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The Grimtotem tribe (aka Grimtotem clan, Grimtotem tauren) is one of the mightiest tauren tribes. They stand as an aggressive extreme of the usually pacifist tauren. They wish 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.
They are currently 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 by Jevan Grimtotem.
Most Grimtotem are hostile to both the Alliance and the Horde including the non-Grimtotem tauren, and killing the Grimtotem awards Thunder Bluff reputation for the Horde. They attack either faction on sight.
Grimtotem tauren can be found in the Stonetalon Mountains, Thousand Needles, Dustwallow Marsh, and Feralas. The largest Grimtotem village is Darkcloud Pinnacle found in Thousand Needles. Ravak Grimtotem, a member of the Grimtotem clan located in the Alterac Valley battleground, was at one point collecting Tuft of Gnome Hair from slain gnomes. However he now seems to have collected enough specimens and moved on.
During one of the quests, they have attacked a tauren village in Stonetalon and Freewind Post.
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.
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 the 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 faired much better. They have proven to be as good as their word, and remain loyal to Baine.
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.
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".
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.