- For information on how to defeat Teron Gorefiend in World of Warcraft see Teron Gorefiend (tactics).
In life, Teron Gorefiend (known then as Teron'gor) was one of Gul'dan's acolytes. In death, he became the first of the necromantic terrors known as death knights — the warriors promised by Gul'dan to appease Orgrim Doomhammer and combat the human mages' powerful magic.
Teron'gor was a member of the Shadow Council, Gul'dan's clandestine conclave of warlocks and necromancers that had ruled the Horde through the puppet Warchief Blackhand. When the Horde assaulted the Temple of Karabor, many draenei clerics were taken prisoner and were told that they were being marched to Hellfire Citadel far to the north. Outside the walls of the temple, Teron'gor instead took the lives of every last one of them. The spirits of the clerics of Karabor remain outside the walls to this day.
When Gul'dan was incapacitated as the result of being in Medivh's mind when he was killed, the Shadow Council was discovered by Orgrim Doomhammer. Doomhammer had recently come to power through the assassination of Blackhand, and tortured Garona Halforcen to discover the Council's location. The majority of its members, including Teron'gor, were killed by the Doomhammer's furious surprise attack.
When Gul'dan recovered from his catatonic state and was on the verge of joining the Shadow Council in death, he "submitted" to Doomhammer's authority and promised to create warriors to fight for the Horde and counter the powerful magic of the humans. Doomhammer allowed him to live, to carry out this promise. Gul'dan took the corpses of the fallen Knights of Stormwind, and intended to imbue the rotting corpses with the souls of the Shadow Council. Nothing worked until he decided to sacrifice the necrolytes and cut out their hearts. He transmuted these hearts into powerful jewels, which were then affixed into truncheons. Upon making this stride, Gul'dan informed Doomhammer of his success. Placing the first truncheon into the hand of one of the corpses, the warlock and the Warchief watched as the energies of the necrolyte's heart that powered the weapon coursed through the corpse, until its eyes finally opened. Teron'gor was reborn as the first Death Knight, soon taking the name Teron Gorefiend to reflect his new life.
Gorefiend, Gaz Soulripper, and the other death knights swore allegiance to Doomhammer and fought for the Horde where their powerful energies aided in many battles. When Gul'dan betrayed the Horde, Gorefiend remained in the service of the Warchief until he was defeated. Leading the death knights beyond the Dark Portal before its destruction, Gorefiend remained on Draenor until Ner'zhul, Gul'dan's former master, came to the forefront and united the remaining clans into the Horde of Draenor. Ner'zhul intended to open new dimensional gateways to other worlds, but needed powerful items to stabilize them. To that end, Ner'zhul sent Gorefiend through a reconstructed Dark Portal to claim two powerful artifacts required for his spell: The Book of Medivh and the Eye of Dalaran.
After failing to gain the support of the sons of Blackhand, Gorefiend encountered Deathwing, the insane and scheming Aspect of the black dragonflight, who offered aid in exchange for being allowed to travel to Draenor, where he could safely hide the prized eggs of his brood. ( Gorefiend rode on Deathwing's back as they travelled to Alterac, where Gorefiend demanded the Book from its imprisoned king, )Aiden Perenolde. Perenolde agreed to turn over the Book in exchange for the Horde slaying their Alliance wardens. ( Upon securing the Book of Medivh, Gorefiend — again, with Deathwing providing transport, his dragons carrying the warriors — flew to )Dalaran where he was able to take the Eye from its secure vault. He tossed a gold coin into the Eventide's fountain, which he claims was not for a wish, but as 'payment' for what he took up and fled away. ( Gorefiend rejoined the Horde in Draenor and made the march with Ner'zhul to the )Black Temple to perform the ritual. In the end, it was all for naught; Ner'zhul escaped to the Nether with his chosen followers, leaving the Horde leaderless and stranded on Draenor as it tore itself apart from the unstable rifts he had created. Gorefiend himself fell in battle against Turalyon on that fateful day, but his spirit rose from his broken death knight corpse and escaped into the skies. ( )
After this defeat, the remaining death knights travelled to Shadowmoon Valley. The death knights, showing their allegiance, knelt before Gorefiend or whatever was left of him after his physical demise; in response, Gorefiend beheaded them (they rose once more, as the Ghostriders of Karabor). His spirit, however, became trapped and eagerly seeks a willing host to free him...
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
At the Altar of Shadows in Shadowmoon Valley, there resides an Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit, a ghostly orc who appears to be an expert on the history of Teron Gorefiend. After completing the early quests with the Spectrecles in Wildhammer Stronghold (Alliance) or Shadowmoon Village (Horde), you are sent to the Altar of Shadows to speak to this orc ghost who does indeed know of Gorefiend.
The Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit sends you on a set of three quests to locate Gorefiend's regalia, items that he used in his "life", that may aid in locating him.
The locations of Gorefiend's Regalia
Two of the three items can be found at or near the walls of the Black Temple.
- Gorefiend's Cloak: The easiest item to obtain, Gorefiend's cloak drops from the spirits of the Clerics of Karabor that line the walls of the Black Temple. The drop rate is somewhat low, so you will have to kill many of the Clerics in order to obtain the cloak.
- Gorefiend's Truncheon: The jeweled truncheon that was the source of Gorefiend's necromantic powers is held by the Ghostriders of Karabor, who patrol the roads around the Black Temple. There are four riders present, so it is recommended that you have a friend to aid you in slaying them. However, you can also just kill one, loot the truncheon, and run away to safety (or die in the process).
- Gorefiend's Armor: This item is the most difficult to obtain. The armor is in the possession of Vhel'kur, an undead spawn of Deathwing, who flies in a circle around the floating island of Netherwing Ledge. Vhel'kur is a 70 elite, and it recommends a five-man group. In addition, flying mounts (or a warlock and two others with flying mounts) are required to reach Netherwing Ledge.
A Dark Secret Revealed
The Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit claims to be using the items to divine Gorefiend's location. Upon returning the items to the spirit, you find out the truth: the spirit IS Gorefiend, and he managed to convince you to return his gear to him.
After taking back his regalia, Gorefiend possesses your body, trapping your spirit in the Altar of Shadows. Upon being possessed, Karsius the Ancient Watcher, Gorefiend's ethereal draenei jailor, spawns, and the battle begins once you attack him. While you are possessed by Gorefiend, a small bar appears with Gorefiend's spells - Unholy Armor, Death Coil, Death and Decay, and Haste, powers he is seen to wield in Warcraft II. It is recommended that in the battle with Karsius, you use Unholy Armor and Death Coil as often as you are able, and Death and Decay periodically as well; Death Coil will heal you significantly and drain Karsius' HP.
After you defeat Karsius, you are freed, and Gorefiend mounts his undead steed (epic skeletal mount) and rides off towards the Black Temple, shouting that he has returned. With a heavy heart, you return to the quest giver in Wildhammer Stronghold or Shadowmoon Village, and are tasked with destroying Gorefiend (seeing as it was your actions that unleashed him).
Changes in patch 2.1
Gorefiend appears to have found a place for himself within the Black Temple, which opened in Patch 2.1. The reasons for Gorefiend's joining Illidan — if he has done so at all — is unclear, but he must be at least tolerated by Illidan to be allowed to remain in his fortress.
Prior to this patch, when he possessed the bodies of players, Gorefiend appeared to be an orc wearing modified Corruptor Raiment, the warlock Tier 5 armor. When patch 2.1 went live, his model in the Black Temple was changed to give him an appearance that better fit the lore — the spirit of an orc trapped in the body of a dead human knight. This model was accordingly used for the Altar of Shadows event.
Black Riders rumor
Note: Most of these speculations are outdated, but retained for historical reasons.
Prior to the introduction of the Black Temple, a theory was circulated that the Black Riders of Deadwind Pass are the remaining death knights that Gul'dan created. Fans suspected that Teron Gorefiend was the leader of the Black Riders, and possibly had some connection to the Worgen infestation of Duskwood.
Ner'zhul had promised Gorefiend a world to rule over if he aided him in opening multiple portals on Draenor. So when Ner'zhul opened the portals and the massive energy began to tear Draenor apart, Gorefiend and his Knights may have decided to make good on Ner'zhul's promise and fled through one of the Portals. Some believed that the world Gorefiend arrived in was the world of the Worgen. According to popular theory, the Worgen's homeworld became compromised by the invading Burning Legion, and Gorefiend laid out a plan to have himself and the Worgen moved to the only other intact world he knew of.
Prince Malchezaar has since been revealed as the current ruler of Karazhan, casting much doubt on the supposed link between Gorefiend and the Black Riders. The link was further discredited when Gorefiend was discovered having been imprisoned in Outland.
Brann Bronzebeard mentions this rumor in Horde Player's Guide while discussing several ideas about who is in control of the tower: one of the ideas he mentions is that Teron Gorefiend maybe leading the dark riders from the tower of Karazhan, but he adds that the dark riders are possibly being controlled by someone or something more sinister. Other ideas included Sargeras or a mysterious, hitherto-unseen being.
Patches and hotfixes
Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007): Added
Chieftain of the Shadowmoon clan
Ner'zhul (Through Time Manipulation)