side to side.

“Good. Then none of that gutter-talk from you.” She relaxed, and looked at the fan speculatively. “So what did you see today?”

“That–even as impossible as it seems–” and at this the fan flinched, expecting Granny’s wrath, but she only stood there, calmly. Relieved, the fan continued. “That, as crazy as it seems, you bashed Kylar’s head in with a sledgehammer.”

“Well, if you saw it that way,” she said, smiling, “then that’s how it must have happened.”

Predicted Winner: Granny Weatherwax


Check out the previous Semi-Final match!

Check out the Bracket

The Finals start April 9th, so be sure to check in to see who will be Cage Match 2012 Champions!

Granny Weatherwax is a character from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett; Stern is a character from the Night Angel series by Brent Weeks.

Granny image courtesy of Victor Gollancz, Ltd. Kylar Stern image courtesy of *syku-wolf.

Don’t forget–we’re always looking for fans’ depictions of these characters. Check out the details here

Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”


117 Responses to “Cage Match — Round 5 — Granny Weatherwax versus Kylar Stern”

  1. Wazza says:

    Brent Weeks is a tool but Kylar Stern would win this round. Granny isn’t as grand as people make out. In fact, she’s down right annoying.

  2. theAKpal says:

    So, just for the heck of it, and seeing as how it’s somewhat common in this thread – I’d been inspired by some of the other commenters, also – I figured I’d add my two-cents of a write-up. Note, it’s almost 2k words and contains spoilers from NAT.

    Before I post it, I want to say I’ve read the NAT, recently and as a result of these cage matches; and I highly recommend them. I have not read any of Granny’s books.

    With that said, I do apologize for the way in which I write Granny speaking, I just don’t know her diction (Kyler’s probably isn’t all that accurate either); but, for me, this is more about having fun than being 100% faithful to the styles. Besides, I’m lazy and don’t want to do any research. So, here goes:

    Kyler found himself on a vast battlefield surrounded by tens of thousands of fans screaming for bloody murder.

    “We want to see a real fight. We’re tired of Granny’s winning not being spelled out for us. We watch too much television. We don’t know how to use our imaginations,” they whined.

    “I’ll show you a fight, just as soon as my opponent arrives,” Kyler pandered to the crowd.

    It was at this time that a little old lady moseyed out onto the field, walker and all.

    “Don’t y’ mind me, youngin, I’ll be along shortly. Get y’ self prepared. Go ahead and do your whole invisible bit or whatever,” Granny said.

    “An old lady is it,” Kyler thought. It didn’t matter. He’d taken contracts on plenty an old woman. Just another deader; and she was even giving him time to prepare. Her funeral.

    He was tempted not to bother with the ka’kari on this woman, she barely looked capable of holding herself up, much less put up any kind of fight. But, this was the fourth round of the cage matches. She wouldn’t have made it this far if there wasn’t more to her than the way she looked. If the information Momma K had acquired was accurate, she was some form of witch where she was from. He’d dealt with witches before.

    Kyler activated the black ka’kari’s power and disappeared from view. His training had ground into him the importance of knowing his surroundings. He was quite aware of every nook and cranny, divot, shadow, and curve of the arena. There weren’t any surprises to worry about. It was him, the old lady, and her walker – complete with basket on the front. He couldn’t quite tell from his position, but it didn’t look like the basket contained anything of note, just some balls of yarn and knitting needles.

    Although he could think of fifteen ways to kill with those contents, she didn’t have that look to her. He couldn’t imagine her using them for anything but knitting blankets and sweaters, or whatever it is old lady’s knit. Nonetheless, he readied himself for whatever was set to come his way. He’d learned his lessons. He was no longer the naïve youth of the past.

    He was prepared for anything. Anything, that is, except for what came next.

    “Ka’kari! Ka’kari, I know that’s you!” Came a voice out of Granny’s basket.

    “What the hell is that,” Kyler thought, not wanting to give away his position. “I thought we weren’t allowed to use outside assistance in these battles. I would’ve brought Durzo along, otherwise. Not that I need the help, but two is better than one, and he’s pulled my ass out of the proverbial fire multiple times.”

