In Ventaxian mythology, their version of the Devil was known as Ardra. She provided a threat of punishment for those who did not behave. She also made deals in which she benefited from others. It was considered bad luck to speak her name out loud. After the 14th century, she was widely known to have created a contract, the Contract of Ardra, between herself and the entire Ventaxian people in which they had one thousand years of peace, and she owned them and their planet afterwards. Ardra was the cornerstone of Ventaxian theology.
Ventaxian law was particularly detailed, requiring time to interpret decisions. There was one case which involved an alien claimant. It involved a contract dispute over services rendered by a Klingon craftsman on the construction of a Ventaxian home. As the case was between an alien claimant and a Ventaxian, both sides decided that arbitration rather than courts should decide the case. Both sides were required to choose an arbiter.
In a hearing, it was acceptable for the contract to specify how to determine the identity of one of the parties without direct evidence.
The Ventaxians had a long recorded history. Before the 14th century, the Ventaxians were a highly advanced industrialized society. However, it was also divided in numerous and overcrowded city-states who constantly warred with each other. This conflict destroyed great parts of their planet's ecology with industrial pollution as well as maintained frequent threat of starvation and epidemics. In an attempt to return the planet to peace, the Ventaxian leaders used the myth of Ardra to convince their people to stop fighting. They wrote the mythical Contract of Ardra on a set of scrolls and stored them in the Atheneum vaults. The population agreed to the contract, and was amenable to change. Scholars would later study the scrolls and incorporate their findings into Ventaxian theology, but otherwise they were of little interest until the 24th century.
After the Contract, a council was convened to consider options for a new government. They drafted a new constitution, ratified by the people, which brought the various factions together. They signed a treaty of non-aggression in which weapons were ordered destroyed. They also drafted initiatives to purify the water and atmosphere as well as ecologically sound methods of waste disposal. With these in place, changes in the environment happened gradually over the next centuries.
For several years leading up to 2367, Jared increasingly became worried about the myth of Ardra, believing she would come back and enslave the population. He saw signs which were stated in the contract, including tremors and visions. This eventually resulted in riots in 2367. An impostor posed as Ardra after studying the myth, intending to take claim of the planet. The riots also put the Federation station in danger and therefore drew the attention of the USS Enterprise-D. While Jared completely believed this person was Ardra, Captain Jean-Luc Picard confronted her and used Ventaxian law to ask for arbitration and argue his case. However, the law was successfully used by the impostor until Doctor Howard Clark and Geordi La Forge found her ship and disabled it, proving to Jared she was not Ardra. This dissolved the Contract and the riots eventually ended. (TNG: "Devil's Due")