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- "Kalimdor belongs to the Grimtotem. Nobody can stand in our way. We are supreme in all things."
The Grimtotem tribe (also known as the Grimtotem clan, or simply the Grimtotem tauren) is one of the mightiest tauren tribes. They stand as an aggressive extreme of the usually pacifistic tauren, wishing to eradicate the "lesser races" from Kalimdor and retake the tauren's long lost ancestral holdings. The Grimtotem tribe fights to eliminate the enemies of the tauren; to the Grimtotem, almost all races are enemies of the tauren. They are known for unprovoked attacks, slaughter and mayhem, in great contrast to the peaceful, spiritual nature of the other tauren clans.
The Grimtotem are currently split into two main camps: those led by the powerful shaman Magatha Grimtotem, who gained leadership after marrying the previous leader, who had died shortly after in an "unforeseen climbing accident"; and those led by Jevan Grimtotem, who are loyal to the Horde and renounced Magatha after the part she played in Cairne Bloodhoof's death. Jevan's Horde Grimtotem are about a quarter of the pre-split Grimtotem population.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable members
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Known titles
- 5 In the RPG
- 6 Speculation
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
While their matriach lived on Thunder Bluff and the Grimtotem enjoyed all rights of being a tauren, the Grimtotem are in fact the only tauren tribe to have never formally joined the Horde. The noted few Grimtotem to directly work with the Horde include the likes of Magatha and Ravak Grimtotem. Ravak was sent by Magatha herself to study the other races in Alterac Valley, particularly the gnomes. Meanwhile, Magatha enlisted the aid of Horde adventurers to deal with the troggs in Ragefire Chasm.
The Grimtotem tauren found in the Stonetalon Mountains, Thousand Needles, Dustwallow Marsh, and Feralas are hostile to both the Horde and the Alliance. As a matter of fact the Grimtotem have directly attacked their fellow tauren by striking out against those in Freewind Post and are responsible for attacking a tauren village in Stonetalon. With these hostile actions the Horde forces at Sun Rock Retreat, Freewind Post and send out Horde adventures to strike back at the Grimtotem. Horde forces at Camp Mojache are also actively hostile to the Grimtotem within the region.
The Grimtotem within Dustwallow were revealed to have been responsible for the destruction of the Shady Rest Inn. A move which has resulted in the Horde and Alliance to engage them in conflict. The Grimtotems in the marsh were supplied armor by Mosarn.
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Displeased with the new Warchief, Cairne challenges Garrosh Hellscream to an honorable duel to the death. Secretly, Magatha Grimtotem poisons Garrosh's axe, and Cairne falls after only a shallow wound in the duel. The Grimtotems take advantage of Cairne's death and quickly seize control of Thunder Bluff and other major tauren settlements. Narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, with the help of a Grimtotem defector named Jevan "Stormsong" Grimtotem, Baine Bloodhoof steps up to become High Chieftain of the tauren and leads an attack against the Grimtotem, retaking Thunder Bluff. Baine gives the surviving Grimtotems a choice: swear loyalty to the Horde and be led by Stormsong as a reformed tribe, or be banished to the Stonetalon Mountains with Magatha. About a quarter of the Grimtotem agree to swear loyalty to the Horde, the rest leaving with Magatha. 
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The remaining Grimtotem under Magatha have not fared too well following their banishment. The Horde army led by Overlord Krom'gar burned down Camp Aparaje, and all that remains are Horde generals patrolling its ruins. In desperation, the Grimtotem strike up an alliance of convenience with the Alliance forces within Stonetalon. Magatha herself becomes captured by the Twilight's Hammer clan in Thousand Needles.
Yet despite these setbacks Magatha's followers were able to successfully conquer Freewind Post, albeit due to treachery from within. The tauren of Freewind were not the only ones to suffer from the Grimtotem as Orno Grimtotem and his forces were successfully able to corrupt the water wells in Mulgore. However these victories would be short lived.
Not only would Baine's tauren forces heal the water wells but Orno would die at Baine's hands. Later on both the Horde and the Alliance, due to hostilities being re-opened between them and Magatha's Grimtotem, would begin attacking the Grimtotem based in Thousand Needles. This combined assault would lead to the death of the Thousand Needles Grimtotem leadership, with aid and blessing of their Magatha Grimtotem herself. For her part Magatha claims to have done this to remove her clan of incompetent leaders.
While the future of Magatha's Grimtotem is uncertain Magatha was able to escape her containment and acquire the Doomstone, a magical device capable of absorbing and amplifying elemental power.
Ever mindful of outside world it was discovered that the Grimtotem of Feralas were planning an attack on the Horde forces in the region, while they were distracted from their victory over Theramore. However it is unknown if the local leadership or Magatha herself was planning the attack.