    “Ka’kari, you get over here right now and leave Granny alone,” the voice said.

    “Oh, shit!” the black ka’kari said, panic and worry apparent in its tone.

    “What? What’s wrong?” Kyler asked, getting worried himself, having only knowing the ka’kari to stress over really dangerous matters.

    “Ka’kari, I know you’re there, you can’t hide from your mu’mari,” the voice said.

    “Crap, it’s my mom! Sorry, Kyler, you’re on your own for this one,” the black ka’kari said and disunited from him, slowly leaking down his leg to puddle on the ground at his feet before making its way towards Granny.

    A larger ooze dripped down the side of Granny’s walker, and as Kyler’s ka’kari reached it stretched out a strand and grabbed it, then dragged it out of the arena.

    Kyler was aghast, he was dumbfounded, but most importantly, he was no longer invisible.

    Granny spoke up, “Now that we got that out of the way, we can get on with our…match.”

    Kyler couldn’t help it, he asked, “What just happened?”

    “Ah, y’see, it seems your little friend there, the black ka’kari, ran away from home a thousand years ago or so. For their people, he’s little more than a babe. I happened to be having tea with her the other day, commenting about the ridiculousness of these cage matches. To think the powers that be had to drag me into this mess,” Granny said, shaking her head. “I told her you were my next opponent and described your specialized skill set to her. She recognized her boy immediately and was quite pissed when she found out he’d been hiding on Midcyru all this time. If you’ve ever seen a mother determined to get their child back, well you’d know what I had to deal with. I had no choice but to agree to their happy reunion. Oh, I’m sorry, you probably don’t know what it’s like to have a mother worry about you, being an orphan and all.”

    Kyler asked, “You mean the black ka’kari has a family? There are more of them?”

    “Why, of course he does. He’s a sentient being after all. Did you think he just popped out of thin air or something. I swear, children these days,” Granny said.

    Kyler didn’t know what to say, but it didn’t matter, this was a cage match. So what if he didn’t have the ka’kari to protect him. He was still trained by the greatest wetboy ever, and he was no slouch himself. He flourished Retribution and prepared to battle.

    “Is that your plan, then, Kyler, stick me with that toy of yours? Because, I can tell you right now, it won’t work,” Granny asked.

    “Not exactly,” Kyler said. “I’ve been practicing my arts since saving Cenaria from the God-king and Khali. What better way to test my skills than against the foremost witch of discworld. I admit, I did a little research on you. ”

    Kyler wasn’t sure why he was talking to her. What kind of wetboy tells his target what he’s going to do before doing it. Well, except for maybe Vir, but there was a lot of sexual tension between us at the time. You get a young man alone with a young woman and …

    Kyler pulled his mind back from visions of Vir’s bountiful curves and luscious breasts. “Focus Kyler, this is a battle to the death. We don’t have the luxury to be distracted,” he thought.

    When he came back to, Granny was sitting in a rocker, blanket across her lap, needles in hand. The walker was gone. “What!” Kyler thought. “Where’d that come from? I sure as hell know that wasn’t there a moment ago.”

    “Are you done daydreaming about your girlfriend? We are in the middle of a cage match here.” Granny said.

    “She’s not my girlfriend!” Kyler growled, almost petulant. “My love died with Elene.”

    “Yes, a pity that. Killing your own wife, for shame,” Granny reprimanded.

    “She sacrificed herself. She did it to save our world. Don’t disrespect my doll girl!” Kyler shouted.

    “tsk, tsk, Kyler. Is that guilt I hear in your voice? How long have you and Vir been intimate? What would your precious Elene think about that?” Granny asked.

    “Vir and I are not a couple. And, besides, Elene made Vir promise to look after me, knowingly,” Kyler said.

    “She did, did she? Are you saying your one and only love wanted you to hook up with another girl? Are you so sure she loved you as much as you think? Maybe she just couldn’t think of a better way to escape from your immortal harassment.”

