Broken Sea Audio: Open Casting Call for Robert E. Howard’s Queen Of The Black Coast

SFFaudio News

Conan And BelitBroken Sea Audio Productions, and producer Bill Hollweg, are casting the role of Conan (the Cimmerian) for an upcoming audio drama version of Robert E. Howard’s Queen Of The Black Coast.

The “Queen of the Black Coast” was a novelette by Robert E. Howard first published in the May 1934 issue of Weird Tales. Here’s a brief description (without spoilers):

In the seacoast kingdom of Argos, after a brush with the Hyborian legal system, Conan hops aboard a southward bound ship. Off the coasts of Kush the ship is boarded by black corsairs under the Shemitish she-devil, Bêlit. Conan joins her crew, becomes her consort, and for a long time they harry the Hyborian and Stygian ports. During this stage of his career, Conan gains the name of Amra, the Lion, which is to follow him throughout his later life.

Characters in the story include (but are not limited to):

* Conan
* Bêlit
* N’Gora
* N’Yaga
* Tito
* Winged One

Please take note, this is still only a casting call for Conan himself, more casting will be done in later weeks. At that time I’d guess that having a Kushite, Khemish, Shemitish, Argosean or Stygian accent will probably help your chances of landing a role.

Here’s some info from the official press release:

This is a cast call for the character of CONAN alone. I need a Barbarian the lay a swath of destruction across the audio realms! Ever wanted to brandish a broadsword in the Hyborian Age? This is what I want from the voice actor doing CONAN…

POWER…PURE POWER that OOZES from the headphones… That said- I also want the actor to make this role his with a swipe of a VA (voice acting) broadsword!

I do not want bad Arnold Impersonations. This character is a fave of my from almost as far back as I can remember- so I am wanting something special for this production. An Austrian Accent is fine, or whatever accent you have or can do – I am open to giving it a listen. But I want to believe in this character, so it needs to have power behind the lines. And I am not talking about just screaming them here . There will be more casting calls soon and the script is still being cobbled together as we speak, but for now I need to find Conan first and foremost. Please send in lines in mp3 format, 44100hz 192k and label the file:

Conan_aud_.mp3 to: [email protected]

I have left in bits of the actual prose to give a feel for the scene/character. The VA lines are in black.


Auditions Close December 10, 2007


Hoofs drummed down the street that sloped to the wharfs. The folk that
yelled and scattered had only a fleeting glimpse of a mailed figure on
a black stallion, a wide scarlet cloak flowing out on the wind. Far up
the street came the shout and clatter of pursuit, but the horseman did
not look back. He swept out onto the wharfs and jerked the plunging
stallion back on its haunches at the very lip of the pier. Seamen
gaped up at him, as they stood to the sweep and striped sail of a
high-prowed, broad waisted galley. The master, sturdy and black-
bearded, stood in the bows, easing her away from the piles with a
boat-hook. He yelled angrily as the horseman sprang from the saddle
and with a long leap landed squarely on the mid-deck.

Ship Captain: Who invited you aboard?

CONAN: Get under way CAPTAIN!

Ship Captain: But we’re bound for the coasts of Kush!

CONAN: Then I’m for Kush! Push off, I tell you!

SFX: The captain cast a quick glance up the street, along which a squad of horsemen were galloping; far behind them toiled a group of archers, crossbows on their shoulders.

Ship Captain: Can you pay for your passage?

CONAN: I pay my way with steel! By Crom, if you don’t get under way, I’ll drench this galley in the ‘blood of its crew!

Ship Captain: Seein’ as ye put it that way- welcome aboard Barbarian…


Later, underway on the Captain’s Ship, after escaping the city, Conan and the Captain talk.

CONAN: Who is Belit?

Ship Captain: The wildest she-devil unhanged. Unless I read the signs awrong, it was her butchers who destroyed that village on the bay. May I some day see her dangling from the yard-arm! She is called the queen of the black coast. She is a Shemite woman, who leads black raiders. They harry the shipping and have sent many a good tradesman to the bottom.

CONAN: Little use to resist if we’re run down,” he grunted. “But it rasps the soul to give up life without a struggle.

It was just at sunrise when the lookout shouted a warning.


Around the long point of an island off the starboard bow glided a long lethal shape, a slender serpentine galley, with a raised deck that ran from stem to stern. Forty oars on each side drove her swiftly through the water, and the low rail swarmed with naked blacks that chanted and clashed spears on oval shields. From the masthead floated a long
crimson pennon.

Ship Captain: Damn!!! Tis her… Belit… And her damned ship…This sojourn ’tis doomed..

CONAN: We’d best stand to it- else we’ll all die with shafts in our backs, and not a blow dealt.

Ship Captain: Bend to it, dogs! We row to outrun the she-devil BELIT!!!

