Priests are the standard-bearers of culture in Imperial Warfare empires. Heroes may be the bastion of a City's army and defenses, but how much territory that City holds is determined largely by the strength of its Priests. Unlike Heroes, all the Priests held by an IW player must be recruited in the Tavern; no main Priest is given to players by default at the beginning of the game.
Priests can engage in a variety of behaviors, including:
- Worshipping: Priests pray in Wonders or Temples to increase an empire's Civilization Value, which affects the amount of Territory its City can hold.
- Teaching: Priests Teach on the outskirts of an empire's Territory in order to locally expand empire borders by a few Plots. This can be helpful if a valuable Collection Point or unwanted enemy Temple is near but not within a player's sphere of influence.
- Defaming: Priests Defame enemy Temples, Wonders, and Cities in order to decrease their Civilization Values and shrink enemy territory.
- Expelling: Priests Expel enemy Priests that enter their own territory and engage in Defamation of player units.
A Priest is defined by four principle attributes: Pray, Teach, Defame, and Purity. Pray determines how much Civilization Value (and thus territory) can be gained through a session of Worship. Teach detemines how much Teaching can expand a particular border of the empire. Defame determines how quickly and how much a Priest can reduce the Civilization Values of enemy units and Expel enemy priests; Purity determines how well a Priest can resist the Expulsion of enemy Priests.
Like Heroes, Priests have levels that can increase through the accumulation of experience points gained by Praying and Teaching. They also come in four colors of increasing desirability: White, Green, Blue, and Purple. These colors determine how many alloctable Attribute Points a Priest gains upon level up.