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|“||I subdued the Giants, and claimed their strength. So that I might step closer to fire... Drangleic will fall, the fire will fade, and the souls of old will reemerge. With Dark unshackled, a curse will be upon us... And men will take their true shape...||„|
King Vendrick is the central antagonist and an optional boss in Dark Souls II. He was the tyrannical king of Drangleic until its downfall.
Vendrick and his brother Aldia created the kingdom of Drangleic out of the ruins of the kingdoms beforehand. Vendrick crowned himself as the king and sought to bring peace to the land. When Nashandra appeared, she warned Vendrick of the giants beyond the sea, convincing him to have ridden them before they cause a "looming threat" to his kingdom. Vendrick and his soldiers traveled to the land of the Giants and pillaged everything in their path. In the land, Vendrick found an artifact of great power, which he experimented on by turning the captive giants into golems, who in turn built the Drangleic Castle. Crowning Nashandra as his queen, Vendrick prolonged his kingdom's peace.
Then the last of the giants lead by the Giant Lord attacked Drangleic out of vengeance for the violence and experiments Vendrick caused, as well as retrieve their stolen artifact. The war lasted generations, until the giants were finally driven back. When the worse was thought to past, the kingdom was then afflicted by the undead curse. Vendrick sacrificed a great soul to allure the curse while sending the cursed undead to a far land. Discovering the fading First Flame, Vendrick refused to relight it or let it die and bring darkness to man; instead, he sought to find a third option: to keep it at a current state. All of his plans would ultimately fail.
Vendrick soon came aware of Nashandra's true nature as a Child of Dark and placed a series of safeguards to prevent her from reaching the Throne of Want, and took refuge in the Undead Crypt. He had his most loyal guards, along with Velstadt his right arm, to protect him. However, the undead curse came back and infected Vendrick. Under Nashandra's advice, the player is given the option to enter the Undead Crypt and slay the undead Vendrick and end his misery.
Vendrick will not attack the player at first, and instead walks about until he is originally attacked. While he walks and attacks very slowly, both Vendrick's physical and defensive stats are extremely high, but if up to five Giant Souls are collected beforehand, his defense is vastly weakened.
- The player can meet an unhollowed Vendrick if they use the Ashen Mist Heart given by the Ancient Dragon on Vendrick's discarded clothing.
- Talking with Vendrick after collecting all three crowns of the old kings will make him grant them with a blessing, infusing the player with the ability to become immune to hollowing effects from the curse while wearing any of the Lost Crowns.
- The grunts Vendrick makes as he attacks and the scream he lets out upon death are recycled from the Four Kings from the first Dark Souls game.
- After defeating Vendrick, the player can open a sealed door in the Shrine of Amana to obtain Vendrick's clothing and his boss soul, the Soul of the King.
- The Soul of the King can be consumed for 50,000 souls, or traded to Weaponsmith Ornifex to obtain the Ruler's Sword, King's Shield, or King's Ultra Greatsword.