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Romulan Star Empire
2151 (Enterprise NX-01)
Ki Baratan, Romulus
Aristocratic Authoritarian Oligarchy
Xenophobic, secretive, expansionist
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The Romulans (Romulan: Rihannsu) are a humanoid race from the planet Romulus in the Beta Quadrant. The Romulans are biological cousins of Vulcans, as they were descended from those who rejected Surak's reforms during the Time of Awakening. The Romulan Star Empire is the Romulan state and one of the major powers in the galaxy.
- See Romulan Star Empire#History for main article
When Surak's reforms of embracing logical principles and rejecting emotions spread rapidly across Vulcan in the 4th century, a minority rejected Surak's ideals. Those who marched beneath the banner of the raptor, which became the symbol of the Romulan Star Empire, departed Vulcan in the 4th century in an event known as the Sundering. These 80,000 proto-Romulans began a long journey through space in twenty large, slow vessels known as ark ships. Several worlds were discovered, but these were either uninhabitable by Vulcan standards, or possessed life that could evolve into intelligent sentient beings, and it was decided that the race required an unspoiled planet to begin anew.
As time went on, numerous casualties were suffered by the travellers. Seven of the large ark vessels were lost in the event horizon of a newly developed black hole, and numerous followers of the raptor were lost over the decades through alien attacks, internal squabbles and ships leaving the flotilla to colonise other worlds rather than continue on in hardship.
At some point, an unstable wormhole formed that swallowed the Vulcans-in-Exile and deposited them in a twin planet system. After preliminary examinations were made, it was decided that these worlds would become the new homeworlds of the Vulcans-in-Exile, who named them ch'Rihan and ch'Havran - Romulus and Remus, when translated into Federation Standard, centuries later. While Romulus was a Class M planet, Remus was a harsh planet notable only for its dilithium deposits, and fierce debate ensued over who would colonise which world. Though it was through the voluntary actions of a man named Karatek, who took his followers to the more hostile world of ch'Havran in order to harvest the harsh world's resources for their kinsmen on the sister world, many Romulans were later banished to the mines of Remus, and joined the followers of Karatek, eventually evolving into the Reman sub-species due to the harsh conditions. The remaining travellers colonised the lush and unspoiled world of ch'Rihan and creating themselves a home in paradise.
These two worlds formed the foundation of an interstellar empire, when the Romulans returned to the stars and began a period of conquering neighbouring alien races. By the 10th century (Earth relative date), the Romulans had approximately 100 settlements on other worlds. The Romulan Star Empire was officially formed upon the first meeting of the Imperial Senate in 938 A.D.
After the signing of the Khitomer Accords and the establishment of the Klingon-Federation alliance, the Star Empire was prompted to step up it's rivalry with the Federation, and by 2311, it seemed that a war was inevitable. That year, peace negotiations broke down at the Romulan Space Station Algeron, and war was only narrowly avoided after the Tomed Incident, in which the leader of the Imperial Fleet launched an unprovoked suicide attack upon the Federation's Foxtrot Sector. The attack was unsanctioned by the Star Empire, and when the Klingons prepared to join the Federation in battle against the Romulans, the Praetor ordered the Imperial Fleet back at the last minute. The Romulan Star Empire then negotiated what came to be known as the Treaty of Algeron, in which the Star Empire agreed to withdraw within its borders while the Federation agreed to refrain from developing cloaking technology.
In 2364 several Romulan outposts and colonies were mysteriously destroyed near the Neutral Zone. Assuming Federation attacks, the Romulans re-emerged, only to find the Federation had suffered similar attacks. It was later discovered that the outposts had been destroyed by the Borg in one of their earliest incursions into the Alpha Quadrant. The Romulans then began to rapidly involve itself once again in the politics of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and even attempting to orchestrate a coup d'état against the Klingon Chancellor to install their own allies in the House of Duras in the seat of government.
Though the Romulan Star Empire signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion in 2373, a year later - after the apparent Cardassian assassination of Senator Vreenak - the Romulans declared war on the Dominion and formally entered into an alliance with the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire for the first time in interstellar history. The Empire remained allied with the Federation and the Klingons for the duration of the conflict, and was present over Cardassia when the Allies attained victory.
