Headmaster's Report #3


Headmaster's Report #3



Between grad school, a week in Salt Lake City, and some birthday shenanigans (this might have been said... a bunch) I've been a bit quiet this past month. I'm happy to report that the best Praetor in the DB (sorry to the rest of you), Marcus, has really stepped up to be a rock star for me, though. The audit has slowed down a bit but we're still making solid progress, and by next month I think we'll be in a good position to start working on some of the streamlining and upgrades I'm planning for the Shadow Academy. Life is pretty good aboard the Victory II-Class Star Destroyer Paladin - y'know, where the SA is right now.

Now Hiring: Magistrates

At the beginning of this year, Bubba instituted a Magistrate policy similar to that of the MAA's office where the two M:HMs would serve six month terms. Alishu and Mateus Kelborn (better known as Mirus) have been fantastic Magistrates for Bubba and now for me, but their six months expire next week. It's for that reason that I'm looking to hire two new Magistrates to serve for the next six months. M:HM is an important position within the Shadow Academy structure, especially now, because these are some of our primary course authors/editors/auditors. We are in the middle of a massive overhaul of almost every single course in the SA, so I need two individuals willing to work hard and that care about putting out excellent content. I'm not about half-assing things, and I expect my M's to feel the same way. To apply, send an email to both myself and Marcus (if you don't send it to both I'm going to assume you can't follow directions and toss your application). We want to know why you want this position and why you think you can do it. We'll be taking applications until July 19th, with the announcement of the new Magistrates to happen when I wake up on the 20th.

Specific requirements are:

  • No minimum rank, but preference will go to someone below EQ2.
  • 24 hour email turn-around time, with sub-12 strongly preferred. Telegram presence is preferred as well, even though I can't make it mandatory.
  • Strong grasp of the English language and comfort in researching, editing, and writing content.
  • No history of plagiarism or SA-related Justicar offenses.

Now Hiring: Course Writer

The MAA-formerly-known-as Aabs and I have been working on paring down and updating the Galactic History courses for some time, and we're making headway. What we've discovered we need, though, is a new post-RotJ course; our previous one dealt with the Vong, which thank Lucas is no longer canon. Because of that, we're looking for someone to come on to research and write a new course in the style of the previous Galactic History courses. This will also serve as an audition, essentially, to take over the Professorship of the History Department (because there's some other courses we're eyeing to be created there as well). If you're applying for Magistrate, you're welcome to apply for this in the same email. Applications must again go to Marcus and myself, and we'll be taking them until the 19th with announcement the following day just like with the M's.

Specific requirements are:

  • No minimum or maximum rank.
  • 24 hour email turn-around time (this is an audition for PROF, after all).
  • Strong grasp of the English language and comfort in researching, editing, and writing content.

Journeymen Competitions

An idea that I've been kicking around for a few weeks is running regular competitions for Journeymen only - fiction, puzzles, gaming, etc. To gauge interest in that, I've created a fiction competition and encourage all Journeymen to participate. The competition is running from July 15th until July 29th and will award CIs as well as second-level Crescents. As a bonus, Marcus and I will provide feedback for each entry. Important note: these are JM-only competitions, so anyone ranked EQ1 or above when they submit their entry will be disqualified. If you submit as a JM4 and are then promoted, that won't be a problem.

New Courses

There haven't been any brand-new courses launched since my last report, although there has been steady progress on the audit front. I am happy to report that a newly updated version of the Planets and Moons course has been uploaded, thanks to the awesome work of Lexic. The two Dark Brotherhood History courses have been revised and updated as well, thanks to Alishu, and are pending DC approval; I expect we'll get those uploaded within the next week or two.



Shadow Academy Staff are currently engaged in the following projects:

  • SW History Department Rewrite - Aabs & Farrin: Because of the evil Darth Mickey, my beloved Galactic History courses aren't fully canon anymore. The courses are being pared down (almost in half) and will be added to the Legends Department. I said last report this would be done by this report, and I missed the mark slightly there. However, I'd estimate we're at about 80% completion on this. Estimated completion: August, 2016

  • DJB History I & II Update/Rewrite - Alishu: Alishu has completed first drafts of both courses and they've been sent to the DC for approval. There are some changes in canon that we need to work through, but these should be published shortly. Estimated completion: End of July, 2016

  • The Dreaded... AUDIT! (non-SW courses) - PROFs/DOCs, Farrin & Ood: The non-Star Wars courses will be audited for accuracy, typos, etc. Exams are going to be reconfigured and updated. Ood and I have run into some RL slowdown that is pushing this back a bit, but our PROFs are stepping up to the plate. This will be done by the next report. Expected Completion: August, 2016

  • The Dreaded... AUDIT! (SW courses) - PROFs/DOCs, Marcus, Alishu, Rhace: The Star Wars-based courses will be audited for accuracy, typos, etc. Exams are going to be reconfigured and updated. This work has already begun by our awesome staff, and I think we're on track for my original expected completion. Expected Completion: September, 2016


  • Operation Remodel - SA Staff: In an effort to streamline the organization of the Shadow Academy and make it easier to initially get to information and then to find similar information, the SA will see a fairly extensive reorganization. The audit takes precedence, but expect to see more about this later on this summer. Because of the delays in the audit, this has been pushed back slightly. Expected Start: 8/2016; Expected Completion: 9/2016

  • Operation Prereq - Farrin: In order to make a more focused new member experience, different options are going to be explored to create prerequisite courses before other courses open up to a member. This is on the back burner for now, as the SA Staff has more pressing matters (y'know, the stuff above this item) and it'll require some tweaks on the coding end. Expect more info on this over the summer as well. Expected Start: Unknown; Expected Completion: Also unknown. :)

That's of course not all we're working on. There are a bunch of other exciting things I'm hoping to get completed this summer. Man, it's a great time to be in the Shadow Academy!

Top Exam Takers

Name # of Exams # of ACs
Novice Rexus 21 0
Neophyte C'thulu Xinthani 20 7
Knight Darknyte 18 39
Neophyte Kade Jinnth 15 10
Proselyte Arivasha Ravenheart 11 2

Note: these numbers cover the period from 6/12/16 to 7/12/16.


The Shadow Academy covers tens if not hundreds of thousands of words, and those words were written by imperfect humans (GASP!). We try our best to catch and fix any and all errors before we release courses, but we're not always successful. Because of that, we will always need your help. If you spot an error, please report it to the SA Staff using this simple form; if it's a major enough error, or you spot enough, you'll be rewarded. At the very least, you'll get the thanks of a grateful HM... that's got to count for something, right?

In Darkness -
Farrin Xies,
Headmaster of the Shadow Academy


Second first

Sounds like we have a lot ahead of us. :)

Whoo! Needs MOAR Noviate exams

Yes, join us. And together we shall dominate the galaxy... Right after we dispose of this "Pravus" guy!

Although, we are a fun bunch to work for, and we only slam your face into the grindstone once. Per day. If days were 20 minutes long.

Nice update! Quick question, though.

If someone were to apply to both, would they be required to submit two separate applications? If not required, is it preferred that they do so?

Lol, never mind, saw the answer on my second read. That's what I get for skimming DJB news on work breaks.

If it's any consolation, Liam, I was about to answer your question without realizing I already had in the report. That's what I get for having the memory of a goldfish. :P

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