    “Shut up. You know nothing about us. It was true love between us. It always had been,” Kyler screamed.

    “But, if you loved her as much as you say you did, why didn’t you figure out a way to save her? Surely you could have made a deal with Ezra. Maybe trade two of your friends’ lives for Elene: Vir and someone else. Maybe you didn’t because you also wanted out of the relationship. Maybe once you’d had her you were done with her. I know how the male mind works. Vir was new, and she clearly wanted you. And, you knew she was far more experienced and open to the more disreputable things you’d like to do.”

    “No, it’s not like that! I’m not like that! I’m different! Elene was my first. I loved her with all my heart!” Kyler shouted, covering his ears with his hands. “I’m not listening to this anymore.”

    She was good, he had to give her that. Kyler didn’t want to think about it. He knew there was truth in the old lady’s words. But, he was different, right? He wasn’t like all the other men, he tried to tell himself. He was angry.

    No, he was furious, righteously so. And, whether at himself or at Granny, it didn’t matter. He could use that emotion and channel it into defeating her, because whether what she said was true or not, he wasn’t going to lose the fight if he could avoid it.

    Kyler focused his not insignificant Talent through Retribution, the Staff of Law, the maker and unmaker, the archiver, and unleashed a tidal wave of fire and lightning towards Granny. It rolled towards her in a wall of sound and fury, scorching the earth and leaving a glassy sheen in its path. The shear magnitude of its heat caused those in the stand’s few front rows to spontaneously combust in a shower of ash, even at distance. It was a spectacle of light and imagery the likes few of which have ever seen, the blues and reds flickering amongst themselves as electricity scattered about. It was an awe-inspiring sight, and it washed right over Granny as if merely a strong wind, the wards surrounding her in a bubble of protection.

    Granny didn’t even look up from her pearl knit, one-two. Kyler couldn’t help but wonder what she was knitting.

    “Flashy,” she said. “But that’s not how things work on my world. I didn’t feel like playing with it. Go on, what else have you got? Get it all out. I want you to feel as though you did everything you could to win. I don’t want there to be any regrets left for you to quibble about when I inevitably defeat you.”

    Kyler blinked his eyes. He’d just seen Granny shrug off the most intense magic he’d ever seen (well, remembered seeing, that is), and it was still going, burning through the stands at the end of the field and snuffing out the spectators’ miserable lives. He felt no remorse for them. As much as he liked to avoid it, collateral damage occurs.

    So what if his offensive magics had no effect. Many people can defend against them. Not everyone has the Staff of power though, “Try this one on for size,” Kyler said as he used Retribution to dismantle the protective wards surrounding Granny. But, his control wasn’t perfect, and he ended up stripping away more than just the wards. He ended up stripping away reality in such a way as to reveal the will behind her words. What he saw was of such frightening magnitude he dropped to his knees in awe…and despair, Retribution clanging against the newly formed glass ground, a marblesque menagerie of greens and browns.

    Seeing the truth of what he was facing, he knew he’d lost and there was nothing he could do about it. He never dreamed such a power existed. His last thought was, “If only I read more fiction growing up, I may have stood a chance.”

    When the dust settled, after having been kicked up by the explosion of reality, the crowd was silent as Granny made her way back to the locker room, wandering behind her walker, the basket slightly less empty than when she started.

    And, Kyler, Kyler lay lifeless on the ground with a knitting needle through his left eye…and a Santa hat upon his head.

  3. Slash says:

    having just read all of the discussions I feel like I understand both characters. Someone mentioned richard Rahl earlier and that sounds accurate to me. Everything about Granny points to her being the counterpart to Zed from the sword of truth series. In that she simply uses the wizards first rule. As such the sword of truth seems like an accurate modicum to base this battle on with a proper mix of both Kyler and Granny’s abilities available.
    With that being noted it makes me wonder why granny would make it this far using the wizards first rule but Richard Rahl who has the same ability and a whole lot more be out in the second round. Just saying its interesting how one character with the same abilities goes so much farther.

