I see now. Our theory isn't wrong, it's just incomplete. Just a bit more! Please, let me see a bit more (into the Gate of Truth
...No can do. This is all I can show for this much passage fee. Ed:
Passage fee? Truth:
That's correct. Passage fee
. Equivalent Exchange, no?
Ain't that right, alchemist boy?
Alphonse, no! No, dammit. You won't take him too. Give him back! He's my brother! Take my leg. Take my arm! Take my heart, ANYTHING, YOU CAN HAVE IT! Just give him back! He's my little brother, he's all I have left! Truth:
That fool... he's back for more.
Just how to you plan on pulling an entire human out of here? What's your payment? Do you intend to offer your own body? Ed:
Yeah, I've got your payment right here, so go ahead and take it! This thing is my Gate of Truth. Truth:
...And you're sure about this? You do realize that you'll never be able to perform alchemy again without your gate.
You sure you'll be okay without it? Think carefully now! Ed: Who even needs alchemy, when I've got my friends! Truth: You've done it! That's the right answer! Good job! You beat me! Go ahead! Take him home! The back door's right over there! Goodbye, Edward Elric!
"This is for you. If you truly wish revenge, untie the scarlet thread from his neck. Pulling the thread binds you into a covenant with me: I will ferry the soul of your tormentor straight into the depths of Hell... However, once vengeance has been served you will have to deliver on your end of the bargain. There always has to be a price and so when you die, your soul will also belong to Hell. You will never know the joys of heaven; you will be left to wander a world made of pain and agony, there to remain for all eternity. And now, the decision rests with you.
— Ai Enma
lays out the terms of using the Hell Correspondence, Hell Girl
This is a special item. Wholly unique. It was excavated decades ago from a Navajo reservation. An archaeologist took it as a soil sample from a secret underground grotto, before a cave-in wiped it off the maps. They were Skinwalkers
, these people, could change their shape as they pleased
. A wolf, a bear - the usual nature-y nonsense. Legend has it that the grotto was the Skinwalkers' temple... and this clay-like substance was the source of their power.
Basil Karlo: I don't know how I'll repay you, Mr Cobblepott.
The First Of The Fallen:
Essentially the arrangement was that Brendan Finn
would gain the expertise and power to amass a collection of the finest drink ever tasted. I think you'll agree he did precisely that.
Constantine: And you get his soul in return.
The First Of The Fallen:
Indeed. A rather old-fashioned arrangement, but he was an old-fashioned man. It appealed in a... a nostalgic way, I suppose. There was one little clause, though: Mr Finn insisted that I take his soul by midnight on the day he died. If I didn't, the whole arrangement would be null and void, and he could go to heaven
. I imagine he thought himself a great man indeed to bargain with the Devil. That appealed too, and I indulged him, if only to sweeten the deal. A little extra incentive. I'm sure he dreamed of somehow outsmarting me... many mortals think that way, as I'm sure you're aware. But they don't outsmart me, and I'll tell you why: they're mortal
. And to be mortal is to be stupid, proud, conceited... and ultimately pathetic. And there's nothing more pathetic than a drunkard
I wish you luck. But you should know that the Baba Yaga seldom does anything, gives any gift, that does not benefit her
in the end.
I'm Giving You A Taste Of What It's Like To Make A Contract With Me. Pretty Ok, Isn't It? Totally Worth A Small Portion Of Your Strange Mortal Soul.
The demon was suddenly all around her, in her throat, in her eyes, in her lungs, scraping against her skin, raking her across her back, lifting her up, sliding between her toes and fingers, impossible tongues of shadow all around her, licking at her quivering flesh, whispering sweetly into her ears, so sweetly, promising justice, promising punishments and power, if only, if only she'll serve, if only she'll serve the lords of Hell, be their arbiter, their magistrate, carry their laws into Creation and make the dragon-bloods and their Scarlet Empire fear her judgement. The promises permeate her mind, the images of dragon-bloods in gallows, Empires shattering, the dragons thrown aside, the gates of Heaven thrown wide by demons and shadows and there, in the middle of it all, there she is, and she is tall, and powerful and blind and beautiful, and it is so perfect, even as the noose descends on the mightiest gods, and they're all squirming, all dying, even her previous victims, they were all dying, again and again, and it was all too much, it rushed over her and she was overcome, and she couldn't help but urgently plead: "Yes, yes, yes, yes..."
She felt no remorse for the men and women who had fallen at her feet; frankly, it was impossible. Ruby Rose lived without the ability to feel guilty. Ruby Rose lived without a part of her soul. Shed traded it with the Elders, for powers and immortality. But so had seven others. And all of them were ready to throw her off the throne, because thats what had been happening for hundreds of years. Their eternal damnation for wanting power, was to constantly pine for the throne of Vale. Each of them lost an emotion with a part of their soul, which warped their minds in different ways.
