Sterkenburg Cranach

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Sterkenburg "Sterk" Cranach is a recurring character in the Arland series. He is a supporting character in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland and Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland. Originally a knight stationed in Arland, Sterk finds himself struggling to change his lifestyle in an era where the concept of knighthood is becoming increasingly irrelevant.


Although known for his intimidating looks and his face that infamously scares people on sight, in actuality, he is a deeply kind and sensitive person. Loyal, devoted, and responsible, he strongly believes in the principle of "protecting others" as part of his duty as a knight, and he considers things like shielding Rorona from a potentially fatal injury with his body to be honorable.

His greatest weakness is his obsession with the concept of knighthood as told in the old storybooks, and when Arland's monarchy is abolished after the events of Rorona, Sterk is left without a purpose in life and stubbornly sticking to his principles of knighthood to the point others call him a "self-proclaimed knight". Thus, he jumps at the chance at protecting ladies with noble titles (such as Mimi and Meruru) for no reason other than it being what a knight is supposed to do. He also has a complex over the idea of being weaker than the person he is supposed to protect, resulting in him becoming obsessed with catching up if someone like Rorona potentially overtakes him.

At the time of Rorona, it is implied that Sterk has still not fully moved on from his failed relationship with Astrid, as both Rorona and Esty notice that she seems to be the only thing that makes him truly lose his composure. Likewise, Astrid enjoys setting him off and mockingly calling him by his full given name "Sterkenburg", something that greatly annoys him. He still seems to be agitated at the mention of Astrid in Totori, but by the time of Lulua, this seems to have died down, although he still shows hesitation at bringing her up.

He has a fondness for pigeons, and he uses them to send messages or scout around the area. While he claims to simply understand what the pigeons are trying to say rather than outright talking to them, Meruru is doubtful of this claim when she sees him receiving abnormally specific information from just a few pigeon coos.

Initially, he struggles with addressing people by name and defaults to "you" or an oblique reference such as "your teacher", but he manages to start addressing people directly by the time of Lulua.


As a child, Sterk read old stories of knights and dreamed of growing up to be like them. In his teenage years, he became romantically involved with his childhood friend Astrid Zexis, during which at one point Astrid used him to test a potion and "enjoy his body" over his initial unwillingness. Eventually, the two split up, but they remained in professional contact.

Atelier Astrid

When Astrid sets out to gather materials to create a Water of Life (both to help cure Rorona's parents and to create a Hom), she uses a letter he had sent her in their youth to blackmail him into helping her. While annoyed, he comes to appreciate alchemy's potential through the things she shows him. However, after the ordeal, she continues to hold onto the letter for potential future use.

Atelier Rorona

Sterk works as a knight in the royal court as a subordinate to Gio and Meredith Alcock and a junior to Esty. Although he is one of the strongest fighters in Arland, he lacks opportunities to show it due to Arland being a relatively peaceful country. He is one of the few people who knows "Masked G"'s true identity as Gio, and he often has to run after Gio to stop him from irresponsibly leaving the castle and wandering around.

As a result of Meredith's insistence on shutting down Astrid's atelier for the sake of city development and Gio's agreement to test the atelier's capabilities through assignments, Sterk is charged with delivering the news to the atelier and monitoring the assignments. However, instead of Astrid, the one receiving the requests turns out to be her apprentice Rorona, perplexing Sterk as to how someone so honest and straightforward could work under someone like Astrid. Feeling sympathy for her, Sterk serves as a supportive presence through Rorona's ordeal and offers to assist her when she goes out gathering (albeit at a high price of 300 cole per outing, something Rorona would eventually give him grief for). He begins to feel conflict between his job as a knight technically pressuring him to sabotage the atelier and his actual conscience telling him the right thing to do, but he continues to hold his ground in helping Rorona, and at one point, he finds the people in town thanking him for helping Rorona help them.

During the Annual Festival, Rorona defeats him in one-on-one combat, getting him to desperately train harder so that he won't fall behind as someone assigned to protect her. Later, Rorona (on Astrid's goading) disregards his warning to stay away from the Ster Highlands and accidentally takes him along to fight Suni Sterm. When Rorona lets down her guard, Sterk takes a near-fatal injury for her and ends up in the hospital for three months. However, he does not blame her for the incident, even considering it to be a "valuable experience" for him as a knight, and when, during their next outing, Rorona insists that he stay behind her out of concern for his recovery, Sterk is confused as to why she would want him there if he can't protect her.

