Praetor to the Herald Report - The Holiday Rush


Praetor to the Herald Report - The Holiday Rush

oh look it's so red and shiny and terrible

In the quiet solitude of the Herald's office, Socorra felt a chill run down her spine the moment she heard the humming of her communicator signalling that she was needed. Normally she was the one making the calls - organising the details of plans, marshalling her staff to where they needed to be, confirming orders and making deals. However, this time she was the one on the receiving end - and deep down in her bones she knew who it was on the other end of the line.

Keying the communications panel built into her desk, she was greeted by the holographic black-cloaked form of the Grand Master. "Yes, milord?" asked the Herald immediately, reclining into the comfort of her seat. "What can I do for you?"

There was a moment's pause as Muz Ashen composed his next sentence, weaving it as carefully as the tapestry of fate that he toyed with. "The war approaches quickly and I have need of your talents, Socorra. Are you and your office prepared to carry out your duties?"

She nodded, choosing the wordless response - this was a sombre moment, one whose sanctity she dared not violate. Her duty was clear to her, at least. Much of her job had been taught to her by her predecessor and mentor in the role of Herald, Orv Dessrx d'Tana Arconae, until his untimely demise at the hands of Esoteric. She was an excellent hand for wetwork, for a Herald was rarely in the Antei system - always out in the wider galaxy, making deals, confirming supply lines for the Brotherhood. Occasionally this put her in the right location to bury the knife into the backs of an unsuspecting and disloyal target. On the eve of the invasion of Korriban, what was her mission?

Her resolve as steel, she knew there was only one truth to the unbidden subtext of the Grand Master's words: succeed, or die.

"What would you have us do?"

To be continued...

Ladies and gentlemen, it brings me great pleasure to bring you this report on behalf of the Herald's office. With Herald Style Hanukkah in development (and our collective brains all being overloaded with learning goodness and oh my god graphics how do I even), we'd like to take a short break from being enslaved to our mice and graphics tablets to update you guys on the goings-on in the club. Much like the retail industry, this is our holiday rush, so we want to keep you all in the know.

It's been three-ish months since our last full report, so let's dive right in.

Herald Style Hanukkah

For those of you new to the Brotherhood, Herald Style Hanukkah is our way of giving gifts to the club. Our annual tradition is to release a massive stack of new robes and sabers at the end of the year. Obviously I'm not going to spoil your holiday presents early - so no, you guys don't get a sneak peek. ;)

You may have seen the announcement that the Herald office has closed up for custom lightsaber and warbanner requests during this period, as it is extremely labour-intensive for us to put out all this content (Every saber we design has 35 permutations for order and blade!). If you put in a request during this time, we will not be processing it until HSH is over. We'll announce when requests are open again for graphics.

Warbanner Updates

Mirus, why the hell are you announcing warbanner changes when we can't even request them?
Because these changes have been ready to go for a while now and we got a little distracted working on HSH. Our bad.

We have three major updates that we'll be announcing here:

  • Firstly, as we'd like to recognise the hard work of all Summit members who stick out a position, we've expanded the medallion request to apply to Rollmasters and Battleteam Leaders who have served in their position for at least six months.
  • Secondly, we are adding a new unit pattern (similar to the SA or GMRG patterns) for request, with the same basic requirements as the medallion (3 months AED+, 6 months RM/BTL or Clan title). You may request the unit pattern instead of a medallion but you may not have both. We're also going to be tightening up the request rules on unit crests - effective immediately, no member will be able to request a Clan or House logo as their warbanner crest. A crest is meant to be your personal symbol, and last anybody checked, nobody unilaterally owns your Clan or House. It's also kind of a cheaty way to get a logo on your banner.
  • Finally, a new warbanner wiki page has gone live, detailing every possible option you have available. Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot stress enough how important it is to read this page before you make a request. We've had some people requesting things they can't have on their banner and as such we've had a couple disappointed people because they failed to read the rules first. I've tried very hard to make clear what option is available and when, as well as give you visual examples of everything as you would receive it.