A man sits in darkness, pouring over dusty records. My my my, don't you ever do anything interesting?
He swatted at the tendril of smoke coiling around him, dispersing it effortlessly. Why don't you just accept my help?
He sighed. "I shall succeed under my own power. Keep your games to yourself." Spoilsport.
Both his and Sabbac's powers stemmed from the same diabolical source. Both of them had done deals with a fearsome and evil entity, and had been enabled to change into a new, more powerful, and more evil sort of being with the speaking of a word.
If you want to cross the bridge, my sweet,
You've got the pay the toll.
Take a gulp and take a breath,
And go ahead and sign the scroll! Flotsam! Jetsam!
Now I've got
The boss is on a roll!
This poor unfortunate soul!
: Gotta hand it to you, Tiana. When you dream, you dream big. Just look at this place! Gonna be the crown jewel of the Cresent City. And all you got to do, to make this reality Is hand over that little talisman of mine. Tiana
: No. This-this is not right. Facilier
: Come on, darlin'? Think of everything you sacrificed. Think of all those people who doubted you. And don't forget your poor daddy. Now, that was one hard-working man... double, sometimes triple shifts. Never let know how bone-tired, beat he really was. Shame all that hard work didn't amount much more than a busted up, old gumbo-pot and a dream that never get off the back porch. But you... you can give your poor daddy everything he ever wanted. Come on, Tiana... You're almost there.
Unicron: "The Matrix has been passed to their new leader: Ultra Magnus. Destroy it for me." Megatron: "Why should I? What's in it for me?" Unicron: "Your bargaining posture is highly dubious, but very well. I will provide you with a new body, and new troops to command." Megatron: "And?" Unicron: "And nothing! (Beat) You belong to me, now." Megatron: "I belong to nobody!" Unicron: "Perhaps I misjudged you. (opens up his maw and a red beam of light comes out) Proceed, on your way to oblivion." Megatron: "Ahhhh! No! No! I accept your terms! I accept! Nooooooo! (The beam of light turns green and Megatron stops moving) Unicron: "Excellent."
Meg: Hey, I've sworn off man-handling.
Well, you know, that's good, because that's what got you into this jam in the first place, isn't it? You sold your soul to me to save your boyfriend's life. And how does this creep thank you? By running off with some... babe.
I... I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison, and suspended the sentence. Suspended the sentence! They went free, that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool, and those two bastards
, they smiled
at me! And I said to my wife, "for justice, we must go to Don Corleone."
Now don't try to kid me, man-cub
I'll make a deal with you
What I desire is man's red fire to make my dream come true
Now give me the secret, man-cub
C'mon! Clue me what to do!
Give me the power of man's red flower so I can be like you!
I can't stand retirement. Come on, just let me win one Superbowl. Satan:
In exchange for eternal damnation of your soul? You're much too nice a guy for me to want to do that to you, Mr. Marino
You did it for Namath! Satan:
Yeah, but Joe was coming here anyways. Marino:
This sucks. (storms off
) I'll just go to the Superbowl as an announcer! And I'll win myself an Emmy! Satan:
That's the spirit! Nicky:
You're a good Devil, Dad. Satan:
And I also happen to be a Jets fan.
"The party of the first part gives the party of the second part and his associates full power to do with him at their pleasure, to rule, to send, to fetch, or carry him or his, be it either body, soul, flesh, blood or goods." What does that mean? Swan: That's a transportation clause
"All articles which are excluded shall be deemed included." What does that mean? Swan:
...that's a clause to protect you, Winslow
. Anyway, what difference does it make? What choice do you have? Winslow:
) I'll rewrite my cantata... but you'd best play what I write
(Swan jabs him in the finger with a sharpened pen; a drop of Winslow's blood lands on the contract page below
) Swan: Ink isn't worth anything to me
, Winslow. Now sign.
(he does so, Swan following suit with the aid of a blood-inked stamp
Excellent. Now, we're in business together... forever.
Do you fear death?
Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished. I can offer you an escape. [...] I offer you a choice. Join my crew, and postpone the judgement. One hundred years before the mast. Will ye serve?
Lord Vader, what about Leia and the Wookiee? Darth Vader:
They must never again leave this city. Lando:
That was never
a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter! Darth Vader
: Perhaps you think you are being treated unfairly? Lando
: ...No. Vader
: Good. It would be unfortunate
if I had to leave a garrison here. Lando
: (after Vader leaves
) This "deal" is getting worse all the time!