Up to the time before the mists lifted from Pandaria, all the Grimtotem who had joined Stormsong to create the Horde's Grimtotem faction, such as Tarakor and his family, have fared much better. They have proven to be as good as their word, and remain loyal to Baine.
|Elder Crone and leader||Alive||Unknown|
|Leader of the Horde-loyal Grimtotem offshoot||Alive||Thunder Bluff|
|Nephew of Magatha, Chief of all Darkcloud Grimtotem Chiefs||Killable||Darkcloud Pinnacle, Thousand Needles|
|Spy of the Grimtotem tribe||Killable||Freewind Post, Thousand Needles|
|Helped Magatha secure Thunder Bluff||Unknown||Unknown|
|Elder||Active||Lariss Pavilion, Feralas|
|Grimtotem Chief||Killable||Thousand Needles|
|Killable||Grimtotem Post, Stonetalon Mountains|
|Helped Magatha secure Thunder Bluff||Unknown||Unknown|
|One of the most accomplished Grimtotem, allied briefly with the Alliance in Stonetalon||Killable||Grimtotem Post, Stonetalon Mountains; Darkcloud Pinnacle, Thousand Needles|
|Killable||Darkcloud Pinnacle, Thousand Needles|
|Niece of Magatha, gladiator mistress||Alive||Unknown|
|Grimtotem Chief||Killable||Thousand Needles|
|Master Pet Tamer||Alive||Darkcloud Pinnacle, Thousand Needles|
|Killed by the troggs of Ragefire Chasm||Deceased||Formerly Ragefire Chasm|
|Leader of the Grimtotem invasion of Mulgore||Killable||Stonetalon Pass, Mulgore|
|Bounty hunter sent by Magatha to study the other races||Alive||Frostwolf Village, Alterac Valley|
|Defector loyal to Jevan and the Horde||Alive||Thunder Bluff|
|Grimtotem ambassador to the Alliance||Alive||Grimtotem Post, Stonetalon Mountains|
Grimtotem tauren are easily identifiable by their black fur and distinctive white, red or even blue warpaint.
A typical Grimtotem as they appeared prior to Cataclysm.
In the RPG
While the Grimtotem name is generations old, the clan as an organization has existed only for a few years. Magatha Grimtotem and her tribe felt that Cairne Bloodhoof’s friendship with the orcs was a bad idea; the tribe felt that Kalimdor belonged to the tauren and that no other race held claim to it. In recent years, the Grimtotems have conducted raid after raid on goblin, centaur, and orc settlements. Some dark tales even hint that the Grimtotems kill tauren who live in non-tauren settlements, considering them as traitors. No one seems to know why the Grimtotems feel this way, though most believe the sentiment either originated from Magatha Grimtotem or her father.
The Grimtotem tribe operates mainly in the Stonetalon Mountains and Thousand Needles, though some also live in Thunder Bluff. Two main settlements of Grimtotems exist: Grimtotem Village in the Stonetalon Mountains, and Darkcloud Pinnacle in Thousand Needles. Magatha Grimtotem, leader of the clan, once made her home on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff. Several hundred Grimtotems used to live in Thunder Bluff as well, to be close to the Elder Crone, but their influence was limited. Today, Magatha Grimtotem continues to hold power and influence over the tribe.
Tauren disillusioned with Cairne Bloodhoof’s message of peace and harmony often seek to join the Grimtotems. Those tauren who do choose to side with the Grimtotems are mostly older tauren who are used to peace and solitude and do not appreciate the new interlopers. Warriors and hunters seem the most likely to join — not many shaman favor the Grimtotem philosophy, though there are a few who subscribe to Magatha’s “the spirits are angry” philosophy. These tauren are convinced that the land is sick and requires “purging.”
The Grimtotem tribe does not have an organized structure or a complex hierarchy. Their numbers are just over a thousand, scattered evenly between the major Grimtotem settlements. The chief of each settlement reports directly to Magatha, and she uses her magic to keep in touch with them. Their information might influence her, but the Elder Crone makes all the decisions herself.
Allying with the Grimtotems is not an easy task. Individuals cannot just walk up and ask to join; the Grimtotems are always suspicious of potential spies. Traditionally, newcomers must first bring an offering. Up in the Stonetalon Mountains, the head of a goblin is customary to prove a new recruit is serious about aiding the Grimtotem cause. Usually the chief sends a tauren who wants to join on a series of increasingly dangerous raids against centaur or goblin encampments. If the recruit survives and does a good job of killing, he's in, though the leaders watch him carefully for the first little bit.
New members have to keep killing to stay in, too. A Grimtotem who loses his taste for carnage is killed by his tribe mates rather than letting him leave. A Grimtotem who balks at killing a “traitor” tauren may have his war party turn on him and tear him apart. Grimtotems allow only tauren to join. If a non-tauren tried to join they’d probably laugh at him before they killed him. The only exception to this rule is the Forsaken.
The Grimtotem have allowed Forsaken into their clan, but even then their involvement is rare. Several Forsaken reputedly belong to the Grimtotem organization. These Forsaken are special consultants who aid the Grimtotems in brewing virulent toxins with which to fight the intruders on their land. Forsaken and the Grimtotems may have a lot in common, and both seem to hate everybody.
