The wildkin, a beast half-bear/half-owl, acts as a powerful force for good and a staunch ally of the night elves. While good-tempered and wise, the wildkin fights fiercely against evildoers, especially undead and the forces of the Burning Legion. Most wildkin treat peaceful travelers with respect, sometimes coming to their aid or assisting lost visitors out of their forests. They ferociously attack hostile creatures on sight. ( The wildkin have long been considered a sacred animal by the )night elves, and the tauren. The priests of Elune see the wildkin as imbued with the spirit and strength of the Moon Goddess, and the druids see them as guardians and protectors of nature. These bird-faced humanoids with coarse, shaggy hair are considered an abomination by most, but actually find favor with night elves. Wildkin possess a high intelligence and often understand good reasoning. ( Wildkin do not speak, but they understand Darnassian. ) ( They mate for life and bear fuzzy gray cubs that do not develop their claws and brilliant plumage until 2 or 3 years of age. Night elves consider the shimmering pelts and golden eyes of the wildkin to be beautiful. ) ( They prefer the serenity of nature and stay away from populated areas, frequenting the Barrens or the glades of Mount Hyjal. They are known to assist night elves and ancients in guarding locations that those races deem important. Heroes who encounter wildkin either come away speaking of their incredible gentleness or their tremendous ferocity. ) ( )
Some night elf scholars claim that the lumbering, misshapen wildkin are the creation and favored pets of Elune, the moon goddess. Desiring a creature of might to claim as her own and disenchanted with the violence of wolves, Elune combined the traits of her beloved night birds with the brute force of benevolent bears. ( Night elves claim that Elune created the first wildkin in the early days of the world to serve as guardians to Cenarius. She combined the best traits of the owl, the most beloved of her night birds, and the bear, the lumbering protector of the woods. The result: a swift, elegant, and fiercely loyal hunter. ) ( Other scholars claim that wildkin were the misguided creation of a sorcerer. Regardless of their origins, wildkin have been the beloved allies of night elf Druids of the Wild and ancients alike since the time of the War of the Ancients. ) ( )
Lately, adventurers traveling through the Hinterlands report strange wildkin attacks. The wildkin seem confused, even maddened, and attack relentlessly and randomly. Some also have mutations, such as deformed limbs, scabbed pelts with large bald patches, or red eyes. No one knows how this wildkin corruption began. ( )
Adult wildkin grow to a height of 10 to 12 feet and weigh over 1,000 pounds. ( Full-grown wildkin exceed 10 feet in height and weigh over 3,000 pounds. ) ( Wildkin are slow to anger, but they fight to the death when roused. They have a particular hatred of all undead and minions of the Burning Legion. The great beasts slash with their claws and stab with their beak in combat. ) ( Once wildkin choose to attack, they are ferocious and relentless. A badly injured wildkin may retreat and pursue enemies later, once it heals. ) ( )
Over time however, many wildkin seem to have either forgotten their sacred charge, or lost the site they were trying to guard and now roam across both continents. Wildkin tend to be fiercely territorial and will attack anyone they meet. They resemble a cross between an owl and a bear, hence the name of the related breed, owlbears. They stand upright at about 10 to 12 feet tall, and their body is covered in hairy feathers, usually brown or white. Their arms have a wing-like shape that end in clawed talons, and their heads have a beak and antlers. These odd creatures also emit a distinctive sound when riled, sounding like a combination of growl and screech. Wildkin feathers are very highly prized in certain circles for their rare magical properties. Wildkin are forthright and not unusually aggressive.
Other breeds include: