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Next to Elves and Orcs, Dwarves are one of the most iconic races in all of fantasy. The prominent role Dwarves are given in major franchise like J.R.R Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings trilogies, cornerstone games like Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s Dungeons and Dragons along with the plethora of fantasy novel, movies, series, and games all have helped to create a relatively consistent insight into this fictional race and culture. In a quick overview, Dwarves are commonly portrayed as stoic, brave, rigid, and honorable, slow to make friends but once friendship is earned, become devotedly loyal. Living in vast underground clan holds, Dwarves are commonly seen as peerless warriors, metalworkers, engineers, and stonemasons, often thought to have a mystical connection to the very earth. For more detail regarding Dwarf Psychology, please consult the attached PDF.
Let’s talk a bit about the Dwarf Language. In stark contrast to the language of the elves, Dwarven features a heavy use of consonant sounds typically employing rasping R’s, deep U’s, V’s, and W’s, sharp K’s and heavy M’s and N’s. When spoken in anger or irritation, the language lends itself to guttural, rough, even raspy delivery. As a reflection of its people, the Dwarven language is highly structured and precise as seen in its grammatical structure and proper pronunciation, thus, when spoken in a neutral or positive emotional state, the language can come off as flowing, rhythmic, melodious. As prime examples of Dwarven words, consider the following as inspiration from the authors of Races of Stone from the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 tabletop game for your own renditions:
Varathika gelm uvalar (This is bad)
Vorum dwarkar geddum (What would my ancestors say?)
Huram kaugri hurmfar (Make the giant stubmle)
Note that a simple Google Search will provide a wealth of inspirational materials to springboard off of. Likely just 10 minutes of independent research will massively pay off during the audition process. For those interested in truly diving deep into the source material, consider reading page 24 in the Dungeons and Dragons Races of Stone (David Noonan, Jesse Decker, Michelle Lyons) book published by Wizards of the Coast (2004). In our experience, the most successful language creators are those who write out a script in English (or whatever language they are most comfortable with) and ‘translate’ it using the lens of the target language.
Now onto some Gig Details. You are creating the Dwarf Language (Dwarven) so all recording must be in Dwarven (no English, Spanish, or any other ‘real’ language). We’re looking for 5 (five) short, roughly 10 – 15 second clips and 1 (one) longer, 15 - 25 second clip, of spoken Dwarven in various different tones and emotions in order to maximize use in a wide range of in-game situations. Male and female auditions equally welcome.
10 – 15 second clips, each
1. Neutral, baseline, conversational
2. Cursing or insulting
3. Mourning, tribute to a fallen friend
4. Expression of satisfaction, enjoyment
5. Rallying warriors for battle
15 - 25 second clip
1. Formal conversation
The following tracks have been identified as providing a good basis for inspiration into the feel, energy, and direction the reads requires. Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original words and reads entirely created by you. One of the best examples of a Dwarven speech that you can hear to inspire your own creation can be found in the Lord of the Ring and The Hobbit movies directed by Peter Jackson. For example:
At 1:53, John Rhys-Davies’s delivery of Dwarven is impeccable
Similarly, at 2:31, Richard Armitage delivers a short but wonderful bit of Dwarven
That’s it, there is no script, that’s up to you to create, as long as the voice overs show the characteristics covered, you should be in good shape. We want creativity, we want insight into the Dwarf language symbolizing the virtue, nobility, and disciplined of its people. Make sure you have fun as the passion you bring to your reads often shows. You are giving life to one of the most important elements in gaming, an iconic language referenced in thousands of games worldwide! Let your words be taken as the gold standard in spoken Dwarven!