Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Suvudu Cage Match

Over at they've been having "cage matches" between famous science fiction and fantasy characters, pitting them against each other in a fan poll to see who would win. One of my favorite characters, Kvothe, is in a consolation match (runner up?) I was bored and had a bit of free time so I did a little write up of how his match vs Drizzt Do'Urden would go. Hopefully it is entertaining even if you don't know either of these characters.

Click here to check out the cage match tournament and see how different characters have done!

Round 1- Fight!

It was night, and the harvest moon hid behind a wandering cloud as Drizzt Do'Urden entered the Waystone Inn. The room was louder than usual, no silence tonight, but the sound of blades being drawn was not lost in the din.

Though Kvothe had been expecting the drow, he’d decided against sending away his patrons. Let them see a show, he thought. He’d fought legendary characters already, and never once an audience. Who else could have convinced a God to withdraw from such a contest? Bast had been at him for months now, trying to get him to live again. What could be a better surprise for his pupil?

Say one thing for Kvothe, say he was a performer.

He put down his rag and glanced to where Folly rested on the wall, sword play wasn’t dramatic enough for his mood. If he was going to break from this carefully crafted fa├žade, he wanted to shock everyone, even Bast. “Put those away, there’s no need for violence.”

“You must know why I’m here.” A muscle tensed in Drizzt’s forearm, hinting at a readiness that bellied the casual gait the drow used as he approached the bar. The detail would be imperceptible to most, but then again, Kvothe, even as an innkeep, was unlike anyone else.

Silence filled the Waystone. Not a silence of three parts, as was common lately, but the anxious silence of a crowd waiting to see what comes next.

“Leave now, Drizzt Do’Urden,” Kvothe said into the silence. “Mortals should not tread wear angels and demons lay their claim.”

At once the hearth-fire turned blue, the metal in the room rusted, and a deathly chill sprung to the air. The color drained from Kvothe’s eyes until they were black, his already pale skin became white ice, and the flame-red hair upon his head burned with intensity of a true inferno.

“But you’re just an innkeep now…” Twinkle and Icingdeath clattered to the floor, filling a new silence, one of wonder, one of awe, one of terror. “You’ve lost your sympathy… You’re a dried up wizard, that’s what they say.”

“That’s what they say, is it?” Kvothe showed a mouthful of razor sharp teeth in a mock smile that brought the scent of urine from more than one man in the room.

As quickly as his appearance had shifted before, Kvothe changed again. His icy skin now shone opalescent, the dancing flames upon his head quietly returned to normal, and his eyes lost their black sheen and bore a kind touch and an angelic glow about them.

“I’ve started many rumors to suit my needs. I’ve played many parts in life. But remember one thing, Drizzt Do’Urden, I am Kvothe the Bloodless, I am Kvothe the Kingkiller. You believe what I want you to believe, because that is the face I’ve presented to the world. That is the story I wanted told. Do you think I wouldn’t deceive those closest to me to conceal my secrets? What better way to hide the truth from the world?” Kvothe turned to Bast and gave him an apologetic smile, but his student simply stared, dumbfounded, having lost the presence of mind to hide his Fae origins.

Drizzt looked on, suspicion and confusion, and most of all fear, all warring across a face most people who assume to be devoid of emotion. “Tricks and lies. I know your type, Kvothe. Your tongue may be silver, but you are no more than the rumors you’ve created for yourself.” His hand inched to a leather pouch at his belt.

The pouch on Drizzt’s belt erupted into flame and the small onyx figurine inside melted and dripped onto the drow’s leg. He stopped moving and stared in disbelief as his scimitars on the floor turned to dust.

“That’s not sympathy, Reshi,” Bast whispered.

Kvothe reached behind the counter and opened a secret compartment he’d built in below the wine rack. From inside he pulled a polished lute. It was neither grand, nor shabby, but merely adequate in appearance. He smiled. “No, Bast, you’re right. It’s not.”

He strummed a chord, the lute was perfectly tuned, and then he began to play. In that moment Kote the innkeeper of the Waystone Inn, was no more. Kvothe played the sound of sadness, he played the wind blowing through the trees, and with each crescendo the noise grew, its properties refined, until the melody permeated everyone in the inn, and every eye was full of tears.

He played until his fingers bled, and when he stopped, the Waystone Inn was silent.

“There’s no need for violence,” Kvothe said into the silence, with a forlorn look to his lute as he set it on the polished countertop.


“I’ll explain later, Bast. Suffice it to say, your master is a quick learner. You don’t spend time around the Chandrian and the Adem without picking up a few of their tricks.” Once again emotion drained from his eyes and he fixed Drizzt with a stare. “You may stay if you like. This inn is no longer mine. I’ve put up with this farce long enough. I thought I’d finished this when I let that fool ‘Kingslayer’ believe he’d killed me. But I see now I’ll never find rest no matter how far I run, where I hide, or how many I slay.”

Kvothe looked to each person in the room, letting the full weight of his gaze rest upon them. “My name is Kvothe. And you may give me whatever name you wish. I believe I've paid for another tonight.”

“Wait,” Drizzt said. “What do I do now?”

“That is the question, isn’t it?” Kvothe winked. “Consider this a gift.”

One moment Drizzt Do’Urden stood in the Waystone Inn, the dust of his cherished scimitars at his feet, and the next he was gone, sent to Mielikki’s embrace without a word.

Suddenly, Kvothe smirked. “I think I’ll go explain to Rand Al’thor how balefire works when he uses it on people who aren’t a part of his precious pattern.”

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