Veldaban was the commander of the Keldagrim division of the Dwarven Black Guard, the elite military and police regiment of the dwarves, until he resigned from the position and became king of Keldagrim shortly after. Commander Veldaban can be found in the headquarters, west of the Keldagrim bank. If you have completed the quest King of the Dwarves, he can be found atop the trading palace. As Veldaban is a commander of an elite dwarven force, he may appear harsh at first, but is actually a warm-hearted individual with the city's best interests at heart. He is always aware of all that takes place within the city and will always justify his actions while not causing unnecessary victims. He is kind and cares for all inhabitants of the city, especially the poor dwarves in the East. Veldaban is particularly suspicious of The Red Axe and their brutal methods of business. Much of Veldaban's early history remains unknown. His father is Dondakan, a rich and old miner.
Veldaban is a war veteran, having fought the trolls during the Battle of Barendir. He is determined but loyal. Like all dwarves, he enjoys some good ale and is known to have got drunk at least once. Veldaban is a caring person, attempting to equalise living conditions in Keldagrim in favour of the poor east, but the Consortium does not agree with him. According to Veldaban, they only care about themselves and how to make more money. In 169 of the Fifth Age, Veldaban reluctantly became the king of Keldagrim to snatch the title away from arch nemesis, Hreidmar, the director of the notorious Red Axe, who was attempting to conquer the city.
Battle of Barendir
In the seventeenth decade of the Fifth Age, the gory Battle of Barendir broke out between the Keldagrim Black Guard and the mountain troll colony of the Barendir caves. After several earlier conflicts, the trolls had managed to find entrance to Keldagrim and were met by the Black Guard battalions before the battle erupted, which lasted several days. Veldaban, who was then a lieutenant of the Black Guard, led the troops into battle, reporting to Supreme Commander Bisi and the Consortium. Both sides suffered heavy losses until Colonel Grimsson of the dwarves managed to break through the troll lines and duel the troll general. He won the battle and the trolls resorted to panic, leaving the dwarves able to drive them back, with the trolls fleeing back to their caves. Grimsson, nicknamed The Butcher of Barendir went berserk at that point and slaughtered the remaining trolls before turning against his own men.
The Blood Colonel, scarred from the fight with the troll general, was responsible for the murders of several dwarves before he was quickly subdued by Veldaban's troops on the latter's order and put into custody. Before he could be tried, he mysteriously went missing, however. Grimsson had been released by Hreidmar, director of the Red Axe, a very wealthy Consortium mining company, and Grimsson agreed to ally himself with the company. The Red Axe secretly planned to take over Keldagrim and claim the absolute leadership. While exploring Trollweiss Mountain directly above Keldagrim, Grimsson stumbled upon a frozen ogre shaman. Initially mistaken for a troll, the shaman, whose name was Grunsh, was thawed out and he joined the Red Axe as well. As Veldaban would discover almost a decade later, Grunsh brainwashed Grimsson into forgetting his past. Thus Grimsson became a valuable right-hand for Hreidmar in his future plans. Meanwhile, Veldaban began to grow suspicious of the company, sensing that something was off.
In the following years, the Red Axe allied themselves with the Dark Gnomes of Arposandra. They were sent several machines that convert regular dwarves into evil chaos dwarves, with Grunsh to ensure that they lost their memory. The Red Axe established several bases in secret abandoned mines of Keldagrim, complete with war rooms and archives. To remain unnoticed, Hreidmar had citizens of the poor East Keldagrim abducted one by one. It worked, for the Consortium turned a deaf ear to the reports of dwarves disappearing.
Befriending an Adventurer
|“||We haven’t been ruled by a king for many a year… that statue was long overdue for replacement anyway. You’re not under arrest, I merely wanted to talk to you. But let me introduce myself. I am Veldaban, son of Dondakan. I am the Commander of the Black Guard in Keldagrim.||”|
In 169, the Red Axe bribed the dwarven boatman who ferries visitors from and to the entrance of Keldagrim to crash his boat into the statue of the great King Alvis, which was in the middle of the River Kelda, as soon as a human would board the boat. That way, Hreidmar could convince the other mining companies to rebuild the statue bearing his visage, rather than Alvis'. Soon, an adventurer asked the boatman to be ferried to Keldagrim on their first visit there, and indeed the boat smashed into the giant statue, looking like an accident. On shore, the adventurer was arrested by the Black Guard.
