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  • Writer's pictureZoe Franznick

Strete Smarten!

Updated: May 8, 2022

Ever wondered how to make it through the day-to-day life of the Middle Ages? Don't worry, we've compiled all the best street smarts throughout our episodes in one place.

  • For Blood Runes: If you find blood marks or sigils anywhere on your person, don't panic! We've all had to face the reality of our sin. Lucky for you, most blood sigils contain within them the instructions for their removal. Simply translate the Latin acronyms and follow their directions. Remember, you cannot hide from the runes; they will remain. When in doubt, contact your local priest. (Ep. 3)

  • Ask: "What are You?": In the event some strange creature appears before you and begins professing wisdom or prophecy, ask what sort of thing it is. We've found that most benevolent entities (such as the Virgin Mary, a local priest released from the aether, or mysterious strangers bestowing wisdom) will be happy to provide you with an answer. More dangerous creatures, however, (like a talking deer or demon) won't provide such a satisfactory answer and can be disregarded. (Ep. 3)

  • For Hiding a Lover: Parents came back early from the local feast? Your handsy knave gentleman friend still about the house? Not to worry! Simply stuff him in your mattress and climb on top and wait until the coast is clear. (Ep. 3)

  • To Avoid Pregnancy in Same-Sex Relationships: Use protection folks, or, at the very least, wait between partners so you don't accidentally get your lesbian friend pregnant. (Ep. 4)

  • Communicate Early (Especially about Lycanthropy): If you do have a condition that keeps you away from your lover (like lycanthropy, for instance), communicate that early on in your relationship to avoid accusations of cheating later on. (Ep 5)

  • Plan Your Marriages (and Learn about the In-Laws): If you happen to know your first marriage was prophesied to short lived, make the most of it by marrying rich! On the other hand, do make sure that you're not marrying into an early death. (Ep 6-7)

  • Once Exiled, Stop Murdering: Look, we're not trying to dictate your life, but if you've already been exiled from one nation for murder, we recommend not killing anyone else, or else you might run out of places to live. (Ep 6-7)

  • Bring a Map: If you're planning a cross-Atlantic journey, we recommend bringing or making a map. At the very least, know the difference between east and west- it might save you several hundred thousand miles of trouble. (Ep 6-7)

  • Triple Check Your Magic Circles: If you're going to use a sleep spell to ensure privacy while you steal things, make sure that your spell will last as long as you want! (Ep 9)

  • The Ol' Baby Trick: Short on food and stole your neighbor's sheep (or pig, or chicken)? Dress it up as a baby and have your wife moan about it! So long as your neighbor doesn't check in on the child, you're sure to get away with it. (Ep 9)

  • D*ck in a Box: Looking to preserve your integrity and chastity against unjust allegations? Castrate yourself and pop that member in a golden casket! We recommend it to all individuals in governmental power. (Ep 10)

  • Wide Load: Double check your flying carpet to make sure that your novice isn't hanging off the back, or else you may find yourself in heaps of trouble. (Ep 10)

  • A King's Ransom: When you hold a king at knifepoint and he's willing to give you whatever you ask, think a little before you indulge in your fantasy of nubile young women serenading you all day. Unless that's what you want. Really. (Ep 11)

  • Feathery Farts: If you or a loved one are defecating live birds, please consult your local priest, healer, shaman, or witch. A doctor might not help you at this point. (Ep 12)

  • Know your Local Threshold Guardians: Seriously, we keep saying this. Unless a supernatural thing identifies itself, it's better to ignore it. That said, know your local spirits, and if there are voices in the night, don't answer. (Ep 12)

  • Listen to the Prophetess: Seriously, turning it off and on again doesn't apply to prophesy. Don't tempt fate, and don't ask for repeat foretelling. They'll just get worse, and do you really want to hear about your death in that much detail? (Ep 13)

