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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.

Description

Appearance

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

Personality

Biography

Background

Fan art of Gern and his candles, by Ameera.[art 2]

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)

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

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

Character Information

Abilities

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

Dragonborn

  • Breath Weapon: Lightning[11]

Wizard Features

  • 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

5th-level

6th-level

Notable Items

Candles

Official item cards of the candles used by Gern.[16]

Quotations

Fan art of Gern scolding Vox Machina for attacking his thrall, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling).[art 4]

  • "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 erection"

Trivia

  • 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

  1. 1.0 1.1 After Hardwick was publicly alleged to have engaged in a pattern of abusive behavior, Matthew Mercer agreed in a tweet that Gern had been killed unceremoniously off-screen.
  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. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) from 2:54:19 through 2:55:55.
  16. Official item cards of the candles used by Gern Blanston, developed by Matthew Mercer, and posted on reddit (source).
  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 and his candles, by Ameera (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Gern Blanston, by advocatingAvian (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Gern scolding Vox Machina for attacking his thrall, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling) (source).  Used with permission.