joosy wrote:We know casters are rare to pop and that the Magic Kingdom is full of 'barbarian' casters. I wondered why those casters weren't falling over themselves to pledge loyalty to sides that are caster deficient. Is it because of snooty Royalist rulers who disdain anything labelled 'barbarian' except out of necessity? Perhaps there is a greater upkeep cost for non-homegrown casters? Maybe there is a stigma/bad luck superstition attached to casters who survive their sides downfall.
I'd like to think that once they are 'free' casters begin to realize what few other Erfworlders can fathom much less experience: Freedom - bound to no Duty but their own.
Joining a side means joining a war, and putting your life at risk. Sides can fall, and all their units can be wiped out. Most casters probably prefer getting paid without having a personal stake in the way a conflict ends.
Free casters can also join sides on an ongoing basis, such as Vanna working for Faq. Except once they're free they can do it under contract as a barbarian, rather than becoming a sworn unit, so they maintain the option of leaving. It's possible there are freelancer casters that are basically permanent units, who enjoy living in a big castle with a steady paycheck and all the luxuries, but felt no need to swear permanent loyalty to that side in case they ever wanted the freedom to leave. Living in the Magic Kingdom seems pretty pleasant though for the most part. Live in a house in a beautiful forest, have interesting conversations with lots of casters every day, go to parties. Why give that up?
The real issue though is that ultimately rulers probably don't want to give out paychecks. Free casters will want more payment than just upkeep, and that's money that could be spent popping units or upgrading cities. Rulers would rather just use their unpaid loyal slaves (units don't get paychecks...right? or am i wrong about that?) than spend extra. Casters are really great, but perhaps most sides just don't have the budget to have any salaried employees.