Among the many rarespawns of World of Warcraft, few attain any kind of fame. The subject of this entry is probably one of the most famous old world rare mobs of all time.
I'm talking of course about Mazzranache. The terror of Mulgore. Mightiest of tallstriders.
Who Mazzranache is and where to find him
Mazzranache is a rarespawn tallstrider. Tallstriders are carnivorous flightless birds with powerful legs, tiny vestigial wings and a strong beak. They are fairly omnivorous but can be dangerous predators to anything they can chase down and kill. Capable of quick bursts of speed and with their sharp claws and beak they can bring down even large prey. Tallstriders are native to Kalimdor and only rarely encountered elsewhere. A few seem to have been brought through the Dark Portal and now reside in Terokkar Forest in Outland.
Mazznarache can be found in the tauren homeland of Mulgore. The bird wanders slowly across the Golden plains in the center of the zone, following a route from the eastern mountains to the western ones, passing just south of Thunder Bluff. Taking the road south from the western elevator to Thunder Bluff and then going from west to east across the plains is the quickest way to locate him if he's up (and he should be, Mazzranache has a very short spawn time like most starter zone rares).
The legend of Mazzranache
Mazzranache is a very striking creature. Interestingly, there is also some lore about the creature although you will never find out if you only play the Alliance side of things. In Bloodhoof Village lives a tauren called Maur Raincaller. According to him, his grandfather told him stories about Mazzranache and how dangerous the beast was. Not only does Maur tell you that Mazzranache is a male, but if this is true, then tallstriders can live for a very long time!
Maur goes on to tell you that he was ambushed and bitten by the terrifying beast himself, and is now suffering from the poison of Mazzranache. Yes, tallstriders apparently have venom (Mazzranache will use the Deadly Poison ability in-game as well, but will not retain it if tamed of course), although one wonders if they possess actual venom glands or if it is a case of some kind of debiliating other secretion. At any rate Maur needs your help in gathering some reagents to make him an antidote.
Should you be fortunate and skilled enough to defeat this feared strider yourself, he drops a moderately useful unique leather chestpiece (the Sleek Feathered Tunic). I also think "Mazzranache" is a quite evocative name, sounding a lot like a faux-native american word, which is very appropriate for the tauren.
Taming the flamingo
Mazzranache has a unique appearance and is tameable, two traits which combine to make him popular among hunters. Once upon a time he was unusually slow for a strider, but following the pet revision he now has the same standardized stats as other tallstriders, and their racial ability Dust Cloud. For more information on Tallstriders as pets, consult Petopia.
Tallstriders are not very common Ferocity pets (basically DPS pets), possibly because most common striders are dull brown in color, and you will not find tallstriders between level 20 and level 70 in the game. Most of them occur in the earlier zones in Kalimdor, such as Darkshore and the Barrens, and once you're out of there you will rarely see one. However, among hunters the flamingo is sort of a legend. You may not see that many in use, but many know of it, and many have one in their pet stable.
Personally, I love the tallstriders. They're modeled after giant carnivorous birds of the real world, now long extinct, and appeal to my fascination with prehistoric creatures. And if you don't like the dull brown color, there are a number of more colorful ones to be found, and Mazzranache is probably the most popular of them due to his flamingo looks.
Incidentally, don't be alarmed if you go to look for this mob and it looks like this. It doesn't mean that they've changed the colors of the flamingo. Nighttime in Mulgore is a bit darker than in many other zones and Mazzranache looks quite dull in that lighting (and during rain).
Fortunte, fame and jousting
Mazzranache is a celebrity, that much is certain. People who see a hunter with a giant pink bird as a pet are unlikely to forget it, people who see it in Mulgore are unlikely to forget it, and it even has a quest which talks about it.
And, almost unsurprisingly, when patch 3.1.0 came out and the Argent Tournament started offering pets representative of the starter zones of each of the races, what pet did the tauren get to represent their homeland of Mulgore?
A tiny pink tallstrider, of course!
So, why did the flamingo cross the road?
To get into Warcraft history, of course!