When Gio takes Rorona with him to help him take care of some bandits, Sterk finds them and, exasperated at Gio's irresponsibility and way of dragging Rorona around, reveals Gio's identity as the king to Rorona.

In spite of his and Astrid's complicated relationship, the two of them have a drink together after Sterk recovers from the Suni Sterm incident, and Astrid eventually asks him to "take care of Rorona" in her stead before she leaves town. In the Sterk variant of the Good Ending, upon seeing Rorona still struggle with her alchemy, Sterk decides to follow up by moving into the atelier himself, helping Rorona keep the place organized but flustering her so much that she's unable to focus. In the Astrid Ending (which leads into Totori), Sterk ends up occasionally slacking on his knight duties to help Rorona until Astrid returns to town.

Atelier Rorona Plus

When Gio starts asking around about the idea of getting rid of the Arland monarchy, Sterk is staunchly against it, terrified that it would get rid of his purpose in life. When he asks Rorona about what a knight should protect, Rorona responds with "the people", which catches him off guard. After some more encouraging from Gio, Sterk is able to take the words to heart.

Atelier Totori

After Gio dismantles the Arland monarchy in favor of a republic, the knighthood is abolished with it, leaving Sterk as an adventurer taking up jobs. Sterk begins to go on a search for Gio, but his attempts end up fruitless due to Gio being good at hiding himself. Sterk's face has also gotten "scarier" to the point three children cry upon seeing his face and Ceci mistakes him for being a kidnapper upon seeing him with Totori. He is also self-conscious about his age, feeling dismay when Totori points out her father's proximity in age to his and showing annoyance at Gino calling him an "old man".

Sterk first encounters Totori and Gino near the start of the game, with Totori intimidated by his aura while Gino is impressed by his fighting skills. Totori later hears about Sterk being an acquaintance of Rorona from Cordelia, allowing Totori to recognize him when he shows up again in Alanya. Upon meeting up with Rorona and Totori at Atelier Rorona, Sterk agrees to join them if they need him, reasoning that Totori can serve as "camouflage" so that Gio won't view Sterk as being on his tail, and when Rorona expresses joy at getting to go on an outing with Sterk again, Totori notices that he looks flustered. Later, when Totori about Rorona, Sterk complains that she has been actively throwing herself into dangerous situations ever since she became an adult and that she talks back at him whenever he protests; however, Totori also discovers that he had been secretly training one of his pigeons to say Rorona's name because she'd wanted it, and he immediately insists that Totori pretend she never saw that.

Over the course of the game, Sterk gives Totori advice about her fighting skills and starts to become even more self-conscious when Totori shows signs of potentially not needing him to protect her anymore. Gino begins to pester him to take him on as his student, and while Sterk is initially reluctant, he eventually relents, especially since he sympathizes with Gino's desire to protect Totori and concern over becoming overtaken by her. Sterk indirectly helps Gino come up with a "super move" tailored to his fighting style, but Gino ends up demoralized when Totori defeats him in one-on-one combat; wanting to get him back on his feet, Sterk and Rorona work together to engineer a situation where Totori is caught off guard by a monster, giving Gino an opening to attack and restoring his confidence. Seeing this, Rorona comments that Gino is lucky to have a "caring" master like Sterk.

Atelier Meruru

Excited by the idea of getting to be a knight in a kingdom again, Sterk takes to the job of being Princess Meruru's escort with enthusiasm; however, Meruru finds his dramatic formality to be somewhat suffocating. He attempts to create a knighthood in Arls, and upon being told that he can't make a knighthood if he doesn't have members, he tries to form the "Sterk Knighthood" with Gino and Lias but is rebuffed.

He is still in pursuit of Gio, now no longer due to his grievances over shirking his position as king but simply out of a desire to surpass him as a swordsman, and although his attempt at challenging him fails, he does at least manage to land a significant hit on him. Meanwhile, although he and Gino initially seem to have a more antagonistic relationship, when Gino challenges Sterk to a duel, Sterk finally acknowledges Gino as an equal rival. Since they had asked Meruru to witness their duel, they both offer Meruru "I'll-Be-Meruru's-Servant-For-A-Day Coupons", getting Meruru to remark on their childishness. Eventually, Meruru beats both Sterk and Gio in one-on-one combat, but both of them manage to impart some words on her about understanding the true meaning of strength.