After the War, the Romulans were the more adamant that much of former Cardassian territory should be claimed under the flags of the victors, but at the behest of the Federation, many of the former Cardassian/Dominion worlds became neutral, their own planetary governments being instructed to choose their allegiance, and the Cardassian Union shrunk to a fraction of its previous size, with the Breen moving in in the decade that followed to seize former Cardassian colonies for their own.
Shinzon of Remus
In 2379, Shinzon of Remus - a clone of human Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard - carried out a successful coup d'état in the Romulan Senate and seized the Praetorship for himself, hell-bent on the destruction of Earth and the Federation. Two Romulan commanders however later assisted the USS Enterprise-E in thwarting Shinzon's attempt to destroy all life on Earth with his thalaron weapon, and Shinzon was killed during the destruction of his flagship, the Scimitar.
In 2387, the Hobus star close to Romulus went supernova. Although Ambassador Spock attempted to prevent the supernova from striking the planet using a substance known as red matter, he was ultimately unsuccessful and as the hyper-accelerated shockwave hit, the surface of Romulus was heavily damaged by the impact, and the planet was racked by seismic tremors as the damage permeated through the crust to cause a disruption in the planet's core. The remaining members of the Romulan Senate, still newly-reformed after the Shinzon coup and various reorganisations under Tal'Aura, Chulan and their Proconsuls, almost immediately accepted offers of help from the Federation in dealing with the largest natural disaster in Romulan history, and Starfleet diverted enormous resources to assisting the Romulans in their recovery.
In spite of the Romulans long-held history of arrogance and isolation, Federation-Romulan relations had been improving since the election of Praetor Chulan, and Romulan citizens have become less xenophobic. After the supernova, Federation aid is either welcomed or met with suspicion and even hostility, while the Klingon Empire seizes the opportunity to conquer Romulan territory.
Romulans were aware of Humanity for some time before Earth knew of them. Infiltrating the highest levels of the Vulcan High Command, the Romulans were impressed and confused by Humans. The Enterprise NX-01 inadvertently encountered a Romulan minefield at one point, officially the first time Humanity became aware of the Romulans. Even after fighting the Earth-Romulan War, it wasn't until the 23rd century that Humans actually made visual contact with Romulans.
After the Treaty of Algeron went into effect, the Romulans retreated into political and social isolation from the Federation. In late 2364 an unprovoked attack on a Romulan outpost near the Federation neutral zone occurred. The Romulans initially suspected the Federation had executed the attack but it was later learned that the Borg were responsible. This event marked the end of Romulan political isolationism with the Federation.
Due to their shared ancestry, Vulcans and Romulans possess very similar physiology, including varied skin colour. Romulans have pointed ears, eyebrows that are arched and up-swept, and copper-based blood that appears green when oxygenated in the arteries, or copper or rust-colored when deoxygenated in the veins. Most Romulans have two brow ridges above the bridge of their nose, forming a V-shape on the forehead. However, a minority of Romulans lack these ridges, making them outwardly indistinguishable from Vulcans. These "browless" Romulans were predominant in the 23rd century, but their population appears to have severely diminished by the 24th century.
Despite their common ancestry there are also many subtle internal physiological differences between Vulcans and Romulans. Their life signs register distinctly enough on the scanners of even 23rd century starships that a single Vulcan could be identified from within the crew complement of a Romulan starship, though the scanners of the age required a skilled operator to accomplish the task.
The physical differences between Romulans and Vulcans were evidenced in Dr. Beverly Crusher's failed attempt to treat a Romulan, Patahk, who had suffered advanced synaptic breakdown, with the methods used to treat Vulcans. In fact, it was later determined that the genetic similarities between Romulans and Klingons allowed for the two species to have a compatible ribosome match to effect treatment. The Terothka virus is a disease unique to Romulan physiology, though they share susceptibility with Vulcans to Tuvan Syndrome.
