How we think the fight might go...
The plain was cold and lonely. The wind whistled in howling gusts. A storm was coming soon. It reminded him of the places he used to train with Brom. At a crossroads in a dirt path where a fork diverged, he saw a young woman looking between the two directions. A small, white cat rest between her feet, yawning. Her skin was deathly pale and he might have counted her for a Shade save it were for her cropped hair as black as ink. He approached her. She turned to face him long before he reached her.
"What is your name?" Eragon asked. The young woman looked at him with a quizzical and wary expression.
"Sabriel," she said after a long moment.
"Why do you have those bells?"
"I use them for the work I perform." She was not in the mood to discuss the details of her job with this young man, nor did she think he should be comfortable asking such questions, seeing as they had just met.
"What do you do?"
"I bind the dead." She stared at him flatly. She really had to be on her way. He took a step back, which made her feel more at ease. At least now he knew she was not to be trifled with.
"How do you do that?"
Sabriel clamped her jaw together, breathing slowly to not let herself become frustrated.
"With Charter Magic and the bells. You ask a lot of questions," she said before he could put another in ahead of her. He smiled, as if that were a good thing.
"Thank you. My father often said the same thing."
At that, he seemed rebuffed, even offended. To her he looked like a whipped puppy. It was not a flattering image. But then he shook himself and his eyes became focused, clearer, and more astute.
"You walk among the dead. That is an evil practice." He had seen enough of death and those who brought it about. Her very appearance spoke of evil.
She watched him calmly from the distance between them.
"Everything must die in its time. It is nothing to fear."
"Then I'm sure you won't mind earning your place among them!" he said, charging.
Sabriel's eyes widened, but unsheathed her own sword in time for the attack. Eragon noticed she kept one hand precariously close to her bells. She had never fully explained what they did. Spinning, he tried to cut the bandolier holding them from her, but she backed away. His mark hit true though, slicing a thin line across her face. First blood, he thought, and smirked.
"You are not Free Magic, I can feel that much. There is no reason to fear you, then," she said.
"You should," he said and called to his dragon in his mind, but also said her name aloud for greater effect. "Saphira!"
Sabriel's eyes took to the sky and her mouth opened as his beautiful Saphira came plunging in from the clouds, her teeth and claws raised. Sabriel took several steps back.
"Mogget!" she called. Eragon stared as the little white cat bounded up to her into her waiting arms.
"Fight her," she ordered, and loosed the thing's collar. Eragon almost laughed at the thought of the pathetic animal fighting his dragon, but it died, stillborn, as the white cat with green eyes shifted to something... else. Something terrifying. It glowed with an internal light and his form dissipated. It snapped and sparked like lightning and fire then shot up into the sky in a flash.
"No!" he cried.
He heard Sabriel move behind him, and turned just in time to block her blade as she lunged at him. They battled, exchanged blows in a fierce exchange, but it was quickly apparent he was the better swordsman. He was more skilled and had the greater strength. She spoke some words and markings flew from the tip of her sword, but he dodged them. He knocked her sword away again.
"Brisingr!" he said for the same effect she had given in her words on binding the dead, and his sword obediently erupted into flame. She blocked two more of his blows, which surprised him for they were difficult moves. Sparks felt and the heat grew intense, but with a move taught to him by Brom himself, he knocked the sword from her hand. It slid and rested in the dust.
"Sorry, I have someone waiting for me," he said, thinking of the beautiful Arya. Oddly, she did not seem disturbed by her lack of weapon. Instead, something of a smile played about the corners of her lips. She touched the third bell in her bandolier and unsnapped it.
"So do I," she said. "Kibeth, the walker. So, walk," she said and rang the bell. There was power in her words. The melody of the bell was sweet and almost playful. The last thing he felt was a tugging at his spirit as his feet moved without his bidding before he felt the pull of a river and was led beyond the final gate of death.
"Does the walker choose the path, or does the path choose the walker?" she murmured softly over the boy's fallen body, closing his eyes. She rose.
Sabriel held the clapper so it would not sound. Kibeth was a tricky one, and had almost pulled her in as well. But she put it back in its case without making a sound. Not far away, she heard the dragon Saphira crash to the ground. She would be dead soon. She picked up her sword and sheathed it. The metal of her ring that would become Mogget's collar began to expand, and she moved over to the dragon to put the collar back on him before it was too late.
Predicted winner: Sabriel
Sabriel is from Garth Nix's Abhorsen Chronicles and Eragon is from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle.