Find a penny, pick it up.
And all the day you’ll have good luck.
An ancient relic of a long-dead hero and a link to the divine
Well it’s got to do something, but I’ll be damned if I know what
"Their trumpets are also of a peculiar and barbaric kind which produce a harsh, reverberating sound suitable to the confusion of battle."
from the memoirs of Diodorus Siculus,
Commander of the Legion XIX (retired)
Magical items are often prohibitively expensive, largely because the Dragon Blood crystals needed to power them are so very rare. For centuries alchemists and magicians alike have searched for a cheaper, and more abundant, alternative. This just might be the long sort after formula, but price could be higher than anyone ever imagined.
Why go to all trouble of applying makeup, when a few simply cantrips can produce much better results in a fraction of the time?
Nothing comes from nothing, or so they say.
So how do you power those "always on" items?
A magical beacon designed to attract minor spirits to the mundane plane
When magic is the stuff from which the world is made no man can afford to ignore it. For those who are unable, or unwilling, to undertake the rigorous study required to master the arcane arts the power of magic may still by available - for a price.
A character who is undergoing changes of personality (like buying off mental disadvantages - flaws - or changing alignment) might confront personifications of aspects of his personality in dreams: a griffon representing the courage he needs to face a terrible foe, or a satyr standing for the lecherousness a warrior must overcome to be admitted to an order of knights who must uphold vows of chastity.