Before a hero will honour your city with a visit, you have to pay homage to them. In addition to that.. the Ancestral heroes want to have homages every once in a while. If you neglect your Ancestors, they may conjure up a drought, an earthquake, or a flood.

To pay homage to a hero, click on the Religion tab and click on the word 'Religion' at the top to open the Religion full report. You'll see the portraits of available heroes there with their level of contentment below their portrait. Click on a portrait, at the bottom now appears a box with available goods for offering in your city. Click one of the goods, select how many of that good you want to give (small, medium or large) and click on 'Make offering'.

To be able to pay homage to a hero of a certain 'religion', you need to have the proper buildings in your city:

Religion Building needed
Ancestor Ancestral Shrine
Confucianism Confucian Academy
Daoism Daoist Temple
Buddhism Buddhist Pagoda

How happy will a hero be with your offering?

This depends on 4 factors:

If you give a medium offering of silk or lacquerware, your homage level with that hero can be increased from 'contented' to 'exalted' at once.

Keep in mind that you can only pay homage to any hero once a month, and also mind the goods you give: if you give too many your city may run out of a particular good, causing your housing to devolve.

How many goods do I need for an offering?

This depends on city size, the bigger your city is, the larger offerings the heroes expect.

Table for the amount of goods needed for one offering for populations up to 9200:

City size
0-99 - - -
100-256 1 2 4
257-1024 2 4 8
1025-2304 3 6 12
2305-4096 4 8 16
4097-6400 5 10 20
6401-9216 6 12 24

Further thresholds can be found using the following formula:

population threshold = 256 * [small homage]^2

Example: you built a city of (say) 25,000 citizens. How much goods is a small homage?

Calculate back using the formula:

A medium homage is then 10*2 = 20 loads, and large is 10*4 = 40 loads.

A big thanks to Frog gazing at Moon from BreakAway for the thresholds and for verifying the formula I found :)

How happy can a hero be?

There are 8 happiness levels:

  1. angry
  2. unhappy
  3. neglected
  4. contented
  5. pleased
  6. happy
  7. joyful
  8. exalted

Only Ancestor heroes can become neglected, unhappy and angry, the others are always 'contented' (or happier) even if you don't give them a single thing.

A hero will appear in your city if his happiness level is 'joyful' or 'exalted', although he/she may also appear when he/she is happy.