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Information on the Rihannsu

Table of Contents

  1. Romulan History
  2. The Rihannsu Military
  3. Rihannsu Ships
  4. The Rihannsu Economy
  5. The Empire Ranking System
  6. Rihannsu Culture
  7. Roots of Rihannsu Behavior
  8. How to Act
  9. Traditions
  10. Rihannsu Society
  11. Houses
  12. Family
  13. Physical makeup
  14. Fashion
  15. Recreation
  16. Rihannsu Government Structure
  17. The Rihannsu Legal System
  18. Rights and Strictures

A. Romulan History

It is often a truism that cultures are shaped by their history, but with the Romulans it is a demonstrable fact. To trace the history of the Romulans, it is necessary to go back to the history of ancient Vulcan.

Ancient Vulcans were not at all like Spock, the most well known Star Trek Vulcan. Early Vulcans were an extremely emotional, violent and warlike people. The planet was divided into hundreds of small clans and city- states, each with diverse governmental structures and religions. Because Vulcan was (and is) an extremely dry world, water and resources were scarce. Clans and cities fought violently to acquire the resources to continue to survive. In fact, during any given period on the planet, it was unlikely that any more than 10% of the planet was not at war.
Around 80 BC, in Terran dating, a Vulcan named Surak began publicly expousing the mental practice of logic, and the philosophies of peace. As one could expect, in a turbulent world filled with wars and warriors, his philosophies were slow to spread. However, spread they did, and Surak gradually gathered a small following of devoted followers -- the first true Vulcans, as we now know them. Among these followers was one named S'Task, keen of mind and heart, and Surak's finest pupil.
In the year 20 BC, Vulcan received its first contact with aliens from other stars. The signals beamed in from the edge of the Vulcan system by alien vessels so shocked the Vulcans that several wars and declarations of war were put on hold until the matter could be settled one way or another. Officials met, and it was decided that the planet would meet the aliens united. Contact was made via transmissions from Vulcan, and a time and place of meeting agreed upon.
On the day of the meeting Surak was detained by vehicle troubles, but his pupil S'Task was there in his stead. Unfortunately, the aliens were not true to their word of peace, for they were Orion pirates, intent on enslaving the unsuspecting world. When the aliens landed, the Vulcan emissaries were greeted with stun rays and blasters, rather than overtures of friendship, and a large proportion on the leadership of Vulcan was taken prisoner and held for ransom, among them S'Task.
Thus began the "Ahk", the greatest of all Vulcan's wars, which they fought in their primitive ships using their not at all primitive psi- powers. With their mind talents, Vulcan adepts could force Orion pilots to attack each other, or dive their ships into the sun, and the Orions quickly learned that they should not have tangled with this superficially primitive species.
S'Task himself escaped captivity during the war, organizing an in-ship rebellion, overpowering his captors, and eventually crashing the ship into the Orion mothership, narrowly escaping in a rescue pod. He was found, many weeks later, drifting in space, half-starved, and clinging to life only through the force of his own anger.
In this way began the split between Surak and his student S'Task. After his experience with the Orions, S'Task renounced the pacifism of Surak, saying that pacifism was inappropriate in the hostile universe waiting in interstellar space. However, S'Task was not willing to promote his philosophies actively against Surak, for fear of prodding Vulcan back into a state of war and anarchy. Surak had long preached that "The structure of spacetime is more concerned with means than ends: beginnings must be clean to be of profit", and S'Task agreed with his old master. It was with this in mind that S'Task proposed an alternate solution.
The world was not working as it was, said S'Task, so a clean beginning was in order. The followers of S'Task would use Vulcan's newly advanced space technology and venture out into interstellar space to find a new world and make a clean beginning.
Fifty years later, the first Vulcan far-travel ship, Rhea's Helm, cut in its engines and left orbit, sealing a rift in the species which has not been sealed to this day.
In all, there were 16 far-travel ships in the fleet, each carrying approximately five thousand of the "Declared", those who committed to the journey and placed all their property into a trust to build the ships. When the ships left Vulcan, it was with the belief that they would be able to find a suitable planet within 30-50 years of ship time. The ships were designed with a 100 year viability envelope, so this left plenty of time for the Travellers to find an appropriate world, should the first few stops be unfruitful.
Unfortunately, the Travellers planned their route using data taken from captured Orion vessels, and used the data in a very negative way. Because the Orions had lied to them before, the Travellers were inclined to distrust the data, and planned their trip so as to avoid any star mentioned in the databanks. In this way, the Travellers hoped to avoid any further contact with hostile aliens. The undesirable concomitant of this strategy was that the Traveller's course led straight through a particularly barren, lifeless, and consequently unexplored section of the quadrant. Rather than taking 30 years, their journey stretched out over 100 years, and they barely arrived at a habitable world before their ships fell apart from old age.
