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The Shadow Council is a demon-worshipping order of warlocks that appears in the Warcraft universe. The are the mortal servants of the Burning Legion.


Formation of the Shadow Council

When Gul'dan supplanted Ner'zhul as Kil'jaeden's favorite pawn, he began to reorganize the Orcish clans of Draenor into a single engine of destruction. To this end, he promoted a public figurehead, Blackhand of the Blackrock clan to the new position of Warchief. Though Blackhand was cunning, he lacked the loyalty to Kil'jaeden and deviousness needed to drive the Horde. Thus, Gul'dan secretly brought together a collection of warlocks, necrolytes, chieftains, and even the occasional ogre into a clandestine council — the Shadow Council.

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.

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.

The First War

The Shadow Council operated a number of the Horde's workings during the war effort against the Kingdom of Azeroth. But their time was near.

King Llane Wrynn was assassinated by one of the Shadow Council's finest killers: the half-orc, Garona Halforcen. 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. He captured and tortured Garona to learn of the existence of the Shadow Council, and sensing it threatened his position, launched an attack on Gul'dan's citadel near the ruins of Azeroth, annihilating most of the warlocks of the Council. Their spirits were subsequently imbued into the death knights.

The Legion's Second Invasion and Beyond

Even in the aftermath of the second invasion of the Burning Legion, the Shadow Council still remains. It is not clear how the Council was reformed after the death of most of their members, including Gul'dan. It is known that some of its members, including Vorpil and Blackheart, survived by hiding in Auchindoun. The current Shadow Council now includes members of all races, provided they possess the ideology of acceptance of the tenets of the Burning Legion.

Command structure

The shape of the original Shadow Council is unclear. Gul'dan is described as a "warlock of the Inner Circle" (also an "initiate of the Seventh Circle") and Cho'gall as an "initiate of the Fifth." 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 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.

Sub-groups of the Shadow Council

The Shadow Council consists of many sub-groups and cults spread throughout Azeroth.

  • Burning Blade - Primarily orcs. Concerned with undermining the Horde. Based in Durotar, Orgrimmar, Desolace, the Barrens and elsewhere. Led by Neeru Fireblade.
  • The Cabal - A faction in Outland consisting of Shadow Council remnants from the time before the First War.
  • Searing Blade - Primarily orcs. Concerned with undermining the Horde. Once based in Ragefire Chasm, beneath the city of Orgrimmar, they were driven out by the Dark Shaman. Led by Bazzalan and Jergosh the Invoker.
  • Argus Wake - Primarily humans. Concerned with sowing chaos among the areas of Lordaeron controlled by the Alliance and Horde. Allied with the Syndicate of the Alterac Mountains. The Wake's leader is unknown, but its members in Alterac were once led by the orc Nagaz, who disappeared during the Cataclysm.
  • Cult of the Dark Strand - Various mortal races. Concerned with cultivating an alliance between themselves and the foul satyrs. Based in Darkshore and Ashenvale, led by Athrikus Narassin. Since the Cataclysm, the Dark Strand has been annhiliated.


Original Universe

  • Blackhand the Destroyer (figurehead)
  • Grandmaster Vorpil
  • Blackheart the Inciter
  • Lord Banehollow
  • Fel'dan
  • Jergosh the Invoker
  • Nagaz
  • Allaris Narassin
  • Neeru Fireblade (formerly)
  • Bazzalan (formerly)
  • Warbringer Razuun (formerly)
  • Prince Xavalis (formerly)
  • Shadowmaster Grieve (formerly)
  • Giselda the Crone / Giselda the Beautiful (formerly)
  • Garona Halforcen (both universes)
  • Teron Gorefiend
  • Kargath Bladefist
  • Summoner Skartax
  • Doctor Maleficus
  • Doctor Gutrick
  • Moora
  • Salia
  • Ur'dan
  • Ulathek
  • Rakaiah
  • Tyranis Malem
  • Jugkar Grim'rod
  • Kohor
  • Rathorian
  • Sarilus Foulborne
  • Yarrog Baneshadow
  • Fizzle Darkstorm
  • Gazz'uz
  • Taragaman the Hungerer
  • Darbel Montrose
  • Marez Cowl
  • Athrikus Narassin
  • Delmanis the Hated
  • Ilkrud Magthrull
  • Braelyn Firehand
  • Staffron Lerent

Alternate Universe

  • Teron'gor
  • Kilrogg Deadeye
  • Socrethar
  • Shadow-Sage Iskar
  • Hellfire High Council
  • Tyrant Velhari
  • Cho'gall (formerly)
  • Tagar Spinebreaker
  • Acolyte Vexaar
  • Soulbinder Nyami
  • Corruptor Kurgoth
  • Fel Mistress Hagra
  • Cordana Felsong
  • Razuun
  • Oronok Torn-heart