He initially starts off on a bad note with Rufus, beginning with a petty argument regarding their pigeons being white or black and branching into other disputes about royal affairs. Eventually, they manage to make up over drinks and their mutual interest in helping Meruru.

At one point, Meruru and Totori try to use a potion that will make Sterk smile so they can get more used to his intimidating face, but it has barely any effect and ends up only unnerving them further. He is also conflicted about how to handle the 8-year-old Rorona, not wanting to scare her and feeling embarrassed when Hanna and Meruru comment that they come off like a parent and child.

When the Arls and Arland merger finally occurs, Sterk pays his respects to Meruru in her final role as a princess and declares that he will continue to be a knight even against the flow of time, but Meruru suggests that he get himself a real job instead.

Atelier Lulua

At some point prior to the events of the game, Lulua is introduced to Sterk as Rorona's daughter. While Sterk is confused as to how this happened and who Lulua's father is, he is afraid to ask Rorona about it, feeling it would be "not right" to do so.

Sterk becomes nominated as the leader of a vigilante group called the "citizen guard", made up of adventurers and former Arland knights. While it functions to protect the people in a similar fashion as the old knighthood did, the Prime Minister refuses to acknowledge it as a knighthood due to it being old-fashioned; nevertheless, Sterk insists that all of the members carry the spirit of knighthood in their hearts. Niko joins the group for a fashion but is unable to handle the strict rules and leaves, parting with them on amicable terms. Meanwhile, Sterk also manages to track down Gio and finally defeats him, earning for himself the title of "Knight Supreme" that is given to the strongest swordsman in Arland.

When Lulua first arrives in Arland, she runs into Sterk in pursuit of Ficus for trying to perform a street show without a license. Upon seeing her, Sterk greets her warmly and welcomes her to Arland. He later appears with Totori to rescue Lulua and the party from a dragon they had been facing as part of Totori's test. After Rorona returns to Arland, Sterk is also available to join Lulua's party.

Sterk is frequently challenged by contenders for the title of Knight Supreme, and Christoph Aurel Arland, Gio's nephew, also seeks to claim it from him as well. Aurel suffers a humiliating defeat at Sterk's hands and ends up needing Lulua's encouragement and a new sword to get back on his feet. After getting himself together, Aurel is eventually able to land a single strike on Sterk, getting the latter to acknowledge him as an up-and-coming rival.

Over the course of the game, Sterk gives Lulua information and advice in her quest to help Stia, including encouraging her by reminding her of the great alchemists she is following the legacy of. Lulua can arm-wrestle him once a year at the Royal Fair, winning a large amount of money (and admiration from both Sterk and the crowd) if she wins. Although she is still startled by Sterk's face on impulse, she asks him to spend more time with her so she can get used to it.

Sterk eventually gathers up the courage to ask Lulua about her parentage and is visibly relieved to hear that Lulua is adopted. Seeing how flustered he had been when asking the question, Lulua deduces that he must have feelings for Rorona and finds him to be amusing, feeling that she wants to know him better. Later, Lulua helps Sterk with medicine for the wound that Suni Sterm had inflicted on him back when he had shielded Rorona from it; the wound still flares up from time to time, and Sterk reveals that he is still haunted by dreams of potentially having failed to protect Rorona at that time.

When Sterk and Rorona both receive letters inviting them to join an expedition to the Eastern Continent, Sterk, fearing for Rorona's safety, attempts to hide the letter from her, only for Rorona to discover it anyway. Rorona is incensed, insisting that she's not a child anymore and accusing him of not trusting her. Afterwards, when Suni Sterm resurfaces in the Ster Highlands, Sterk tries to take it on alone before Rorona stops him, declaring herself to be a full-fledged alchemist who can stand by his side as an equal now. They take it down together, and Sterk, admitting that a part of him had still been treating Rorona as a child after all, apologizes and acknowledges Rorona as someone he can rely on.

Feeling that she shouldn't let Sterk go on the expedition alone, Rorona decides to join him, and the two depart for the Eastern Continent, with Sterk observing how strong Rorona had gotten.

Other appearances

Atelier Resleriana

A version of Sterk taken from between Rorona and Totori makes his appearance in "The Lost Girl & the Snowy Road Home", assisting Rorona, Totori, and Meruru in rescuing a lost winter spirit in the snow.

