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- “There are other ways to see the world. The Qunari have shown me that.”
Saemus was born in 9:16 Dragon to Marlowe Dumar and his wife Phyllida Bowens, the daughter of a prosperous cartographer. He had an older sister named Venetia, who died as an infant in 9:14 Dragon. His mother died while giving birth to him, living just long enough to name him Saemus after her grandfather. His father became viscount when he was five years old, which brought great change to his life. It took him months for him to learn that the heavily armed men in his family's estate weren't there to hurt him. His father spent his days at the Viscount's Keep, and their formerly close relationship never recovered.
Saemus was a shy boy who preferred the company of books, and as such grew up without friends. At ten years old, he discovered Brother Genitivi's In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar, which sparked his interest in Qunari philosophy. He dreamed of one day writing his own book to inspire future generations. When he was sixteen he began leaving the estate alone to wander the Wounded Coast seeking out the strange flora and fauna that thrived there.
Saemus has long resented his position as the Viscount's son, feeling he lacks an identity of his own beyond his father's position. He and his father have many disagreements. In Saemus's words, "My father is as tired of being disappointed as I am bearing it." While traveling alone along the Wounded Coast, Saemus came across a Qunari named Ashaad, mapping the coast on the Arishok's orders. The two quickly bonded, despite Saemus never truly understanding Ashaad. Saemus admired Ashaad's certainty and will, as he was plagued by doubts, and Ashaad judged Saemus by his merits and not by his nobility.
Saemus is at the center of several political struggles with the Qunari. He believes that the Qunari are misunderstood and is often sympathetic to them, perhaps dangerously so.
In 9:31 Dragon Saemus is supposedly kidnapped by Qunari, but after being dispatched on an unbidden rescue, Hawke finds out he actually deliberately left Kirkwall to visit his friend Ashaad. A Nevarran mercenary group, the Winters, accepted the bounty to rescue Saemus and after tracking him to the Wounded Coast, where their leader, Ginnis, mercilessly killed Ashaad and made it clear she has no qualms about abusing Saemus. When Ginnis realizes Hawke also came looking for Saemus, she and the Winters attack but are slain by Hawke and companions. Hawke later brings Saemus back to his father.
In 9:34 Dragon, Saemus elects to convert to the Qun, and Hawke is asked by Viscount Dumar to convince him to return home. To Hawke's surprise, Saemus went to the Chantry, having received a letter from his father to parlay there. Hawke arrives to find Saemus dead, killed by Petrice, who was afraid that other Kirkwallers would follow his lead if he converted. Petrice attempts to frame Hawke for the act, claiming that Saemus repented on his conversion to the Qun and Hawke killed him on behalf of the Qunari. Afterwards Petrice is assassinated by a Qunari in retaliation for killing a follower of the Qun.
Alternatively, if Hawke sides with Ser Varnell and kills the Qunari delegates during Offered and Lost, Petrice will successfully pin Saemus's death on the Qunari. This option is available only to an aggressive Hawke.Saemus's demise becomes the catalyst which ignites the tensions in Kirkwall into open violence. The death of his only son sends Viscount Dumar into depression and renders him unable to ameliorate the growing tensions in Kirkwall. Meanwhile the murder of one under his command without any provocation proves to be the final straw for the Arishok.
- "If I offend, well—some people try very hard to be offended."
- "If I am lost to the Maker for refusing to hate someone, for finding beauty in the "other..." Well, perhaps the Maker is the one who is not worthy of me."
- Hawke: "I didn't picture Dumar's son being so rude."
- Saemus: "Shameful, isn't it? How I don't mindlessly repeat the mistakes of my father?"