Until we update the warbanner request form, please note the unit pattern in the comments section of your warbanner requests.

Custom Saber and Weapon Requests - What Do?

We've had a fair few requests come in recently for some interesting types of weapon - anything from a magic stick to some slightly fancy lightsabers. I'll address the whole pile of requests in a single, sweeping go:

  • The first thing you should always do is check the Lightsaber page. This table here will tell you almost everything about requests and at what rank you can do this, but most importantly: no we do not create anything that is not a lightsaber for your dossier.
  • Recently we've had a lot of questions about long-handled lightsabers. Famously wielded by folks like Kazdan Paratus, Darth Nihl and Darth Chratis, these things are maybe twice as long in hilt size but with the same size blade. We've also said a few different things to a few different people and we'd like to resolve them all equally. In consultation with a couple people, this is our final ruling: Long-handled lightsabers are available at Equite 3. Please note that a lightsaber pike/spear is not available until DJM under the advanced custom lightsaber ruling (and are available through other means, maybe?) The wiki page will be updated shortly to reflect this ruling.

Warbanner Wednesday & Saber Sunday

The awesome folks over at the recruitment team on Facebook have put together a weekly outpouring of the best sabers and warbanners, featuring some really cool new stuff every week. We've put in our recommendations for some of these, but a lot of these are picked by the awesome Tribune and his team. Definitely check it out; it's a good way to see some of the really cool stuff you may not get to look at otherwise.

Speaking of cool stuff, I'm going to feature something that isn't often seen on a dossier: the Order warbanners. These little badasses become available at Equite 2, and are available to Dark path members. Each of them is unique to the member: for example, Roxas and Korras aka Darth Aeternus both feature the Obelisk warbanner, but they're very vastly different. Mark is a proud bearer of his Sith warbanner displaying all his fighter kills. (Some of them anyway, he argues, because waah waah I'm an ace they should be red waaah TIE Fighter :P)

However, one warbanner we don't see very often is the Krath one. It makes reference to the arcane nature of study and lore, where so much information can be found on ancient scrolls. Esoteric runes make for decoration and wax seals hold sigils in place. So, here it is!

Krath warbanner

The Trailer Lightsaber

Being Herald staff, the nature of this lightsaber is very important to us. There have been tons of newsposts about it recently and I'm going to bring out two videos from some of my favourite people on the planet addressing the issue:

  • Xen mentioned this already (boo), but I'll mention this again: Stephen Colbert provides an excellent view that uses some actual legit Star Wars logic. Turns out he belongs here. This video is available in all countries unlike Xen's link, so if you haven't seen it yet, check it out now. It does loop back on itself at the end, but such is the price of awesome.
  • The guys over at one of my favourite Youtube series, Enter the Dojo, have done a hilarious video on the topic as well, showing you exactly how you would use a crossguard lightsaber. Disclaimer on this one: NSFW because mild language on it and the channel in general. My fellow martial arts fans will enjoy the hell out of the channel too!

Personally I like the design as it stands. Not so much a fan of the new sound effect they use, but hey, whatever. Minor personal gripe for an otherwise awesome weapon.

Herald Highlights


Mirus Hi'ija

A'lora Kituri


Mirus Hi'ija

Rhiann Baenre


Ask The Praetor

<RianAslar> So a question to the PHRLD, can you do a video like you guys did for the lightsaber creation in photoshop for the blades as well?
This one's actually a really easy thing to do - I'll drum up a quick tutorial for it at some point. Really quickly and without much detail, in terms of Photoshop: you want a white line with a pointed tip (use the pen tool or make a white line and erase to your needs), then apply an outer glow to it on the layer blending options - adjust according to size (for a full-length saber size like on the selector, you want 100% opacity and about spread 15 size 15 - fix to your taste; spread intensifies the colour). Finally, put a gaussian blur on it of about 0.5-1.0 pixel radius. A saber blade is about a 20-second job when you know what to do :)

If anyone else does have art questions, don't hesitate to send them our way - we do enjoy making tutorials and stuff!

