Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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
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.
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 cousins.
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.
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.
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:
NOTE: I got this off the TOS MUSE WWW Homepage.
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