The tauren seem almost embarrassed by the Grimtotem tribe's actions, and they are upset with their kin. The Grimtotems reject the peaceful spiritual teachings of tauren shaman and cause pain to the Earth Mother. They are worried that it could further strain the relations between the Horde and the Alliance, and all it would take to make all sorts of trouble would be for the Grimtotems to slaughter a pack of humans. The tauren aren't able to just walk in and wipe out the Grimtotems, though; they’re not into wholesale slaughter, and not all the stories about the Grimtotems are true.
Grimtotem class titles
Ordinary Grimtotem warriors have different titles depending on who you ask. Other Horde members, like the orcs, use the term “raiders” or “bandits.” They don’t necessarily understand the cause the Grimtotems fight for; to the Horde, the Grimtotems seem to be an undisciplined, bloodthirsty mob, which isn’t too far from the truth. Individuals outside the Horde who have dealings with the Grimtotems use the term “brute” or “mercenary” to identify Grimtotem tauren. Most of these individuals have never heard the name Grimtotem; they don’t use clan names at all. Among themselves, Grimtotems call their fighters “warriors” or “hunters” without any extra distinction.
Some enemy Grimtotem mobs are sorcerers and bandits (possessing the ability to stealth like a rogue).
This shows the different philosophies of the various groups in relation to Grimtotem members.
- The male version of the title "Elder Crone" is "Elder Sakem".
Connection to the undead races?
Many World of Warcraft players have speculated over the relationship between the Grimtotem Tribe and the undead. Some believe that there may be a shady connection between the Grimtotems and the Scourge. This is because the Scourge is more interested in dismantling the Horde than the Forsaken are. Additionally, Darkcloud Pinnacle is very close to the Scourge-allied areas of Razorfen Kraul and Razorfen Downs. However, evidence suggests that it is actually the Forsaken with whom the Grimtotems are conversing.
Below are some documents and conversations that can be found in World of Warcraft related to this subject.
"The Grimtotem Clan is up to something secretive. Three agents of unknown origin were seen visiting the Grimtotem over the recent weeks. We discovered that separate chests in Darkcloud Pinnacle hold these guarded messages."
The following three secret notes can be found in Darkcloud Pinnacle. Note that each note is addressed to "Agasham", an individual not currently present in any World of Warcraft database. However, this name is an anagram of "Magasha," which is suspiciously close to "Magatha," the leader of the Grimtotem.
Secret Note #1
Our plans must be kept secret at all costs! It will be disastrous if the other tauren tribes discover our affiliation.
Secret Note #2
Working together, our forces will be more powerful than all of the tauren tribes put together! Yet, we require your total obedience. Remember, your people will be rewarded only after our plans come to fruition!
Secret Note #3
Our agents from Lordaeron will meet with your delegates, soon. We will notify you once we've found an appropriate location for our summit.
"The first tablet goes to a tauren female... one called Magatha. She is among the elders in Thunder Bluff, and is one of the proponents of the alliance between the tauren and the Forsaken. She, more than anyone among the elders, feels the tauren and their ways can help the Forsaken find a path back to being human. Bring her the Tablet of Beth'Amara. The tablet may be the link she needs in finding a way to help the Forsaken... or so she claims..."
Magatha is also involved in a Horde quest chain to stop the encroachment of the Venture Company into Stonetalon Mountains. The player is asked to consult with Magatha the elder crone. She says: "...I fear that to heal the land, we must first remove the disease upon it. Is it not fortunate, then, that the Forsaken are allied with us? They know much of disease. I believe they can aid us, and by doing so they will strengthen the trust between our people." This eventually leads to the evil Forsaken Apothecary Lydon in the Hillsbrad Foothills, who is experimenting with poisons and new forms of the Scourge. His solution is to release a toxic fog that will supposedly "bleed the violence from the Venture Company, rendering them weak and docile."
Another quest line that involves Magatha is the Arikara quest chain starting in Thousand Needles. The quest line starts with the player investigating an egg protected by the native wind serpents as though it were their own. The egg is in fact that of Arikara, a deadly creature of vengeance holding some significance in tauren lore. The player is sent to consult Magatha as to how to deal with the menace, who warns that Arikara may be stalking Cairne Bloodhoof. After Arikara is defeated, the tauren of Whitereach Post are surprised to hear this prediction, but accept it, respecting Magatha's position as one of the most powerful tauren shamans.
Magatha certainly has a connection to wind serpents; in the aforementioned Venture Company quest chain, she sends a wind serpent messenger ahead to inform her Forsaken allies of her proposition. That a massive, vengeful wind serpent should emerge and appear to have Cairne as its target seems entirely too coincidental.
An alternative interpretation is that Magatha may be using the player to deal with a potential threat to herself before it grows too powerful. In her own words, Arikara is "a deadly creature born only to seek vengeance against those who have committed heinous acts." Perhaps Magatha is the intended target...
- In the quest in Valormok, Jediga says that Magatha "feels the tauren and their ways can help the Forsaken find a path back to being human." This may be a cover story the Grimtotem uses to explain their work with the Forsaken.
- In The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, there were Grimtotem assassins attacking Thunder Bluff, as well as technicians that set out bombs. There are also a number of Grimtotem mobs that use and other rogue-like abilities, indicating that the infamous tauren rogues can be found amongs their ranks.