<Furios> PHRLD why isn't lingerie an option in the robe selection?
Because, Furios, I'm pretty sure you didn't want me to tell anyone that you cross-dress in your spare time.

<Gon_Doru> What exactly does the Heralds office do, in corralation (sp) with the rest of the Dark Council?
We'll be exploring that shortly - we ourselves have wanted an answer to it, so we've decided to do just that. The little fiction bit above? Expect it to be released very soon, and that should answer your question in a little more detail than we've already hinted at.

<Celevon> Kiwi: How much do you enjoy your job?
Immensely. I not only get to work with talented people, I'm doing something fun, learning a lot of stuff along the way and doing something that matters to the club. We all know I suck as an AED/QUA (yes, I accept this fact), but I enjoyed that far less than I do this - this is something I'm good at and that I like doing. I feel like I've found my niche, y'know?

Art Corner

This time around I was going to do what Muz normally does and feature some artwork. However, since the DB's going to Reddit, I'm going to share something I found months ago while trawling Reddit: /r/StarshipPorn - and no, there aren't naked sexy starship pinups (sorry, Tarax). Instead this is a slowly-growing collection of some of the best starship art from around the internets. It features everything from Star Wars to Star Trek, to Battlestar Galactica - even stuff like Firefly and Starcraft! Check it out if you like any of the following: art, starships, sci-fi, pretty pictures, colours or explosions.

The Final Word

It's nice to write a report every now and then (unlike most people who dread reports, I love writing them. Weird, I know). I would like to say thanks to the awesome Herald team currently slaving away at their graphics - thanks, dudes.

In the meantime, please look forward to HSH!

The header was my idea :p

You're welcome. :>

So the Herald is an assassin now instead of an emmisary/ambassador?

Meh, I've decided the Recruitment Tribune is the new master of whispers type dude, because an unholy amount of our new members choose the "And a shadowy person approached them about the db's existence and then became a superduperdarkjedi!" route. Thus, I am now the guy who listens to all the rumours and sends people to fetch people in my own mind... so Herald can be an assassin now too :P

Both, Mal. Sarin established the Herald as an assassin when he sent Orv to go fight Morotheri (and then get rekt by Esoteric). But that doesn't change the fact that the Herald is the logistics person.

Addendum - the rest will be explained in due time. :) Again, when the rest of the fiction is released, it will all be explained.

Whoop! Awesome report, also I agree with being the shadowy type figure.

Few things:

1) Why doesn't the Herald do her own reports? Seems odd...

2) Did you guys run this fictional background for the Herald by the Voice? It seems to infringe on a lot of major plans for the Voice office and beyond...

3) You brought up the trailer lightsaber and mentioned how important it was to the Herald's office, but you didn't state whether it would be incorporated into selector or custom lightsabers. Are we adding the "broadsword saber" or no?

I also noted that you chose not to answer the question I asked for the report so I'll ask again.

What's the reason for this unprecedented deal with the Herald office stopping completely to do their actual jobs for an annual gimmick? An annual gimmick that as the name implies they have had an entire year to prepare for?

1) Similarly to last year, Socks handled reports at this time of year in place of Orv - I have a lot more free time on my hands than a working mother with young children, so I took care of this for Socks during an exceptionally busy life period.

2) We haven't made any changes whatsoever - all apparent 'changes' were established in Sarin's fiction last year when he sent the Herald as an assassin. It stands to reason that this needs not change. The rest is exactly as specified by the Wiki or by Muz, who did serve as Herald himself.

3) That particular question was answered by Muz in his last report - there's no need to re-hash his answer.

As I stated the first time you asked in IRC, this is not unprecedented; Shikyo closed the office as well for whatever reason. We chose to make the same decision.

