Priest-King (noun) golden insect-like creatures about a yard wide and almost 18 feet tall with six legs and globe-like head. Keepers of the Sacred Place in the Sardar mountains.
It is said that the Priest-Kings know whatever transpires on their world and that the mere lifting of their hand can summon all the powers of the universe. I myself had seen the power of Priest-Kings which had twice carried me to this world; I had seen their power so subtly exercised as to alter the movements of a compass needle, so grossly demonstrated as to destroy a city, leaving behind not even the stones of what had once been a dwelling place of men. It is said that neither the physical intricacies of the cosmos nor the emotions of beings are beyond the scope of their power, that the feelings of men and the motions of atoms and stars are as one to them, that they can control the very forces of gravity and invisibly sway the hearts of human beings, but of this latter claim I wonder, for once on a road to Ko-ro-ba, my city, I met one who had been a messenger of the Priest-Kings, one who had been capable of disobeying them, one from the shards of whose burnt and blasted skull I had removed a handful of golden wire. He had been destroyed by the Priest-Kings as casually as one might jerk loose the thong of a sandal. He had disobeyed and he had been destroyed, immediately and with grotesque dispatch, but the important thing was, I told myself, that he had disobeyed, that he could disobey, that he had been able to disobey and choose the ignominious death he knew must follow. He had won his freedom though it had, as the Goreans say, led him to the Cities of Dust, where I think, not even the Priest-Kings care to follow. He had, as a man, lifted his fist against the might of the Priest-Kings and so he had died, defiantly, though horribly, with great nobility.
Book 3, Priest-Kings: pg 14