Envoys are a special type of agent which help a country undertake certain actions. Each country has a limited number of each envoy, depending on its technology level, idea groups and other factors. It takes a certain amount of time for an envoy to complete assigned missions. There are four types of envoys: diplomats, missionaries, merchants, and colonists.
- See also: Diplomacy#Diplomats
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- See also: Religion#Conversion
Missionaries are religious envoys that can be tasked (for a monetary cost) with converting the religion of a province a country owns to that of the country's official religion. The default number of available missionaries is one.
- +1 missionary from being Defender of the Faith (Christian or Muslim only)
- +1 with parliament and ‘Propagation of State Religion’ as active issue for 10 years.
- The following triggered modifiers award more missionaries:
- +1 missionary from being Christian and owning Mecca.
- +1 missionary from being Muslim and owning Mecca and Medina.
- +1 missionary from being Christian, Muslim or Jewish and owning Jerusalem.
- +1 missionary from being non-Catholic Christian or Muslim and owning Rome.
- +1 missionary from being Coptic and owning Alexandria.
- +1 missionary from being Orthodox and owning and converting Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria.
- +1 missionary from being Mahayana, Theravada or Vajrayana Buddhist and owning Pataliputra.
- +1 missionary from being Mahayana Buddhist and owning Louyang.
- +1 missionary from being Vajrayana Buddhist and owning Lhasa.
- +1 missionary from being Theravada Buddhist and owning Kandy.
- +1 missionary from being Hindu and owning Varanasi
- +1 missionary from being Sikh and owning Doaba.
- +1 missionary from being fully reformed Mayan and owning Sotuta.
- +1 missionary from being fully reformed Aztec and owning Cholula.
- +1 missionary from being fully reformed Inti and owning Pachacamac.
- +2 missionaries from joining the Counter-Reformation.
- +1 missionary from being Shinto and having Isolationism level 3
- +1 missionary from having the Feudal Theocracy government reform
- +1 missionary from assimilating the Cushitic culture group with the Mughal Diwan government reform
- See also: Trade#Merchants
Merchants manipulate the flow of ducats at trade nodes, where they can either transfer trade on to the next node in the route, or collect trade for their country's treasury in trade nodes other than their capital's. If collecting in their capital, they will increase the ducats collected by +10%, but are not needed to collect trade in the capital. The default number of available merchants is two.
- +3 from the trade idea group
- +1 from the expansion idea group
- +1 from the plutocracy idea group
- +1 from the East India Merchant Company event
- With the Wealth of Nations DLC, Western nations get +1 merchant for each trade company they control with the majority of the provincial trade power in a region.
- With the El Dorado DLC, Western nations get +1 merchant for each colonial nation they control with more than 10 provinces.
- See also: Colonization#Colonists
Colonists are sent to uncolonised provinces to govern and expand a colony. They can be kept in a colony in order to increase the chance of gaining extra settlers each month, but can also be recalled from a colony in progress for other missions after setting up a colony (such as setting up an additional colony, although each colony over the number of available colonists will rapidly grow in cost). With , colonists can be sent to provinces to allow the province to increase development; when and which area (base tax, production, and manpower) the increase in development occurs is random, with chances decreasing as the province becomes more developed.
The default number of available colonists is zero; unlike the other types of envoys, countries generally do not begin the game with colonists, and instead gain them by taking ideas or as part of their national ideas.
Mesoamerican religions also gain additional bonuses. Passing a Mayan, Inti, and Nahuatl religious reform allows a nation to select a Colonist as one of the five options. Selecting the Clan Migration Native idea, for nations with a Native Council government, also provides a Colonist. Parliaments also may pass a bill granting an extra colonist for 10 years.
Travel time depends on the distance envoys must travel from the player's capital. It differs between the different envoy-types:
- A diplomat performs (or, for maintained actions, begins) their action instantly, then spends time travelling back.
- A merchant spends time travelling both to and from the destination. A merchant can be sent directly between trade nodes without having to return to the capital.
- A missionary is both sent and recalled instantly.
- A colonist spends time travelling to the destination, but is recalled instantly after waiting one day. (See Colonization#Travel_time for further information on colonist travel time).