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Speakers Network, previously known as Speakers of Hydaelyn, is a YouTube and Twitch channel dedicated to Final Fantasy XIV community content. Founded in December 2014 by Lukile Bravestone and Vero Sombrero, the channel originally produced the Speakers of Hydaelyn podcast for their small Free Company, Seekers of Hydaelyn.
In January 2015, Lonegan Thifer joined as the third host, and the podcast transitioned to YouTube. However, the Free Company concept was discontinued due to limited interest and reach. Vero Sombrero left the show after approximately 13 episodes.
Following a hiatus in mid-2015, the channel re-emerged in early 2016 with non-FFXIV series featuring Lukile Bravestone and newcomer Orange Caramel. To accommodate the broader content, the channel was rebranded as Speakers Network. In mid-2016, the FFXIV podcast returned with a refreshed appearance and team, along with plans for a video series on the ill-fated launch of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0.
The video series, titled “The Fall and Rise of Final Fantasy XIV,” was released in December 2016, quickly gaining popularity among FFXIV history enthusiasts. In 2017, a new series called “Remnants of a Realm” explored details from 1.0 that were either carried over to 2.0 or lost in the Calamity.
Today, Speakers Network is a thriving channel with a passionate team of Final Fantasy XIV players. Our mission is to deliver engaging and informative FFXIV community content for viewers and listeners to enjoy.
THE PODCAST CREW
LUKILE BRAVESTONE (2014)
Lukile is the owner of Speakers Network. The only remaining original founder of the channel, Lukile is the primary content creator. Lukile started playing Final Fantasy XIV back in the 1.0 Beta, and surprisingly stuck with it all the way until Dalamud struck and 2.0 relaunched. Lukile is the guy behind all the content on the channel, and is the main host on the Speakers of Hydaelyn Podcast.
Lukile is from Norway, and mains White Mage in Final Fantasy XIV
R’OLLO DES (2018)
R’ollo Des joined in January of 2018.
R’ollo is also the first Speaker to join through a recruitment campaign. R’ollo was actually initially announced as a replacement for Orange Caramel, which was not actually true. The podcast just felt better with 4 hosts, and R’ollo was a perfect fit. Rollo is from the United States, and mains Ninja in Final Fantasy XIV.
G’YORGY WYSTAN (2019)
G’yorgy joined Speakers Network in April 2019.
Before becoming a Speaker G’yorgy had a significant presence in the Speakers community, making the transition from community member to Speaker pretty painless. Big fan of straws. G’yorgy is from Australia, and mains Scholar in FFXIV.
MAELA VANADAR (2017-2020, 2021)
Maela joined the podcast in early 2017, as a temporary host, while Lonegan Thifer was away.
However, the temp position would soon become permanent, and Maela became one of the longest running podcast hosts on the show. He mained Black Mage in FFXIV. Maela’s snarky attitude and genuine passion for XIV’s development became iconic not only for the podcast, but the channel and community as a whole. Maela stepped down as Speaker on June 20th 2020, after 3 years on the show. In July 2021, Maela returned to the podcast.
Hosts come and go. Here are the ones that has graced us with their presence over the years.
YAZZ POTT (2017-2018)
Yazz Pott joined Speakers of Hydaelyn in the summer of 2017, as a replacement for Orange Caramel, who was preparing to leave the podcast behind the scenes. Yazz happened to send an email to Speakers Network while the team was discussing how to find a replacement for Orange. He was a high defender of Duskwight Elezen, and mained Paladin in Final Fantasy XIV. Yazz’s last episode was in December 2018, and the public search for a replacement began in January 2019. The search officially ended in March 2019, and the rest is history.
ORANGE CARAMEL (2016-2017)
Orange Caramel joined the Speakers of Hydaelyn podcast in mid-2016 as part of the reboot. Orange was part of Lukile’s Free Company for a long time before he was approached by Lukile to join the podcast for the reboot. Being a very stubborn person, Orange quickly built up a love/hate relationship with the viewers and listeners. In other words: Orange was the podcast’s Devil’s Advocate. In-game Orange mained Paladin. Orange left the podcast and XIV in the summer of 2017, due to waning interest in the game. When he left the podcast, he had been on the podcast for almost exactly one year. Orange would be replaced by R’ollo Des the following year.
LONEGAN THIFER (2015-2017)
Lonegan Thifer entered the world of Hydaelyn as a Black Mage near the end of 2013, mere months after ARR relaunched. He was convinced to play the game by Lukile, and together with Vero Sombrero, they formed the FC “Seekers of Hydaelyn”. Lonegan joined the podcast in episode 3 when SoH started using facecams. Lonegan slowly faded away from the XIV community, and would disappear for long stretches of time and reappearing for a short time until he finally handed in the towel in January 2017 after 2 years in SoH.
VERO SOMBRERO (2014-2015)
Vero Sombrero, aka “The Mother of SoH” co-founded Speakers of Hydaelyn together with Lukile Bravestone in 2014, during a run of Syrcus Tower. Lukile suggested making a new FFXIV podcast, and a second person was needed to make the show more lively. Vero, a MNK at the time, accepted and just a few days later SoH saw the light of day. However time progressed, and Vero switches from MNK to BRD. As life catches up on her, she finds it difficult to attend the podcasts. In the spring of 2015, Vero says goodbye to SoH, and the rest is history.