In the "Resleriana Academy" event, a girl named Eren K. St. Burg appears and is implied to be the Resleriana Academy universe's counterpart to Sterk, especially in regards to her appearance with an alternate version of Rorona.


Name Stars
Sterk Noble Swordsman ★ 1

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists

After Rorona mysteriously vanishes without a trace, Sterk gets Astrid to send him to Westwald in order to find her. Upon reuniting with Rorona, he is annoyed to find her searching for the fruit in a carefree manner, having been "worried sick" about her. Rorona introduces him to Nelke and suggests that he spend time training there while Rorona looks for the legendary fruit of the Granzweit Tree.

After he manages to settle in, Nelke asks what kind of relationship he and Rorona have, immediately setting him on edge until she clarifies that she's curious about why a knight like him would work alongside a single alchemist. He explains that since the kingdom has been causing trouble for Rorona, he wants to help her in any way he can. He also expresses his worries that his king is strong enough to not need him, and that he wants to dedicate himself to training again so he can surpass him. While he ends up easily doing well against Bartel and Edge, he finds himself needing guidance from Enderk, Pepperoni, and Lotos.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate

Sterkenburg as he appears in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate

Sterk guest-stars in Ultimate as a playable character. After finishing his duty of escorting Princess Meruru, he finds himself dragged into a space-time distortion as he returns to Arland. When first brought to the strange new world, he encounters Princess Sun Shangxiang and her allies Huang Gai, Yoshimoto, and Motochika. While initially hostile towards the group, after finding she is a princess, he swears loyalty to her and vows to protect her from the demons of the land. Shangxiang states that she is not a princess who needs protecting and vows to fight alongside him as his equal in battle. The group then readies them selves to face the upcoming hoard of demons, as friends and allies.

Sterk's introduction stage has him and his new found friends fighting to reunite twin village girls, who have been separated while trying to flee the demons. They find that the land of Xu Province has been merged with a strange Labyrinth filled with books within the caves walls, floating platforms, and glowing floating orbs. They are able to reunite the separated sisters, but are then faced to fight against the forces of Dong Zhuo. Now caught in the middle of a 3-way battle, the group of heroes move to take down the demon forces and Dong Zhuo's forces, and in the end are victorious. When the battle is over and Sterk learns of the larger situation going on, he vows to fight alongside the Coalition of Warriors fighting against evil forces.

In Battle

Atelier Rorona


Main article: Weapons (Atelier Rorona)
Name Ingredient Choices ATK Effect
A11 item 168.png
Knight Sword
Neue Metal
11 Blitz Strike
Phantom Ride
A11 item 169.png
Heavy Sword
?Heavy Sword?
Dry Metal
17 Blitz Strike
Fish Busting
Phantom Ride
A11 item 170.png
Alloy Sword
?Steel Sword?
Ster Metal
24 Phantom Ride
Demon Beast Busting
Thunder Blitz
A11 item 171.png
Wizard Sword
?Magical Sword?
32 Blitz Strike
Phantom Ride
Fish Busting
Thunder Blitz
A11 item 172.png
Scale Sword
?Trained Sword?
41 Phantom Ride
Thunder Blitz
Demon Beast Busting
Imperial Ride
A11 item 173.png
Eternal Sword
?Phantom Sword?
Halmolium 57 Thunder Blitz
Imperial Ride
Fish Busting
Maximum Strike



Main article: Skills (Atelier Rorona)
Skill Name Skill Detail Element Target Unlock
Aedel Strike Non-Elemental Damage -- Single From Beginning
Cross Ride Non-Elemental Damage -- Target: Horizontal Level 5
Knight's Lesson *Auto* Increase Assist Defense -- N/A Level 10
Inner Flame *Auto* More Damage Inflicted to Stronger Enemies -- N/A Level 20
Justice End *Deadly* ??? Wind 5 ??? Level 25
Blitz Strike Wind Element Damage
Expand: Aedel Strike
-- Single Based on Weapon Quality
Thunder Blitz Wind Elemental Damage
Expand: Aedel Strike
Wind 1 Vertical Based on Weapon Quality
Maximum Strike Non-Elemental Damage
Expand: Aedel Strike
Wind 2 Vertical Based on Weapon Quality
Phantom Ride Non-Elemental Damage
Expand: Cross Ride
Wind 1 Horizontal Based on Weapon Quality
Imperial Ride Non-Elemental Damage
Expand: Cross Ride
Wind 3 Horizontal Based on Weapon Quality

Atelier Rorona Plus

Sterk joins at the start of the second assignment at level 13, equipped with a Knight Sword and Gentleman's Coat.


