Zen Masters (or Heroes) take on the role of heroes in Battle Realms. Zen Masters are the leaders of the clans, who make certain of each clan's survival. They are summoned at a cost of Yin/Yang, as well as rice and water. A player will also need a keep to summon Zen Masters. Their Battle Gears are unique, and can turn the tide of a battle in an instant. But for the sakes of balance, these heroes can only be purchased near the end of their respective clans' tech trees. These heroes come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and include lords, mercenaries, wizards, demi-gods, and even monsters.
In addition, Monks may be enlisted for the Dragon and Wolf clans, while Ninjas are hired for the Serpent and Lotus clans.
- Otomo - This swordsman can, with a battle cry, inspire troops to hit harder and BECOME stronger. Otomo's innate ability allows him to regenerate the stamina of his allies when fighting as well. Otomo awaits the return of Kenji, last heir to the Serpent's Throne.
- Garrin - This horseman can summon a steed to aid him in battle. He is a specialist at the art of horseback riding and is immune to height advantages.
- Arah - Arah is a skilled marksman. She has long since achieved the unity with her weapon Dragon Clan archers pray for, and can use her bow and arrows to see distant terrain, paired with her incredibly vast attack range. Her expertly aimed shots rarely miss.
- Kazan - A large traveling monk and occasional circus performer, though a bit slow-moving due to his size, Kazan constantly drinks a toxic brew of his own design to set buildings aflame and burn his foes. With all other weapons out of reach, Kazan hits his foes with his drinking gourd. It is the closest thing at hand.
- Tao - The master of yin and yang, he uses the balance to his advantage, and reflects the strength of his foes back upon them. With him in play, players can summon two extra monks (or two ninja in the campaign).
- Teppo (only available in the Battle Realms expansion "Winter Of The Wolf") - A genius from the far-off land of Malcolmson, he uses his dragon wheel invention to hurl several rockets a second at his enemies, which is effective against units. It is far more effective against buildings, though. He is also durable and agile.
- Shinja - Ruthless and warmongering, this cunning warlord can intimidate all warriors around him, sapping them of attack strength. To further prove his dominance in the tide of battle, he uses twin poisonous blades, giving him the ability to do more damage along with slow poison effects to his attacks. He is a realist and magic attacks do him no harm.
- Budo - Fat and none too handsome, this lumbering slavedriver uses his whip to speed up peasant movements. However, this drains the peasant's health, and after a few whips, a wounded peasant can die. After so much eating, he has the highest endurance of all zen masters, paired up with a fast-moving whiplash attack.
- Utara - After killing a group of bandits similar to the ones that murdered her parents, she returned from self-exile as the strangest weapon in the Serpent Clan's arsenal. Her songs can sap her enemies strength and kill them, while creating poison attacks similar to the Serpent warlord Shinja. Her powers extend into the arcane as well, and she stuns all units when taking harm.
- Vetkin - A young handsome womanizer, this sai master can sap the will of his enemies, unleash a flurry of sai attacks and run faster than a horse can gallop. Tireless, he can go to the whole map without spending stamina. He also can drain his foes energy, and then run away, unharmed.
- The Necromancer - An undead sorcerer that has lived for ages and is older than all, aside from, perhaps, Lord Koril and the Dragon deity. He summons spirit warriors to do his bidding and summons the fallen corpses of his enemies to follow suit.
- Taro (only available in the Battle Realms expansion "Winter Of The Wolf") - A cowardly prince and Kenji's older brother, he makes to occupy the Serpent Throne when Lord Oja fell victim to a murder and Kenji exiled himself. He uses an arcane curse to make others vulnerable to his enchanted blade.
- Zymeth - Lord warlock and leader of clan Lotus, Zymeth's sphere of sorcery is weather. He blasts spheres of lightning onto his foes as a ranged attack, and can call heavy storms to his fields at the cost of much stamina. When raining, he calls lightning from the sky to sear his foes asunder while rice paddies regrow and regenerate faster.