They were taken to Veldaban, but the commander knew it was just an accident (everyone unaware of the Red Axe's plot) and he cleared the adventurer. However, he suggest that they help Blasidar the sculptor in rebuilding the statue and so they did. They then joined a Consortium mining company and worked their way up to be able to access the next meeting. While Blasidar had been able to reconstruct the body based on the king's old, preserved items, he was unable to build the head of the king. As such, the mining companies congregated to discuss which director's head to put onto the statue, figuring that the Age of Kings had passed.
Veldaban and the adventurer attended the meeting and, because the directors couldn't come to an agreement, the adventurer was given the last say. They voted for the director of the company they joined to be the model and everyone agreed except for Hreidmar. The Red Axe director, realising his plan had failed, threatened the consortium but was not taken seriously. He left in a rage with his cat, even going so far as have the Red Axe step out of the Consortium completely. They were replaced by the Orange Flame company. Unbeknownst to all other people, the Red Axe began their notorious planning deep inside the Keldagrim mines.
At some point, an employee of a minor company, the Magenta Accordion, went on an investigation in the abandoned mines south of Keldagrim. After some travelling, they discovered a Red Axe hideout and an army of chaos dwarves. His memory was quickly wiped by Grunsh and he became nothing more than an extremely drunk dwarf. The dwarf caused some havoc in East Keldagrim, so Veldaban sent his new friend, the adventurer, to investigate. In return for a kelda stout, the drunken dwarf revealed being able to remember going into the abandoned mines.
After entering the mine, they encountered Hreidmar discussing plans with Grimsson and Grunsh, finding out they were responsible for the breaking of the statue. They then found archives of the Red Axe, containing records of the dwarven boatman and the drunken dwarf, amongst many others. Farther into the cave, they found Hreidmar and Grimsson showing their newest batch of chaos dwarves to Laneel, a gnome emissary from Arposandra, before being spotted by Grunsh, who erased their memory. They found themselves back in Keladgrim, unable to recount what had happened. They attempted to report to Veldaban, but could only think of kebabs and beer. They proceeded to drink themselves unconscious in the Laughing Miner Pub, with Grimsson spying from outside and concluding that the human was no longer a problem.
Spying on the Red Axe
|“||We need better crime reporting in East. We can't expect people to come all the way here to file reports. I want you to pick half a dozen guards and station them in East to collect reports.||”|
At some point that same year, the brother of the poor dwarf Hilda, from the East, was kidnapped. In an attempt to make herself heard, she stole a rich dwarf's bearskin coat to make herself appear wealthy, and personally went to the Black Guard HQ in the west. She filed her brother as missing to Veldaban, who decided it had been long enough that the consortium ignored all the kidnappings. During his interrogation of Hilda, the owner of the coat walked in to retrieve the complaint, but Veldaban, realising Hilda had stolen it, pretended her to have found the coat and brought it there, to the owner's dismay. Hilda and Veldaban then went to the last location her brother had been seen and encountered a cloaked figure, who fled at the sight of the Black Guard. Hilda managed to make the dwarf trip in a chase and they both fell into a stack of iron poles. The dwarf attempted to kill her, but was knocked unconscious by Hilda and Veldaban. As he was lying on the ground, his pale and fiery skin turned to ashes and within a minute only his skeleton and armour remained, to Hilda's utter horror. Veldaban realised it was a chaos dwarf but could not explain the sudden influx in their numbers. The two subsequently went for a drink in the Laughing Miner.
Later, Supreme Commander Bisi angrily informed Veldaban the wife of one of the Consortium directors had filed a complaint against him for allowing her coat thief to get away. Veldaban protested the was investigating an abduction in East Keldagrim, which angered his superior even further. Bisi stated that Veldaban was far too important to deal with such cases and nobody cared for East Keldagrim anyway. Veldaban ordered Lieutenant Brae to send more patrolling guards to the east, but more and more dwarves kept disappearing.
