|“||Squad 7, move out!||„|
|~ Welkin's catchphrase, said at the start of every mission|
Lt. Welkin Gunther is the main protagonist of the video game Valkyria Chronicles. He is the commander of Squad 7 and a Lieutenant in the Gallian militia during the Second Europan War. He is also the son of General Belgen Gunther, the legendary hero of the First Europan War. Desiring to be a teacher one day, he joins the Gallian militia after his hometown Bruhl is invaded by the Empire, along with his adopted Darcsen sister Isara Gunther and their new friend Alicia Melchiott, who eventually becomes his lover.
Welkin is a tall young man in his early twenties with messy brown hair and grey eyes. He is usually seen wearing the Gallian militia uniform, complete with a blue cap on his head.
Welkin is very much a 'father to his men', a fact he himself notes when he designates himself as the 'dad' in the family of Squad 7. He is a kind person who is always concerned about his squad's morale, and is determined to make sure they get along, particularly Isara and Rosie, who are often at each other's throats due to the latter's hatred of Darcsens. Initially, Welkin was reluctant to become a soldier, believing it to not be his thing, but after the Empire attacked and captured Bruhl, he changed his mind, and was granted leadership of Squad 7 due to his intelligence and determination.
One of Welkin's most defining traits is his passion for studying natural science. He gets so into studying it at times that he often forgets where he is or that someone might be watching him, a flaw he's well-aware of, and all of his strategies are inspired by nature in one way or another. His love for nature borders on the obsessive at times, and Faldio even states that he has a one-track mind. Because of this, he occasionally delivers insensitive remarks, such as when he tells Alicia that she looks like a rhinoceros beetle and doesn't understand why she gets annoyed by it. Alicia describes him as interesting but unpredictable, since you never know what he's going to say next.
Welkin is very confident in his abilities; this is shown when he makes a bet with Largo and Rosie to take back the Great Vasel Bridge within 48 hours when he hasn't even thought of a plan yet, the penalty being that he would resign from his post in the event that his plan failed and hand over command of Squad 7 to Largo. He is called out on this by Alicia, who describes the promise he made as insane, though ultimately he wins the bet and proves himself worthy of being Squad 7's commander. Nevertheless, Welkin remains a humble person who is well-aware of his shortcomings, describing himself as woefully inexperienced and saying that while he's the son of a legendary hero, he's still just himself.
Welkin's love of nature comes from his father; while the First Europan War earned General Gunther respect and admiration, it also cost him his wife (Welkin's mother), who died as a casualty of the war, and he often wondered what he fought the war for. However, whenever he took Welkin on a trip to collect bugs or swim, he was always so bright and happy; Welkin suspects the reason he fell in love with nature is because it always managed to make his father smile in spite of his losses. He desires to become a teacher some day, with hopes that he can pass on his knowledge to the next generation.
Unlike many people in Gallia, Welkin has no hatred for Darcsens, having grown up with one of them as his younger sister. According to Isara, he was always the first to come to her defence whenever her heritage brought her trouble, and did so when Rosie started acting rude to her, which led to his aforementioned bet with Largo. Isara's death shakes Welkin up badly, to the point that he becomes protective of all other Darcsens in his squad, which manifests as one of his potentials. Additionally, although he acts fine for the most part, he admits in a private conversation with Alicia that she's the only reason he hasn't completely lost it.
|“||Ahh...gotta love nature.||„|
|~ Welkin whenever his Nature Lover potential activates|
- Nature Lover: Being around nature makes his heart soar, bringing about a boost in his abilities.
- Calm Heart: Unshaken even when surrounded by foes, he remains calmly in command, enjoying a boost in his parameters.
- Sibling Ties: Whenever Darcsens are nearby, his thoughts drift to his sister, Isara, and his abilities are enhanced.
- Power of Love: Any time Alicia is at his side, he is filled with the warmth of their love, boosting his abilities.
