They stand as an aggressive extreme in the usually pacifist tauren. They wish to eradicate the "lesser races" from Kalimdor and retake the long lost tauren ancestral holdings. The Grimtotem tribe fights to eliminate 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 natures of the other tauren clans. The Grimtotem tribe seems to have declared war on the world.
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 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 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. ( )
They are led by the powerful shaman Magatha Grimtotem, who gained leadership after marrying the previous leader, who died shortly after in an "unforeseen climbing accident."
The Grimtotem tribe operates mainly in the Stonetalon Mountains and Thousand Needles, though some also live in Thunder Bluff (although very few). Two main settlements of Grimtotems exist: Grimtotem Village in the Stonetalon Mountains, and Darkcloud Pinnacle in Thousand Needles. Magatha Grimtotem, leader of the clan, makes her home on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff, Mulgore. Several hundred Grimtotems live in Thunder Bluff as well, to be close to the Elder Crone, but their influence is limited. Magatha’s the one with all the power and brains. ( )
Recently the Grimtotems were exiled from Thunder Bluff after Magatha poisoned Garrosh's weapon when he dueled Cairne Bloodhoof and killed him, this lead his son Baine Bloodhoof to become high chieftain. Baine then cast out the Grimtotems from Thunder Bluff.
Tauren disillusioned with Cairne Bloodhoof’s message of peace and harmony seek to join the Grimtotems. It’s mostly older tauren who are used to peace and solitude and don’t like 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. They’re convinced that the land is sick and requires “purging.”
The Grimtotem tribe does not have an organized structure or a complicated hierarchy. There is just over a thousand of them, split pretty 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.
Allying with the Grimtotems isn’t an easy thing. People can’t walk up and ask to join; the Grimtotems are suspicious of spies. It’s traditional to 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 tribemates 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 nontauren tried to join they’d probably laugh at him before they killed him. The only exception to this rule is the Forsaken. ( )
Grimtotem have allowed Forsaken into their clan, 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. ( )
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.
The tauren seem almost embarrassed by the Grimtotems’ actions, and they’re 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. ( )
In World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
In-game, most 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 (for game mechanic reasons, as quest objectives), but according to lore they are members of the Horde (with hidden agendas). ()))  ( )
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 from slain gnomes. However he now seems to have collected enough specimens and moved on. The Grimtotems are not a faction that you can gain or lose reputation with.
In World of Warcraft, during one of the quests, they have attacked a tauren village in Stonetalon and Freewind Post. It is unclear if this event has occurred within other lore yet, such as the RPG.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
It is made known in The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden that Cairne Bloodhoof perished in a duel with Garrosh Hellscream. Cairne's death was not at the hand of Garrosh Hellscream, but by Magatha Grimtotem who had poisoned Garrosh's weapon, Gorehowl, before the mak'gora or duel between the two of them. After the death of Cairne, Magatha sent word to the Grimtotem in Thunderbluff to begin a coup, and to assassinate those who would oppose her. Many druids and shaman were murdered in the night following Cairne's death. 
Cairne's son Baine however, was able to escape with a handful of those loyal to him, thanks to a Grimtotem traitor. Not able to bring himself to trust Garrosh, and having nowhere else in Kalimdor to take refuge, he appealed to Jaina Proudmoore in the Alliance city of Theramore. With her help financially, Baine returned to invade Thunder Bluff with the aid of the goblins of Ratchet and other loyal members of the Horde.
After repelling the Grimtotem force, Baine chose to exile the majority of them out of Mulgore. Those who were still loyal to the Horde were permitted to stay, but under a close watch. After being exiled from Thunder Bluff the Grimtotem, their Mulgore presence now led by Orno Grimtotem, seek to ruin the land itself. 
In the current Beta build, there is a quest where the Alliance provides the Grimtotems with weapons to fight against the Horde. It is at this point that the Grimtotem sect of the clan in Stonetalon agree to aid the Alliance against the Horde.
|Alive||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
|Killable||Darkcloud Pinnacle, Thousand Needles|
|Alive||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
|Alive||Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff|
|Killable||Grimtotem Post, Stonetalon Mountains|
|Killable||Grimtotem Post, Stonetalon Mountains|
|Alive||Frostwolf Keep, Alterac Valley|
|Killable||Stonetalon Pass, Mulgore|
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.
Something that has been keeping players of World of Warcraft busy speculating is the shady connection between the Grimtotem Tribe and the undead. Some speculate that it is the Scourge. This is because the Scourge is more interested in dismantling the Horde than the Forsaken are. Also, Darkcloud Pinnacle is very close to the Scourge-allied Razorfen Kraul/Downs.
However, it is actually the Forsaken which the Grimtotems are conversing with.
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 notes can be found in Darkcloud Pinnacle. Note that each is addressed to "Agasham", an individual not 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 place 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". Magatha may be the intended target.
- Though many dark-haired tauren are Grimtotems, not all are part of the Grimtotem clan.
- The male version of the title "Elder Crone" is "Elder Sakem". ()