Hilda and Veldaban teamed up, falling in love with each other as they did, to investigate the abductions. Eventually, they came across an odd portion of a cave wall in the Keldagrim south-west mine. They found an opening and found a massive system of cart tracks able to bring one dwarf to the other side, where they could extend the bridge for the other to cross. Together, they managed to cross the chasm and open the door into the next room. There, they witnessed Hreidmar, Grimsson, Grunsh and a gnome technician convert the missing dwarves from the east into chaos dwarves. The shocked duo was discovered and captured by the Red Axe, however. Hilda was converted into a chaos dwarf, to Veldaban's horror, while Hreidmar concluded that the Black Guard commander was too important to convert (his disappearance would rise suspicion) and thus his memory was wiped, resulting in Veldaban forgetting about what he'd seen or that he ever had a girlfriend named Hilda. Still woozy, he was brought back to Keldagrim, and continued work as if nothing had happened.
Regaining of memory
|“||You know why the missing persons aren’t a priority? It’s because they’re from Keldagrim East. They’re poor. They’re unemployed, or they’re low-wage labourers. The rich people have the power in Keldagrim. The rich people run the mining companies, and the companies make up the Consortium, and the Consortium controls the Black Guard. If some high-class citizen from Keldagrim so much as stubs their toe, I have to go over there personally but, when people from Keldagrim East go missing, I’m told it’s not a priority.||”|
A while afterwards, Hreidmar launched an attack at the Keldagrim south-west mine using chaos dwarf hand cannoneers. Hilda was amongst the assailants as well. Before she attacked though, she managed to place an order at the Grand Exchange. The package contained items that would help her boyfriend find the Red Axe base. In addition, she included a note saying "I forgive you", knowing she would be killed. Colonel Grenda managed to withstand the attack, but had to ask Veldaban and the adventurer for help. The duo killed Hilda, unaware of the chaos dwarf's identity, and found the package with items.
Veldaban headed for the Laughing Miner to get a guardman's stout and got very, very drunk. He later barged into Supreme Commander Bisi's office, telling him off about how he doesn't care about the people of Keldagrim. His angry superior ordered him to sleep it off. While Veldaban was asleep, the adventurer used the package's items to discover an opening in the walls of the mine, the same one Hilda and Veldaban had found earlier. They woke up Veldaban and together crossed the chasm. There, they found a cage of prisoners, whom they freed. Only a woman named Fjoila refused to leave until her husband Brunolt would be found. As such, Veldaban and the adventurer continued to the room with chaos converters.
There, they witnessed Grunsh brainwashing Brunolt and then a gnome technician sending him through several machines. Veldaban commented how it seemed awfully familiar to him and cried out Hilda's name in shock when he suddenly regained his memory upon witnessing Brunolt exit the machine in full chaos dwarf apparel. This drew the attention of Hreidmar and Grimsson, who sent a cannoneer after Veldaban. The duo quickly hid in a nearby room when Grimsson returned to taint Veldaban. He laughed at how Veldaban had killed his own girlfriend before departing, leaving the former to realise what the chaos dwarf's note had meant. Using the final items from the package, the adventurer sabotaged a printer and the duo escaped in a mine cart.
An emergency Consortium meeting was conducted and Bisi, Veldaban and the adventurer entered the meeting room. The board of directors acknowledged Veldaban's report as being worrying, but did no more than send Grenda and the First Division to the newly discovered entrance to keep the chaos dwarves at bay. Veldaban was enraged, much to Bisi's dismay, about the callousness of the directors and their refusal to do any more. They simply stated that "no-one important went missing" and that they should remember their business. Veldaban furiously resigned from the Black Guard and threw his badge to the ground before stomping out of the room.
Becoming the King of Keldagrim
|“||I’ve been telling people the truth! The Consortium happily let people die as long as they keep making money. There are a lot of people that agree with me. Now I've been proved right. There’s an explosion in the Lava Flow Mine, and what do the companies do? Do they save the miners’ lives? No! They fix the machine to keep their profits rolling in.||”|
The Red Axe then planned another attack on Keldagrim, this time on the Lava-flow Mine. This mine provides most of the geothermic energy for the city and is thus very important. When the adventurer was being given a tour by Foreman Jaak, a cloaked chaos dwarf committed suicide in the middle of the mine, causing a massive explosion that resulted in a cave-in and all the boilers breaking down. The explosion attracted several dwarves outside the mine, including Veldaban, now without his guard uniform. While the adventurer was busy rescuing stuck lava-flow miners, the Consortium quickly sent a squad of black guards to aid. However, unlike what Veldaban and the other watchers thought, their orders were to get the boilers up and running as soon as possible rather than help the injured miners. As a result, two miners died directly from the cave-in and another succumbed to his wounds later, since the adventurer had not been fast enough.
