Character Profile – Rumarin


I’ve long suspected life was a joke.

It’s a looooong one, and not all of you will find it funny. You might even think the joke is backwards, that the setup is funnier than the punchline – here we are, a species descended from monkeys who came from fish who started out as slime.

Hey Earl, I really hate our boss, he’s a real piece of slime.
Shut up Frank, my ancestor was slime.

Sometimes the joke is more amusing than funny. We live in a world where manufactured idols are flying private jets to the top of the charts while someone charming, likable, and genuine has to dig through trash cans to scrape the bottom – or to use another analogy, to get a seat at the big kid table.

Other times the joke is just depressing. There are scores of men born brown of skin and eye toiling in the fields right now, while the fruits of their labor are sold for more cash than they’ll earn in a lifetime. The laughter becomes a coping mechanism, a way to deal with the fact that life is bleak and unfair and there’s nothing you can or will do to change it. You’re not going to stop eating chocolate, and I’m not going to stop, and we’ll propose to each other with our blood diamonds wearing our sweatshop clothes and texting the news with our electronics crafted by the corpses of suicide jumpers. And everyone will profit save the people who deserve it.

And yet even the cynics can’t take refuge in nihilism, because the joke is life is getting better for everyone, slowly and inexorably, through the power of information and technology. Just the fact that we can spread awareness of the ills of society is a step in the right direction. The fact that a reporter can hand a cocoa bean farmer a Kit-Kat and light up their day is the best thing ever.

It’s also the worst thing ever too, because he’ll likely never taste it again. Like the slime who became a man, evolution is measured by the Byr, and the joke is you can plan for the future all you want, there’s no guarantee it will be there when you arrive. Idealism is winning a war that may never end. And that gives everyone a reason to laugh, because the reality is too painful to cry.

Of all the characters in the mod, I’d say Rumarin is one of the most self-aware. He understands that life is a joke, and that the only thing he has to cope with the horrible, depressing, unfairness of it all is to not take it so seriously. In some ways this makes him a coward, afraid to take a stand. When all you want to do is enjoy yourself and have another laugh, it can come off as indifference.

In some respects though, laughter is what we need. It’s the antidote for having to pick from a pair of toxic choices. It’s a reminder that the results will never make sense, and the only way to live with them is to realize that it’s all a joke. Laugh until it hurts, laugh because it hurts. Laugh because it’s the one thing they can never take away from us.

And so he’ll let you pick a side in the Civil War, kill the dragons, or save this world to doom the next one, and he’ll do it all with a shrug and a smile. At no point does Rumarin concern himself with the results or the numbers. His role is to support you no matter what you choose. He’s there to remind you that regardless of whether your decisions are good, bad, or sad, we’re all just slime in the end.

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12 thoughts on “Character Profile – Rumarin

  1. I think Rumarin is one of the best NPCs in this mod. Just like you said, he knows his limits and he simply doesn’t care to become a hero. I don’t know how many people would admit that but most people in modern countries share pretty much the same perspective with Rumarin. And that makes him much more real.

  2. My favorite NPC in all of Skyrim! I do love that he’s non-political, is able to laugh at himself and the world in general, and just rolls with the flow, no matter my choices. He finds humor in all places we travel and helps me notice the little quirky things I might otherwise have missed. He is the perfect adventuring companion.

  3. Minus the slime-to-fish-to-monkey-to-human part (which I find more of a joke in and of itself that it has come to be held as fact by many; I simply can’t believe that) this just about sums it all up; I completely agree. Life is full of its own arsenal of plot holes and paradoxes and jokes good and bad, you just have to look for them. Of course, humor tends to shift itself across the younger and older generations, so the humor of the old is lost on the new and blah blah blah something something poetry.

    Perhaps that’s why I love Rumarin as an NPC so much, and why it was so easy and natural for me to cough up his lines for the Fan Patch. He looks at the world, sees all the chaos and confusion, chuckles in its face and says “Ah, what a wonderful day in paradise.”

    Amiss a Province filled to the brim with sword-swinging racists, ambitious lowlifes, wayward knights, and depressed townspeople moping about how if so-and-so did such-and-such the world would be a better place, Rumarin is that nice break of the monotony that keeps the Player Character and those around him from falling completely into one of those categories…or just laughs quietly to himself if they do.

  4. Yeah, 3dnpc does keep to the main Skyrim theme of “Doom, gloom and thu’um”, like KT once stated. Even one of the most genuinely funny characters in it has some cynical/tragic hidden depth. That’s why it enhances the game so seamlessly.

  5. After reading this, I just really want to see Rumarin get upset for real, instead of hiding it under 18 layers of smartassitude. I can’t imagine it would be very pretty.

  6. Is it odd that Rumarin isn’t my all-time favorite iNPC? I enjoy him immensely and Jay is a talented voice actor, don’t get me wrong, but I think a lot of the self loathing and dark comedy can be a bit draining from time to time. No matter what character I play I find myself spending more time going “Aw come on buddy don’t say that, you’re better then that” when Rumarin is around. I get by with smaller doses of the High Elf, as a little Rumarin can go a long way; hanging out with him for about an in-game month or two before sending him on his way. Thankfully when he does manage to get a laugh out of me they’re always hearty ones. And the fact that he actively tries to improve himself to be more useful to the PC in battle does show he doesn’t always want to be hating on himself. Also, his chin looks like a butt. So he’s got that going for him.

    Ah well, different strokes for different folks. He’s still a lovely character~ <3

  7. Have I ever mentioned how deep and insightful you are, Kris? Seriously, when you write like this, it just makes me want to put you on a giant pedestal. Unfortunately, i don’t have a giant pedestal, so I guess I’ll just have to make do with this. But you know, I think this why I (and a whole bunch of other people) love this mod so much- you make characters that are human-they’re fleshed out, they have a background, a personality. They have things that make you care about them, that make you want to be with them.

    At the same time, you accomplish what many most companion mods don’t; in interacting with these characters- these people– we learn more about those around us, not just in the game, but in real life. We rediscover a little bit about the state of humanity; we enhance our knowledge of life’s inner workings- those fundamental concepts that no one can seem to explain: love, joy, fear, sorrow, greed, anger. The things that make the world go round.

    EDIT: …Wow! This turned into a speech here! Sorry about that! Ugh, my comma usage is atrocious… Oh well!

    1. “It just makes me want to put you on a giant pedestal. ”

      This is how I feel when you and others help make the wiki pages.

      Are_you_a_wizard.png is all that goes in my head. I have such a hard time finding the motivation to do them. So just doing one is like the greatest achievement ever, like obtaining complete mastery over the demons of procrastination.

  8. As Sheryl pointed out above , your write-ups are really interesting Kris. I think they have a similar quality to a magazine editorial, sort of paving the way to a stream of thought (just need a nice signature at the end to complete it!)

    Rumarin in my eyes is similar to Marco/Christopher from the Animorphs and Everworld series. Characters who have seen and been through much, have a lot of baggage and through that are able to see genuine humour in the worst of situations. Continual jokes have become a habit so perhaps he can’t choose be serious any more? Anyhow he’s a fun guy to be around with, and when I need a break from witty humour I switch to Amalee.

  9. I’ve been waiting forever for a character profile of Rumarin, and woola, here it is!
    Thank you for taking the time to write it! I like imagining a hooded figure sitting in a tidy, pristine psychiatrist’s office, taking down notes as the character scheduled for the next ‘character profile’ reclines on a sofa and spills their mind. Rumarin certainly wouldn’t be so eloquent and forthright as this, though. Perhaps a tad bit of skooma helped him loosen up enough to give you this information.

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