  • Do Not Pet: If you ever come across an animal you're unfamiliar with, don't touch it. Even if it looks fairly tame or domesticated, you never know - it could be a combustable chicken. (Ep 14-16)

  • Assume It's a People: When coming into contact with a culture or group you've never met before, go ahead and take a tolerant route - assume it's a people! Whether long eared, furred, or two-nosed, celebrate differences in all folk! (Ep 14-16)

  • Beware the Dark Easter: According to a few thousand years of computing, it would result in apocolyptic results should we celebrate Easter on the wrong day. So, be sure you celebrate on the right Sunday! Or not, if you just want to watch the world burn, we suppose. (Ep 17)

  • Remember Your Guest List: If you happen to know that your host has a killer dog, we suggest double and triple-checking your guest list to make sure you don't accidentally kill a five year old - or, alternatively, let the five year old kill your host's dog. (Ep 18)

  • Buddy System: It's dangerous to go alone! If you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment, even if you swear it's the town you were raised in, take a buddy with you - you never know when you might be mugged by a bunch of bakers. (Ep 19 & 20)

  • Read the Placards: If your life experience has been drastically affected by major life events (direct persecution by a Roman emperor, deadly plague, or some other wildly unlikely event), keep aware of your surroundings. Who knows, you may find that there is literally a sign explaining your life events when you wake up tomorrow! (Ep 19 & 20)

  • Beware Crying Dogs: If you see an old woman with a crying dog, that dog is probably not crying for any good reason. We recommend calling animal control, or, for the DIY option, lifting its curse yourself. (Ep 21)

  • Don't Take Bribes: Yeah, this might be a bit straightforward, but it's a good rule to remember, especially if your emperor tends to flay corrupt judges and make skin-chairs of them. (Ep 21)

  • Get Your Footing: When you've been challenged to one-on-one combat, we suggest avoiding Cu Chulainn's mistake of picking a river. Dry ground works best for mortal combat. (Ep 22)

  • La Petite Mort: When the goddess of war and death offers you a roll in the hay, we recommend you join her. Not doing so could cause some dire consequences in battle the next day. (Ep 22)

  • Mooooove: If you happen to be going to a bull fight, we recommend staying out of the way of the bulls. Don't get trampled. (Ep 25 & 26)

  • Foster-Care: Sometimes self-care means saying no to fighting your foster-brother, we get it. Hold your boundaries, even if the queen wants to pay you well. (Ep 25 & 26)

  • Living on a Prayer: When you're betting your life on a prayer, we suggest making sure you pick the right shrine, like our dragon-man did when he went to the Shrine of Predictive Assurance. (Ep 27)

  • Rules Laywer: We get that it's bad form to pick at the rules during a game, but if your opponent looks like he might be fay, we suggest getting all the details you can. (Ep 28)

  • Leave a Review: If your host as been particularly egregious, we suggest you leave a carefully worded review for them to find - if carved into the wall or a table in verse. (Ep 29 & 30)

  • Gutter-brain: Get your mind out of the gutter! When solving riddles, don't go for the obvious solutions. We promise, all the answers are innocuous. (Ep 32)

  • Just Ask: If someone tells you their quest is as simple as asking a question, it's probably not. Get all the details before you go. (Ep 38)

  • Land Ahoy: When sailing in uncharted waters, be sure that the island you land on is actually solid ground. If it's soft, squishy, and covered in barnacles, it may be Iaconius, the fish. (Ep 40)

  • Percival Warning: If you value your life, just stay away from Percival at all costs. (Ep 50)

We do our best to accurately research, source, and cite the works we use, and make them available to you, too! Each episode has a corresponding blog post which includes further breakdowns of the big ideas in each text as well as cites our sources and references. We also have the Maniculum Library, which actively collects resources and recommendations for writers, scholars, and geeks alike! We update our collection of Master Lists after each new episode, so be sure subscribe and stay updated!

Are we missing something? Let us know! We'd love to add more knowledge to our ever-growing compendium. Chat with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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