|Release date||31 May 2005 (Update)|
|Also known as||Lieutenant Veldaban|
|Quest NPC?|| The Giant Dwarf,|
Forgettable Tale of a Drunken Dwarf,
Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf
|Examine|| • Veldaban, Commander of the Black Guard in Keldagrim.|
• A promising young Black Guard officer.
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 BarendirEdit
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 AdventurerEdit
|“||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 AxeEdit
|“||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 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 fiery-red 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 memoryEdit
|“||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 KeldagrimEdit
|“||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 adventuyrer 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 the 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. As he remarks himself, 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. 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, 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 AxeEdit
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Consortium||Ruler(s) of Keldagrim and the Dwarven Realm||King Drunken Dwarf III/Consortium|