Let’s be clear about one thing: magic is never the best answer.

Magic is where you turn when everything else has failed you. After you’ve made your last plea for justice. Once the last round of chemo has been authorized and failed. When you can’t even get money from loan sharks. Magic is always there for you.

You can also be guaranteed that when you use magic, there’s always a cost. Like a student loan or an influx of cash from a Venture Capitalist, there are conditions. Sometimes the small print is hidden right there in the ritual, and sometimes the terms aren’t even disclosed. Esoteric interest compounds on your sorcerous chicanery and we’re not talking dollars and cents. Sometimes it’s a promise to a dead thing. Sometimes it’s silence when you’d sooner speak. Sometimes it costs blood, body parts, memories, or slivers of your soul. The cost always finds its way around, asking for more than you expected you’d be paying. It doesn’t stop. Not because the powers that be or the rituals themselves demand it. It’s not that simple.

It’s because once you start using magic, well… hammers and nails. Because, pretty soon, you learn that magic – while not the easiest thing – is the fastest path.

Getting a loan is paperwork. It’s invested time. It’s effort. Courting a lover takes patience, mutual attraction, and natural chemistry. Getting ahead in the world takes hard work, perseverance, and – most of all – luck. The strange thing is that magic is no different. It just seems faster – and it is, usually. But the cost is always more than it looks like it’s going to be. It functions – like everything else does – on the cheap-fast-good spectrum. It’s fast, and it gets results… but it is anything but cheap.

And once you have what you thought you wanted, then you realize the unexpected work it’s going to take. All of that hell money you summoned? It sours a lot of what you spend it on. The lover you took through domination loses their spark and their drive – the things that made you want them fall away, but you’re with them for the long haul. That promotion you wanted will come to you, but without the skills to back it up, you’re in over your head and the company might fold.

And the craziest part is that I can tell you all of this… and yet when we’re done here, I have a feeling you’ll still ask: teach me magic.

And I will. Because if it’s not me, it’ll be someone else. And at least with me, you’ll have your goddamned eyes open.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you: know what you’re willing to pay, and expect to pay more every time you practice The Art.

If you can stomach that… you can be an apprentice.

[Sigh] Alright. I guess we better get started.


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