The son of General Belgen Gunther, Welkin was born in the village of Bruhl close to the Gallia-Empire border. At a young age he gained a sister, Isara Gunther, whom Belgen had adopted after the death of her father, the famed engineer Theimer. Welkin and his father treated Isara as one of their own and the two siblings remained close throughout their childhood. Welkin also gained a love of nature from spending time with his father in the forests and fields around Bruhl. Belgen however passed on when Welkin was only 13, though the two siblings were cared for by Martha Lipponen, a family friend.
Welkin was born in the small town of Bruhl during the first Europan War. His father, Belgen Gunther, came to be known as the "Hero of Gallia" after the war for his many valiant accomplishments.
Though he lost his mother to the chaos of war, Welkin led a relatively peaceful life with his father, their servant Martha, and Isara, whom Belgen had adopted as his daughter.
Welkin enjoyed a great relationship with his father, and the two often went out to fish or sketch together. Belgen had suffered many losses during the war, including his beloved wife and the many comrades he had considered as brothers. The grief he felt over these losses left a deep scar in the hero's heart, but the quiet time he spent with his son always brought a genuine smile to his face. Still, the grief was too much for one soul to bear, and Welkin lost his father to a heavy illness at the tender age of 13. Welkin always notes that these little expeditions with his father are what introduced him to his love of nature.
After Belgen's passing, Welkin was able to support himself and Isara with the help of Martha. Eventually, his passion for nature evolved into an academic interest, and he enrolled in a biology course at the University of Randgriz.
As the second Europan War became more of a reality for the people of Gallia, little skirmishes along the border caught Welkin's attention. He decided to head home to Bruhl in order to pack up their household belongings and move to the safety of the capital city. Unfortunately, the very day Welkin arrived in Bruhl was the day the Imperial troops attacked.
Once Welkin returned to Randgriz, he was drafted into the Gallian militia. Due to his extensive military training at the University of Randgriz, Welkin was immediately eligible for the rank of a commissioned officer as well as a tank commander. His credentials, coupled with the way he had handled himself in the battle at Bruhl got Welkin assigned as the lieutenant in charge of Squad 7 of the Gallian Militia's 3rd regiment.
Welkin has a very gentle personality and can even be considered naive in some ways. He is very open-minded and accepting of everyone, so he will treat everyone with an equal amount of respect regardless of social standing, fame, or rank. These admirable traits are a result of his father's influence, as well as the childhood days he spent growing up with Isara. Though he does have a very studious and intelligent side to him, Welkin does lack what most people might consider common sense, such as the area in the city that his fellow students often went to when looking for some fun, or something as simple as how to tie a necktie.
Also, though he is generally a peaceful sort, Welkin is certainly not a pacifist. Growing up with Isara meant that he often found himself in physical conflicts when protecting his sister from those who wished harm upon Darcsens. The time he spent studying nature also taught Welkin that all life must eventually come to an end, and he had learned to accept that at a young age.
Expanded Biography (VC3)
Welkin is the son of General Belgen Gunther, a legendary man who earned the title of "hero" during the First Europan War. After joining the Gallian Militia, Welkin was placed in charge of the 3rd Regiment's Squad 7. Welkin is kind, gentle, intelligent, and likable. In university, he studied biological sociology, and spent most of his time studiously researching animals and insects.
He may seem like a pretty carefree guy, but Welkin learned from his biological sociology studies that violence and conflict are innate traits found in every living creature. As such, whenever his comrades started bickering with one another, he just let them get it out of their systems instead of intervening. Welkin was a brilliant and talented leader who guided his squad safely through the dangers of the battlefield.
Once his duty in the Second Europan War was done, Welkin retired from the militia in order to lead a quiet life with Alicia. Alicia was a fellow soldier in Squad 7, and the flower of love managed to blossom between the two young soldiers even amid the chaos and devastation of war. They were wed soon after the war's conclusion and settled in southern Gallia, where Welkin found a job teaching at a school. On his days off, Welkin and Alicia go out together to study flowers and insects. The two eventually had a daughter together, whom they named Isara in honor of the sister Welkin lost during the war.