But all the stories about the devil making a deal and then cheating missed the point. The real horror was that once the bargain was struck, the devil didn't cheat. He gave you exactly and explicitly all that was promised. And the price was your soul. Elder Seth:
Colonel Presley could have made a deal with me. I have always taken an interest in music. His life would have been different. Krokodil:
To bargain with devils is to paint with your own blood: the greater the work, the harsher the price.
And, by any chance, does all this knowledge and power and good advice come for only three easy installments of nineteen ninety-five plus shipping and handling? Or maybe it comes with a bonus set of knives tough enough to saw through a nail, yet can still cut tomatoes like this
If you think you've gotten a good deal from a Deveel, first count your fingers, then your limbs, then your relatives.
If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that - for that - I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that
As 70s Satan bought and sold souls on the open market, some trends emerged. The bad guys were cultured and elegant. They had violet eyes, black dogs, and vast libraries of antique tomes, and when they died their souls slipped into good guy's bodies. Struggling reporters got a chance to become famous concert pianists, flailing movie distributors got their dream apartment, traumatized car crash survivors got freedom from their guilt and a new lover, all exchange for giving away their identities
, their selves, their souls.
—Paperbacks From Hell, by Grady Hendrix
What... what do you want?
Good, good. In return, my darling granddaughter, I can serve you in many ways. I can advise you, help you with my counsel
. You will be invincible within and without. You will sweep away all opposition. History will forget your brother and cherish you. The future will be yours.
There is... one thing
... I mean, everything has a price
... I really hate to repeat myself, but... NOTHING'S "FREE."
I answer your prayers for greed and lust
More than evil, I laugh at your trust
All ya gotta do is sign on the dotted line
It's probably fine, right? PSYCH! Your soul is mine!
I'm but a man. Mortal, a man.
But she leaves no footprints in the snow
Still I follow on to where she is going
For she has promised me magic if I follow on.
— Nachtfalke, "The Woodwomen"
Devil came to me with a smile
He said sign on the dotted line
I'll make you poor and I'll make you homeless
I'll put you in a grave that's nameless
Devil came to me with a smile
He said sign on the dotted line
I'll use you up and break you down
I'll put you six feet in the ground
When was this bargain made, or did you dream it in your sleep?
the lady's waiting there and it's a promise you must keep
for the power that you sought, for just one day in your life
she must be repaid - must be repaid...
— Adrienne Piggott, "Hour of the Wytch"
She says "I can help you, but what do you say?"
But it's not free baby, you'll have to pay
The Celestial Toymaker:
I conceded. All my opponents, loser after loser after loser, were turned into dolls and packed away in my toybox. And then... I lost
. And now my
eyes are two glass beads strung on a wire. My
legs are pieces of wood with a hinge where my hypodimensional knees should be. And yet, I know your desires... and I can satisfy them
. Miss Luna? Lola Luna:
Yes? The Celestial Toymaker:
There's a little piece of me
in you, Miss Luna, and it's stirring up such thoughts, isn't it? You'd like the doctors to pluck that pneumothoraxic tube from your addled lung
, you'd like to hit all the high notes in Lili Marlene and to sing again in your own little club. Lola Luna:
It would be divine! The Celestial Toymaker:
And you can have it! You can have it all
- if you play along! Here's what I intend: you will take on each other in games of my choosing
, and when we have one victor, one winner, one player triumphant
, I will sit on their knee and give them... What. They. Want.
- they're predictable. They come right at you, like bundles of white-hot rage given fangs and claws. But a devil
- he'll be your friend, and like a friend, he'll help you out of a jam, see. Need a few coins to get by? The devil's got a few to spare. Need a warm body to fill your bed? The devil knows the best ladies. Want status? Riches? Property? Power? The devil has the answers. He'll give you all you want and more. And what does he want in exchange? Just a little thing - a trifle, really. And it won't affect you in the slightest. All he wants is your soul.
So help us, they say. We cannot act, but we can give you power that will make the bickering gods of field and storm that ruin your crops every other year quail in terror. We cannot free ourselves, but we can give you a guide to help you set us free. We cannot reach beyond the bounds of our prison, but we will give you the strength to brush the stars out of the sky and set armies fleeing in terror before you. We cannot save those you love, but we can give you the cosmic might to do it yourself. All you have to do is serve us, and help us, and you will be Exalted above all other men when we are free, and the world will be yours.
They're lying with every second breath, but they're also telling you everything you want to hear. So you say okay. You say, yes, I'll change the world. And then the demon explodes into a hideous web of Essence and viscera, and closes about you, and your heart leaps in terror and revulsion and horror, but it's too late.
