So if you know me at all, you know that I’m one of those weird people still playing Skyrim.
I currently have about six playthroughs with various flavours for each one, and just this morning, I’ve finally decided to do a full-mage, all cloth armour, Necromancy/Conjuration/Corrupted Restoration type of character.
Meet Velvet, so named because her eyes were initially blood-red and thus: red velvet. I’ve since changed them to bright green to better match the alteration defense spells and the symbols on her outfit. I do this kind of thing a lot.
But this post isn’t about Velvet, though perhaps I’ll document some of her later adventures. No, this post is about my new friend, the newest light of my Skyrim life, M.H.A.R.P.I.N. – as in one of skinnytecboy’s Carry On Skyrim followers.
In my typical (and yes, I know, bad modding practice) style, I like to add boatloads of mods before I start a new playthrough and then sort of just encounter them all naturally as I wander around Skyrim. The best encounters happen when I’ve totally forgotten about a mod’s presence, you know?
In this case, I was taking the long route to Saarthal on my newbie Necromancer (I’d used Live Another Life to start her at the College of Winterhold) and was taking the long route in order to avoid a prowling Nazguul (I’ve learned the hard way that the Witch King spawns right on the road to Saarthal and passes through Winterhold and I will die if he even looks at me) and suddenly got hit with an eerie voice echoing “keep moving forward… keep moving forward…” near the base of the Shrine of Azura.
It was there that I met M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N., a mod that I’d installed probably back when he appeared on Skyrim Mods Weekly and then utterly forgot to recruit.
He immediately informed me that he was bored, and despite his best attempts, was making no friends with the surrounding rocks. Moved by his plight, I agreed to let him accompany my fledgling Dragonborn on her journey.
He immediately proved his worth by keeping Velvet up to date on important tactical details:
So, you know, clearly Velvet is already making good decisions.
I decided to trek down (okay, teleport to Hunter’s Retreat which I keep installed almost solely for this purpose) to the Mage Stone and clear the beginning quests. Little did I know that it was not just my journey as Dragonborn that was about to begin; rather, I was about to experience the epic adventures of…
…M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N. and his rusty legs.
No, you think I’m joking. But seriously: the mod author has given M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N. an absolute shit-ton of dialogue that he’ll cycle through as you travel around Skyrim. Like his Hitchiker’s Guide inspiration, he’s a bit insecure:
He’s prone to making interesting dating choices:
(Yeah, that’s a female draugr. Who knew robots were into that?)
He’s totally down if you want to stop mid-dungeon and have serious conversations about the things that really matter in life – as a matter of fact, dude is chock full of deep, ponderous questions that will leave you questioning both your place in Tamriel and the state of Skyrim:
And if you ever wanted to know what Wham! songs sounded like when sung by a slightly-depressed, monotonous robot voice, this is your lucky day, because M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N. has you covered:
So, you know, the guy has lots to say. Clearly.
But intermixed with all of this sterling conversation, M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N. has his own tragic storyline; an inescapable, unending internal struggle.
His left leg is rusting, you see. And there are lots of feelings about this turn of events.
(I know it’s just how the Dwarven Automatons walk, but I do so love how it looks like he is always glaring at his legs when he delivers these lines about their various states of being!)
So, you know, being a rusty leg. That’s certainly an issue, something to complain about. I would complain if I were a rusty leg. But since I know you’ve been paying attention, you might be confused: his left leg was the rusty one, you say. What’s the right leg’s problem?
Oh. Oh. His right leg is one of THOSE types. You know people that get kind of resentful when other people are sick or going through shit, because they’re selfish and it makes them feel all put out? Imagine having one of those for a leg. Yeesh.
I know, right? Those sort of people (or legs) are the worst.mp3 for sure.
Anyhow, I don’t really want to, uh, spoil the entire Sulking Leg Saga for anyone out there who might now be tempted to download M.H.AR.P.H.I.N. and experience his joy (of a kind?) for themselves. He’s a lot of fun, and if you’re not a stickler about lore, having a chatterbox Dwarven Automaton following you around spouting one-liners while taunting and crushing your enemies can be pretty entertaining.
Oh, right, he can also play music.
I mean, what’s not to love?
But just to give you some closure…
Download M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N. here – Carry On Skyrim – M.H.A.R.P.H.I.N.