  4. Dicklover says:

    Richard Rahl was out’d because of a lot of Dick hate not because his lack of power. He should have easily taken this whole tournament, but it’s a popularity contest, not a cage match. And that’s the Truth.

  5. Huh says:

    I’ve only read the Night Angel series and know nothing of the other combatants but I guarantee he can whip everyone.

  6. Lee Monroe says:

    Well, looks like Rake is going to lose to the wrath of the WoT fans.

    I’m hoping that when Kylar goes up against them, he can pull through.

  7. Blade's_Master says:

    Hmmm… I don’t know even how in a world that base his existence in magic the words “Did you think he just popped out of thin air or something” can be applicable most of the incredible powerful beings & things with a magic relation popped out of thin air, they are forged created but not born of families it makes no sense even a sentient/simbian or whatever and no use fantasy popularity as a valid explanation is just mess up these are not characters of a silly animation directed to small children.
    Moreover how is that “the Staff of Law, the maker and unmaker” can be that easily avoided even overlooking that how a bunch of stupidity talk over rules (that seem even the knowledge of kylar about it was erase) that governs the so called inmortality of Kylar can open a doubt that gives a victory to granny, of course maybe is just me a Fan of fantasy & the Brent Weeks opinion but I’m not accept that result.

  8. Remvexas says:

    @The broken
    Yes, Kylar would have a way out of that. I could explain it but since you’ve read the first book I’m going to just suggest you continue on with the other two.

    Wow, rude much? Where do you get off calling someone you’ve never met a tool? I also bet that you don’t even know anything about him. Granted, neither do I – but it seems to be wrong to just label someone like that without a reason.

    You misspelled Kylar’s name. (Sorry, but it’s just a pet peeve of mine.) Also, I think you’ve gotten your magical artifacts mixed up… *SPOILERS* Retribution is really Iures, the Staff of Law, whose power is to give a its wielder a thousand times more magical control. As such, doesn’t make much sense for Kylar to make a mistake because of a lack of control. And he would never give up knowing what his death would cost. Never, ever again, no matter what he faced. But my issue is only with the logic. Your write-up is still better than the original.

  9. theAKpal says:


    Sorry, I thought I saw an earlier post where someone said it was spelled wrong with the ‘e’. I didn’t remember for sure and was too lazy to look it up (I must’ve remembered it dyslexically). I’m aware of the artifact (i.e., I know which one does what). I figured someone would give me some heck for it. My logic was that since he’s never really had much control over the magic, a 1000x increase doesn’t make him all that much better at it. It was more for the fact that the artifact allowed him access to the Talent in the first place that I was going with. The magnitude of the power employed was his own, as his incredible potential is mentioned in the novels. With regard to what his death would cost, with the black ka’kari ‘gone home to mommy’, he wouldn’t be resurrected, ergo no death of a friend.

    Thanks for the commenting, anyways. I appreciate all constructive feedback, even if it is to tell me it isn’t good (although you didn’t say that). At least I could understand what you said, unlike blade’s master’s rambling diatribe.

  10. Metacognition says:

    You know who I’d like to see next year? Cal, from the Nightlife series. He’s a halfbreed descendant from one of the first races ever to exist (in his modern setting) and is a great anti-hero. Plus, his ability to make gates would give him a fair chance within these fights!

  11. Samuel says:

    Guh, so Stern won again? I’m actually kind of baffled by the fan response to this character. I read the Night Angel books, but I never found Kylar all that impressive. I mean, he’s an assassin who doesn’t like to murder people, angsts about his girlfriend/chronic virginity all the time, and gets killed by better assassins all the time. None of his subtle plans tend to work out, so the master killer in the shadows is generally reduced to rushing straight at his target with a sword. I mean, sure, he’s powerful, but that’s the ka’kari. Without it he’d be about the least successful assassin in all fantasy literature, dead numerous times over at the hands of men and women with no such enhancement at all.

    Am I the only one who just doesn’t get all the Night Angel hype?

  12. Farmer Monkey says:

    I’d like to see a gate-mage in the tourney, too! Just finished listening to OSC’s “The Lost Gate (Mithermages #1)” on Audible. Danny (or Wad) would make an interesting contestant.