- Koril - The eldest of all warlocks, this swordsman can warp space itself, and with a wave of his hand he can teleport anywhere. He also uses his powers for defensive effects, as any archers or ranged attackers will become furious at the way he shimmers and diverts nearly all ranged attacks.
- Issyl - Some may wonder why a young twelve year old boy sits at the Lotus high council, an evil grin playing across his mouth. None feel better when they learn that this is Issyl, master of time, who has aged backwards since an accident long ago. Swift, powerful, and unforgiving, he has the ability to increase the movement speed of his troops rapidly with his ability, called 'Haste', while mutilating his foes with his hourglass/weapon. He can also regenerate his flesh at an incredible rate.
- Soban - Once dismissed as a mere tinkerer, this odd, quirky scientist has no equal in terms of brilliance. He creates animated golems, using them as workers and self-destructing bombs, convenient for crowd control and gathering.
- The Three Dead Brothers (Lythis, Tausil and Sekh) - These three brothers are dead, yet their spirits somehow live on. It was they who once tended the Yin side of the Tree of Life, the Tree of Corruption. Lythis pruned the roots, Tausil guarded the trunk, and Sekh cut the leaves. They often return to give allies their blessings (battlegears), and may also suck out the energy of an enemy, sustaining their stamina.
- Yvaine (only available in the Battle Realms expansion "Winter of the Wolf") - Zymeth's mistress and lady of the shale mines, this old ice hag can freeze enemies with a gale of freezing air. Despite the fact that she looks frail, she can fend for herself, and has ranged prowess to match Arah and Longtooth.
- Grayback - The noble Grayback is the heir to the Wolf Clan's 'throne'. In Winter of the Wolf, he is constantly called 'lord', a title that he dislikes. Grayback is a skilled fighter, and can often outlive his fellows. He can give a loud, vibrant howl, which increases the attack power of his allies. He is also one of the greatest and toughest hard-hitters among the Wolves, due to his spiked bracer and great pickaxe.
- Longtooth - Back in the shale mines, Longtooth astonished his Lotus and Serpent masters with his extreme agility and athleticism. During the Revolt of the Wolf Clan, he donned durable armor and boomerangs to slaughter his foes. Longtooth has the longest ranged attack of any other Wolf units, and aside from that, he can climb slopes and mountains with ease. His boomerang is coated with a strange alloy that allows it to pierce through multiple foes or buildings.
- The Shale Lord - This shale monstrosity was once an eloquent, young speaker of the Wolf Clan slaves turned into an experiment gone wrong by his lord Soban. He can flake off part of his shale flesh and give it to his fellow Wolf clansmen, at the cost of a small amount of health. When fighting, he regains stamina, and despite his large size, can run very quickly. His brawny, shale-infused physique, paired with his huge flailing arms, allows him to crush all buildings with ease and impunity.
- Gaihla - It is said that this nymph of the woods did not truly come to fight. She is gentle and kind-spirited, but if she is angered, she will wield a wreath of thorns against her foes, enchanting them all with Nature's wrath. She has a number of useful innate abilities. One allows her to walk unimpeded through forest terrain, and the other allows rice paddies to grow quickly, even if it is not being watered'
- Wildeye (only available in the Battle Realms expansion "Winter Of The Wolf") - This Packmaster can beat out a tune for summoning sacred spirit wolves, or, use his drum and club to harm his enemies. He can distribute his sacred wolves amongst his fellow clansmen, and has a swift, powerful cutting attack.
- Zen Masters are referred to as heroes in-game scores and the description when they are already summoned.
|Battle Realms Zen Masters and Characters||WOTW only|
|Dragon||Kenji • Otomo • Kazan • Arah • Garrin • Tao||Teppo|
|Serpent||Kenji • Shinja • Budo • Utara • Vetkin • Necromancer||Taro|
|Lotus||Zymeth • Koril • Issyl • Soban • The Three Brothers (Lythis, Tausil, Sekh)||Yvaine|
|Wolf||Grayback • Longtooth • Shale Lord • Gaihla||Wildeye|
|NPC||Tarrant • Nightvol|