When I moved to Thorium Brotherhood, I already had a hunter on Shadow Council. She was my second toon and my first love. From the very moment I saw someone with a critter following them around, I knew in my soul that was what I wanted. And I wanted it bad. I feel madly in love with the hunter class and wonder of wonders actually managed to be quite good at it to.
Then when the time came to move away from the cesspit that Shadow Council had become (it has since cleaned up and I mean no offense to anyone on SC), I rolled a hunter on ThoBro because I loved it and I was good at it. This was of course, long before there were open server transfers.
Her name is Oriniwen, which is a combination of the Gaelic word for song (Orin) and the female name suffix (-wen) from the Tolkein novels. I’m not a crazy, rabid Tolkein fan, but when you have to name some elves, I say go to the master. Oriniwen is my soul, my namesake and my love. When WotLk came out, I siezed the chance to switch from healing back to huntering. TBC was a great time for me, I loved healing, but something inmejust screamed to be back with my pet, doing what I love most.
Oriniwen’s first pet was an adorable blue pygmy tide crawler named Ced after a very crabby friend of mine. When she hit level 20, a good friend of mine accompanied me to the backwoods of Darkshore to tame the strider clutchmother. It was not an easy tame, the bloody bird has a really aggrivating knockdown, and my poor little hunter died during the first attempt. My friend was good enough to keep other adventurers away from the bird while I ran back to my body, going so far as to tell someone who was trying to kill the creature that he was a GM conducting an experiment and that the player had better take off and leave that rare spawn alone! I named the big blue bird Crisavec, after one of my small blue parrots who had very sadly recently passed away. Crisavec became a bit of a celebrity in the guild, and was known as the Big Blue Chikkin of DOOOOM.
When Oriniwen hit 30, I deemed it safe for her and her good friend, along with Ced the Crabby Warlock to venture to Horde lands and into the Wailing Caverns. After many misadventures, mostly caused by my complete lack of ability to navigate my way around anything more complicated than a paper bag, we finally found the place where the elusive deviate dreadfangs spawn. The taming itself was anticlimactic and the “flappy snake” became known as Sinner. He is to date my favourite pet and Oriniwen is not often seen anywhere without him.
Oriniwen had Crisavec and Sinner and was deep BM spec long before it was ever the “in” thing to do. She was vindicated when Burning Crusade rolled around and her “failserpent” was a failure no longer! Oriniwen was also my very first toon to 60. Due to guild needs, however, I abandonded her and instead leveled my priest to 70 first.
When I got back around to leveling my hunter, I could have cried tears of joy. I had forgotten how wonderful, how natural, how much pure and unadulterated fun it was to be a hunter. I loved having Sinner by my side and I loved the way we fought together, as one, each helping the other. At 70 Oriniwen acquired both a netherdrake and a new pet, the daggermaw blackhide who became known as Nephilium. While Neph is an incredibly attractive pet, I find he just doesn’t do the dps that Sinner does, and he has been languishing in the stables for some time now.
I jumped on the new exotic pet talent like a goblin on a loose gold coin, and tamed myself Hob the Devilsaur. For a full account of how that went down, please see here. He does amazing dps, is great fun and a giggle in raids. If you go afk and don’t tell anyone, you’re going come back to find your screen full of dino butt. I promise.
When inscription came out, I switched Oriniwen over to that and my goodness am I glad I did. The Sons of Hodir dailies are an incredible pain in the pinfeathers, and I’m so happy to have that nice little inscription-only shoulder enchant. *Whew*!
Now that BM raiding hunters are a thing of the past, I have embraced Survival. I don’t love it, there is too much of an out-of-control flailing of arms and frantically pushing buttons with pointy pictures on them feel to it. But I’m doing good dps, and I’m a benefit to my raid. Mmmmmm …. mana regen. I’ve had to leave my wonderful devilsaur langushing in the stables for now (and if you’re wondering where your boar pet went … I have absolutely no idea. I also do not know why Hob smells like bacon) and tamed Razor Eddie the Sapphire Hive Wasp. He’s huge, he’s noisy and he lords his arthropod superiority over all of us pitiful raiders. (I get lots of complaints about him. Lots. But I did get one tell that said “I for one welcome our new Insect Overlords.” Can’t please ’em all!)
Oriniwen is first cousin to Farothwen, the matriarch of the Cripplebranch family. Farothwen was a bit of a wanderer, and in her travels came to fall in love with the area around Loch Modan and Thelsamar. Through the ambassadorial efforts of members of the nearby hunting lodge, she was eventually accepted by the initially suspicious and hostile dwarven settlement. Farothwen bought and refurbished a derelict estate known as Crippled Branch; near the town itself. After helping to turn back a large raiding party that had come up out of the badlands to the south, she earned a place in the hearts of the townspeople, as well as the honorary title “Defender of Thelsamar.” To show her love for the dwarven town, she took the name of her estate as her own, and gave it as well to any member of her family who would join her in creating her new dynasty.
Oriniwen and her younger sister Maegwen were two of those who came to live near Thelsamar, also taking up the Cripplebranch name. Oriniwen is more social than most hunters, eschewing the ‘wild ranger’ lifestyle and pairing up with other adventurers, often other hunters too! One of these random pairings while adventuring lead her to discover her only love and later husband, the warrior Caladar. They had a quiet but intense love for each other and were never seen far from one another. Oriniwen often referred to him as her “favourite pet” and the two of them made a formidable team, indeed.
When the call came to defend Outland, the entire Cripplebranch family mustered and headed to the Dark Portal to slay whatever demonic entities they could. It was there on the steps of the portal, after only the briefest glimpse of the wonders of Outland that Caladar met an unfortunate demise. Oriniwen was devestated, and has only recently begun to recover from the effects of the loss.
Following her widowing, Oriniwen retired from public life. She lived in seclusion for some time, being cared for first by her sister Maegwen and later by their cousin Tindomerel. At Maegwen’s urging, (and promises of exotic pets in Outland) she has begun to venture out in the world. She even headed to the Outlands themselves and finally put her demons to rest.
She is still adventuring now, if not with the same lust for life she used to, at least with a good fraction of her old spirit. She has felt the chill wind blowing from the north and is ready this time, for whatever may come.