With a passionate gesture of his brawny fist, the bearded rowers grunted, heaved at the oars, while their muscles coiled and knotted, and sweat started out on their hides. The timbers of the stout little galley creaked and groaned as the men fairly ripped her through the water. The wind had fallen; the sail hung limp. Nearer crept the inexorable raiders, and they were still a good mile from the surf when one of the steersmen fell gagging across a sweep, a long arrow through his neck. Tito sprang to take his place, and Conan, bracing his feet wide on the heaving poop-deck, lifted his bow. He could see the details of the pirate plainly now. The rowers were protected by a line of raised mantelets along the sides, but the warriors dancing on the narrow deck were in full view. These were painted and plumed, and mostly naked, brandishing spears and spotted shields.

On the raised platform in the bows stood a slim figure whose white skin glistened in dazzling contrast to the glossy ebon hides about it. Belit, without a doubt. Conan drew the shaft to his ear–then some whim or qualm stayed his hand and sent the arrow through the body of a tall plumed spearman beside her.

Hand over hand the pirate galley was overhauling the lighter ship. Arrows fell in a rain about the Argus, and men cried out. All the steersmen were down, pincushioned, and Tito was handling the massive sweep alone, gasping black curses, his braced legs knots of straining thews. Then with a sob he sank down, a long shaft quivering in his sturdy heart. The Argus lost headway and rolled in the swell. The men shouted in confusion, and Conan took command in characteristic fashion.

CONAN: Up, lads!


CONAN: Grab your steel and give these dogs a few knocks before they cut our throats! Useless to bend your backs any more: they’ll board us ere we can row another fifty paces!

In desperation the sailors abandoned their oars and snatched up their
weapons. It was valiant, but useless. They had time for one flight of
arrows before the pirate was upon them. With no one at the sweep, the
Argus rolled broadside, and the steel-baked prow of the raider crashed
into her amidships. Grappling-irons crunched into the side. From the
lofty gunwales, the black pirates drove down a volley of shafts that
tore through the quilted jackets of the doomed sailormen, then sprang
down spear in hand to complete the slaughter. On the deck of the
pirate lay half a dozen bodies, an earnest of Conan’s archery.

The fight on the Argus was short and bloody. The stocky sailors, no
match for the tall barbarians, were cut down to a man. Elsewhere the
battle had taken a peculiar turn. Conan, on the high-pitched poop, was
on a level with the pirate’s deck. As the steel prow slashed into the
Argus, he braced himself and kept his feet under the shock, casting
away his bow. A tall corsair, bounding over the rail, was met in
midair by the Cimmerian’s great sword, which sheared him cleanly
through the torso, so that his body fell one way and his legs another.
Then, with a burst of fury that left a heap of mangled corpses along
the gunwales, Conan was over the rail and on the deck of the Tigress.

In an instant he was the center of a hurricane of stabbing spears and
lashing clubs. But he moved in a blinding blur of steel. Spears bent
on his armor or swished empty air, and his sword sang its death-song.
The fighting-madness of his race was upon him, and with a red mist of
unreasoning fury wavering before his blazing eyes, he cleft skulls,
smashed breasts, severed limbs, ripped out entrails, and littered the
deck like a shambles with a ghastly harvest of brains and blood.

SFX: Invulnerable in his armor, his back against the mast, he heaped mangled corpses at his feet until his enemies gave back panting in rage and fear.


Then as they lifted their spears to cast them, and he
tensed himself to leap and die in the midst of them, a shrill cry
froze the lifted arms. They stood like statues, the black giants
poised for the spear casts, the mailed swordsman with his dripping

Belit sprang before the blacks, beating down their spears. She turned
toward Conan, her bosom heaving, her eyes flashing. Fierce fingers of
wonder caught at his heart. She was slender, yet formed like a
goddess: at once lithe and voluptuous. Her only garment was a broad
silken girdle. Her white ivory limbs and the ivory globes of her
breasts drove a beat of fierce passion through the Cimmerian’s pulse,
even in the panting fury of battle. Her rich black hair, black as a
Stygian night, fell in rippling burnished clusters down her supple
back. Her dark eyes burned on the Cimmerian.

She was untamed as a desert wind, supple and dangerous as a she-
panther. She came close to him, heedless of his great blade, dripping
with blood of her warriors. Her supple thigh brushed against it, so
close she came to the tall warrior. Her red lips parted as she stared
up into his somber menacing eyes.

BELIT: Who are you? By Ishtar, I have never seen your like, though I have ranged the sea from the coasts of Zingara to the fires of the ultimate south. Whence come you?”

CONAN: From Argos… Belit…

BELIT: You are no soft Hyborian! You are fierce and hard as a gray wolf. Those eyes were never dimmed by city lights; those thews were never softened by life amid marble walls.”

CONAN: I am Conan, a Cimmerian…

Cool huh? I’m polishing my broadsword now (and that isn’t a euphemism for something by the way).

Posted by Jesse Willis

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