Every king needs his bodyguards, and Velstadt earned his name as the Royal Aegis. Like the title of “King’s Shield” (王の盾) might imply, the knight stood constantly by Vendrick’s side to protect him from any and all threats. This included when the king was out on campaign or expedition, as one of Elana’s conjured creations is Vestaldt himself — evidently, he stood out among the forces she repelled during Vendrick’s visit to Shulva. Outside of perhaps the most private of circumstances, Velstadt would be his shadow, ever ready to block an assassin’s blade as a human shield. Of course, he wouldn’t simply be throwing his life away. Velstadt is strong, wielding an oversized sacred chime as a great hammer. Swinging that blessed iron, he would have no trouble dispatching any would-be assassins. His armor was similarly blessed with the power of miracles, likely to help with his resilience; defensive miracles mainly consist of healing like Replenishment, and we see a comparable effect from the Ring of Restoration. In every sense, Velstadt was well equipped for this duty.

Soul of Velstadt, knight who continually protects the king in the Undead Mausoleum.

Velstadt was always near the king, like a shadow. His form that followed after the king who left for the Undead Mausoleum was never seen again after that.

The special soul this knight possesses is used to acquire a vast amount of souls or create a great power.

Helmet of the one who served as the King’s Shield.

Originally endowed with the power of miracles, but it has been dyed in the power of dark from long being in the Undead Mausoleum.

Velstadt, the knight who was the close aide of the king of before, continued to be by the king’s side unchanged even after he lost himself.

The knight wasn’t Vendrick’s lone bodyguard, however. The king, of course, kept the Dragonriders as his warrior entourage, and Velstadt seems to have been in charge of more than just his safety. The man had his own order of knights to command as well as a retinue of regular soldiers beneath them. These subordinates remain stationed at Drangleic Castle in his absence and so were likely part of a larger castle guard. While Velstadt protected the royal personage, his men protected the royal abode. To ensure that Vendrick always felt secure in the confines of his home, the horse-helmed knights wield their own twinblade and round shield whereas the soldiers settle for ordinary spears. Nonetheless, that these soldiers also carry the Llewellyn Shield demonstrates how even the lowliest of Velstadt’s forces were respected for this work and honored with some of the best equipment in the kingdom. Their commander probably showed similar appreciation for their presence.

From Velstadt’s soul, Straid derives Sacred Oath, a miracle revolving around camaraderie for warriors of the sun. The sorcerer similarly sells Sunlight Blade and Great Lightning Spear after we defeat the boss, further linking him to the covenant’s war god. Whether or not he was part of that covenant in its old or new forms, the pious knight was undoubtedly an adherent to Gwyn’s firstborn especially, and thus his warrior ideals; chief among them, cooperation. Indeed, Vesltadt internalized the power of sunlight right to his core, specifically apropos to supporting allies. And so, regardless of whether they were all covenant members, Sacred Oath highlights Vestaldt’s concern for the soldiers around him, which they surely appreciated. The Royal Aegis stood alongside an army, as comrades if not equals. Together with the other knights, they guaranteed their king’s welfare.

But then Vendrick decided to abandon the royal castle. Velstadt naturally followed, his dedication to his monarch unwavering even in this arguable renege on royal prerogative. When the king ultimately chose to shut himself deep within the Undead Crypt, the King’s Shield faithfully stood outside his chamber, preventing anyone from approaching until we slay him. The knight has been maintaining this duty for so long that the dark of the mausoleum corrupted his blessed equipment, much like Leeroy in the original Dark Souls. But unlike Leeroy’s legendary treasure, Velstadt’s hammer retains no holiness, ringing the holy bell instead conjuring dark magic. Its description confirms that Vesltadt gave both his life and death to Vendrick, meaning that his eternal guard duty wasn’t due to undeath — he isn’t affected by Soul Appease like some of Vendrick’s other guards at the mausoleum. Rather, Velstadt was so devoted to his liege that, even as his body began to perish from lack of necessities, his soul continued to operate it. In other words, he became one of the living dead.

Great hammer of the one that served as the King’s Shield. Even though it is steeped in the dark of the Undead Mausoleum, the blessing applied to it isn’t completely lost. Unleash its hidden power via the strong attack.

The knight who was called the King’s Shield, Velstadt, devoted himself to the king in life and death.

Although fitting for someone in the Gravelord’s old territory, this reaffirms the knight’s single-minded obsession with duty. Not even his devotion to the gods superseded his dedication to King Vendrick. It was that strong sentiment of loyalty which allowed Velstadt to persist past expiration. As the description for his armor reveals, this so consumed him that he lost his sense of self, making him effectively no different from the mindless Hollows pointlessly keeping to old habits. But his own individuality wasn’t his concern. He had already decided to lay down his life for this man if necessary. How was this much different? If we had to sacrifice his holy power to defend his lord, so be it. If he had to sacrifice his living flesh, so be it. If he had to sacrifice his personal will, so be it. He was simply the Royal Aegis, in light and dark times.

This staunch commitment to master is shared by his underlings. When both he and the king disappeared, Velstadt’s knights faithfully awaited his return even as the rest of the castle was thrown into chaos. And much like Velstadt, their resolve to stand guard no matter how long they continued to wait resulted in them turning to stone. Although we see something akin occur with the other castle guards standing in solidarity with them, only Velstadt’s knights have become stone statues through and through. Their souls’ fervent desire to be like rock, unmoving and unchanging, has inflicted a curse. Their captain of the guard will one day return — that belief has given them a similar eternity. Even if this ultimately proves misplaced, it is easy to see why Velstadt’s men have such faith in him. Just as his loyalty lies first with Vendrick, their loyalty lies first with him. And so, they will both forever block passage to the king.

Spear of the stone statue soldiers of the royal castle.

The knight Vestaldt who was always by the king’s side disappeared along with the king. His order of knights continued to wait forever for his return and ultimately became stone.