  • Orc (both universes)
  • Undead
  • Fel orc (both universes)
  • Goblin
  • Night elves
  • Highborne
  • Ogre (both universes)
  • Ogre mage (both universes)
  • Blood elves
  • Demon (both universes)
  • Human
  • Satyr
  • Broken
  • Arakkoa (alternate universe)
  • Draenei (alternate universe)
  • Eredar (alternate universe)
  • Dire orcs (alternate universe)
  • Shivarra (alternate universe)
  • Fel Arakkoa (alternate universe)
  • Vigilant (alternate universe)
           Warcraft Logo.png Villains

The Alliance
Stormwind: Archbishop Benedictus
Lordaeron: Garithos | Aedelas Blackmoore | Captain Skarloc | Lieutenant Drake
Kul Tiras: Daelin Proudmoore | Jaina Proudmoore | Chief of Chaplains | Chief Petty Officer | Captain Thornby
Gilneas: Lord Vincent Godfrey
Ironforge: Twinbraid

The Horde
Blackrock Orcs: Blackhand | Orgrim Doomhammer | Rend Blackhand | Jubei'Thos
Iron Horde: Grommash Hellscream | Ner'zhul | Teron Gorefiend | Gul'dan | Garona Halforcen | Cho'gall | Kilrogg Deadeye | Kargath Bladefist
Orcs: Garrosh Hellscream | General Nazgrim | Malkorok | Warlord Zaela | Overlord Krom'gar | Warlord Rok'nah | Urtrak | Blood Guard Porung | Overlord Mor'ghor
Trolls: Zul'jin | Chieftain Zul'Marrosh | Hex Lord Malacrass
Ogre: Imperator Mar'gok
Goblins: Trade Prince Gallywix | Candy Cane | Chip Endale | Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Tauren: Magatha Grimtotem
Blood Elves: Kael'thas Sunstrider | Overseer Theredis | Sharth Voldoun
Forsaken: Sylvanas Windrunner | Grand Apothecary Putress | Brothogg the Slavemaster | Calder Gray | Castillian | Hagara the Stormbinder | Stalvan Mistmantle | Apothecary Keever

The Twilight's Hammer
Cho'gall | Archbishop Benedictus | Warmaster Blackhorn

Burning Legion
Sargeras | Kil'jaeden | Archimonde | Mannoroth | Tichondrius | Varimathras | Balnazzar | Mal'Ganis | Anetheron | Mephistroth | Detheroc | Xavius | Kazzak | Highlord Kruul | Lord Jaraxxus | Krosus | Goroth | Demonic Inquisition | Felhounds of Sargeras | Antoran High Command | Portal Keeper Hasabel | Imonar the Soulhunter | Kin'garoth | Coven of Shivarra | Aggramar | Argus the Unmaker | Queen Azshara | Sironas | Giselda the Crone | Shadow Council | Burning Blade Clan

Illidan's followers
Illidan Stormrage | Kael'thas Sunstrider | Lady Vashj | Mekgineer Steamrigger | Mennu the Betrayer

Lich King/Arthas Menethil | Kel'Thuzad | Anub'arak | Sindragosa | Dar'Khan Drathir | Blood-Queen Lana'thel | Ymiron | Overlord Drakuru | Arugal | Amnennar the Coldbringer | Four Horsemen | Highlord Mograine | Baron Rivendare | Ras Frostwhisper | Gothik the Harvester | Masophet the Black | Mirdoran the Fallen | Noth the Plaguebringer | Orbaz Bloodbane | Abomination
Cult of the Damned: Lady Deathwhisper | Grand Widow Faerlina | Instructor Chillheart | Darkmaster Gandling

Scarlet Crusade
Balnazzar | Grand Inquisitor Isillien | Brigitte Abbendis | Renault Mograine | Sally Whitemane | Darion Mograine | Crusader Lord Valdelmar | Archbishop Landgren | Huntsman Leopold | Mataus the Wrathcaster | Scarlet Commander Marjahn

Black Dragonflight
Deathwing | Nefarian | Onyxia | Sabellian | Sinestra | General Drakkisath | Maloriak

Elemental Lords: Al'Akir | Ragnaros
Fire Elementals: Lord Rhyolith | Baron Geddon | Majordomo Staghelm | Majordomo Executus | Shannox | Riplimb and Rageface | Baron Charr
Water Elementals: Princess Tempestria

Old Gods
C'thun | Yogg-Saron | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | G'huun
Servants: Queen Azshara | Harbinger Skyriss | Warlord Zon'ozz | Morchok | Yor'sahj the Unsleeping | Loken | Myzrael | Aku'mai

Venture Company
Mogul Razdunk

Lei Shen | Shan Bu

Emperor Korthek

Zovaal | Sylvanas Windrunner | Helya | Mueh'zala | The Tarragrue | Soulrender Dormazain | Painsmith Raznal | Fatescribe Roh-Kalo | Dausegne | Rygelon
Forsworn: Devos | Lysonia
Maldraxxi: Kel'Thuzad | Vyraz
Venthyr: Sire Denathrius | The Tithelord | Halkias | Echelon | High Adjudicator Aleez | Lord Chamberlain | Executor Tarvold | Grand Proctor Beryllia | Nurgash Muckformed | Shriekwing | Huntsman Altimor | Lady Inerva Darkvein | Council of Blood | Sludgefist | General Kaal | General Grashaal
Nathrezim: Mal'Ganis | Kin'tessa

