Primary Sources: the Mabinogion 15 (Manawydan the incredibly passive)
Okay, long story short, Manawydan & Co. relocated to the next city over and became shieldmakers, and they were again super good at it, and they threatened the local shieldmaking establishment. They got more threatening notes, and Pryderi suggested not just leaving, but instead Manawydan insisted they just leave. So they went to a third town and became shoemakers. Clearly they were working through trades alphabetically. Manawydan turned out to be super good at shoemaking, becoming one of the Three Golden Shoemakers, but again, local craft guild, tension, decision to relocate rather than stay and fight. Manawydan’s one of the Three Ungrasping Chieftans, after all.
Instead of going to the next town over and become submarine-makers or or surcoat-makers or sushi chefs, Manawydan decided it was time to return to Dyved. “Maybe all the people there have magically reappeared!”
So they went all the way back to Dyved, and… no. Still empty, still desolate, still suitable only for hermits.
I can’t help imaging this as a D&D game.
DM: So you get back from the picnic, and everyone’s vanished!
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Whoa!
DM: How do you want to search for them?
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Slow down, Tex! I think instead of searching for them, we’ll just continue to feast and drink.
[RHIANNON’S PLAYER, KIGVA’S PLAYER, PRYDERI’S PLAYER all agree]
DM: …Okay. Fine. You do that for a while. You run out of supplies.
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: We go hunting! I have +7 to hunting!
DM: While hunting, you discover a trail that…
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Nope! We ignore it! We’re hunting!
DM: …all right. You hunt. It’s super boring.
RHIANNON’S PLAYER: Let’s go do something, this game sucks.
DM: That’s not my fault!
PRYDERI’S PLAYER: You just said yourself it was super boring!
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: All right, fine. We go to town and become, I don’t know… [checks character sheet] saddlemakers. I have +9 to saddle-making.
[DM spends hours between sessions developing elaborate political situation in town, with dense web of NPC interactions. Next session.]
DM: So it’s going well, you’re making money hand over fist…
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: They like that blue enamel, right?
DM: Sure. It’s so impressive that you find a note pinned to your door one day. Seems the local saddlemakers’ guild doesn’t like the competition.
RHIANNON’S PLAYER: All right, finally, some enemies!
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: I vote we move to the next town over and become shoemakers. I have +6 to shoemaking.
RHIANNON’S PLAYER: Really?
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Yup.
[Cut ahead two more towns and more discarded DM notes…]
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Let’s just go back to Dyved! Probably the people are back now.
DM: Probably the people are back now?
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Yeah. It’s been, like two years in-game, and six sessions…
RHIANNON’S PLAYER: Six boring-ass sessions!
DM: Okay. Fine. You go back to Dyved. It’s just like you left. People are missing.
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: We start hunting again. +8 to hunting!
RHIANNON’S PLAYER: I thought it was +7?
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: I spent some xp.
DM: You hunt. It’s super boring. A month goes by.
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: We continue to hunt!
[DM rolls dice.]
DM: So boring.
PRYDERI’S PLAYER: Maybe we should…
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER [interrupting]: We continue to hunt!
[DM rolls dice, sighs, ignores the result.]
DM: You know what? Okay. Okay. This happens. You’re out hunting, and you find a trail –
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Don’t care!
DM: Sure. As you studiously ignore the plot, a magic white-golden boar appears out of nowhere, taunts you, and runs off to the east. Do you chase? If you don’t it’s just going to keep on making fun of you.
MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER: Chasing? No! Heck no!
PRYDERI’S PLAYER: Yes! For the love of God, yes!
[MANAWYDAN’S PLAYER and PRYDERI’S PLAYER argue. Eventually the PCs take a vote, the results of which are 3-1 in favor of pursuing the magic boar.]
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