I am the power of death incarnate. I am the sword's edge; I hungrily cut the flesh and drink deep of the bloody well beneath. Give me your body, and I promise you glory, I promise you vengeance and I promise you immortality if you will only let me...
The Dark Man can't be forced into anything. He can't be made to appear, but instead must be cajoled, beseeched, awaited in the proper location until he deigns to make his presence known. He can't be bullied into giving what must, instead, be traded for. He offers anything: talent, wealth, fame, loves - but there's always a price. In stories, the Dark Man asks for your soul
, but in the real world, his price is usually more tangible. A devoted son wants to win the loyalty of a faithless woman he's smitten with? Done. But there will be a price to pay, and he will know it up front before agreeing to the deal. Perhaps it will cost him his mother's life. Or her love. An aspiring musician claims to not care about the money; he just wants to be the best guitarist in the world. Done. But when he dies alone
, having watched his children starve and his wife leave him for a man who could put a roof over her head, he may wonder if the trade was worth it
We are all heirs to the green-eyed monkey, and when he tells us in his oh-so-reasonable voice
that the title, wealth or woman we covet is rightfully our own, we do occasionally give in. For a person whose greed or jealousy is greater than her morals (or her sense
) the green-eyed monkey has another offer: he'll give her what she wants - for a price. That price is fair, all things considered, and she's probably paid it anyway. According to God's Word, to consider a sin is to commit it
. Why not earn something for your trouble?
and I... We made a deal. That deal? I kill you and all your stupid friends. And she'll make all my wildest dreams come true.
You know how it works with witches, Enzo. They make a deal with the devil, and when they die, the devil gets his due. Ya get sucked down into hell
, and wandering around scared shitless for eternity. Kinda comes with the territory.
I have come to take my leave. But first there is a small thing I require from you.
That scroll you have used so often... did you read what it says? It's written in ancient demon script. Impossible to read.
What is written is thus... You have agreed to a contract with Satan. Borrow over 30 thousand gold pieces, and your soul is forfeit. You have taken far more than this amount. I now enforce the contract.
Well, Cuphead and his pal Mugman,
They like to roll the dice.
By chance they came 'pon devil's game,
and gosh they paid the price (paid the price!)
And now they're fighting for their lives,
on a mission fraught with dread.
and if they proceed, but don't succeed,
Weeell the devil will take their heads!
God Stone bearer, with me now do treat...
Ares! Destroy my enemies, and my life is yours!
There was... a horse. The horse sought vengeance against his enemy, a stag. But he could not kill the stag alone. The horse met a man, a hunter, and made a deal. He took the man's bit and bridle, and allowed him to ride in a saddle on his back. Together, they killed the stag, and the horse tasted victory...But the hunter would not release the horse, and made a slave of him. Atreus:
So getting revenge cost him his freedom. Hope it was worth it
. Kratos: It was not
"Excuse my song," The monstrous siren said.
"The tune's purpose was your attention. For I knew you had troubles, and I can offer absolutions."
One must be wary in dealing with the Spirit Forges: the Wraiths and Shades that inhabit them offer items beyond mortal dreams, in exchange for a sampling of your blood
. The Wraith Smiths forge their items with forfeit souls...
History has proven a thousand times that no man has ever gained from a bargain with The Dark, yet cowards and fools continue to try, and The Dark never turns them away.
— The Mayor
, Myth: The Fallen Lords
To swear contract with demons is to embrace a false change. It is an easy power
, a basic power, with only one outcome: destruction without echo.
Look around. Witness the legacy of those who were brave and dared to dream
. You can rise higher and reach further than they ever did... if you only accept our
help and our gift to you. Some
choose material wealth, mere shadows of true wealth, true power
. You will have no need for paper and metal
when you carry within you something much greater.
Some choose to be made into figureheads
, pale shadows of those who walk the true and enlightened path, alongside us. Become the one who pulls the strings
, not the puppet on the throne
choose to be granted the gift of sight, to envision and recreate beauty... but beauty is hollow compared to true power.
Some choose to be granted the gift of language, to use words to seduce and change the world
... but true power cannot be contained by words, and true power can shape the world to your will.
Come, and we'll speak of your future. We are fascinated by you. We want to hear everything about you.
The time has come to accept our gift to you. We can give you everything... The world.
You only have to choose to accept it.
The more of my power you use, the more control I gain over your body
. You use your power to get what you want, and I come a little closer to my own goals. You scratch my back, I crush yours. Pretty sweet, huh?
We knew there would be a price to pay, but we thought it would be one we could bear, or that we could find some way to avoid paying it. It was not, and we could not.
