Author: Chris Wickham
Ahn'Qiraj is the kingdom of the Qiraji, an insectoid race created by the Old God C'Thun, which is located in the southern part of Silithus. It contains the Ruins of the ancient Ahn’Qiraj and the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, which houses the Old God C'Thun himself. Until recently, the kingdom was isolated from the rest of Kalimdor for thousands of years by The Scarab Wall following The War of The Shifting Sands, where the Night Elves and Bronze Dragonflight allied to imprison the powerful Qiraji. However, the insectoid race have recently been regrouping and regaining strength. While their intentions are not certain, any breach of The Scarab Wall by the insidious vermin threatens to drastically alter Azeroth's way of life. The Horde and Alliance must set aside their differences temporarily to launch a pre-emptive strike to contain the menace.
The interior of the ruined kingdom itself is accompanied by an ethereal, earthy soundscape, largely populated by trembling pan flutes, enigmatic synthesisers, menacing shakers and an array of other percussion. This ranges from tribal-esque hand drums to more thunderous war drums. Any traditional instrumentation present is performed with contemporary techniques and processed with effects to produce an indistinct quality. No clear melody or harmony is present and the resulting amalgamation of sounds is often cacophonous and chaotic. So much is unclear about the Qiraji and their infamous kingdom, but travellers know of the horrors that await them behind The Scarab Wall. This is perfectly reflected in the frenzied sonic landscape.
While the music of Ahn'Qiraj may seem haphazard on the surface, intelligent compositional decisions become clearer by looking deeper into the soundscape's individual components. The presence of the shakers themselves are analogous to the buzzing sound of insects and act as the perfect ambience of what adventurers may face when they enter the insectoid kingdom. The potent blend of pan flutes and percussion produce a primitive impression, and expertly highlight the age of the crumbling remnants of the once mighty kingdom. The pan flute phrases often turbulently amble over threatening synthesiser pads, and the use of the flattened 6th and 2nd creates an exotic flavour, emphasising just how different the Qiraji are to the rest of the races in Azeroth.