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Pacts in medieval times

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  • Pacts in medieval times

    I'm currently preparing a medieval demons adventure.
    One question has come up for me there though:

    In medieval times (before 1k) many people could neither read nor write. As we know pacts have written components and the other side must know what it signs up to especially with a soul pact.
    How can that be handled does the demon have to explain (truthfully!) what is standing on the thing the other side signs ? (with an X very probably even).

    Also on signing a contract: Does it matter if the other side writes down a false name?

  • #2
    It seems the Demon must read it aloud and completly to the other part. Of course the language doesn't have to be any less confusing than if it were directly read by the one signing it.

    Regarding the signature, I supose intent is a big part of it. If one uses a false name to somehow make the pact useless, that's what they are gonna get fom it, nothing. If the poor iletrate man that actually wants to sign it and only know how to make an X mark, then it will sufice.

    I'm So Meta Even This Acronym


    • #3
      Notably many peasants could read/write, as it was necessary for understanding rather complicated land laws. As for people who can't sign their name, a thumb print, hand print, or even a seal should be equally binding. Nothing like a seal made in human fat to sign a legal document.


      • #4
        Later on yes. But at 700 I'm not so sure if many of the peasants could write already (in the villages / cities yes, but outside in the really rural areas I'm not so least farm hands I would guess couldn' you have more detailed infos there? [that would interest me])