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Kowal, referred to as the Old Craftsman in-game, is an NPC in Arknights. He is a major supporting character in the Kazimierz Major trilogy (Maria Nearl, Pinus Sylvestris, Near Light)


A close friend to Zofia, Vogelweide and Marcin, Kowal was once a senior craftsman working under the Kazimierz Craftsman Union. His master was a blacksmith who was well respected by the legendary Silverlance Pegasi. Even though he is now retired, he has many apprentices who are still working at the battlefield front line.

Despite being close friends and often drink together, he somehow holds grudge with Vogelweide due to different personalities. Unlike the stern Vogelweide, Kowal loves sneering him. When the two of them couldn't solve their conflict, it always ends up in a brawl in which Marcin has to persuade them to stop or to tell them fight outside. Kowal was also Maria's master from whom she learns her mechanic skills.


Maria Nearl

The story begins when Vogelweide and him were arguing over who was responsible for the car crash in the middle of the road at Kawalerielki. Luckily, the two of them coincidentally met Maria who helped them repair the old vehicle. He asked where was she going and all she replied was that she was on a personal business. Not asking for further questions, the two drove away. Suddenly, the car's engine went overloaded again and Vogelweide couldn't brake it, which eventually led to another crash.[1]

A few days later at Marcin's bar, Maria was there fixing the car again along with the old craftsman. Just then, Zofia entered the bar by forced and scolded Maria hard. This was where Kowal learnt that the young lady was entering the Kazimierz Major secretly in order to save the Nearl family. Despite Zofia wanted him to stop her, Kowal said that Maria has the potential in his eyes which, in turn, encouraged her to take part in the competition.[2] Indeed, Maria passed the preliminary in ease after defeating the Plastic Knight and the gang held a party in the bar to celebrate her first victory. Out of joy, the two old men did drink a lot back then.

When Czarny, the speaker of the Kazimierz National Council, came to Marcin's bar to meet Maria, Kowal and Marcin tried to cool Vogelweide down as he provoked the old knight with his badmouthing on the past glory of Kazimierz knighthood.[3] After the speaker left, Sona the Flametail Knight suddenly rushed into the bar with her injured friend. Vogelweide and him quickly came out with their weapons to see if anyone following behind. When everything was clear, the two returned to help bandage Ashley.[3] Although the gang wanted to persuade Maria to give up, there was simply no way turning back.

During Maria's match with the Corrupted and Withered Knights, Vogelweide and him quickly dashed toward the stadium. He even teased that he couldn't run as fast as the Kuranta old knight. However, when they were stopped by Platinum and the assassins from the Armorless Union[4] and were ready to fight back, they saw Margaret Nearl, the Radiant Knight, flying herself into the stadium to take down the Sarkaz brothers. In front of them, Shining and Nightingale passed by and requested to go into the stadium. Reluctantly, Platinum finally allowed the two Followers and the old men to enter.[5] With the duo reuniting with the Nearl sisters, the unfinished duel between Platinum and them just ended abruptly.

Near Light

Upon Margaret's return to her homeland, Kowal and his old friends cheered for her participation in the Major. Together with Maria, he even crafted a lance made of D32 Steel and modified her armor. On the other hand, they were surprised to hear that Młynar was defeated by her in a duel, and Kowal commented that Młynar actually did not use his full strength at all. When discussing about the potential harassment by the Major's stakeholders, he joked that they would rather close the bar and join Rhodes Island.[6]

However, the peace was broken when two mysterious visitors approached his bar. Firstly, there was Roy from the Union having his dinner leisurely. Marcin and his friend agreed that they must not disturb him even though he might be here to gain intel concerning the Nearl sisters, and Kowal joked that something big might happen in the bar. But the surprising part was the arrival of Tola, the Nightmare Knight and one of the surviving true Nightzmora, in his bar to search for Margaret. Nevertheless, his arrival was met with immediate hostility as the gang saw him more of a mental person who was seeking fight. Being dissuaded, Tola left the bar with disappointment but proclaimed that he would find the Radiant Knight somehow.[7]

During Margaret's match with Viviana the Candle Knight, the Armorless Union had Maria kidnaped and broke into Marcin's bar in order to force Margaret surrender. Knowing their arrival from the very beginning, the three old men fought the assassins bravely. Kowal easily knocked them out with his fists and mocked that they were simply not their challengers. He also jokingly warned Vogelweide to spare their lives.[8]

On the day of the Major's final, the three old men were invited by Maria and Zofia to the arena to watch Margaret's match with the Blood Knight and cheer for her. Upon Margeret's victory, however, the trio were furious to see that Mob announced the Radiant's secret as a non-Infected, fearing that such action would provoke the Infected community. From behind, the assassins of the Union launched their attack onto the gang until Amiya and Shining, who just sat beside them somehow, warned them. As more and more assassins appeared to stop Margaret's march towards the Champion's Hall with Dikaiopolis, the old men volunteered to buy them some time in the arena by fending off the assassins' attack until they were safely guarded by the Silverlance Pegasi. They also protected the knights of Pinus Sylvestris from any harm by the Armorless Union while they were making their way for the Radiant and Blood Knights.[9]