We can reach a compromise.
You still have something I want.
Give it to me.
And I will bring this world back.
Then it is agreed.
You will give me your SOUL.
"I'm no cheat. I give folk what they want, nothing more. That they oft desire unworthy things - that is entirely the fault of their own rotten natures." His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you;
His tongue sharp and silvery as he implores you.
Your wishes he grants, as he swears to adore you,
Gold, silver, jewels - he lays riches before you.
Dues need be repaid and he will come for you
All to reclaim, no smile to console you.
He'll snare you in bonds, eyes glowing afire
To gore and torment you till the stars expire!
, Hellscream. Claim your destiny. You will all be conquerors. Grom Hellscream:
And what, Gul'dan, must we give in return? Gul'dan:
: The great god of the Underworld is afraid of some kid? Sorry, but my contract says... Hades
: I know! You think I don't know?! I wrote the contract!
Today, the Daedra are feared and abhorred across the length and breadth of Tamriel and rightly so. Yet, despite the clear lessons of history, some misguided souls still insist that traffic with Daedra Lords can be tolerated, even accepted. To those such as you, Lady Cinnabar, I say: beware. What pact with the Daedra ever ended well?
You mad at me, kiddo? Did you forget? You owe me.
They promised me so much...
Gentlemen, today is your lucky day. I am here to make you the offer of your lifetime. Wanna hear? Oh, why am I even asking, of course you do. I offer you whatever your hearts' desire, be it women, money, power or fame. Or maybe just a really good steak. All I am asking for in return is your signature on this... (snaps fingers, massive roll of parchment appears in his hand
) ...piece of paper, promising me your immortal souls upon your eventual demise. A small price to pay for the things I am offering, am I right?
Tragically fated Gentle Rose,
Yes, choose death... but should it be yours? Is it justice that you should be killed for seeking to protect what rightfully belongs to you, or for avenging yourself on those who have wronged you? Is it enough for you to martyr yourself for the sake of your dearly departed mother and your beloved country?
No. I believe you can do much, much better than that.
Of course, this blessing will not come without cost. When you swear to follow us, we expect unquestioning loyalty. Still, I think you will agree that this is a small price to pay for the power to change the world and return it to the shape you know it should have. We are not an unfair master, and you will have the freedom you need to ensure your fiefdom's prosperity. If that is unacceptable to you then you can turn your eyes away from the clouded heavens, take your tiny knife, and see what good fortune comes your way... but we both know that you will not do that. It is not in your nature to accept a tragic fate when you have a choice.
That's all well and good until Razzle Dazzle Dorito comes to town. He's got crazy powers but also doesn't and needs to take over bodies to do anything. That's why he has to make deals with humans, but why would you make a deal with him? He has terrible reviews on Yelp.
: That could be my
beautiful soul sitting naked on her couch. If I could just learn to play this stupid thing. Bender
: Oh, but you can. But you may have to metaphorically make a deal with the devil. And by "devil," I mean Robot Devil. And by "metaphorically," I mean get your coat
: Well, well, well. Someone's looking desperate! I can help you, kid. You just need to hear out my demands! ...All I want is a puppet! ...Seems to me one little puppet is a small price to pay to learn all the secrets of the universe. Besides, what's your sister done for you, lately? How many times have you sacrificed for her, huh? And when has she ever returned the favor? Tick tock, kid. Dipper
: Uh, just one puppet? Fine! So what puppet are you gonna pick anyway? Bill
: Hmm, let's see. Eenie meenie mynie... YOU!
: I'd sell my soul for a racing car. Devil Ned Flanders
: (appears in a puff of smoke with a racing car
) That can be arranged... Bart
: Meh, I changed my mind. Devil Ned Flanders:
: Bart, stop pestering Satan.
: Why do you summon me? Keldor
: I'm dying! Save me, Hordak! So that I may continue my conquest of Eternia... Hordak
: There will be... a price. Keldor
: No price is too great. Hordak
: Then... let it be done.
[Cue Keldor becoming Skeletor
: This is your fault! If you had helped me defend the Star Well—! Iron Man
: Why?! So AIM could take it over?! Your dream for mankind was finished the minute you shook hands with those devils! Now, it's about to become a nightmare for millions of innocent people!
It is the magician's bargain: give up our soul, get power in return. But once our souls, that is, ourselves, have been given up, the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be the slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls.
Satan frequently runs into credit payment risks.
If you just made a deal with the devil and think you got the better end of it, I'd advise you to first count your fingers and toes, then your siblings, then the rest of your family, and then your friends. Because you got screwed and you're just too stupid to realize it.
— Jack Butler, Out Where the Buses Don't Run