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For the organization from an alternate universe, see Shadow Council (alternate universe).
NeutralShadow Council
SCbanner
Main leader Unknown
  Formerly IconSmall Gul'dan2 Gul'dan[1] †
IconSmall CultistOrc Male Grandmaster Vorpil †
IconSmall Ogre Mage Blackheart the Inciter †
IconSmall Dreadlord Lord Banehollow
IconSmall ChaosOrc Male Fel'dan †
IconSmall Gul'dan Gul'dan †
Secondary leaders Unknown
  Formerly IconSmall Orc Male Jergosh the Invoker †
IconSmall Orc Male Nagaz †
IconSmall Nightborne Male Allaris Narassin †
IconSmall Orc Male Neeru Fireblade †
IconSmall Satyr Bazzalan †
IconSmall Man'ari Male Warbringer Razuun
IconSmall Satyr Prince Xavalis †
IconSmall Orc Male Shadowmaster Grieve †
IconSmall Shivarra Giselda the Crone †
Race(s) IconSmall CultistOrc MaleIconSmall CultistOrc Female Orc
IconSmall FelOrc MaleIconSmall FelOrc2 Male Fel orc
OgreOgre Ogre
IconSmall OgreMageIconSmall OgreMage2 Ogre mage
Satyr Satyr
Broken Broken
DemonDemonDemonDemon Demon
GoblinGoblin Goblin
IconSmall Cultist MaleIconSmall Cultist Female Human
UndeadUndead Undead
Night elfNight elf Night elf
HighborneHighborne Highborne
Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf
NightborneNightborne Nightborne
Capital Shadow Labyrinth (Outland)
Shadow Hold (Azeroth)
  Formerly Black Temple
Other major settlements Jaedenar, Thunder Axe Fortress, Grangol'var Village, Kil'sorrow Fortress, Tomb of Sargeras
Theater of operations Azeroth and Outland
Language(s) Orcish, Eredun
Affiliation Burning Legion
  Formerly Old Horde
Horde of Draenor
Status Active

The Shadow Council is a group of mortal warlocks that serve the demons of the Burning Legion. The Shadow Council was formed by orcs as a clandestine council of the Old Horde. In the aftermath of many wars, the Shadow Council has somehow continued and has expanded to include many races with cults of the Shadow Council existing in different parts of the world.

History[]

Formation[]

Chronicle2 Shadow Council

The Shadow Council lording over Ner'zhul.

When Gul'dan supplanted Ner'zhul as spiritual leader of the nascent Horde, he began to reorganize the clans into a single engine of destruction in the name of Kil'jaeden. To this end, he promoted a public figurehead, Blackhand of the Blackrock clan to the new position of Warchief. Gul'dan also brought together a collection of warlocks, necrolytes, chieftains, and even the occasional ogre into a clandestine council — the Shadow Council. Gul'dan stroked Blackhand's ego by telling him he would rule both the Horde and the Council, but actually intended to manipulate him and the whole orcish people through the Warchief instead.[2]

The original purpose of the Council was to ensure the stability of the Horde in their quest to destroy the draenei, manipulate the clans, and spread the use of warlock magics. When the time came, the Shadow Council fed the blood of Mannoroth to the clans, apart from the Frostwolf clan (whose chieftain, Durotan, forbade them from partaking) and a few other individuals. Not all orc warlocks joined the Shadow Council, however. Some, such as Drek'Thar and Nekros Skullcrusher stayed loyal to their clans instead.[3]

The Council made their headquarters at the Black Temple and oversaw the destruction of the draenei until Kil'jaeden mysteriously vanished. As the Horde began to fragment, the Shadow Council was contacted by Medivh, who offered a new world to plunder.

To test the potential of the daggers Anguish and Sorrow, Gul'dan gave them to his assassin Garona Halforcen and ordered her to use them against an unfortunate Shadow Council acolyte. The acolyte had no chance to defend himself before she tore open his throat with one slash. When the orc took his last breath, the wound that killed him became irregular. Nobody would be able to tell whether he had died to a knife, an axe, or a spear. Gul'dan saw the possibilities immediately. A mysterious death could be used to sow confusion and redirect suspicion wherever he pleased.[4]

The First War[]

The Shadow Council operated a number of the Horde's workings during the war effort against the Kingdom of Stormwind.

When the Shadow Council moved into Blackrock Mountain, they were confronted by the fire elemental and Dark Iron dwarf minions of Ragnaros. Cho'gall used his fledgling connection to the Old Gods to convince the dwarves and Ragnaros's lieutenants, who also served the Old Gods, to let the Shadow Council stay in the upper reaches of the mountain, Blackrock Spire. If the warlocks remained there, they would not be disturbed by Ragnaros or his followers. Gul'dan was angered that he could not have the whole mountain, but was pleased by Cho'gall's effective diplomacy. However, he was unaware of the true reason it had worked.[5]

Following the death of Medivh, Gul'dan was incapacitated for several weeks. During this time, Orgrim Doomhammer killed Blackhand the Destroyer and seized the mantle of Warchief. King Llane Wrynn was assassinated by one of the Shadow Council's finest killers, Garona. Orgrim captured and had Garona tortured to learn of the location of the Shadow Council's secret refuge. Sensing it threatened his position and that it was the root of the Horde's corruption, Orgrim launched an attack on Blackrock Spire, annihilating most of the warlocks of the Council.[6] Their spirits were subsequently imbued into the death knights,[7] while the magical energies of other long-dead warlocks were infused into the bodies of the ogre magi.[8][9]

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

Even in the aftermath of the second invasion of the Burning Legion, the Shadow Council still remained. It is not clear how the Council was reformed after the death of most of their members, including Gul'dan. The current Shadow Council included members of all races, provided they possess the ideology of acceptance of the tenets of the Burning Legion.

The Shadow Council set up its main base in Shadow Hold in Felwood, where they reigned with massive force and numbers. The Burning Blade was also active in Desolace, the Barrens, and Durotar, and even had a spy in Orgrimmar, while the Searing Blade dwelled beneath the orcish capital in the Ragefire Chasm. The Cult of the Dark Strand operated in Darkshore and Ashenvale, while the mysterious Argus Wake manipulated the Syndicate in Alterac and the Arathi Highlands.

The Burning Crusade[]

Bc icon This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Shadow Labyrinth

Shadow Labyrinth entrance in Auchindoun.

At the time of the invasion of Outland, it was discovered that some members of the Council, including Vorpil and Blackheart, survived by hiding in Auchindoun. The Cabal operated from within Auchindoun, while members of the Shadow Council were widespread all over Outland.

During the Opening of the Dark Portal in the Caverns of Time, members of the original Council could be seen.

Cataclysm[]

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

While some members were missing after the Cataclysm, such as the Cult of the Dark Strand which was wiped out by the Horde, the rest of the Council in Felwood appeared to be undamaged and active.

Legion[]

Shadow Council Warlock (Tomb of Sargeras)

Shadow Council warlock aboard Kil'jaeden's command ship.

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion, an alternate Gul'dan rallied the members of the Shadow Council who have been in hiding on Azeroth, in order to help him retrieve the Book of Medivh and Eye of Dalaran. Jergosh the Invoker led a team to obtain the book from the Cult of the Damned at Caer Darrow, while Allaris Narassin and Nagaz traveled to Tol Barad for the eye. All three were later killed by the Netherlord of the Council of the Black Harvest.[10][11][12]

Lord Malgath, alongside several Shadow Council assassins and warlocks, assisted the demons in breaching the Violet Hold. Later, several of their warlocks were seen aboard Kil'jaeden's command ship.

Structure and operations[]

The shape of the original Shadow Council is unclear. Gul'dan is described as a "warlock of the Inner Circle"[13] (also an "initiate of the Seventh Circle"[14]) and Cho'gall as an "initiate of the Fifth."[15][16] This means that there are at least seven circles of the Shadow Council, the Inner Circle being the Seventh.

The hold of the current Shadow Council is extensive; they control cell-based organizations throughout Kalimdor including the Burning Blade and Searing Blade cults, which utilize the powers of the Trade archaeology naarucrystal [Demon Seed]. Agents of the Council have even infiltrated areas of the Orcish capital city of Orgrimmar. It is also revealed from a questline in Darkshore that the Cult of the Dark Strand is another branch of the Shadow Council, and certain clues, like Argus Wake members they employ, Marez Cowl, and Darbel Montrose, lead some to believe that the Syndicate may be affiliated, if maybe loosely, with the Council. The Shadow Council is also present at Jaedenar in Felwood, Grangol'var Village in Terokkar Forest, and Kil'sorrow Fortress in Nagrand. Its headquarters are in the Shadow Labyrinth of Auchindoun.

Cults and groups[]

“Many cults exist within the Council, but only to hide its actions against the foolish. Groups like the Burning Blade, the Argus Wake, and the Searing Blade are tools of the Council. Consider them one and the same.”

Thrall[17]

Note that most Shadow Council members are orcs; although they worship demons, most of them are not fel orcs.