In the course of the journey, 11 of the 16 original ships succumbed to various disasters: mind destroying aliens, black holes, and gravity wells. The five remaining craft were rewarded for their perseverance with the discovery of not one, but a binary pair of habitable worlds orbiting the star 128 Trianguli. After some discussion, the worlds were named ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, "of the Declared" and "of the Travellers", in the tongue which the Travellers evolved from the Ancient Vulcan dialect to replace their Vulcan language. In this new tongue, the travellers called themselves "Rihannsu", or "the Declared".
At planetfall, the Travellers found themselves suddenly with two empty worlds to populate. Land was distributed by lottery, and most of the population debarked, leaving only a few small "Ship Clans" who were reluctant to abandon the far-travel ships completely. However, life on the two worlds was not idyllic: of the 18,000 Rihannsu who settled on the two worlds, approximately 6,000 died in the first ten years of their settlement.
Oddly enough, these 6,000 did not die of disease or starvation, but mostly from the violent deaths of war. Upon settling down the Rihannsu promptly picked up where things had left off on Vulcan, warring and feuding for various reasons, primarily territory and resources. In such an atmosphere it was only a matter of time before a warlord emerged to impose a central structure on the factions and clans by force, and such a warlord was T'Rehu, the Ruling Queen.
T'Rehu built up an army in about 67 AS (After Settlement) and within 10 years had more might than any in the Two Worlds. When her power was sufficient, she brought her armies to the Grand Council and there demanded recognition. Only S'Task stood before her, and turned and left when the Council granted her demands. A few years later when famine struck the South Continent she called the Council, including S'Task, together. She derided the Council for incompetence, and when S'Task turned his back on her dishonorable display she had him killed, setting herself up as Ruling Queen. As head of the Grand Council and later as Ruling Queen, T'Rehu dabbled in tyranny and beneficence, taking lives and saving them at her whims for some 18 years.
However, 20 years is a short time in the history of a world and after smarting under her rule for several years the warlike clans of the Eastern continents of ch'Havran revolted and defeated her armies. In place of the Ruling Queen a Tricameral house of Praetorate and Senate was set up which was sufficiently resilient to have survived to this day.
So in relative stability, with regular localized factional wars, the Rihannsu lived for well over 1000 years. The Rihannsu enjoyed all the arts and developed them over this time: sculpture, music, painting, science and war. All were relished and enjoyed. And then, the Rihannsu suffered a rude awakening.
In approximately 1600 AS, the Federation vessel USS Carrizal came out of warp at the far edge of the 128 Trianguli system and began surveying the area. They found, to their surprise, two worlds there with an apparently highly developed agrarian civilization on each. The crew dubbed the worlds "Romulus" and "Remus" in reference to an ancient Terran legend. In standard first contact procedures they beamed in messages of peace and good will. They received no response. After surveying the system for a time, they returned to the Federation with the news of their discovery.
On the Two Worlds the arrival of the aliens had an extremely disturbing effect. Tales of the Orion pirates had survived through the years, and the settlers still remembered that the Orions had preceded their treachery with offerings of peace. They were determined not to allow history to repeat itself, and set about organizing their defence. Over the past 1600 years, the Rihannsu had developed an extremely effective industrial system. They knew they could not match the technology of the ship that had entered their system, but years of war had taught them that sheer numbers could overwhelm any technological advantage.
By the time the next Federation ship arrived, the Rihannsu had constructed some 7,000 crude, cylindrical vessels -- impulse powered with particle beam weapons. When the USS Balboa coasted into the Trianguli system, it was blown to bits by the massed particle beams of 50 spacecraft. Shortly thereafter, the Rihannsu captured the USS Stone Mountain, took her apart, studied the design, and added warp drive to their primitive craft. Thus began what was known to the Federation as the "First Romulan War".
The Federation's StarFleet was stymied and confused by their inability to defeat the Rihannsu, who were flying craft that were little more than tin cans with warp power drives. Time and again, larger and larger task forces were sent into Rihannsu space and were systematically obliterated by the Rihannsu. At about this time, the Federation made first contact with the Vulcans, and asked them if they knew anything about this seemly maniacal race. The Vulcans responded with characteristic caution, that they knew of some who might match the description, but that they had left Vulcan long ago. As StarFleet continued to send task forces into Rihannsu space the Vulcans suggested that, if these were indeed the ones who had left long ago, it would be best to make peace. It took StarFleet several more years to realize that they were never going to prevail, and a treaty was eventually negotiated -- the only treaty in Federation history to be negotiated entirely by data upload, as the Rihannsu refused to meet the aliens in person.
The treaty stipulated a band of space between the Federation and Rihannsu territories one light year thick, which has since become known as the "Romulan Neutral Zone". And so the situation stands now: the Rihannsu on one side, fiercely developing their defences to avoid being taken advantage of by aliens once again; and the Federation on the other, completely unable to comprehend the reasoning and historical context behind the implacable hostility of their counterparts.