Upon hearing this, Veldaban joined other protesters outside the mine, who were revolting against the "consortium murderers". The ex-commander was suubsequently arrested by the Consortium who thought him to have perpetrated the attack. He was angry at the consortium for positioning their own profits above dwarven lives, but was released with the adventurer's help. A Black Guard officer stormed in at that point, reporting that a large crowd of protesting dwarves had gather in front of the palace, demanding for a king to rule Keldagrim once more. In addition, Grenda had been relocated to the Barendir tunnels to fight off incoming chaos dwarf attacks. Together, the adventurer and Veldaban found Hreidmar making a speech to the crowd outside the Consortium palace about reviving the monarchy in Keldagrim. They were unable to convince the crowd of his true intentions and thus left to seek Meike, head of the Monarchist Society of Keldagrim. They eventually tracked her down on top of a tower outside the city and she worriedly revealed that, should the revolt succeed, Hreidmar would become the new king, since he claimed to be a direct descendant of Alvis, the last king.
Determined to avoid this at all costs, the trio obtained copies of the six keys to the sealed records chamber of Keldagrim, since Hreidmar possibly knew what was in there, adamantly stating that it should be opened. Once the room was opened, Meike discovered that Hreidmar was indeed the direct heir of the last dwarf king. Veldaban and the adventurer left Meike in the records room to attempt to find a loophole somewhere. They travelled to the caverns of Barendir, where Colonel Grenda and the black guard were in a stand-off with a small division of chaos dwarves, led by Colonel Grimsson. Veldaban confronted Grimsson and attempted to talk sense into him, but Grimsson returned to mocking him with Hilda and a bemused Veldaban realised he had been brainwashed too. An enraged Grimsson took the fight to him, but, with the adventurer's help, he was defeated and retreated to the next cavern, which was full of chaos dwarves, mutated chaos dwogres and several multicannons. The adventurer proposed an alliance with the Barendir trolls, but Veldaban was unable to cope with that and left, heading for the Laughing Miner tavern, while the adventurer met with the trolls. They convinced their leader, Pretty Flower, to assault the chaos dwarves by claiming they had made fun of his name (which enraged the troll warlord).
Meanwhile, Meike and Veldaban joined the protesting crowd before the adventurer returned. They witnessed the consortium directors hold a speech, quoting the Azdaran Fragment: "No band of petty councillors can preserve this city through its darkest days — only a king." They proclaimed the age of kings had restarted and announced the new king. Expecting to hear his own name, Hreidmar exploded with rage when Veldaban's name was shouted instead, with Meike whispering into Veldaban's ear she had had to alter the records to make the king's lineage point to Veldaban's family, rather than Hreidmar's. Hreidmar wanted to order his army to invade Keldagrim, but a Black Guard arrived with the information that they had been massacred by trolls before he could. Veldaban, now the reluctant new king, ordered Hreidmar's arrest, but the latter managed to slip away in the crowd. One of the regulations of the monarchy is that the king must be under 150 years old (if a king reaches this age, the throne passes to his heir), thus Veldaban's father, Dondakan, was too old so the throne became Veldaban's, despite Veldaban not truly wanting to be king. He was prepared, however, to be king to prevent Hreidmar from ruling. He was henceforth officially crowned by Meike.
|“||Dwarves - civilians - are going to die because of decisions I make, and eventually there'll be so many dead that I'll stop caring, and then who will I be? Being king will turn me into either a tyrant, or a puppet for the Consortium. The transformation is inevitable.||”|
Veldaban's crowning would put the dwarf under high pressure. He had to govern the city by himself, whereas there were eight people to do so when the Consortium still ruled. Although he had appointed the directors as his advisors, they only caused more problems to arise, "squabbling over who owns how much of some mine or factory". Meanwhile, the city's workers demanded better treatment from their companies and as such Veldaban gave them permission to unionise, which triggered the directors' anger. Additionally, he was trying to negotiate a permanent peace treaty with the trolls of Barendir to end the Keldagrim - Troll Country War, to the dismay of a considerable amount of Black Guard officers, who thought the war good for their careers. Veldaban also became increasingly delusional with the declined Red Axe activity, believing that they were planning something big. At the end of the year, Guthix was murdered and his Edicts abolished, which allowed other gods to return to Gielinor, creating yet another problem for King Veldaban to deal with.
