Name: Johann Van Owen
Alias: ‘The Red Kite’/ ‘The Traitor of Lexeter’
Birthday: 31st January
Hobbies: He mostly trains physically to relieve stress, and also boxes. He was taught how to play chess by Wilhelm, but prefers a game of checkers. Sometimes, he plays a tin-whistle to relax.
- Knightmare Commander- Johann spent most of his life serving in the Britannian military, and became a skilled knightmare pilot during this time. Specialising in hit and run tactics, he earned the nickname ‘The Red Kite’ for his lightning fast strikes against the enemy before pulling back to gather for another assault in a relentless pattern. He employs these self-same tactics now against his former comrades.
Strengths: Johann is a good soldier, and a skilled pilot, as well as a confident and inspiring leader of men. He values strength of spirit as much as any physical strength, and tries to live his life as a good man. He is a good teacher, and acts like a father to the younger members of the Renegades.
Weaknesses: Despite his morals, he is haunted by memories of the men and women he has seen killed for no reason, as well as his own guilt for serving the cruel regime. Conversely, he can become blinded by rage when fighting against his former countrymen, which can impair his judgment.
Rank: Warrior/Wing Commander of Gawain’s Ghosts/Britannian Renegade
Character Info: Johann Van Owen’s life began in the town of Galway in Britannia, where he grew up learning to be a logger like his father. At the age of sixteen however, he was drafted into the Britannian army and became a soldier in the war to capture Area 13. During the conflict he was given field training in knightmare frames, soon becoming proficient in their use. He served with distinction, and following a field promotion and a commendation continued with his service when the campaign ended. It was either that or return to being a humble, poor paid logger in a cold nowhere town whose only landmark was a statue of a long forgotten hero who had once cut down a really big tree.
So he continued his military career, and at the age of twenty Johann was awarded a scholarship to the Pendragon Military Academy in light of his distinguished service. He was trained as an officer and was given command of his own small squad of knightmares in the Lancastrian Regiment. During the next campaign Johann’s unit was seconded to a force commanded by Duke Konrad Jaeger. Though the campaign was lauded as a fine example of Britannian military efficiency, it came at a cost, and that cost was civilian lives. Johann was disgusted by some of the tactics employed by the Duke and his men to win battles, as well as the treatment of prisoners and civilians.
Johann spent the next few years fighting all across the Empire. By the age of 27 he was a captain with his own wing under his command, and continuing his career with no intention of retirement, but his conscience was beginning to trouble his. His use of rapid strike tactics earned him the nickname ‘Red Kite’ during this conflict, a name he still proudly carries to this day. It was while serving with his unit that Johann bore witness to one of the worst massacres to be committed by Britannian forces in the rebel town of Tsurioko in Area Eleven. After a sacking of the town, over a thousand helpless civilians and disarmed rebels were herded into the town square by the newly appointed Britannian commander and kept under armed guard for three days without food or water. Random executions took place, in full view of everyone. When rumours that the Britannian press would soon disclose the story to the people, a cover-up investigation was initiated. All the remaining prisoners were killed where they stood in the square. The evidence was then burned and the town leveled by Britannian forces.
It was this massacre that was the final straw that broke the back of Johann’s loyalty to Britannia. It was at this point he was placed in contact with a nobleman, Baron Wilhelm Galverstone, who was attempting to recruit members for a Britannian resistance. Johann agreed, but before he could defect his unit was shipped to the front again. At the battle of Lexeter he killed his commanding officer with a bullet to the back of the head for ordering the execution of women and children as a shock tactic. He deserted the Britannian army, and joined the Britannian Renegade organisation known as ‘Gawain’s Ghosts’, a small rebel group organized by Galverstone consisting of a handful of nobles, scientists, and a few soldiers. This betrayal has earned him the title ‘Traitor of Lexeter’, one of the Britannian Secret Service’s most wanted.
Though few in number, the well trained and equipped Ghosts have been gathering information and sabotaging the Britannian military and government for three years. Utilising advanced knightmare frames to strike from the shadows has so far meant that they have gone largely undetected in homeland Britannia, but the time and careful planning that goes into concealing such behaviour in the state of Britannia itself has meant that the Ghosts have been unable to make the most of their successes, as the Britannian police and intelligence network do everything in their power to both keep their identity a secret from the public and hunt them down.
As a man, Johann has always strived to be a good person. He is plagued by the memories of the atrocities he witnessed, and the knowledge that he was once a willing part of them serve to undermine his moral confidence. At the same time, he tried to serve as an inspiration for the rest of the Ghosts, keeping them motivated on as well as off the battlefield with his strong sense of duty and character, as well as doing his best to train them and keep them alive.
Johann and his team have come to Area Eleven seeking fresh targets for their attacks, hoping that the confusion and chaos caused by Zero’s Black Knights will make it easier for their operations to succeed.