Gerrard Capashen


Gerrard Capashen

Gerrard Capashen is a warrior who commands the crew of the flying ship "Weatherlight" in the fantasy collectible card game "". He was the main character of the "Weatherlight" saga, a storyline that connected expansions to the "Magic" card game for five years. Gerrard has appeared on a number of cards, both in the artwork and the flavor text, as well as in the various novels written in the "Magic: The Gathering" line.

Gerrard was first introduced in the June 1997 ' expansion (named after the ship). He continued to be an important character through the ' block, commanding the party attempting to rescue Captain Sisay from the plane Rath. Gerrard appeared only minorly in the "Urza" block following the "Tempest" block, though it did establish Gerrard's origin as a super-soldier specially engineered by the planeswalker Urza to fight the Phyrexians. Gerrard returned as the main character once again for the "Mercadian Masques" expansion, but he did not appear in the later expansions of "Masques" block (which took place elsewhere but at roughly the same time). Gerrard's final appearance was in ' block, where he was one of the major characters to fight off the Phyrexian invasion. In the last set of the block, ', Gerrard was given his own card, the legend mtgcard|Gerrard Capashen. Gerrard perished in "Apocalypse" in a sacrifice to stop Yawgmoth, the antagonist of "Invasion" block.

Creation and archetype

Before the "Weatherlight" saga, characters in the "Magic: The Gathering" cardgame were generally alluded to only vaguely, and overarching plots were generally kept somewhat simple, such as the fall of an empire. The origin of a continuous storyline where the plot would be relevant and communicated through the cards came from conversations between (at the time) developer Mark Rosewater and editor Michael Ryan.cite web |url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/mr308 |title=Weather(light) Report |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |accessdate=2007-12-20 |date=2007-12-03] Due to the need of the game to switch locales regularly, the same cast needed to be able to visit a variety of places. This lead into making the main characters the crew of the skyship "Weatherlight" as their "plot hook."

Rosewater and Ryan began an interest in the works of Joseph Campbell around this time, and decided that their story would be a telling of the famous archetype "The Hero's Journey." Gerrard would be the archetypical hero taken from his destiny, yet forced to return to it. According to Rosewater, fitting into this role meant "Gerrard needed to be of a noble birth yet have been taken away from it as a baby. We needed a villain that was blood-bound to Gerrard. We needed a dark home for our villain." This villain became Gerrard's dark mirror Volrath, Gerrard's adopted brother.

As for personality, Rosewater and Ryan decided to make Gerrard a rogue. Gerrard would be stubborn, independent, and contrary, but would be willing to do the right thing if backed into a corner. For additional dramatic weight, Gerrard would fight to avoid his "destiny" which, in his early life, only killed his loved ones. His destiny was tied to the "Weatherlight", which Gerrard learned was part of the Legacy, a collection of artifacts. To escape it, Gerrard abandoned the "Weatherlight" prior to the beginning of the story. It was only to save his friend Captain Sisay that Gerrard is forced to adventure with the "Weatherlight" once more, beginning the "Weatherlight" saga.

Reception and criticism

In general, the "Weatherlight" saga as a whole was not well-received, and Gerrard in particular was the merit of some scorn of those who published opinions on the cast. Wizards of the Coast itself said "The "Weatherlight" Saga was an experiment to see if the game would be enhanced by a continuing story. The answer from the public was a resounding 'no' (although the story did have its defenders)." [cite web |url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/mr13 |title=Add Text to Flavor |publisher=Wizards of the Coast |accessdate=2007-12-20 |date=2002-03-25]

References


* [http://ww2.wizards.com/gatherer/index.aspx?term=Gerrard&Field_Name=on&Field_Flavor=on&setfilter=All%20sets Gatherer search] , cards mentioning Gerrard in the rules and flavor text (Gerrard in art not necessarily included).
*Additional primary source references (for the character's personal history) exist in the many "Magic" novels written featuring Gerrard.

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