The High Priests are next only to the Emperor himself in importance. Spawn of the Matriach just like him,they are seen as being of almost divine orgin and are entrusted with the sacred task of appeasing the Gods of water.Once every 2 years,a great sacrifce is held,to thank the Gods for the divine favour they have blessed their daughter and her son,the Matriach and Emperor repsectively,with. There is no fixed date and the priests rely on dreams and visons to tell them when the Gods wish the sacrifice to be held and what they wish to be done by the Emperor.
These arcane and confusing dreams are interpreted by the mysterious Cuada mystics that train the Priests in the ways of the Gods.The sacrifice is held in the courtyard of the vast temple known as the Abode of The Divine Ones and is presided over by the Emperor himself. Produce and precious objects collected from every part of the empire is offered before the massive statues that represent the Gods of Water,by the Emperor and the High Priests. A line of wretched slaves are then led to a massive granite enclosure housing massive Red sharks,so named for their dark red hides. The High Priests believe them to be the holy messengers of the Gods of Water. Thus,feeding the unfortunate slaves to these ravenous carnivores acknowledges the gifts the Gods have shown the Brave people. Carrying out this ritual of gratitude without fail ensures that the Eshal continue to prosper. Crops and livestock will be healthy and abundant and the War Chiefs will continue to smite the savages.
But their duty does not end there. In addition to their religous and ceremonious functions,they also head the massive bureacracy that is responsible for governing and collecting tribute from the various lands of the empire.Each High Priest is in charge of his own domain. In ruling it,he is assisted by lesser priests that are the children of his many consorts and a War Chief,who with the aid of his warriors,puts down any native uprisings. The lesser priests in turn are responsible for overseeing the individual Eshal colonies and villages. In this they are helped by the scribes,whom they recruit from among the brighter peasants. Thus,the High Priest is the Eshal equivavelent of a duke.In addition to his lesser priests and scribes,he also has a large army of retainers and servants who have the task of taking care of his own personal holdings and a Cuada advisor,who in a non-official position,offers him advice on how to deal with some of the more complicated problems he may face. The presence of the Cuada appointment however,is resented by the warriors who see the Cuada as meddling salamanders. This has sometimes led to disagreements and differences of opinion,between the High Priest and the War Chief.
The only time the various High Priests congregate together,is during the great sacrifces.