The way of thought is the way of definition. A focusing of the minds eye to see details better. People mistake control for artifice, though artifice inevitably fails.
What kind of magic do warlocks prefer, or does it vary? They prefer what could be considered a variation of shamanism. They develop new fetishes rather than keeping the tribal relics, picking up items from their visions rather than from the code of symbolism kept by their people, and gravitating in what might seem an obsessive way toward what they could find in their haunts.
Independent thinkers. In a sense, but more just not naturally given to embracing things outside of their “touched” state.
Do they have any particular underlying motivation to apply their abilities toward? The motivation behind a warlocks magick was driven by disturbances they would feel in their haunts. If they were a graveyard dweller, they might perceive that the spirits there were distressed, and they would be moved to go seeking the cause of the distress. If they were a desert rat, as the followers of Set often were, they would perceive an imbalance in the ways of the deep desert and specifically the sun, and would detect omens in the mirages.
So the motivation to assist other “normal” humans would be based on their sense of distress in their immediate area? Yes. Sort of like the behaviour of animals being seen as an omen in the villages, witches interpreting the behaviour of the rabbits around the village say to determine whether it would be a fertile upcoming season. The warlock would be moved by their “people”, and often that motivation would lead to behaviours that the village was not necessarily pleased with. A nickname a warlock might have gained historically would be storm crow, because they would be moved by upheavals but not day to day events.
They’re kind of a dark shaman, willing to get their hands dirty? In a sense. That’s close to summing up the nature of the shaman, none other than those forced on them by necessity and their own hearts. Their madness could also be called passion.
Without rules or order. Yes. Witches were of the pack, wise and good guides for their people. Warlocks were the rogue wolf. In a sense driven mad by their isolation even if the isolation was not absolute or the result of the judgement of the village, but by no means mindless or untalented. In fact, recent studies suggest that many of today’s most successful business geniuses show not only a powerful insight into their speciality, but also an easily detected measure of psychosis.
I could see various names they’d be called according to their abilities, vagabond, madman, dark shaman, storm crow. Indeed. They were all spirit callers, all warlocks.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.