Author: Masha Lepire
South of Azshara, you will find the desert zone of Durotar; the land Thrall chose for the orcs to settle in, naming it after his father, Durotan. Here Thrall laid the ground for the orcs' new capital city of Orgrimmar, named in honor of the previous Warchief and hero of the Horde, Orgrim Doomhammer. Durotar is the starting zone for both orcs and trolls, a region that is equally harsh but beautiful. Most of the area is filled with rocky crags, canyons, and crackled red soil baked by the sun. The landmass itself is a long expanse separated from mainland Kalimdor by the Southfury River, with the southern tip of Durotar ending at the Great Sea. The eastern coast is covered with sunken ships while quilboar cluster in the canyons along the northwestern borders and encroach from the Barrens to the west. To the south lies the goblin port of Ratchet and the ruined shores of Azshara. After the Shattering, most of the zone became flooded from the Southfury River which caused severe water damage and the disappearance of much of the road from Razor Hill to the Northern Barrens.
When you first enter this barren zone, you are greeted by the sounds of chromatic metal gongs and ominous low brass. A quiet oboe sings a dissonant melody while accompanied by eerie strings. While this musical idea continues on to undergo several variations, including the addition of hand percussion and reorchestration, all of the variations of suitably dark and brooding; a fitting accompaniment to the dangerous boars, scorpids, and raptors that wander this desert.
As you continue wandering this rocky zone, you start to hear more exotic percussion as you venture to the Valley of Trials to witness orcs completing several rites of passage. A beautiful minor flute and oboe duet backed by legato strings and sharp hand percussion at 13:00. These beautiful yet morbid melodies remind you of the empty dry nature of this zone but also of the strong culture and presence of the Horde’s finest orcs, tauren, and trolls.
(14:30) AS you approach Orgrimmar, war drums and a brass fanfare remind you of the Horde’s strong military presence, as heard at around 14:30. The previous airy mordent motifs played by the flute and oboe duet near the orc villages is now reworked into a strong assertive theme that is also echoed by the strings and low brass sections. Perfect 5ths are enunciated by the trumpets, further defining the militaristic theme and emphasizing the power and vigorous atmosphere that fill this Horde capital city.