    I particularly liked how gate mages in that novel were almost always practical jokers. Because that’s exactly what I would want to do as a gate mage. Imagine the fun you could have with the gun from Portal playing a GTA or Saints Row game!

  13. Vikenx says:

    Wow, Wazza, rude much?

    And I have to question theAKpal’s comprehension of the Night Angel novels… first and foremost because of the glaring misspelling of Kylar’s name. Seriously, it’s with an “a” and not an “e,” why are so many people making that mistake with it referenced in the info at the top of the page? Not to mention even if Kylar knew he would lose, he would never, EVER give up a fight knowing what it costs for him to invoke his immortality. Seriously, after facing down a goddess and an army of the damned, I don’t think Granny is so far beyond that that it would make Kylar surrender in his own mind. Oh, and finally is the mistakes regarding the ability of Iures, the Staff of Law, which would by its very nature never be an instrument for its wielder to make a mistake due to lack of control.

    And one thing I’ve never really seen addressed… if Headology is magic that turns perception into reality, than shouldn’t the Ka’kari simply be able to absorb or negate it? The Black can and has acted of its own will to protect Kylar in the past.

    Oh, and I know the fight has been decided already, but no one ever points out that Kylar has wielded Curoch before… and if he were to prepare for a multidimensional death match involving a potential battle against Rake to protect his very reality, I can imagine he’d get his hands on it again one way or another. Curoch to the heart would be beyond what even Granny should be able to handle. After all, two of the defining properties of the Sword of Power, the Sunderer, is that it sunders magic itself… and no wound inflicted by Curoch can be healed by magic. Though for cross-reality matches where laws of reality clash, this becomes a debatable issue. Of course, if Granny’s abilities make her beyond Curoch because of the nature of her world’s magic, there’s no reason the converse can’t be argued that the Night Angel can’t be beyond the influence of Granny’s magic. Just saying, it’s something to think about.

    All I’ve ever wanted to do was give people who seem dead set one way or another, or who display incomplete knowledge about, is give them something to really consider.

  14. Vikenx says:

    Oh, sorry, for some reason I didn’t see the newer batch of comments where someone else pointed out the same things in theAKpal’s write-up. My apologies. I don’t want you to think that I think it was bad, either. I just like expanding on people’s ideas and my initial perception was that there were things that were miscomprehended. Though I don’t think the Black would be quite so easily manipulated, and the Black Ka’kari gave him access to his Talent (which he can now use even without it). Regardless, my apologies again.

    Well, it’s true that Kylar gets killed a lot after he bonds the Black Ka’kari. However, a lot of that can be tied to Kylar simply making errors in judgment due to a lack of understanding of how his Talent or the Ka’kari worked. In The Way of Shadows, before he bonded the Black, it was established that Kylar was one of the best assassins of the era (here I’m using assassin as different from wetboy, which it is). Frankly, he only manages to ever be killed by magic wielders, the ones that do have the enhancements (the exception being when he allows himself to be killed at the beginning of Beyond the Shadows). And those character flaws humanize Kylar in a way you rarely to never see an assassin character humanized… all too often they’re rather one-dimensional, especially when it comes to their trade. That’s why I like him… because he is a complex character that is extremely good at what he does, even if his lack of magic training and incomprehension of what he’d become forced him to make faulty assumptions and errors in judgment for a while. I really got into the character’s head, and I found a lot there. Same with other characters from the novels. And that’s why I’m a fan of the story, and the writing style of Mr. Weeks that helped me get into them.

    Of course, I don’t expect everyone’s experience to be the same, and I don’t mean to tell you that you must feel the same way. You just asked, so I thought I’d try to explain why I personally am a fan.

  15. dpomerico says:

    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 of this post:


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

  16. doc says:


    Kylar, Cale, Mr. Wednesday or a handful of others could easily have taken out Rahl.

    Granny only got this far because of how much people like the character, though. Not because it made sense.

  17. I have read a few of the articles on your website now,

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