Gerrard Capashen is a fictional warrior who commands the crew of the flying ship Weatherlight in the fantasy collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. 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 Weatherlight expansion (named after the ship). He continued to be an important character through the Tempest 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 Phyrexia. 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 Invasion block, where he was one of the major characters to fight off the Phyrexian invasion. In the last set of the block, Apocalypse, Gerrard was given his own card, the legend . Gerrard perished in Apocalypse in a sacrifice to stop Yawgmoth, the antagonist of Invasion block.
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. 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.
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Official Site: Wizards of the Coast
Links: Wikipedia Encyclopedia Phyrexia MTGsalvation.com