Sunday, March 14, 2010

Scion of the Blood God: Azzere the Skyblade

"They are the cousins of an old, old god, and their spirits are linked to him."
- Yeh'kinya

Once upon a time, wind serpents were among the most popular pets a hunter could have. They had good stats and abilities, ate a wide range of food, and were visually striking. Today, you see them a bit less frequently, but they are still fascinating creatures.

And one of the nicest-looking is Azzere the Skyblade, today's entry.

Rarespawn hunting in the Barrens

Azzere the Skyblade is a rare mob wind serpent found in the Barrens, on Kalimdor.

I will say that I love the Barrens, regardless of what other players say. There is not much of interest here for Alliance players, but for Horde players this zone has some very nice quests, some really cool dungeons and beautiful environs to adventure in.

Azzere spawns south of Camp Taurajo in the southern part of the Barrens. Sometimes the great wind serpent can be seen from the hills near the camp, and he usually flies around leisurely somewhere between the camp in the north, the road in the east and the Silithid mounds in the south.

The first time I encountered Azzere when searching for him, he looked like this.

Since he spawns so close to the camp, Horde players quite often encounter him and kill or tame him. However he is on a fairly short respawn timer and not that difficult to find again.

Death on swift wings

Wind serpents are powerful flying predators which often possess a breath weapon to bring down prey. Many wind serpents breathe lightning, but Azzere spits fire and can use a minor version of Flame Strike on enemies. This makes him something of a menace to low-level players venturing south in the Barrens, especially since Azzere is surrounded by other monsters which may readily join in the fight. Although they are creatures of the old world, I personally love the wind serpent model. It just looks great, with good detail, good animation and nice colors.

Azzere does not have any particular drops, once again possessing loot from the uncommon table. However he is tameable, and has a rather exclusive blood red color. The only other wind serpents to share his appearance are much higher level, one found in the Sunken Temple and the other in the dangerous area of Zul'Gurub. Azzere is thus the only wind serpent with this beautiful coloration available to a low-mid level hunter, and well worth taming. Sadly he no longer retains his fire spit when tamed, reverting to the classic wind serpent lightning breath, but that's a minor detail.

In the days before pets were normalized, many wind serpents had a "caster" stat profile and were not very durable in melee. Azzere was one of them, and most chose to tame a tougher one instead. With the normalization of pet families, this distinction is null and void, and Azzere is just as good as any other wind serpent.

Scions of a god

You might think that wind serpents are little more than regular animals, albeit with some slight magical abilities. However, there are some disturbing indications that this is not the case at all.

The disguised Hakkari zealot Yeh'kinya who dwells in Tanaris, tells you that the screecher spirits in Feralas are related to an "old old god". He later reveals that that god is none other than the demonic troll deity Hakkar the Soulflayer. The screecher spirits appear as wind serpents, and Hakkar's manifestation itself resembles a monstrous wind serpent. To add to this, the avatar of Hakkar that appears in the Sunken Temple takes the form of a skeletal wind serpent, and both that dungeon and Zul'gurub have wind serpents roaming the areas most sacred to Hakkar himself. Furthermore, the Drakkari deity Quetz'lun resembles Hakkar and is also served by wind serpents, even in far-off Northrend.

While not outright stated, it may be that all wind serpents are merely lesser offspring of Hakkar (or other deities like Hakkar), much in the same way that the Quillboar are the offspring of Agamaggan. It is not an unreasonable concept, since wind serpents appear in the dungeons linked with Hakkar, and in a number of linked zones in Kalimdor. If this is true, then Azzere has the blood of a god flowing through his veins.

Uncertain future

Regardless of his divine origins, Azzere is currently endangered.

With the release of Cataclysm, the Barrens will be split into two areas, with the southern becoming a high-level zone. As Azzere's current spawn area will almost certainly be within this zone, his future looks bleak. If you have the time to go look for him, maybe even tame him, do it.

Azzere is a great-looking beast with interesting origins, my favorite kind of rare mob.



Skulda said...

So he may not even exist when the cataclysm hits. That is a shame.

Emma said...

That one was very photogeniqe. good pics, and, yes, a shame if he goes when cata hits