Due to his love of nature, Welkin chose to study animal sociology upon entry into university, but his studies were interrupted when the Second Europan War broke out and the Empire once more threatened to invade Gallia. Welkin returned home to Bruhl to help his sister evacuate and made the acquaintance of Alicia Melchiott, head of the town watch, when she arrested him for suspected espionage. The misunderstanding was quickly cleared up when Isara arrived and as an apology Alicia brought the two some bread she had baked. This moment was however shattered when an Imperial force struck Bruhl, forcing the town guard to fight a stalling action while the civilians evacuated. Welkin lent the watch his assistance and the first wave was repelled, but Bruhl was effectively lost.
Isara and a pregnant Martha were also attacked, but with a timely distraction from Welkin, Isara was able to reach a rifle the family owned and kill the Imperials. It was then that Isara revealed the refurbished Edelweiss, the tank designed and developed by her father Theimer and Belgen Gunther. Once Martha was evacuated into the tank, Isara and Welkin drove it to aid Alicia and the rest of the town watch. Their arrival was most fortuitous as the Imperials had brought a tank as well and the watch had no weapons with which to fight back effectively. After destroying the tank, the Edelweiss forced the remaining Imperials to retreat, giving the rest of Bruhl's residents time to flee.
Upon evacuating to Randgriz, Welkin was given command of militia Squad 7 by Captain Eleanor Varrot with Alicia as his second command and Isara as the Edelweiss' pilot. He also met up with several fellow university students including Faldio Landzaat and Juno Coren. Friction within the squad however soon erupted due to anti-Darcsen prejudices amongst its numbers. Two especially prickly members were Largo Potter, a veteran who was unimpressed with Welkin's lack of experience, and Brigitte "Rosie" Stark, a young woman who had lost her family to an anti-Darcsen raid during the last war. Welkin however did not back down and made a bet with Largo, claiming he could reclaim the Great Vasel Bridge that was allowing Imperial forces to launch attacks into Randgriz. Using his knowledge of plants, Welkin found a shallow area in the river and forded it using the Edelweiss, while the rest of the squad followed in a boat. This allowed Squad 7 to launch a surprise attack and seize control of the bridge gatehouse and raise the bridge, sending Imperial forces crossing it into the river below. Welkin thus won the bet and the grudging respect of a few more squad members, but Rosie's and other members' anti-Darcsen sentiment would take longer to soothe.
With Randgriz secure, Squad 7 was deployed to the Kloden Wildwood to disrupt Imperial supply lines. Due to the dense nature of the forests, it was easy to become lost. Welkin however demonstrated his knowledge of nature once more by finding animal trails for the squad to follow and successfully navigated to the Imperial supply base. The following battle would be Squad 7's first encounter with Imperial General Radi Jaeger. Though Jaeger withdrew, the Imperials had been able to evacuate most of their supplies in the process.
Squad 7 was soon ordered to the Barious Desert where they lay witness to the massive devastation. Several members believed these scars were the result of Darcsens using ragnite weapons during the War of the Valkyrur, but Isara adamantly pointed out that no archeological evidence existed supporting the rumor. It was here that Welkin, Alicia, and Faldio came across an ancient Valkyria temple. To their surprise, Alicia somehow opened the temple's inner chambers. The three proceeded deeper, only to encounter Prince Maximilian, leader of the Imperial invasion, and General Selvaria Bles, one of Maximilian's direct subordinates. The meeting went without bloodshed after Maximilian suggested they take their grievances outside to avoid damaging the temple. However, after rejoining Squad 7, Welkin found that Maximilian had brought with him a large tank called the Batomys. Faldio left to engage Selvaria, but his forces were quickly decimated by the Valkyria's powers. Squad 7 eventually discovered a weakness in the Batomys' design and exploited it to disable the vehicle. Selvaria however had arrived and managed to evacuate Maximilian, leaving the Gallians in awe of her power.
