Speakers Network (also known as, and formerly known only as Speakers of Hydaelyn) is an online YouTube and Twitch channel focusing primarily on Final Fantasy XIV community content. It started off as a Twitch channel, producing the Speakers of Hydaelyn podcast back in December of 2014.
The show was started by Lukile Bravestone and Vero Sombrero, two friends from Norway a dark day in November 2014 as they fought their way through Syrcus Tower in XIV. Lukile, sad that his favorite XIV podcast was coming to an end, suggests making their own podcast – for their Free Company. The Free Company was called “Seekers of Hydaelyn” and consisted of less than 15 people. The show’s name was based on the FC’s name.
The podcast grew to three hosts after 2 episodes, introducing Lonegan Thifer in January 2015. A YouTube account was opened in early 2015 to store podcast episodes, and the Free Company idea was scrapped due to low interest, and limited reach. Vero Sombrero would soon leave the show after roughly 13 episodes.
In mid-2015, the channel entered a long hiatus. During this time, the channel quieted down, producing no XIV content. In early 2016, the channel resurfaced with a few non-FFXIV series, featuring Lukile Bravestone and a new face: Orange Caramel. To make it easier to do non-FFXIV content, the name of the channel was changed from Speakers of Hydaelyn to Speakers Network. In mid 2016, the FFXIV Podcast returned with a revamped look and crew. In addition to this, a video series was planned to be released later that year, focusing on the failed launch of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0.
In early 2016, the channel resurfaced with a few non-FFXIV series, featuring Lukile Bravestone and a new face: Orange Caramel. To make it easier to do non-FFXIV content, the name of the channel was changed from Speakers of Hydaelyn to Speakers Network.
In mid 2016, the podcast returned with a revamped look and crew. In addition to this, a video series was planned to be released later that year, focusing on the failed launch of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0.
In December of 2016, this series was released under the name “The Fall and Rise of Final Fantasy XIV”. The series picked up speed fast, making Speakers Network a household name for FFXIV history nerds. In early 2017, a new series surfaced: Remnants of a Realm, focusing on details from 1.0 that was either transferred to 2.0 or died in the Calamity.
Today, Speakers Network is a growing channel with a dedicated team of Final Fantasy XIV players. Our goal is to provide quality FFXIV community content, that is informative and fun to both watch and listen to.
THE PODCAST CREW
LUKILE BRAVESTONE (2014)
Lukile is the head honcho 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.
In FFXIV, Lukile plays primarily as a White Mage.
MAELA VANADAR (2017)
Maela joined the channel in early 2017, after long-time podcast host Lonegan Thifer finally handed in the towel. Maela’s role in the podcast is basically to ensure Lukile actually stays on topic. A british version of Lonegan, in other words.
In Final Fantasy XIV, Maela used to main Black Mage, but made the switch to Red Mage after the launch of Stormblood.
R’OLLO DES (2018)
R’ollo Des joined in January of 2018, and is the most recent addition to Speakers of Hydaelyn. 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. R’ollo mains Ninja in FFXIV.
YAZZ POTT (2017-)
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 whether to find a replacement for Orange. Yazz is a high defender of Duskwight Elezen, and mains Paladin in Final Fantasy XIV.
Hosts come and go, and here are the ones that has graced us with their presence over the years.
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.