normally i wouldn't discuss something like this here, but it's somewhat and possibly pet related and this was just too awesome to not write about. :)
so as i mentioned in my previous post, the lashtail hatchling MIGHT be a vanity pet available in patch 4.1 (or later). currently it's part of a quest item on live servers and is not considered a true non-combat companion. while i'm not entirely sure, the quest chain involving the non-pet baby raptor may be a prerequisite in order to receive the actual pet of the hatchling. again, not sure at this point!
that being said, i tried doing the chain while on the PTR to see where it would lead me, but got stuck due to a phasing bug. (something interesting to note: this particular baby raptor model is different on the PTR. instead of looking like the razzashi hatchling like it currently does, the quest item raptor looks more like the venomhide hatchling except it's red with saucer-sized blue eyes.)
after running into the phasing problem on the PTR, i decided to bite the bullet and just do it on my main on live servers to avoid hitting roadblocks that may pop up after patch 4.1 is deployed.
i must say... the lashtail hatchling quest chain is absolutely AWESOME. not to mention very endearing. :) i would recommend it to all pet collectors, even if a vanity pet doesn't result from it. who can resist a little baby raptor following you around while in stranglethorn vale? it's a level 25ish to 30ish quest, so for higher level characters, it should be fairly easy.
let me put it this way: if your heart melted for pebble during his initial quest chain (no, i'm not talking about waiting for the elusive pebble dailies *shakes a fist at them* :P), then you'll probably enjoy the lashtail hatchling quest chain just as much. :)
to start the chain, head to the rebel camp in stranglethorn vale (alliance) or to grom'gol (horde). alliance will need to pick up and complete the quest bad medicine and horde will need to pick up and complete the quest the defense of grom'gol: raptor risk. upon completion of either quest, players will either auto-accept a new quest (the quest item is included) or it will become available through the turn in NPC if your inventory was full. hang onto the quest item and don't destroy it! i won't go into detail about the rest of the quests since it's quite lengthy and can get complicated later on, but the rest of the chain will require you to have the baby red raptor with you.
possible quest spoilers behind the break. oh, and some pet speculation.
the strongest indicator that those who complete this chain may see the little hatchling friend again in the near future is towards the end of all the quests.
after being successful in mind controlling the raptor but unsuccessful in saving her, the NPC comments that you may one day be strong enough to enter ZG and free the lashtail hatchling from the trolls.
remember that the lore at this point is that ZG, although a defeated zone, is now being rebuilt but has not yet been re-established as a troll stronghold. at least.. not until 4.1.
also keep in mind that the current lashtail hatchling quests are intended for level 25-30ish players. "stronger" or "strong enough" could imply at a later level... MUCH later for those doing these quests at their intended level.
*cough*ZG will be a level 85+ five man dungeon in patch 4.1. also, remember there's the level 85 (seemingly unfinished) quest "an old friend" that rewards a lashtail hatchling pet*cough*
my, what a bad cough i have. :P
anyway, so far this is all based on speculation. i still haven't found any confirmation that players will be able to obtain a lashtail hatchling of their very own or if the low level quest chain will be a prerequisite for it.
it all seems very intriguing, though, doesn't it? :D
i can't wait to find out more. plus i just want some closure on what happened to quintessence'aka, damnit! (trust me. do the quests, you'll have your very own *name*'aka too :P)