Veldaban felt he slowly began to turn into what he had fought against during his time as Commander, being forced to turn down Lieutenant Brae's requests for more funding and having to alter every proposal his advising body, which he had stopped trusting, would make. He soon decided that the Red Axe had to be eliminated before any other problems could be solved. He had his Black Guard officers investigate suspected Red Axe spies. For instance, Drorkar, a renowned dwarven industrialist, was questioned but released on the ground that he had severed all ties with the Red Axe after their departure from the Consortium a year ago. However, the warhammer vendor Vigr, who was a member of the Red Axe before the Orange Flame joined the Consortium, was arrested and detained. Soon, Klaas, a member of the Keldagrim Monarchist Society who had found out Veldaban was not the rightful king and called for revolution, and the traders Grundt and Brendt, who were on Jatizso to make an ore trade but were mentioned to belong to the Red Axe by the island's King Gjuki Sorvott IV, joined him, being detained in the records chamber. Realising he would also require something to counter Grunsh's memory-wiping magic if the Red Axe were to be definitively dealt with, Veldaban called on the aid of his human friend.
Fall of the Red Axe
|“||You put me on the throne to stop Hreidmar, and I've done that. It's time for me step aside. Ladies and gentlemen, the city's darkest days are over. You band of petty councillors can take it from here.||”|
The adventurer arrived to Veldaban's aid and interrogated the four suspects, detained in the Records Chamber by Lieutenant Brae. Additionally, they visited their acquaintance the Yanille Watchtower wizard, who had helped them deal with ogre shamans before. The wizard figured that a magic ogre potion would not be sufficient against a shaman as powerful as Grunsh, and so created a memory wand to counter mind-wiping magic. In the process of calibrating it, the adventurer regained their unaffected memories about the meeting between the Red Axe and Laneel. Finally, they visited Taverley Dungeon to learn more about chaos dwarves, where chaos druidess Ikadia the Exile revealed that they are ancient beings.
After solving Veldaban's problems, the king mobilised the Black Guard army, aided by Pretty Flower's trolls, to assault the Red Axe base before Hreidmar could strike again. He summoned Nulodion from the Asgarnian Dwarven Mines to supply them with multicannons, and also to provide means of disabling the Red Axe's cannons. After the necessary preparations, the army broke into the Chaos Dwarf Lava-flow Mine beyond Barendir and attacked the chaos dwarves, led by Veldaban. Colonel Grimsson responded by submerging the bridges over the lava streams and firing all cannons at the incoming attackers, forcing them to retreat.
Veldaban and the adventurer remained and fought their way through hordes of hand cannoneers and chaos dwogres, destroying the Red Axe cannons along the way. At the other side of the cave, they confronted Grimsson, who admitted defeat and fled in a mine cart. Veldaban pursued him, and they were by Hreidmar and Grunsh in the cave where Brunolt had been transformed. Hreidmar ordered Grunsh to alter Veldaban's memories to make him believe Hreidmar was the real king, when the adventurer arrived to the scene. Hreidmar angrily ordered Grunsh to erase their memories, but the memory wand caused the ogre's magic to backfire, placing everyone inside their own memories.