B. The Rihannsu Military

The military is the central organization in the Rihannsu Empire. In order to protect themselves after the appearance of the Federation in their system, the Rihannsu provided sweeping powers to their military. This emphasis on military service lead in turn to the social importance of military service.

The military is lead by the High Command, which consists of the Naval admiralty and the Legion heads of all military legions, including the Special Forces and Military Intelligence.
Members of the military are expected to follow the Chain of Command, reporting problems and progress to their immediate superiors as a matter of course.

C. Rihannsu Ships

After the first war with the Federation, the Rihannsu bent their engineering skills towards creating a ship to defend the Empire. The result was the "Warbird" class starship, acknowledged by everyone, including the Klingons and the Federation, to be one of the finest, solidest, most maneuverable warp-capable craft ever designed. The Warbird is small, but contains a formidable arsenal, most notably a plasma-based molecular implosion field.

In addition to the impressive Warbird, the Rihannsu were the first species in the quadrant to develop a working cloaking device. A prototype device was stolen by the Federation shortly after it's development, but was not entirely compatible with their propulsion systems, and is not in common use in their fleet. The Klingons also succeeded in stealing the device, some time later, and successfully adapted it to their ships. Most Rihannsu ships are equipped with the cloaking device for the impressive tactical advantage it provides.
After the war with the Federation, and several wars with the Klingons, the Rihannsu found their economy in desperate shape, and were forced to sign a trading agreement with the Klingons. Under the agreement, the Rihannsu were required to buy a number of Klingon ships for their fleet. Though heavily armed, the Klingon ships proved to be poorly made and the Rihannsu have been trying to phase them out of the fleet ever since.

D. The Rihannsu Economy

The main economy of the Empire is highly centralized, due to the necessities of constantly providing for the protection of the Empire. The government-run Rihannsu Trading Corporation (RTC) controls all major commodity production and large scale trading. The RTC also regulates the smaller privately owned companies to ensure high standards.

Trading between Rihannsu and alien races has the same character as the Terran economy, in which the vendor attempts to get the highest price possible from the customer and the customer tries for a bargain. Trading among Rihannsu operates on quite different principles, however. The vendor honors the buyer by offering the lowest price he can possibly give, and the buyer tries to talk the vendor up to an honorable price which he feel accurately reflects the social status of himself and his House.
For example, if a Rihannsu were to buy a bottle of wine, the vendor would first offer to sell it at cost, or even less, if the buyer is of particularly high status. The buyer would then make a counter-offer, providing a profit margin which reflects the power and status of himself and his family. The two then dicker until a compromise is reached, at which point merchandise changes hands.

E. The Empire Ranking System

The ranking system for the Empire is as follows:

   Rihannsu      Federation
   ~~~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~~~~
   Erein         Subcenturion
   Arrain        Centurion
   Enarrain      Senior Centurion
   erei'Riov     Subcommander
   Riov          Commander
   galae'Riov    Fleet Commander
   khre'Riov     Commander-General
   erei'Enriov   Rear Admiral
   Enriov        Admiral
   galae'Enriov  Fleet Admiral
   Fvillha       Director
   Hfehan        Citizen
   Erredh        Student
   Enerredh      Graduate Student
   Fvehai        Worker
   Hfai          Servant
   Arrhai        Merchant
   El'arrhai     Senior Merchant
   Ne'rhaetelh   Junior Executive
   Rhaetelh      Executive
   El'rhaetelh   Senior Executive
   Ne'fvrihai    Jr. Administrator
   Fvrihai       Administrator
   El'fvrihai    Sr. Administrator
   Ne'aefvriha   Asst. Head Admin.
   Aefvriha      Head Administrator
   Ne'afvillhei  Junior Governor
   Afvillhei     Governor
   El'afvillhei  Senior Governor
   Ne'auethnen   Junior Advisor
   Auethnen      Advisor
   El'auethnen   Senior Advisor
   Ne'lleifven   Junior Attache
   Lleifven      Attache
   El'lleifven   Senior Attache
   Ne'llairhi    Junior Ambassador
   Llairhi       Ambassador
   El'llairhi    Senior Ambassador

F. Rihannsu Culture

To better understand the Rihannsu culture of today one must look at the Vulcan culture of the past. The Vulcans of the past were an extremely warlike and emotional people. It was the only teachings of Surak that brought about the logical Vulcan culture of today. It was a student of Surak's, S'task, who lead a group of people out into the stars to create a new way of life. Based on the fundamentals of ancient Vulcan society, Rihannsu culture is a liberal admixture of old Vulcan traits and ideas evolved during the Journey.

There is an old Rihannsu proverb that sums up the culture rather well: "Certain it is and sure: love burns, ale burns, fire burns, politics burns. But cold were life without them." Rihannsu enjoy all aspects of life to the fullest, revelling in their experiences. Even seemingly unpleasant experiences, like death, and war, are cherished for their intensity.

G. Roots of Rihannsu Behavior

Cautious at best, xenophobic at worst, the Rihannsu people have a right to paranoia born of their violent history. The experience with the Orion pirates on ancient Vulcan burned a lesson into their minds forever: never trust an alien. In the mind of a Rihannsu, only a Rihannsu person is worthy of respect and civility, all others are discounted.

At the center of the Rihannsu code of behavior is the importance of "mnhei'sahe. It is a measurement of inner strength and a status symbol in the culture. Mnhei'sahe, or "the Ruling Passion", centers around a strong appreciation of honor, duty, courtesy and strength. In all interactions between Rihannsu, it is imperative that all parties leave afterward feeling that their honor, their status, their "face", is intact. To do otherwise would be to deny the mnhei'sahe of the offended party. If the offending party feels he can apologize without himself losing face, he does so. Otherwise, a duel may be in order. Or, if the disgraced party is beyond recall, those present may simply kill him, in order to preserve the memory of his honor and prevent further disgrace. Above all, mnhei'sahe is sensitive to the context of the situation. It is not a hard set rule, in is an unspoken consensus which guides the actions of all Rihannsu.
Rihannsu honor their word, when it is given to another Rihanha -- to break with one's word means dishonor, a fate worse than death. Politeness, respect, and quiet dignity are always required if mnhei'sahe is to be satisfied.
Rihannsu honor power as much as they honor loyalty. The goal of each Rihanha is power -- if not for self or House, then always for the Empire. Rihannsu are always loyal to the Empire itself, not to any one person. For the Rihannsu, power can not be defined in the Terran terms of monetary wealth, it is the power of mnhei'sahe, and it defines the structure within Rihannsu society.
Mnhei'sahe is not a vague or academic term. Wars, executions and deaths of entire Households can be required to satisfy mnhei'sahe. If mnhei'sahe is always intact within the Empire, the Rihannsu believe that they can never lose.
There are some people who have no honor. These include those who are not Rihannsu, those who dishonor themselves to the point where no one respects them and those who act in opposition to the collective will of the empire. This is one reason why slaves are permitted. Although it stems from ancient Vulcan in historical context, it has been permitted to continue because of honor.
Most slaves are either Rihannsu criminals and miscreants or people from outside the empire. In Rihannsu society, these people have no honor, and are treated as such, as slaves. If these people regain some of their honor through devoted service or through other acts, it is possible that their master will set them free. The master does this to respect the honorable conduct of the slave. He or she also does it to preserve personal honor, since it is highly dishonorable for any Rihannsu to keep an honorable being in slavery.

H. How to Act

This section is intended to provide a few of the specifics of Rihannsu behavior. In particular, the etiquette that the complex Rihannsu class structure demands.
At all times it is expected that you will behave in an honorable way. Inappropriate childish and immature behavior will be dealt with with disciplinary measures. As a cadet or citizen you should treat your superiors at all times with respect. This doesn't mean that you can't joke around, but when a situation is serious act accordingly.
As a cadet or a new graduate you may be called to meetings to either give input to a situation or to receive duties. Remember that you have been called there for a purpose, to give input, so do so. Make sure that you are not interrupting or jumping ahead -- that can make for confusion. Make sure that you always understand your orders: it is better to repeat them at the beginning rather than do the wrong thing. Use your judgement and common sense.
