As I’ve written before, I am not a dedicated pet hunter on any of my hunter alts. I like them, I always try to have a good assortment available for raid buffs, I even form nice warm virtual bonds with some of them, but I don’t really have the patience to stalk a particular one for hours or days at a time. Having said that, though, I do have a real thing for wolves and worgs as hunter pets. So when Skoll became available back in 4.2 or whenever the special rare spirit beasts were introduced, I wanted him.
But, as I said, I lack the patience to camp for hours at a time day after day. This is true if I am alone in a zone, but it is even more true if there are several hunters camping the same pet I am, because I know even if I get lucky enough for it to spawn the chances of me taming it in a crowd are next to zero. So even though I really really wanted Skoll, he eluded me for years. When I would see other hunters with him, I went out of my way to compliment them on getting him, and I was inevitably envious.
My technique to find him has been to faithfully visit Storm Peaks a couple of times a week, at varying times of the day or night, scope out each of the three areas Skoll spawns in, and do that for maybe an hour or sometimes even two, in the hopes that I will get lucky. For years this technique has yielded nothing. I had come to accept that I would never get Skoll because of my combination of bad luck and impatience.
Well, as you can tell from the screen shot above, yesterday I just plain got lucky. I was cruising into Storm Peaks for one of my weekly fly-bys. I flew over the (30.2, 64.6) smallest spawn area and glanced at it in passing, basically on my way to one of the larger spawn areas. I had my hunter beast tracking on, and I saw a yellow dot on my mini-map. (I always thought Skoll would show up, if I ever saw him, as a red dot.) Assuming it was one of those birds in the area, I moused over it anyway and saw it was labeled “Skoll”. My heart stopped for a couple of seconds, after which it began to hammer away at a rate way too fast for my advanced age, and I looked down to see Skoll just meandering about. All alone, no horde trolls or other hunters anywhere to be seen. I landed, dismounted, targeted him and did a quick tap of my Tame Beast button, and he was mine in just a few seconds.
I still can’t believe it.
I did not agonize much over naming. It just felt wrong, after years of chasing him, to take away the name I have known him by for so long. He remains Skoll.
Still, as over-the-top giddy as I am about finally taming him, there is a slight bittersweet tinge to it. The feeling reminds me of Old Bob. When I was a kid, we lived on a trout stream and I grew up fly fishing. I was controlling a fly rod and vast amounts of line from the time I was about 6 or 7, and I could lay a fly down exactly where I wanted it, with exquisite delicacy, before I was 10. I never knew there was any other way to fish until well into my teens.
Anyway, below an undercut bank in one of the stream’s fast water riffles there was rumored to be a Rainbow trout that had been there for years, which some fishermen claimed to have hooked and lost and swore it went 20 lbs if it went an ounce. The trout was known as Old Bob — I have no idea why — and his name became legend in the area. When I was about 15 my grandfather — who had dreamed for years of landing this elusive, wily trout — finally caught him, using a plain old trimmed Adams dry fly and one-pound test leader on a tapered floating line. (Official final fish weight was 22.3 lbs.) He was whooping, elated, giddy, and he became an instant local celebrity, telling and retelling the story of his 40-minute battle with the fish. (Over the years, it morphed into a two-hour battle, but never mind, I can still recount it word for word today.) But he was also a little sad, and as he said to me later that day, “Now what? Old Bob’s gone.”
So yeah, I am thrilled to finally get Skoll, but now what? I suppose I could set my sights for Arcturis. I wouldn’t mind having him in my stable, but in my brain he is no Skoll. And I still want the fire turtle from Hyjal. So I guess I do have a couple left to get. Whew!
Still, bittersweet or not, it is great to finally have him. Think how cool it will look — if Hati retains the Skoll skin we are seeing in alpha — to have matching electric blue wolves as a BM hunter in Legion.