The adventurer arrived inside Veldaban's false memory of the Battle of Barendir, which Grunsh had changed just before. In it, Lieutenant Veldaban believed to be fighting the trolls in the name of King Hreidmar and the Royal Red Axe. Using their wand, they managed to restore Veldaban's memory, after which they appeared in Grimsson's memory of the same battle. He believed to be fighting the troll leader, Dwarf Bone, and a small troll, when the adventurer revealed to him that he had actually been fighting Dwarf Bone after he had already surrendered, and the small troll was actually one of his own dwarf conscripts. The colonel broke down, weeping at the atrocities he had committed. Afterwards, the adventurer was transported into Hreidmar's head and witnessed him conversing with Zamorak, who ordered him to seize power in Keldagrim because of his royal heritage. Once again, the memory wand revealed the truth, namely that he had been talking to a statue. Finally, they appeared in Grunsh's memory. Although the ogre valiantly attempted to prevent his memory from being restored, the adventurer succeeded in doing so, revealing that Grunsh had been kidnapped from Gu'Tanoth by Laneel and forced to wipe his own memories, thus making him believe he had been saved from death by the Red Axe, earning Hreidmar his loyalty.
Upon returning to reality, Hreidmar and Grimsson had fled while Grunsh was stricken with guilt upon remembering the truth. The adventurer was given the choice to kill him for his crimes or allow him to return to his home. If Grunsh was spared, Veldaban told Grunsh to never set foot in dwarven lands again while he was still king before resuming their pursuit. The two found themselves in a massive cave containing a large, golden statue of Hreidmar and an exact replica of the Keldagrim Palace. Inside, they found a large group of chaos dwarves cosplaying as the directors and traders of the Consortium companies.
After killing most of the directors, the two went upstairs and confronted Hreidmar and Grimsson. Having restored the latter's memories, the adventurer offered Grimsson a chance to repent, but the suicidal colonel stated he could not live with knowledge of his crimes. Hreidmar also revealed he had already given up on his plans to rule Keldagrim, stating he could only be king for two years before turning 150, and had thus retreated to his base to build his own city. Grimsson attacked Veldaban and the two aggressively fought with each other. After a long skirmish, Veldaban and his companion overpowered and killed Grimsson.
In a last-ditch-effort to save himself, Hreidmar used a spell to activate the chaos dwarf curse that lay dormant in every dwarf's body, turning himself and the dead Grimsson into chaos dwarves and affecting Veldaban as well, who fell to the floor. With great effort, the adventurer managed to slay chaos Hreidmar and Grimsson for good before coming to their friend's aid. Veldaban asked to be killed before fully transforming. The adventurer had a choice between complying with Veldaban's wish and killing him, which caused Veldaban to think of Hilda in his final moments, and saying that they would be dead chaos dwarves together, or alternatively, convincing him to try and fight the transformation. If they tried to save him, Veldaban would eventually recover from the curse and the two returned to Keldagrim while the Black Guard arrived and dismantled the Red Axe-built Keldagrim.
Upon arriving, the duo was met by Meike as they proceeded to attend a Consortium meeting. With the Red Axe dealt with, the directors proposed that Veldaban abdicate and leave the ruling of the Dwarven Realm to them. Veldaban looked to his companion for assistance, and either stepped down or resumed his rule depending on their decision.
If he remains king, he will be found at the top of Keldagrim Palace, where he is learning to become a better king. It is also known from Supreme Commander Bisi that he has focused more of the city's defence budget for the city rather than the Consortium's assets, and created a division to handle fraud and tax evasion.
If he steps down, Veldaban can be found in the Laughing Miner Pub in east Keldagrim, where he turns down the offer to get his position back as a Black Guard and plans on retiring privately to become a miner.
- After Veldaban resigns from the Black Guard, he gains a longer beard and loses his sideburns. This look is kept when he becomes king.
- After the Birthright of the Dwarves, if Veldaban survives, the player can offer to use the memory wand to restore his memories of Hilda. He is initially reluctant, unsure of how much about her he may have made up but if the player encourages him, he agrees. He doesn't share his revelations, saying that it between him and her memory, but thanks you for doing it.
- If you let Veldeban survive, but suggest that he abdicate the throne, the Supreme Commander at the Black Guard headquarters will say "With Veldeban dead, the Consortium isn't expecting his treaty with the trolls to last forever.", even though he is still alive.
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Consortium||Ruler(s) of Keldagrim and the Dwarven Realm|| Incumbment|
King Drunken Dwarf III
|Part 1 of the Rise of the Red Axe quest series|
|Miscellaneous||Quick guide • Transcript|
|Part 2 of the Rise of the Red Axe quest series|
|Part 4 of the Rise of the Red Axe quest series|