Squeeze the candle, Fatty Arbuckle!
Gern Blanston[4]

Gern Blanston was a blue dragonborn wizard in the School of Necromancy, and a guest ally of Vox Machina. As a necromancer, Gern could animate the dead and keeps undead thralls, such as Carol, Coral, Fatty Arbuckle, and Stimpy. Gern was played by special guest Chris Hardwick.

Fan art of Gern Blanston, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling).[art 2]

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Gern was a blue dragonborn without a tail.[5] When Vox Machina encountered him, Gern was wearing a red dance vest.[6]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Gern claimed to be a simple candlemaker, who made enchanted candles with different effects. Some simply produced light, while others "created tragedy for people."[7] Gern stated that he was enslaved by his own kind who had tails, whereas he did not, and so dedicated his life to weaponizing candles using their scales. He used mainly dragon scales and not other parts, though he stated that seeing them get blown to pieces was "merely for pleasure." After Thordak escaped from the Elemental Plane of Fire, devastating Cindergrove in the process, Gern arrived to gather materials for his spells.[8]

"Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46)[edit | edit source]

When he met Vox Machina, Gern had four undead thralls with him, named Carol, Coral, Fatty Arbuckle, and Stimpy.[9] During the fight against the efreeti, Vex'ahlia offered to hold his broom of flying. After the battle, she slipped it into Grog's Bag of Holding and lied to Gern, telling him that the broom fell into the lava.[10]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Gern thought Vex was the nicest person they met after everything that had happened.

Character Information[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Gern Blanston, by advocatingAvian.[art 3]

Dragonborn[edit | edit source]

  • Breath Weapon: Lightning[11]

Wizard Features[edit | edit source]

  • Arcane Recovery
  • Arcane Tradition: School of Necromancy
    • Grim Harvest
    • Inured to Undeath
    • Necromancy Savant
    • Undead Thralls (grants Animate Dead and empowers undead)[12]
  • Ritual Casting
  • Spellcasting (Intelligence-based ability)

Wizard Spells[edit | edit source]

5th-level[edit | edit source]
6th-level[edit | edit source]

Notable Items[edit | edit source]

Official item cards of the candles used by Gern Blanston.[15]

Candles[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

  • "Would it be too crafty if I were to cast modify memory? Could I modify the Fire Genie's memory to make him forget to not kill himself?"
  • "I'm flying high but I can't get an errection"

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The name "Gern Blanston" comes from a 1970s comedy album by comedian (and Saturday Night Live alumnus) Steve Martin, who pretended for comic effect during a bit that this was his real name.
  • Chris Hardwick uses an Irish accent when speaking as Gern.
  • Gern describes his backstory as having been enslaved by dragons and not dragonborn, and answers to questions about Thordak as though his bias is against normal, full-sized dragons, so it's unclear if he was one of the enslaved tailless dragonborn in Draconia or in a different circumstance.
  • Gern being a necromancer dancer and wearing a red dance vest is an allusion to the vest Cadence wore in Crypt of the NecroDancer. Gern's undead thrall Coral may be a reference to Choral, or a reference to the way "The Walking Dead"-memes spell Carl Grimes' name. Carol might also be a reference from the same series, for which Chris Hardwick is the host of the after-show.
  • The name "Fatty Arbuckle" was the stage name of a lesser-known and somewhat-infamous comic actor from the early silent movie era, named Roscoe Arbuckle. He was a contemporary of Charlie Chaplin.
  • During the ending to Season 3, Episode 5 of iZombie, Liv Moore suggested Gern Blanston as a name for Major Lilywhite pending his memory loss from the zombie cure.
  • In the first episode of season 7 of Psych, Shawn introduces Gus as Gern Blanston when visiting a gun range.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, he represents IX - The Hermit.
  • On June 16, 2018, in response to abuse allegations against Hardwick, Mercer was asked on Twitter if Gern "got devoured by a fire giant." Mercer's reply was "Basically."[19]
    • As such, Gern is the first guest player character confirmed to be dead.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://twitter.com/matthewmercer/status/1008159781247258624
  2. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:24:27.
  3. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 1:04:25.
  4. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46).
  5. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:30:57.
  6. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:25:51.
  7. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:26:12.
  8. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:25:33.
  9. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:28:58.
  10. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) from 2:54:19 through 2:55:55.
  11. See D&D Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 34.
  12. See D&D Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 119.
  13. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 1:03:22.  Gern casts Cone of Cold.
  14. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 2:44:48.  Gern casts Disintegrate.
  15. Official item cards of the candles used by Gern Blanston, developed by Matthew Mercer, and posted on reddit (source).
  16. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) from 2:54:19 through 2:55:55.
  17. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 3:00:33.
  18. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:44:52.
  19. https://twitter.com/matthewmercer/status/1008159781247258624

Fan Art

  1. Fan art of Gern Blanston, by Lady Rossë (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Gern Blanston, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling) (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Gern Blanston, by advocatingAvian (source).  Used with permission.

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