(…What You Should Know)
There are many examples of humans challenging devils to a contest of some sort: violin playing, hand-to-hand combat, presidential elections, and more. These challenges may have disastrous consequences for your eternal fate should you lose, so unless you like your gin hot with a lava back, we suggest you pay attention!
What is a devil, really? There’s plenty of hype and lots of fiction to go with the truth, but essentially a devil is just a demon that at some point thought it was a good idea to invest in a timeshare in one of Hell’s realms. Don’t be like them: sit in for your contractual 30 minutes and then go enjoy your vacation! Well, once a poor, unsuspecting demon has signed off, they owe their allegiance to one of the Archdukes or possibly the Morningstar himself (although less so that latter one these days, as he has a very successful lounge show in Vegas and occasionally solves mysteries in 44-minute episodes). Leigelords demand tribute and souls are the currency in Hell (except Texas: they still take dollars there).
What does this mean for you?
Whatever it is that you’re trying to get from the devil in question (and by the way people, often confuse references to “the Devil” –capital “D”, with references to a particular devil who is not the head honcho but still needs the indefinite particle, “the,” in front for grammar purposes) ultimately, they want your soul and they know you will only give it up if you are confused or uninformed about your legal rights. So, before that moment of desperation hits, we recommend you take the time to look over this fine print that will almost certainly be relevant (and this is a fictitious example, yup, not our contract, nope):
Standard Infernal Contract Clause Alternative Dispute Resolution Terms
As translated from Enochian and summarized by Cameron Cobden, Esq., Aethertech Industries occult counselor and infernal contract specialist 14th of May, 2015.
1. As set forth above and hereinafter, the influential [True Names of Infernal Powers that you anticipate had dealings with the Subject], together with others [more names of devils], have accepted the agreement and covenant pact of [Mortal Participant’s Name Here], who is ours.
2. And him did we promise the love of women, the flower of virgins, the respect of monarchs, the largesse of venture capitalists, and honors, lusts and powers he held more dear than his soul.
3. He did go carousing three days long; the spree was dear to him.
4. He offered us once in each year under a seal of blood, that under his lively feet he would trample the sacred and holy in mocking profanity and irreverent revelry; with this pact, he would be for twenty years happy on the earth of men, and would later join us in efforts against the angels.
5. In acknowledgment that persons who have rightly and properly sold their souls in exchange for proper consideration freely given do occasionally experience regret at the close of their deals, and may accuse the honest devils of unfair practices and sharp dealing we provide as follows:
6. The parties shall attempt in good faith to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Covenant promptly by negotiation between Mr. [Victim] or his designated second, agent, or proxy and an authorized Executive of Hell with power and means to settle the controversy. Any party may give the other party written notice of any dispute not resolved in the normal course of business. Within 15 days after delivery of the notice, the receiving party shall submit to the other a written response. The notice and response shall include with reasonable particularity (a) a statement of each party’s position and a summary of arguments supporting that position, and (b) the name and title of the second/agent/proxy and/or the devil/creature/minion/power who will represent that party and of any other person or un-person who will accompany the executive and a playlist of jams. Golems, puppets, and zombies are specifically excluded. Within 30 days after delivery of the notice, the principals or designated executive agents of both parties shall meet at a mutually acceptable time and place.
7. Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the negotiating parties, the above-described negotiation shall end at the close of the first meeting of executives described above (“First Jam*” [Editor’s Note: Assume the nature of the contest “Got Served” and is now in a Dance Off with a Devil.]).
8. All offers, promises, conduct and statements, whether oral or written, made in the course of the negotiation by any of the parties, their agents, employees, experts and attorneys, yes-men, minions, cronies and lick-spittles, turncoats, traitors, and weasels are confidential, privileged and inadmissible for any purpose, including impeachment, provided that evidence that is really interesting or which makes for a good story will be broadly and widely published and used in all manner of entertainments.
9. At no time prior to the First Jam shall either side initiate any provocative gyration or sick moves [Editor’s Note: Again, assume the nature of the contest “Got Served” and is now in a Dance Off with a Devil] in dispute of this Agreement except to pursue a provisional remedy that is authorized by law or by agreement of the parties. However, this limitation is inapplicable to a party if the other party refuses to comply with the requirements of Paragraph 1 above.
10. All applicable statutes of limitation and defenses based upon the passage of time shall be tolled and all general animation suspended while the procedures specified in Paragraphs 1 and 2 above are pending and for 15 calendar days thereafter*. The parties will take such action, if any, required to effectuate such tolling.
*Calendar is based on the particular organization of days and seasons selected by the authoring devil’s leigelord.
In short: When it comes to Devils, don’t wait: educate! Also, don’t call us.
As always, best of luck!