Author: Chris Wickham
Darkshore is a rocky shoreline located on the northwest coast of Kalimdor, which is littered by dismal woodland and various ruins of ancient Night Elf settlements. Aggressive wildlife and spectres lurk amongst the trees, threatening any explorers who dare pass by, while the naga have established a strong presence amidst the crumbling ruins. Following the cataclysm, the majority of Darkshore, including the busy trading post of Auberdine, was destroyed by a massive tidal wave, scattering the local population and ravaging the land. Survivors established the settlement of Lor’danei as a haven for those who are still unaccounted for.
The music of Darkshore is largely based on a piece called Ruins of Auberdine. Solemn string harmonies in a minor key dominate the piece, with occasional harp embellishments, chimes and ethereal vocal melodies which remind the listener of the once mystical and tranquil nature of the land. However, these beautiful arrangements are often underpinned or interspersed with aggressive brass crescendos and loud percussion which pierce through the texture to remind us of the dangers Darkshore heralds. High violins, flutes, oboes and female choir share a haunting motif, which almost acts as a memorial to those who perished during the cataclysm. It lingers throughout the piece, even during its darker moments, and alternates between being the most prominent melody and a discrete background element. Ruins of Auberdine creates an immersive atmosphere of not only sorrow and loss, but also an omnipresent evil which accompanies the player as they traverse the broken land and face the evils that lurk amongst the ruins.