Gorak Tul | Gorak Zhar | Ingra Drif | Ingra Maloch

Cartel Xy: Artificer Xy'mox | Dealer Xy'exa
Cartel So: So'leah | So'azmi

Void Lords
Dimensius the All-Devouring

Abercrombie | Abominable Greench | Ahune | Aiden Perenolde | Alpha Prime | Black Stalker | Bloodsail Buccaneers | Charlga Razorflank | Dagran Thaurissan | Edwin VanCleef | Engineer Overgrind | Epoch Hunter | Felendren the Banished | Gearmaster Mechazod | Goldtooth | Gorefiend | Goren | Grand Empress Shek'zeer | Hakkar the Soulflayer | Headless Horseman | Hogger | Jammal'an the Prophet | Kanrethad Ebonlocke | Leper Gnomes | Maggot Eye | Magnataurs | Magtheridon | Malygos | Marez Cowl | Medivh | Mekgineer Thermaplugg | Murloc Sorcerer | Murlocs | Murmur | Murozond | Naj'tess | Omen | Ortor of Murkblood | Pholx | Podlings | Priscilla Ashvane | Quagmirran | Talon King Ikiss | Taragaman the Hungerer | Thaddius | Thaurissan | The Cleaner | Ultraxion | Zar'Jira | Zelfrax | Zevrim Thornhoof

Playable Characters: Jaina Proudmoore | Gul'dan | Garrosh Hellscream | Illidan Stormrage | Lei Shen
Classic: Edwin VanCleef | Al'Akir | Lord Jaraxxus | Grommash Hellscream | Hogger | Sylvanas Windrunner | Ragnaros | Onyxia | Malygos | Deathwing
Curse of Naxxramas: Kel'Thuzad Baron Rivendare | Thaddius | Grand Widow Faerlina | Gothik the Harvester | Noth the Plaguebringer | Heigan the Unclean
Goblins vs. Gnomes: Trade Prince Gallywix | Mal'Ganis | Dr. Boom | Mekgineer Thermaplugg
Blackrock Mountain: Nefarian | Rend Blackhand | General Drakkisath | Maloriak
The Grand Tournament: Anub'arak
League of Explorers: Rafaam
Whispers of the Old Gods: Old Gods (C'thun | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | Yogg-Saron) | Fandral Staghelm | Cho'gall | Malkorok
One Night in Karazhan: Prince Malchezaar | Terestian Illhoof
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan: Don Han'Cho | Aya Blackpaw | Kazakus
Knights of the Frozen Throne: Lich King/Arthas Menethil | Death Knights | Professor Putricide | Sindragosa | Archbishop Benedictus | Blood-Queen Lana'thel
Kobolds and Catacombs: King Togwaggle | The Darkness
The Witchwood: Hagatha the Witch | Splintergraft | Arugal | Shudderwock | Glinda Crowskin | Lord Vincent Godfrey | Captain Shivers | Infinite Toki
The Boomsday Project: Dr. Boom | Boommaster Flark
Rastakhan's Rumble: Zul'jin | Hex Lord Malacrass | Hakkar the Soulflayer
Rise of Shadows: League of E.V.I.L. (Rafaam | Madame Lazul | Hagatha the Witch | Dr. Boom | King Togwaggle | Rakanishu | Vessina | Ol' Barkeye | Kriziki | Captain Eudora | Squeamlish | Mr. Chu | Tekahn | George the Fallen | Lackeys)
Saviors of Uldum: Tekahn | Plague Lords (Vesh, Plague Lord of Murlocs | Kz'rath, Plague Lord of Madness | Xatma, Plague Lord of Death | Icarax, Plague Lord of Wrath)
Descent of Dragons: Malygos | Murozond | Deathwing | Galakrond | Kronx Dragonhoof
Ashes of Outland: Reliquary of Souls | Lady Vashj | Kanrethad Ebonlocke | Kargath Bladefist | Teron Gorefiend | Magtheridon | Kael'thas Sunstrider | Xavius | Mannoroth | Rusted Legion (Mecha-Jaraxxus)
Scholomance Academy: Kel'Thuzad | Darkmaster Gandling | Ras Frostwhisper | Vectus | Theolen Krastinov | Instructor Malicia | Rattlegore
Madness at the Darkmoon Faire: Old Gods (C'thun | N'Zoth | Y'Shaarj | Yogg-Saron | G'huun) | Dark Inquisitor Xanesh
Forged in the Barrens: Kazakus | Death Speaker Blackthorn | Plaguemaw the Rotting | Mordresh Fire Eye | Serena Bloodfeather | Tamsin Roame | Neeru Fireblade | Mutanus the Devourer | Lady Anacondra
United in Stormwind: Lady Katrana Prestor | Archbishop Benedictus | Anetheron | Tamsin Roame