With the Empire having withdrawn from Barious, Squad 7 was ordered back to Randgriz and was forced to travel through the Kloden Wildwood once more. The squad soon found themselves under attack from an Imperial mortar and Welkin and Alicia are separated from the others after a mortar strike threw them off a cliff. The two survived but Alicia had sprang her leg, slowing her considerably. The two slowly made their way back to Squad 7, eventually taking shelter in an abandoned cottage, where Welkin used an aloe severa herbal press to deal with the swelling. The pair grew closer over the experience and discussed Welkin's past and family. Their rest in the cottage was cut short by the appearance of a wounded Imperial soldier. who ultimately perished despite their efforts to treat him. Not long after they were discovered by other Imperials, but in gratitude for the kindness the two had shown their comrade, the Imperial officer let them go. The next day, the battle resumed and Welkin and Alicia discovered the mortar that had been hounding them the past night. After destroying it, they reunited with Squad 7 and defeated the remaining Imperial forces.
Returning to Randgriz, Welkin was one of several young officers being honored for their achievements in holding the Imperial invasion at bay. Matters however quickly spiraled out of control when the Princess Cordelia Gi Randgriz was kidnapped by the Federation ambassador. Welkin used the Edelweiss to block the Federation ambassador's APC while the rest of the squad fought off Federation soldiers dressed as Gallian Royal Guardsmen. Eventually the ambassador's APC was disabled and the princess was saved, earning Welkin the Gallian Medal of Honor. News of the incident however was suppressed to preserve relations with the Federation, much to the distaste of the militia members who knew of it.
Squad 7's next mission was to liberate the industrial city of Fouzen, which had fallen to the Empire early in the invasion. To staff the mines and factories, the Empire placed Darcsen prisoners in work camps under brutal conditions. A large artillery piece mounted on a train car also watched over the city, preventing any attempts to rebel. Squad 7 infiltrated the factory district and made contact with a Darcsen freedom fighter, Zaka. Upon entering the concentration camp, even Rosie was appalled at the conditions the Darcsens were forced to live in. With Zaka's help, Squad 7 destroyed the railroad bridge the Imperial artillery piece was sitting on, killing General Gregor in the process. Before withdrawing however, Imperial forces locked down the Darcsen camps and set fire to them, killing the workers trapped inside. Shocked at this brutality, Squad 7 united to help search for survivors, despite knowing there was little hope any had lived.
Even as the war took a toll on the nation and the people, Welkin and the rest of the squad grew closer together. In addition to earning the respect of Largo, Rosie, and other skeptics, Welkin and Alicia developed a mutual attraction. However, this closeness would only let the tragedy that followed cut even deeper.
Annoyed at the success of the militia while the regular army continued to suffer defeats, General Georg von Damon ordered Squad 7 to attempt to retake Marberry Shore, a heavily fortified position. With the beach completely exposed and near-impervious bunkers covering the approach, most of the squad considered it a suicide mission. Isara however came up with a new type of smoke shells that while not doing any damage would hide the squad's movements as they advanced on the beach. Squad 7 was also joined by a new member, Zaka, piloting the customized tank Shamrock. The battle was ultimately won by Squad 7 despite the strong Imperial defenses, but the victory came at a great cost as an Imperial sniper slew Isara as she was reconciling with Rosie. Her passing greatly affected the squad and Welkin was devastated at the loss of his beloved sister.
The war however would not wait and Squad 7 was quickly called upon once more. Captain Varrot had however pulled a few strings and presented Squad 7 with a mission to liberate Bruhl, Welkin, Alicia, and Isara's hometown. Grateful to the captain, Welkin led his squad to victory in a bittersweet return home.