It's not like they have lives or anything :P

I'm greatly appreciative of the Herald staff and the effort they put in. As far as I know, they do this stuff for free and we're lucky to have them. Great report, looking forward to seeing what y'all have in store.

Shikyo only halted custom lightsabers and that was because he had a backlog and as far as I recall he was the only one making them at the time so it's not at all the same case as now.

1) Real life always come first. If Socorra doesn't have time to put out a report in almost 3 months, she should step aside and let someone else take the reigns.

2) It is spelled out by the wiki - as the Emissary of the Dark Council. Also? Sarin sent Orv to kill somebody. Not the office. Not the position.

3) Muz's answer in that report was a non-answer. I think Shad was asking if people can request custom lightsabers in a style similar to the one in the trailer. Can we get an answer on that?

4) To Malik's point? Answer the question. The Herald office has one herald, two praetors, three two magistrates right now.

...and three magistrates.

So in any case, more people on staff than pretty much any HRLD in the past as far as I can remember.

Here's something interesting

From the maker of lightsaber.


1) I'm here to deliver the report I wrote. That's a Dark Council issue, way beyond my paygrade. Don't shoot the messenger.

2) We made the extrapolation based on what we had and the very simple logic presented with it - that will then be dealt with by appropriate parties in their time.

3) If there is a new development, we will keep the membership apprised of it immediately given the popularity of the idea. Right now the only answer beyond this I'm able to give is Muz's answer.

4) Not all Herald staff members are able to make sabers. It's not something we immediately teach. It took me 6-ish months on staff before I started working lightsabers, and only recently on robes. Some people are attached to the staff for other reasons, such as doing lineart and colouring for other projects, or just to handle the warbanner queue. Staff size is not an indication; is every Professor or Docent knowledgeable in all aspects of the Shadow Academy? Do they grade all the exams? No. We do have specific people tasked with specific things, just like every other office. Furios is M:FIST to run the TOR guild. It's not unheard of.

Furthermore, I didn't make the decision; I'm also not about to revoke it. I'll also say this - Shikyo might have been doing it on his own, sure, but he's also made over one thousand lightsabers. Muz has a shitload of real-world graphics design experience. So far in the DB, I've made five lightsabers. Do the math, guys - it takes any of us longer than it does either of them to create things. They have prefab bits and pieces, more ideas, more practise putting things together. I don't know if you have a real appreciation for how hard the work involved is, but that's just how it is.


Ladies and gents, it's pretty simple - take the report at face value because that's exactly as it is. I don't make all the decisions around here. I'm just here to deliver you the news, and get back to work. I'm sorry I'm not some magical all-knowing person, but frankly you're taking all this crap out on a report that is written precisely as intended. I'm sorry not everything's the way you'd like it to be, but them's the breaks. I'm sure you have better things to do.

I'm pretty sure Socorra is still recuperating from her traumatic time with Raken's 50 Shades of Red routine, which is why she has been unable to post her own reports.

You say it's not unheard of that specific staffers are tasked with specific things, but as was pointed out, the current HRLD staff is bigger than any past one ever was and judging from the report at least two know how to make lightsabers which is the same, or more than in the past as well.

So, I'm honestly curious, why don't you just release the template for the Warbanners, give out a list of rules that people have to follow to get them approved, then have people submit their own warbanners with the staff double checking them to make sure they're all correct. It'll save the staff time, make it quicker to get warbanner requests through (Because if someone REALLY wants that warbanner they'll do it themselves relatively quick-like) and reduce the chance of the Herald staff not understanding what the person is looking for.

1.) I would expect a report from Socorra shortly.

2.) The fictional role of the Herald has been somewhat in flux, as has many of the Various Dark Councilor's fictional roles. They haven't been focused on very much since the advent of the Voice and Fist, as we've all been working on the actual jobs more than what the fictionality of it was. That said, from the traditional role of emissary to assassin is a pretty simple gear-change. They're already in the field, have a working knowledge of the enemy, et cetera.