As a citizen or cadet of the Rihannsu Empire, your behavior, manner, and conduct reflect upon our Empire. There are many reasons why you may have joined the Rihannsu Empire, but the one true goal and duty of all Rihannsu is The Glory of the Empire. When you are on Nimbus ]I[ or somewhere else, your behavior reflects upon the training that you have received at the Academy and upon the Empire in general. Do not forget that our duty is to the Empire and that the pristine face that is the Empire should never be marred by your actions.
A common question for most cadets and citizens is when to bow, whom to salute and how many times. Citizens do not have to salute, but it is polite to bow to your superiors. Once is enough when entering a room and leaving. The same holds true for Cadets, saluting when you enter and room and leaving. When you become a higher ranking officer you may acknowledge lower ranks in any way you feel fits the situation: from a bow to a nod to completely ignoring them.
If you are in the military, you are generally expected to address all superior officers as "rekkhai", with the exception of social, or OOC occasions. "Rekkhai" is a gender neutral term and is used for male and female superiors alike. Inferior officers may be addressed by rank or name.
Civilians are expected to address military officers by their rank unless invited otherwise. Important civilian citizens should be addressed as "lhhai" (Sir) or "lhhei" (Madam). Heads of Clans should be addressed as "hru'hfirh" (Lord).

I. Traditions

Rihannsu traditions are buried deep in their history and psyche. They affect every aspect of their lifestyle, and deviation from tradition can be interpreted as a personal dishonor.
An important tradition is how Rihannsu greet one another. Greetings vary depending on whether the parties involved are members of the military or not. If two civilians are meeting each other, one may choose to bow to the other, although it is not required. The other may choose to nod or bow in return, or do nothing at all. To do nothing is considered rude. Whether the person nods or bows in return depends on a number of factors, such as his/her position in society, the position of the other civilian, or the whether the other person is an acquaintance or not.
When military personnel greet each other, the one of lower rank is required to salute the officer of higher rank. The higher ranked officer can then decide whether or not to bow, nod, salute or ignore the other. Very seldom will someone ignore a salute. If the two officers are of the same rank, they may bow, nod or salute the other -- and do the same in return.
If a military officer and a civilian meet, usually the civilian will bow to the military officer, but will never salute. The civilian is not required to bow or nod, but it is usually done to someone who is defending the empire. The military officer then can return the bow or nod, salute, or ignore the civilian altogether. Normally they will return with a nod or bow and on rare occasions even salute. For instance, a military officer may choose to salute a civilian if the civilian is a retired officer, or of exceptionally high status.
There are also certain traditions that must be adhered to when hosting a meeting with another Rihannsu. One is the serving of a beverage to guests when they first enter the house. This beverage may be one of four: ale, water, wine or citrus (juice). Ale is cheap, and is seldom served unless a social gathering requires cheap spirits. Water is the most common. Not expensive but still showing courtesy to your guest. Wine is more expensive and is used when entertaining special guests. Citrus is the most expensive, and is reserved for very special occasions.
Once a beverage is served, it is the guest's privilege to take the first drink. This is also done out of respect to the host for serving the beverage. After the guest finishes her first drink, the host may follow.
Upon entering a room, it is traditional to introduce yourself to those also present in the room. This can be done by bowing, saluting or nodding, and saying "Jolan'tru". If someone is accompanying you into a room, and they don't know those present, introduce that person to them. If you are accompanying someone into a room full of people you do not know, wait until that person introduces you. The best way is to introduce a person to everyone else individually, bowing or nodding to each new acquaintance.
When leaving a room, it is also customary to bow or salute while saying "Jolan'tru".
Position always outweighs rank. If an Arrain is the commanding officer of a vessel, he would be addressed with his position, "Riov", not his rank, "Arrain". If you were talking to the Fvillha, who was also the head of his own house, about a matter that dealt with his house, you would address him as "Hru'hfirh". If it was a matter dealing with the empire, you would address him as "Fvillha".
Example: H'daen is Hru'hfirh of the House Radaik. He is an Enriov in the navy, and in command of a fleet of vessels within the navy. If you were addressing him about a House matter, you would call him "Hru'hfirh tr'Radaik". If it was a general naval matter, you would address him as "Enriov". If you were addressing him about a matter that dealt with his ship or the fleet of ships under his command, you would address him as "galae'Riov" (Fleet Captain).
The real power one holds is position, not rank. One may order someone else to do something because of position, even if the person being ordered around has a higher rank.
This also holds true when talking about greater and lesser houses. Members of a greater house will have more social prestige and political power than those of lower houses. However, the power you gain from being a member of a greater house only extends to political and influential circles. This does not mean an Arrain of a great house may order an Arrain of lower house to do something. This is outside the scope of house powers.
To give you an idea about how some of these traditions would come into play, here are a couple of examples:

Arrain Nveid has asked to meet with Enriov H'daen. Nveid serves on board H'daen's ship, which is the flagship of a fleet within the navy. The meeting is to take place in Enriov H'daen's office.
