Magic at its core has nothing to do with incantations, herbs, salves or unguents, the sacred power of the divine feminine, some ridiculous thing called the will, waving ones hands about or focusing "energy", mixing things in pots, Consecration, Invocation, Evocation drawing circles centering oneself or any such claptrap. I have never seen a vampire, a dragon or a yeti.
Magic is and has always been about the manufacture of binding contracts. No funny hats, inanely shaped knives, formulas or vibrations involved.
Notice the spelling of the word magic. There is no K. This is not due to an error or an attempt to differentiate. There is no K because I am not a prat. This is effectual work there is no need for showy moronic spellings.
The Job of the magician is not that different from that of a contract lawyer and our stories can be as tedious as those of that profession. Stories of binding this demon to that sword is as rare as that of the drafting of a will that snubs the ungrateful offspring in favor of a loyal beagle dog.
The Idea of selling one’s soul for fame and fortune and reneging in the third act is completely unheard of in the trade. Human souls are not really worth that much and as I said these are binding contracts. I hope this paragraph does not instill in the reader images of soul markets and magicians as agents of demonic powers. That would be laughable considering the value of souls and the fact that practitioners of this art are bound to be neutral in regards to the various powers not probabilistically but in a more sure fashion, by contract.
The requirements for a contract are simple. The agreement is clearly written on skin (don't be squeamish, parchment or leather work just fine.) What is agreed is limited by the powers and abilities of the folks involved. One could not, of course, promise to be invisible or some nonsense. The involved parties sign in blood (here a yeech could be appropriate). When it is filed it is binding. Binding, not like the U.S Constitution or a cell phone contract but binding like gravity. Of course the filing is the real trick and is the proprietary secret at the core of the trade.
As a rule I do not enjoy female characters in narrative. Either they are projections of male fantasy and come off wooden and absurd or are expertly written and thus incomprehensible. Unfortunately these events involve a woman. If she appears a projection I hope you will ascribe it to the weakness common to my gender.
If she is incomprehensible there is some chance that I succeeded as her actions are unfathomable to me.