Members[]

Named[]

Name Location Sub-Cult Status
IconSmall Gul'dan Gul'dan Bc icon Spirit in Altar of Damnation Shadowmoon Valley Deceased
Mob IconSmall Cho'gall Cho'gall Cataclysm Bastion of Twilight Twilight Highlands Now a leader of the Twilight's Hammer Deceased
Horde IconSmall Garona Garona Halforcen Cataclysm Bloodgulch Twilight Highlands Formerly mind-controlled Alive
Horde IconSmall Blackhand Blackhand[2] Bc icon likeness in Karazhan Deadwind Pass Deceased
Mob IconSmall Teron Teron Gorefiend Bc icon Black Temple Shadowmoon Valley Deceased
Mob IconSmall CultistOrc Male Grandmaster Vorpil Bc icon Shadow Labyrinth Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Cabal Killable
Mob IconSmall Ogre Mage Blackheart the Inciter Bc icon Shadow Labyrinth Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Cabal Killable
Mob IconSmall KargathFel Kargath Bladefist[18] Bc icon Shattered Halls Hellfire Citadel, Hellfire Peninsula Deceased
Mob IconSmall Man'ari Male Warbringer Razuun Bc icon Deathforge Shadowmoon Valley Killable
Mob IconSmall OrcGray Male Summoner Skartax Bc icon Deathforge Shadowmoon Valley Killable
Mob IconSmall MadScientist Doctor Maleficus Bc icon Invasion Point: Cataclysm Shadowmoon Valley Killable
Mob IconSmall MadScientist Doctor Gutrick Bc icon Invasion Point: Cataclysm Shadowmoon Valley Killable
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Shadowmaster Grieve Bc icon Grangol'var Village Terokkar Forest Killable
Mob IconSmall Shivarra Giselda the Crone Bc icon Kil'sorrow Fortress Nagrand Killable
Mob IconSmall ChaosOrc Male Fel'dan Jaedenar Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall Succubus Moora Jaedenar Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall Succubus Salia Jaedenar Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall Dreadlord Lord Banehollow Jaedenar Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Ur'dan Caer Darrow Western Plaguelands Deceased
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Ulathek Jaedenar Felwood Deceased
Mob IconSmall Succubus Rakaiah Jaedenar Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall Satyr Prince Xavalis Shadow Hold Felwood Killable
Mob IconSmall NightElf Male Tyranis Malem Thunder Axe Fortress Desolace Unknown
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Jugkar Grim'rod Mannoroc Coven Desolace Burning Blade Killable
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Kohor Thunder Axe Fortress Desolace Burning Blade Killable
Mob IconSmall Felguard Rathorian Dreadmist Den The Barrens Burning Blade Killable
Mob IconSmall Undead Male Sarilus Foulborne Dreadmist Peak The Barrens Burning Blade Killable
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Yarrog Baneshadow Valley of Trials Durotar Burning Blade Killable
Mob IconSmall Goblin Male Fizzle Darkstorm Thunder Ridge Durotar Burning Blade Deceased
Mob IconSmall OrcGray Male Gazz'uz Skull Rock Durotar Burning Blade Killable
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Neeru Fireblade Cleft of Shadow Orgrimmar Burning Blade Deceased
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Jergosh the Invoker Caer Darrow Western Plaguelands Searing Blade Deceased
Mob IconSmall Satyr Bazzalan Ragefire Chasm Orgrimmar Searing Blade Missing
Mob IconSmall Felguard Taragaman the Hungerer Ragefire Chasm Orgrimmar Searing Blade Missing
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Nagaz D-Block Tol Barad Argus Wake Deceased
Mob IconSmall Cultist Female Darbel Montrose Stromgarde Keep Arathi Highlands Argus Wake Killable
Mob IconSmall Orc Female Marez Cowl Stromgarde Keep Arathi Highlands Argus Wake Killable
Mob IconSmall Highborne Male Athrikus Narassin Tower of Althalaxx Darkshore Cult of the Dark Strand Deceased
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Allaris Narassin Tomb of Sargeras Broken Shore Deceased
Mob IconSmall Satyr Delmanis the Hated Tower of Althalaxx Darkshore Cult of the Dark Strand Missing
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Ilkrud Magthrull Fire Scar Shrine Ashenvale Cult of the Dark Strand Missing
Horde IconSmall BloodElf Female Braelyn Firehand Caer Darrow Western Plaguelands Deceased
Mob IconSmall Undead Male Staffron Lerent Alterac Mountains Missing

Unnamed[]

Notes[]

  • The orcs of the Shadow Council empowered the Shadow Orb, Gul'dan's artifact, that was found by Maiev Shadowsong in the Tomb of Sargeras.[19]
  • Not all the warlocks of the Old Horde were members of the Shadow Council, such as Ghun and Nekros Skullcrusher.
  • Shadow Lord Fel'dan, the successor of Gul'dan, is stated before he is defeated to have become 'more demon than orc'. Similar monikers to this were given to Illidan and some of his demon hunters; meaning that he may possess an immortal demon soul as they do.

Speculation[]

Questionmark-medium
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

While it may be a simple case of model reuse, the Founding of Durotar campaign shows some Stormreaver warlocks on the Echo Isles and Durotar. It is, therefore, possible that some Stormreaver survivors traveled to Kalimdor and founded the local branch of the Shadow Council.

Gallery[]

See also[]

References[]

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