There is a chime heard throughout the room. Enriov H'daen tr'Radaik calmly rises from behind his desk and walks over to the door and unlocks it with his passcard. The doors slide open to reveal Arrain Nveid standing just outside. H'daen motions him into the room.
"Galae'Riov tr'Radaik." Nveid says, promptly saluting H'daen by closing his right fist bringing it to the left side of his chest and then extending his arm straight, palm open and facing upwards.
He holds his arm in this position until H'daen acknowledges. H'daen nods in acknowledgment.
Nveid then brings his closed fist back to the left side of his chest and then drops his arm to his side.
H'daen moves over to a counter where pitcher of water and a set of glasses await. "Have a seat," he invites.
Nveid moves over to one of the chairs in front of H'daen's desk and sits himself down while H'daen pours two glasses of water from the pitcher, then gives one to Nveid and keeps one himself.
"Thank you Galae'Riov, it is most appreciated," says Nveid.
"My pleasure," H'daen replies taking a seat behind the desk.
Once H'daen takes his seat, Nveid takes a drink of water. Following Nveid, H'daen also takes drink.
"Galae'Riov, I came here today to discuss with you a matter which I perceive as a threat to ship's security," Nveid begins.
"Arrain! Do you not know protocol!" H'daen states sternly, "You are to bring these matters to the First Officer, not to me! You have been trained better than that. Explain yourself."
"Galae'Riov, I would have brought it to the First Officer, but I have reason to believe that he is part of that very same threat," Nveid replies calmly.
H'daen leans forward, eyes blazing and alert. "Then you acted properly of course. This is a very serious accusation you make Arrain. Explain this threat...."

Take note of the following things from this example:

The rest after that is just superfluous speech. The only thing to note is for military officers. It is common military procedure to report problems to the First Officer, who then decides whether it is worth bothering the Riov about.
On the MUSE, this encounter is not going to be all that extravagant, since someone typing all of that action out will take too long. The above conversation would look similar to this on the MUSE:
You hear the door chime.
H'daen unlocks door.
Nveid has arrived.
Nveid salutes
Nveid says "Galae'Riov."
H'daen nods.
H'daen says "Have a seat."
H'daen pours two glasses of water.
Nveid sits.
H'daen gives one glass to Nveid.
H'daen sits behind his desk.
Nveid takes a drink of water.
Nveid says "Thank you Galae'Riov, it is most appreciated."
H'daen says "My pleasure."
H'daen drinks some water.
Nveid says "Galae'Riov, I have come to discuss what....etc. etc."

J. Rihannsu Society

Respect is the basis of Rihannsu society -- to be disrespectful is to show a lack of mnhei'sahe. Showing respect to elders and superiors is a must in day-to-day Rihannsu life.

Every Rihannsu knows by the bearing and actions of another what rank and social status that person has. Non-verbal cues, reputation, military rank, and past experience all dictate the respect owed to each individual Rihannsu.
To an extent, Rihannsu social status and the rank of military personnel operate in parallel. Because the Rihannsu are a militarily oriented society, geared to the protection and promotion of the Empire, military service and accompanying rank are very important indicators of social status.
The person with highest status in the Empire is the "Fvillha", or chief Praetor, the Speaker of the Praetorate and the highest authority within in the Empire. Other people's status is ordered according to rank and civilian status in a long chain until ending with the lowest status, that of a prisoner. Prisoners are considered even lower than slaves -- a prisoner is considered to be without honor and is almost less than Rihannsu.
The Rihannsu social structure is actually much more complicated than what is presented above: there are structures within structures within structures, to the point where it is rare for any two Rihannsu to have the exact same social standing. Finally, although prestige and social standing are often related to rank, but social status should not be confused for military chain-of-command! Ranks effect social structure, not vice versa.

K. Houses

At the root of Rihannsu political organization is the House system. Houses are family groups or clan-like organizations, with hereditary succession structures. Unlike feudal family organizations, however, Rihannsu Houses encompass a much broader spectrum of society. For example, servants of a House Lord are considered part of the family, and adopt the House name and use it as their own. That is not to say that they are equal members, but they are included.

Each house that has its own rank and status accorded in Rihannsu society. Houses are considered either Great Houses or Lesser Houses. Great Houses have many family members that are high in the social standing of the Empire. The members of Great Houses have proven their service to the Empire in past honors and loyalty. Lesser Houses have not received the honor and glory, but serve an integral and vital role within the Empire. It is their quiet service that supports the Empire and brings greater glory to it. The status of House members reflects directly on the status of their House and vice versa.
Within each House, are various positions, as detailed in the following table:

 Position      Function         Position       Function
 ~~~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~       ~~~~~~~~
 hru'hfirh     Head of House    eri'hfirh      Heir of House
 Rianov        Weaponsmaster    Auethnen       Advisor
 Llaugh        Representive     hru'diranov    Grandfather
 hru'nanov     Grandmother      Di'ranov       Father
 Ri'nanov      Mother           ira'dianvm     Oldest Brother
 ia'rinam      Oldest Sister    dianvm         Brother
 rinam         Sister           eria'rianv     Cousin
 v'rian        Adopted Cousin   v'rinam        Adopted Sister
 v'dianvm      Adopted Brother  v-Di'ranov     Adopted Father
 v-Ri'nanov    Adopted Mother   v-hru'diranov  Adopted Grandfather