3.) The question posed to me was whether or not that saber would be in the selector. Different question entirely, so... You may not request lightsabers made in the trailer style. I hope that is definitive enough for you.

4.) I think that you forget that this is a volunteer club. Everyone here has real-world obligations, be it family, work, or whatever else competes for their time. Add to that a difference of skill levels, training levels, and a desire (some might say a 'need') to keep up with the specter of holidays past, and the picture becomes more clear. As it sits, the saber queue was at one request (and that was already assigned) before requests were paused, so it is not as though there is a dozen people waiting for work to get accomplished. The decision was made to pause requests (which are awesome for one person each) in favor of selector goodies (which are awesome for a much larger selection of the population) as a matter of cost/benefit. It won't be long, as it is only for thirty days (maybe even less), so I'm unsure why you are raising so much of a fuss. Are you worried that you can't slave-drive those staffers for those thirty days? Are you so desperate for graphics that you feel the irrascible need to terrorize a praetor and berate him on a news post? Did you forget that he's here trying to provide good work for the rest of us, and free of charge? At the end of the day, there is work getting done, a large amount of it, and of rather high quality. I fail to see why there is so much consternation involved.

Malik: Herald Kaine had two praetors and three Magistrates. I had one praetor and three magistrates (at one point, i had four) when i was herald as well. Shikyo had the same, although i think he had two praetors at one point as well. So, whoever told you that this was an unusual staff size was misinformed. I also fail to see why this is a concern for you. So long as the work gets done, and it is of sufficient quality/quantity, everything is fine. That said, I am not sure why you have elected yourself the police on this sort of scenario, but hope that you use the same zeal when attending to your Consul duties.

Tarax: LOL

@ Decimo

That would require everyone that wants a warbanner to have some sort of photo manipulation program (such as Photoshop), and that's just not very realistic. It's easier if we just handle them all. That's my take on it, anyway.

I thought this was a pretty awesome report. Love and skittles, HRLD bebes.

Socks! The Herald Jedi sing glory to force sensitive beings?

From experience, I could totally pull off my own warbanner, but I liked being able to have people who do it regularly handle it for me. The request form is pretty open and the staff is friendly and easy to talk to if you have questions for how to make your banner special, imo.

I do believe that Decimo meant it as an option for the people who has the tools and skills, not for everyone

Some example reasons we will continue to keep warbanners to the Herald staff:

  • We keep the crests we've done on hand. In the past six months I've had five people ask for the same crest as someone else; identical crests are a thing we try and avoid. We don't get this stockpile if we let everyone do their own banners.
  • Most people just don't know about the minor tweaks we have to make to most banners every time we get certain combinations of colours/rails, and teaching them is a long process - but it's easier to teach one person than it is a whole club.
  • Quality purposes. Some people might be happy with the crest they find, but if it's an artifacted paint piece of crap, then we may just say no - and it's harder for people to accept the no when they've put effort into the project, so to speak. There's also copyrighted imagery, things we won't allow, what have you.

Honestly, there's a lot of stuff, mostly on our end - it's 10x easier for us to keep it in-house, to do it to our level of standard.

Also, one fairly important reason I forgot: the base warbanner file is 11 MB. A number of email services do not permit attachments over 10 MB - it's also a logistics thing.

Hmm. Just to clear something up. I/We were not establishing the Herald as an Assassin when Orv was sent to kill Morotheri. Orv volunteered to die and it was a way to make it happen. Later on, we will see that someone is knocking off Dark Councilors for a reasons, maybe even orchestrating it. Any speculation that I was establishing the Herald Office as Assassins is pure conjecture/speculation. The Voice has been working on a Fiction Society since I held the job and a large part of that is very Assassin related. Herald's herald.


I'll herald you! * shakes fist menacingly *

Hmmm... I came here just to comment that I love Mark's warbanner with the kill silhouettes! 5 minutes later and I nearly forgot that after reading through the posts!

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