The Orange County Gaming Group, having successfully concluded a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign is firing on all cylinders to source the best custom made fantasy audio this world has ever heard. The winning track will be given to the recent backers of the Realmsound Project Kickstarter and added as a track to the fantasy soundboard in development. For more information, please visit http://ocgaminggroup.com/
This track will be, in OCGG terms, an Actual track or as it’s known in the industry, an source track. This Gig seeks to showcase one of the most evil, cunning, cruel, and powerful races in fantasy gaming, the Dark Elf or Drow. Portrayed extensively in the Dungeons and Dragons Tabletop Game and appearing in popular games such as The Elder Scrolls and Warhammer, any gamer will likely conjure a similar depiction of these creatures. However, unlike the more generic illustration of Dark Elves that we commissioned for earlier (http://www.audiocatch.com/gig/view/235) we are going deeper, with a more narrow focus, diving deep into the wicked religious practices of this vile people.
The antithesis of the elf, the dark elf is everything the normal elf is not. Wicked, cruel, sociopathic, self-centered, and wholly evil, this subrace of elf lives deep underground, shunning the surface world with all of its natural beauty and sunlight. This matriarchal society is refined and sophisticated with politics playing its role on every level and class of citizen. Think Nero’s Rome in 65 BC but under the lens of H.P. Lovecraft, the way to move up in this lightless world of the dark elf is through assassination, double dealing, and political intrigue. Slaves are nothing more than disposable property to either be worked to death, bred for more slaves, or fed to ravenous poisonous spiders which dark elves revere.
Now for what we’re looking for.
We want to take players deep underground, inside the inner sanctum of one of their great subterranean cities and into one of the temples during a religious ceremony. This is to be a major rite and as such, we need some context to what that will entail. Many sources of Drow fantasy stem from the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game with some derivatives popping up here and there, however, in most circumstances, dark elves pay homage to a cruel, tyrannical, and entirely evil goddess, revered not to curry her love, but out of fear. In the popular context, this goddess is named Lolth and is half Drow and half giant spider though she is known for taking my shapes and forms, particularly across gaming genres. The fundamental structure of their devotion to this malicious entity is entirely different from real world practices, where prayers and rights are intended to either prove themselves in her eyes through the overcoming of tests and challenges or the offering of achievements for her glory alone. No prayer or ritual will ever ask for aid or seek mercy given a Dark Elf’s misfortune for the slightest sign of weakness will seek only to bring the goddess’s spiteful wrath, seeking to cut away any and all weakness in her people.
The track we’re going for is dark and evil, depicting a deeply religious, awe-inspiring energy as these Dark Elves call upon the very real powers of this deity. There are a few motifs to keep in mind. The temple is always deep underground so we might need to add that right level of echo to reflect that. Without exception, all religious figures, are female so all vocal work must be female. In all major rites, there needs to be a living sacrifice so we’ll need to include one as well. Now, let’s be careful here, the focus is the music and prayer of this ritual, not someone screaming for 2 minutes. This sacrifice is meant to be an accent to the overall piece, not the sole focus. The use of instrumentation is entirely up to you as Drow have no particular affinity to a category of instruments. However, keep in mind that this is a SOURCE track so we need to make sure that what we are hearing is what an actual person would hear in the temple. We can introduce a bit of score in order to round out the overall awe-inspiring religious nature of the scene but too many artists go way too far with this score license and make the whole piece score. This is a no-no! If vocals are going to be used, please keep them Drow or Elven, you’ll be able to find more than you’ll ever want to find regarding these fantasy languages conducting a Google search. Lastly, and perhaps the most difficult, the goddess is herself half spider and including that motif here could be a very powerful way of making this track Dark Elf.
For more information on Dark Elves, please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drow_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29
For an unparalleled understanding of all of the ins and outs Drow in the particular context we are looking for, the best source of inspiration can be found in Chapter 1 of the book, Drow of the Underdark by Ari Marmell et. al, published by Wizards of the Coast
The following tracks have been identified as providing a good basis for inspiration into the feel, energy, and direction this track requires. Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original compositions and that you have 100% rights to use and sell any samples or loops you embed.
OCGG - Sacred Dwarf Temple – GoofParade
Because so many artists tend to struggle with what a source track with a bit score for accent needs to sound like, we’re including a piece we purchased here for reference by GoofParade. Set in a dwarven temple, this source track uses brilliantly used racial specific accents as the music for this religious ceremony. Hammers striking an anvil and deep male vocals grounds this track in the Dwarf motif. In addition, the chanting of the name of their god “Moradin” combined with the Dwarf language chanted in reverence drives home this incredible source piece. Strings and brass are used to round out the track, the score, but it does not take way from the scene playing out. It is this combination of source and score we need here.
OCGG - Dark Elf City - The Electric Mike Orchestra
Another wonderful track we purchased here on Audio Catch, this piece was composed as a score to be used in a Dark Elf City and thus included a good platform for inspiration in terms how to weave the motifs of spider, underground, priestess, etc. Although this piece is more general since it covers an entire city, it still serves as a starting point.
Decent Freespace End Credits (0:00 to 1:03)
Put aside the techno background here, the vocals mixed with the foreground percussion and droning adds a fantastic dark yet religious feel that is pointing in the right direction. The words chosen combined with the fact that it is a single singer provides a terrific platform to build off of, creating a since of emptiness, hopelessness, and religious supplication.
The Grudge - OST
We don’t ever quite hit it on the head with any of The Grudge soundtracks but through the OST, there’s the perfect couple of seconds where you could hear a Dark Elf priestess chanting. In all, the tracks home in wonderfully the deeply dark and disturbing mood that we’re shooting for. We don’t want comic book horror music, we want stuff that will make adults listening to this at night turn the lights on.
The track must be no less than 2:30 in length. We acknowledge that we’re asking for A LOT from all of you. If you have any questions, please shoot us over a message through Audio Catch, we’ll try to answer all of it. We can’t wait to hear how you bring this nether realm to life! Good luck!!!