The most important person in a House is the hru'hfirh or Head of House. The hru'hfirh is responsible for the members of the House, maintaining the House's mnhei'sahe, and the day-to-day financial and social dealings of the House. The eri'hfirh, or Heir, assists the hru'hfirh. The status of the House and the responsibilities are decided by the hru'hfirh, but usually the importance of House members is as follows: hfu'hfirh, eri'hfirh, Auethnen, and then Llaugh and Rianov with equal rank. The other status and importance follows as listed above. As you can see is the chart above, there is the added complexity of adoption. An adopted member of the family has the same rank and receives the same respect as a blood member, but with the added responsibility of another House, perhaps. Adoptions are commonplace.
Another commonplace is a unique form of revenge, usually prompted by a mnhei'sahe in the case of the murder of a child, known as "hostage fostering". In this situation, a House steals the children of a rival House and rears them as their own. A family that has loses their child in this manner usually never sees them again.

L. Family

A typical Rihannsu family is made up of a mother and a father, with as many children as the parents desire. Each family unit is within a House, and Houses can be huge. The family unit does not look to one parent as superior, both mother and father have equal status. Although boy children are favored, girl children do not have a social stigma. Divorce and separation are rare with Rihannsu families, because the bond between the husband and wife is so very deep. A typical Rihannsu family is very happy and devoted to each other, with the bond of love. Within the family unit the first lessons in mnhei'sahe will be taught, to ground a child in the basic morality of Rihannsu life. The family also includes every single blood member of the House. Each member of the House is responsible to see that all of the children are raised in the proper traditions of the House and that the lessons of mnhei'sahe are taught and learned.

M. Physical Makeup

      Rihannsu Males
           Height:  between 5'7" and 6'3"
           Weight:  between 145lbs to 250lbs
             Hair:  black or dark brown
             Eyes:  dark colors, nearly black
         Strength:  stronger than the average Terrans
 facial features:   Softer than the sharp angles of the vulcans, but there
                    is still a chiseled like feature, the ears are less
                    pointed than their Vulcan cousins.

      Rihannsu Females
           Height:  between 5'6" and 5'9"
           weight:  between 125lbs and 165lbs
             hair:  black or dark brown
             eyes:  dark colors or brown
         strength:  stronger than the average Terran.
  facial features:  softer than the chiseled like features of the males,
                    ears are less pointed than that of their Vulcan

Rihannsu& blood chemistry is significantly different from that of Terrans. Like their Vulcan ancestors, the Rihannsu have copper based blood, which is green rather than red. The Rihannsu physiology is not identical to that of Vulcans however, since the two races have had two millenia to evolve in different directions.
Living on the Two Worlds, which are somewhat colder and a good deal wetter than Vulcan, the Rihannsu have undergone a few changes. Their long pointed ears, used by Vulcans to radiate excess heat, have shortened somewhat. Rihannsu have slightly more exterior insulating body fat, and lack the gaunt look of Vulcans. Rihannsu skin is a slightly lighter shade of green than Vulcans, since they do not need the extra sun protection provided by excess skin pigmentation.

N. Fashion

Most Rihannsu males wear pants or slacks that are cut close to the body, and either soft shoes or boots. At formal occasions a House uniform may be worn, unless they are in the military in which case standard issue uniforms would be worn. Robes are not uncommon casual wear. Most Rihannsu woman wear the same styles as men, but do have a tendency towards more free-flowing garb. Dresses or robes are not uncommon. Females in military service wear the same uniforms that men do.

O. Recreation

Most Rihannsu play games such as D'elo which is a game of stones and sticks that can be traced back to an ancient Vulcan. There are Arena games, where athletes (both men and women) show their prowess with various Rihannsu weapons and fighting techniques.

Artistic abilities show the softer side of the Rihannsu personality, balancing a fierce warrior ethic with the sensitivity of an artist. Sculpting, pottery, and carving are the most popular media -- Rihannsu prefer to work in 3 dimensional forms. In addition to the visual arts, there is writing, literature, poetry, drama and lhi, a game of wits and riddles.
Rihannsu relish nature and enjoy the beauty of it -- most are avid hikers.

P. Rihannsu Government Structure

The Rihannsu government is an authoritarian system of checks and balances designed to prevent any one group or individual from monopolizing power for too long a period. Devised in the period following the overthrow of T'Rehu, the Ruling Queen, the Rihannsu system is tricameral in nature.
The Rihannsu Senate, or Deihu'hrrau, is the legislative body responsible for the proposal and passing of legislation, and the body from which members of the judiciary are drawn. The Senate is divided into two halves: the Lower Senate to propose and pass legislation, and the Upper Senate strictly to veto legislation. This structure provides a certain amount of governmental inertia, which prevents the passing of large amounts of revolutionary legislation and promotes stability.
The Praetorate, comprised of both the military High Command members and civilian leaders, is the executive branch, charged with implementing and enforcing the laws passed by the Senate. At times, the Praetorate may also propose legislation for the Senate to consider. The Praetorate has a final veto on all decisions passed by the Senate. The Fvillha, or Head Praetor, is the highest ranking member of the Empire and has veto power over all decisions, in effect acting as a separate branch of government.
Positions in the Senate, and Praetorships, are hereditary. However, constituents can exercise a form of recall on their representatives. If a Senator or Praetor sufficiently displeases those that s/he is supposed to represent, the constituents may finally send the representative a sword, with which to commit honorable suicide. Most recipients of such a recall choose to acquiesce, rather than be brought down by a far less honorable assassination.
On the MUSE, the Rihannsu government system is set up as follows:

  1. The Praetorate is made up of the military Admiralty, selected legion heads, and selected distinguished civilians. The Admiralty is comprised of all officers ranking higher than khre'Riov, and legion heads are those who lead specific organizations. Ex. Head of Diplomacy, Commandant of Academy.
  2. The Senate as a whole is composed of representatives of the official Houses of the Empire. Each House receives one representative for every five House members. Members of the Upper Senate are chosen from the Senate as a whole by the Fvillha.
  3. Each branch of the Senate elects a hru'Deihu'hrrai, or Head Senator, to schedule, organize and chair meetings.
  4. No one person may sit in more than one branch of the Rihannsu government.

The procedure for passing a decision is as follows:

  1. Any member of the Senate or Praetorate may propose a bill, which must be posted in a public place, and forwarded to the Head Senator of the Lower Senate for initial passage. The Head Senator will place the bill on the agenda of the next sitting of the Lower Senate.
  2. The Lower Senate then debates and either passes or defeats the bill. If it passes, the bill is forwarded to the Head Senator of the Upper Senate, and notice of First Passage is posted. The Head Senator of the Upper Senate then places the bill on the agenda of the next sitting of the Upper House.
  3. The Upper House then debates and either passes or defeats the bill. If it passes, the bill is forwarded to the Fvillha, who either vetoes it immediately or places it on the agenda of the next meeting of the Praetorate and posts notice of Second Passage.
  4. The Praetorate then debates and either passes or defeats the bill. If it passes, the bill is forwarded to the Fvillha, who either proclaims the bill as law, or vetoes it. If proclaimed, the bill is placed on Statute.
  5. If a bill is defeated by the Upper Senate, or Praetorate, the bill is sent back to Lower Senate, which may either amend it and pass it again, or discard it.

A normal citizen of the Empire can get involved in the government of the Empire by:

  1. Joining a House. The House system is part of the IC heritage of our Empire, and joining a House is necessary to become a part of the government.
  2. Suggesting ideas to your House representatives in government. Your representatives are there for a reason, so give them your ideas.
  3. Becoming a Senate member yourself. Your House may want you to become a Senator, and it's an opportunity to get plugged into the system.

Q. The Rihannsu Legal System

The Rihannsu judiciary is based on the principal assumption that the accused is guilty until proven otherwise.

Rihannsu court cases are judged by a tribunal. Three judges, two chosen from the Senate, and the chief judge from the Praetorate, decide all cases. The defendant may represent him/herself, or choose the option of having a separate legal representative.
The following is the procedure followed after the commission of a crime:

  1. Victim may either contact the authorities, or apprehend the suspect on his/her own.
  2. Any and all necessary actions may be taken in the apprehension of the suspect, including the use of deadly force.
  3. Upon apprehension or death of the suspect, a notice of apprehension and trial date must be immediately posted. All trial dates must be within 1 week of apprehension, for late justice is no justice.
  4. Apprehended suspects must make a full and complete confession of the truth of the situation. There is no right to council.
  5. At the trial, the suspect and the plaintiff, or their chosen representatives, confront each other and detail their respective cases to the tribunal. The suspect is under the onus to prove his/her innocence.
  6. The tribunal delivers its decision and sentences the suspect if guilty. If the suspect is innocent, the plaintiff is subject to penalty.
  7. Punishment is administered within 1 week of decision. There is no right of appeal.

R. Rihannsu Statement of Rights and Strictures

As the basic treatise of Rihannsu law, let it be proclaimed that all citizens are created equal in honorable potential. All retain the basic freedom to treat and be treated according to their relative merit.
The Rihannsu Empire grants its citizens the following basic honorable freedoms:

  1. The right to procreation.
  2. The right to own slaves, and to discipline them as necessary.
  3. The right to commit honorable suicide.
  4. The right to commerce, subject to the needs of the Empire.
  5. The right to present a defence at trial.
  6. The right to apprehend and charge as a private citizen any criminal or enemy of the Empire.

The Rihannsu Empire strictly prohibits from its citizens the following actions:

  1. The bearing of beam or projectile weapons, unless directed by enlistment or government decree.
  2. Any action deemed to be against the interest of the Empire.
  3. Public dissension with the ideals of the Empire.
  4. Publishing or distributing materials deemed in opposition to the interest of the Empire.

NOTE: I got this off the TOS MUSE WWW Homepage.

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