Author: Chris Wickham
Zangarmarsh is a tranquil, swamp-covered region shielded by surrounding mountains, which is situated in Western Outland. The region did not seem to exist before the destruction of Draenor, but it is one of the few new areas that largely evaded the demonic influence that has plagued Outland since. The marshes host a number of draenai 'lost ones' as well as a variety of unique luminescent wildlife and native races including fungal giants and sporelings. The surrounding land is covered in a verdant fungal forest which provides nourishment to some of these exotic creatures. However, the marsh's largely untainted ecology has recently come under threat from Illidan's naga and the local Ango'rosh tribe. The expedition based at Cenarion Refuge continues to fight to defend the native wildlife of not only Zangarmarsh, but the whole of Outland. Both Horde and Alliance forces have established a presence in small settlements throughout the region, inducing Swamprat Post and Telredor respectively.
The music of Zangarmarsh possesses a hazy, earthly feel which is achieved by the use of exotic 'non-Western' woodwind instrumentation and indistinct synthesiser pads. This exoticism is further implied through the use of Indian instrumentation including variety of bells, small hand drums known as tabla and the sitar, a stringed instrument that possess 'sub-strings' which resonate in harmony with the main strings. The sitar's characteristic 'shimmering' sound creates an aura of beauty, complimenting the natural luminescence which characterises the region. In addition, many Indian compositional techniques are evident throughout the music, for example, repeated hand drum rhythmic patterns (tal) and a harmony which is based on single unevolving sustained notes (drone). Small melodic fragments are exchanged between the various instrumental colours, characterised by a flattened 2nd and a flattened 6th which immediately gives an exotic impression to those who are accustomed to 'Western' musical scales. While the overall ambience of Zangarmarsh is peaceful, the occasional dissonant harmony created by the beautiful instrumental colours warns the player of the dangers facing the region's beautiful ecology.