Despite their setbacks, the Empire's forces were still strong and had dug in at the plains of Naggiar. With several other militia and army units, Squad 7 was deployed to try and root out the Imperials. It was here however that Gallian forces were confronted by Selvaria Bles once more. With her Valkyria's arms, Selvaria devastated Gallian forces both physically and morally. Squad 7 managed to achieve a few small gains, but in the face of such an awesome power hope was quickly fading. Even worse for Welkin, Alicia was badly wounded by a sniper, bringing forth memories of Isara's fate. With no time to worry, Welkin was forced onto the field once more but Gallian lines were crumbling under Selvaria's might. It was then that the miracle Gallia needed happened as Alicia stumbled onto the field, wielding a set of Valkyrur lance and shield herself. Fully awakening to her power, Alicia overpowered Selvaria and tore a hole through the Imperial lines before collapsing. Squad 7 quickly rushed her back to the field hospital even as Gallian forces surged forward to take advantage of Selvaria's defeat.
After Alicia's awakening, Welkin pieced together the identify of the sniper that had wounded Alicia, realizing it was his friend Faldio. Welkin confronted Faldio in Captain Varrot's office and punched him in rage, prompting the captain to detain both of them. Welkin was released a few days later, but the betrayal of his best friend cut deeply.
The victory at Naggiar was followed with the recapture of Ghirlandaio, though Alicia remained confused and troubled by her newly awakened powers. Welkin did what he could to comfort her, but the continuing war allowed little time to rest and recover. Even worse, the fortress of Ghirlandaio and the bulk of the surviving Gallian army in the north was destroyed when Selvaria sacrificed her life to ignite the final flame of the Valkyria. Maximilian took advantage of the chaos and unveiled his secret weapon, the land dreadnaught Marmota, a massive ship that tore through central Gallia straight for Randgriz. The militia and the royal guard attempted to stop the Marmota by leading it into a minefield laid in a valley north of the Kloden Forest in an operation dubbed Maiden's Shield, but this proved ineffectual. Seeing her homeland so devastated, Alicia decided to follow Selvaria's example and ignite her own flame in an attempt to destroy the Marmota. Welkin however refused to let his love go through with this and his confession gave Alicia hope that she was more than a weapon of war.
The failure of Maiden's Shield allowed the Marmota to sail straight into Randgriz and occupy the capital. Welkin and Squad 7 gave chase and defeated General Jaeger to regain a foothold in the city. Maximilian had however achieved his objective, retrieving the Valkyrur lance hidden in Castle Randgriz. The Marmota withdrew and then demonstrated the power of the lance by vaporizing a nearby mountain and the militia squads in its line of fire. Welkin and Squad 7 were not cowed however and continued their assault, flanking the Marmota to avoid being hit by lance. Taking advantage of the damage Alicia had done during her aborted suicide attack, Squad 7 was able to board the dreadnaught and disable its engines and ultimately destroy the lance. Welkin's battle was not over however, as Maximilian himself took to the field and revealed his Artificial Valkyria system. Despite his newfound power, Maximilian was ultimately defeated when Squad 7 exploited weaknesses in the system by disabling the generators that fueled Maximilian. When Maximilian attempted to ignite the final flame, Faldio reappeared, having escaped detention and stowed away to reach the battle. He grabbed hold of Maximilian and after apologizing to Welkin and Alicia for his actions, pulled the prince down with him into the Marmota's burning hull.
With the Marmota exploding all around them, Squad 7 attempted to evacuate but Alicia and Welkin were cut off by debris. The two however refused to give up hope and were rewarded when Leon Schmidt arrived in the just completed biplane Isara and saved the two.
For his actions, Welkin was awarded the Savior of Gallia, an award his father also earned for defeating the Empire during the First Europan War.
After the invasion of Gallia by Imperial forces, he went on to become a teacher in a village near the Lanseal Military Academy, married Alicia Melchiott, and had a baby girl. He remained at the academy for an unspecified period of time and then returned with his wife and child to teach in his home town, Bruhl.