Secrets of a Realm, also known simply as SoaR, is an offshoot of the Remnants of a Realm (RoaR) series by Speakers Network.
Where RoaR looks at locations that have changed or disappeared between the transition from 1.0 to 2.x,
SoaR looks at hidden 1.0 content that never saw the light of day.
The first episode aired on July 12th 2017, where it was revealed that 1.0’s CGI opening cutscene used a prototype version of Limsa Lominsa’s Drowning Wench.
SoaR’s first episode diverged from its sister show’s established structure by starting the episode with a small story segment. This would become the standard for most episodes to come.
SoaR has an underlying story that is told in pieces from episode to episode. The story is often fragmented, usually from two different timelines – current day Eorzea, and the last days of the Sixth Astral Era. The main protagonist is Lukile Bravestone, the Maelstrom soldier turned explorer after the Calamity, and his trusty friend and mapmaker Rodrick Tia.
Lukile’s past is unknown, but through glimpses back in time we learn more about him and his actions during the Sixth Astral Era.
After the first episode was published, it was decided to connect the SoaR and RoaR “universes” through a subtle, but still noticeable storyline. SoaR would do the actual storytelling, while RoaR would have easter eggs planted in all future episodes, further developing the overall storyline. In SoaR’s second episode, the original storyline began.
In RoaR episodes following the second SoaR episode’s release, characters that would eventually tie in to SoaR would start appearing. The plan was that when the SoaR story started to ramp up, sharp-eyed viewers would start noticing these characters in RoaR, filling in the blanks when SoaR’s story finally concluded.
The Fall of RoaR+SoaR
However, the elements remained unnoticed for the most part, until Halloween of 2017, when the decision was made to push the story elements out in the open in a RoaR episode. The episode, number 23 in the series, was a complete failure. It was too hard to understand what was going on, it was too in the face, and the subtle planting of SoaR elements had not been picked up enough by the viewers at that point for anyone to make the connection. The episode was promptly replaced by a normal version shortly after. The “dark” episode is not considered canon to the RoaR series, and is no longer accessible online. There are still traces of the dark episode in the revised version, but these are small. Older episodes still contain the SoaR characters, with the last episode showing any real connection to the old SoaR storyline being Episode 22. It also featured Dalamud heavily for the first time, hinting to the impending ramp-up of the story.
SoaR and RoaR’s joint storyline was promptly cancelled, and SoaR’s story future became uncertain. Most of the story depended on RoaR and SoaR working together, but this now had to be scrapped. The story for the next SoaR episode was already created by the time the dark episode of RoaR was released. Instead of starting over for Episode 5, a big portion of the story that was meant to tie in to RoaR was removed.
SoaR remained without a storyline from episode 6-10, while the new storyline was being written. Some episodes contained filler story segments where nothing really moved the story along.
A concept picture was created after the RoaR failure, shedding some light on where the new story would be heading.
Although the SoaR storline stopped being told in the following episodes, the storyline did continue in other Speakers content. In October of 2018 a technical difficulties screen with cryptic codes started appearing shedding more light on the story, even providing coordinates to a specific point in Eorzea important to the story.
In 2019 Speakers Network reached a Patreon goal which unlocked a new chapter in the SoaR storyline – an audio series about Lukile’s backstory leading up to the events of SoaR.