Active skills
Skill Learning Condition MP cost Description Target Attribute
Aedel Strike Default 12 MP Physical and lightning damage on one enemy. Single enemy Physical, Lightning
Cross Ride Default 18 MP Physical damage and lightning damage on a row. Horizontal enemy row Physical, Lightning
Maximum Strike Level 25 48 MP Physical damage to a vertical row of enemies. Vertical enemy row Physical
Passive skills
Skill Learning Condition Description
Knight's Lesson Default Assist defense up.
Inner Flame Level 20 Increases stats when fighting stronger enemies.
Assist skills
Skill Learning Condition Assist Gauge consumption Description Target
Assist Attack Default 1 point Perform an additional attack to deal damage after Rorona attacks with items or skills. Rorona's target
Assist Guard Default 1 point Guard Rorona when she is targeted, taking damage in her place. Rorona
Thunder Blitz Level 15 1 point (second attack) Lightning damage + slow effect on a vertical row. Vertical enemy row

Atelier Totori


Main article: Weapons (Atelier Totori)
Skill Level HP MP LP ATK DEF SPD Ingredient Choices
A12 Item 271.png
Vagabond Sword
1 - - - 15 - - Ingot
A12 Item 272.png
Eternal Sword
?Famous Sword?
3 - - - 21 - - Tinc
Dry Metal
Ster Metal
A12 Item 273.png
?Magic Sword?
5 - - - 33 - - Goldstein


A12 Item 274.png
?Dragon Killer?
7 - - - 51 - - Platine
A12 Item 275.png
Koenig Beil
?Supreme Sword?
9 - - - 70 - 10 Halmolium


Main article: Skills (Atelier Totori)
Skill Level Learned MP cost Description Target
Sword Blitz Default 17 MP Lightning damage to all targets. All enemies
Judgement Default 24 MP Attack one foe. Single
Lichtschneiden Default 0 MP Super Attack. Attacks one foe. Single
Lifelong Hardship Default N/A Buffs yield higher effects. Passive ability. N/A
Inner Flame Default N/A Stats up against strong foes. Passive ability. N/A

Atelier Meruru


Main article: Weapons (Atelier Meruru)
Name Level HP MP LP ATK DEF SPD Ingredients
Vagabond Sword 3 27
  • Tinc

  • Dry Metal

Dragon Slayer 5 37
  • Ster Metal

  • Platine

Knight's Blade 7 20 46
  • Halmolium

  • Sunlite

Klau Solas 10 30 58 15
  • Regentium


Main article: Skills (Atelier Meruru)
Skill Level Learned MP Usage Skill Description
Knight's Amulet Starting level 36 15% drop in all damage to party.
Grand Bell Starting level 42 Non-elemental and Lightning damage to a line of enemies.
Light Storm Starting level 24 Non-elemental and Lightning damage to a target.
Falken Wind Starting level 58 Non-elemental and Lightning damage to all enemies.
Inner Flame Starting level N/A Abilities increase when facing an enemy of higher level. Passive ability.
Knight's Pride Starting level N/A Raises crit rate by 50%. Passive ability.
Gaia Breaker Starting level N/A Special ability; huge damage to a target. Gauge required.


Ending - Sterk


  • Sterk is often nicknamed "Suke-san" by Japanese fans, based on the nickname Rorona had tried (and failed) to give him upon first learning his name in Rorona (translated in the English version as "Sterky").
  • Him struggling against Enderk and Pepperoni in Nelke is an in-joke based on the fact all three of them are voiced by the same voice actor, Jūrōta Kosugi: since Sterk is from a more recent game than Marie and Mana Khemia 2, he thus needs guidance from his two "senior" Kosugi-voiced characters.


External Links

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland Characters
Party Members
Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland Characters
Party Members
Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland Characters
Party Members

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland Characters
Elmerulia FrixellEva ArmsterPianaChristoph Aurel ArlandNicodemus David DieterFix FinisSterkenburg CranachRorolina FrixellTotooria Helmold (DLC) • Merurulince Rede Arls (DLC)
Chim DragonLionela HeinzeManaStiaLisa von BeilschmidtRefle von BeilschmidtCole DuellerJeltje JeremiesWild KlinsmannPamela IbisMimi Houllier von Schwarzlang

Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World Characters