Unlike their Vulcan cousins, Romulans do not undergo the affects of Pon farr every seven years, due to the mutations that have occurred to separate the Romulan and Vulcan genomes. It has been theorised that the need for the Pon farr was either bred out of the Romulans due to their passionate nature all year round, or infact bred into Vulcans as their continued following of the teachings of Surak created a species which continually repressed its reproductive instinct, though neither theory can be positively proven or disproven. Though Romulans live a shorter life span than Vulcans, it is still not uncommon for a Romulan to pass two centuries in age.
There have been numerous instances of Romulans successfully mating with other species, the most common hybrids being Romulan/Human and Romulan/Klingon.
Romulans lack the rigorous mental disciplines developed by the followers of Surak. They are a passionate people, easily moved to extreme emotions. However, like their biological cousins, Romulans possessed greater physical strength than that of a human.
It is a curiosity to many as to why Romulans do not possess the same psionic talents as their parent race. Numerous debates on the subject mean that there is no certainty to the reason, with arguments ranging from it being a factor of genetics whilst others felt that it was societal upbringing that was the key. Some even believe that due to the Romulans' desire to retain their aggression, they never found the inner strength of the mind that the Vulcans developed, thus denying them any form of potential telepathic powers.
It is theorised by some that due to the Romulan's deep-seated hatred for their Vulcan kin, they either killed or banished any Romulan who showed telepathic talent, many of which to Remus, creating the Reman race, which is known by Starfleet to possess telepathic abilities, whilst being shunned by the vast majority of the Romulan populace, and used as slave workers or shock troopers by the government. It is believed by these theorists that the harsh treatment they received, coupled with the equally harsh climate they found themselves living in on Remus and in the mines, may have subconsciously triggered a defence mechanism within the Remans, as they used their dormant and fledgling telepathic skill to dull the sense of pain among those suffering from disease or beatings, and may be part of the catalyst for the ages-old tradition of Romulan military officers receiving training to resist telepathic attacks.
Culture and Society
In Romulan society, military and political rank influences social standing. Because Romulans are members of a militant civilisation who considered defending the Romulan Empire and their own personal honour of foremost importance, military service and its accompanying rank are decisive factors in determining social eminence. However, while the military plays an important role in Romulan society, it is the Romulan Senate that controls the government.
At one point in history, Romulus was a sovereign nation ruled by an Emperor or Empress. By the 23rd century the highest position of power was held by the Praetor, who presided over the Romulan Senate. The Praetor also heads the Continuing Committee, which is comprised of the Empire's most elite individuals, which make decisions of the utmost importance.
During the 23rd century, Romulans practised the execution of state criminals, by means both painful and unpleasant. Prior to the presenting of the charges, the Romulans allow the accused a Right of Statement.
By the 24th century, the government of Romulus was dependent upon the Tal Shiar, the Romulan secret police, to maintain order and stability among both civilians and the military. The Tal Shiar is known for its brutal tactics, which includ routine kidnapping, torture, and assassination. Many Romulans fear even expressing dissenting opinions so as not to spark the interest of the Tal Shiar. There are also indications that tensions exist between the military and the Tal Shiar.
Romulan society is based upon a highly structured caste system. Unlike most of the highly evolved species in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, Romulans still practise slavery, specifically the Remans, which they used for slave labour and as shock troops until their recent granting of full citizenship within the Empire, which prevents any Romulan from using Remans for labour without pay.
The Romulans lack the rigorous mental disciplines developed by the followers of Surak. Like the Vulcans, the Romulans have given up unrestrained violence as a way of life. However, in the case of the Romulans this has been replaced with a controlled deviousness: As a species the Romulans are generally thought of as duplicitous, a reputation reinforced by the actions of their government over time.
Reluctance to rely on overt hostility generally leads the Romulans to play a waiting game with their opponents, attempting to manipulate an adversary into breaking – or appearing to break – an agreement so as to give them a solid justification for striking.
They are also well known for fearing disgrace over death. With this frame of mind, Romulan parents dispose of any newborn carrying birth defects as the alternative would mean a waste of resources.
Romulans tend to be highly xenophobic, engaging in extended periods of isolationism, and can be perceived as outright racist to other species, believing themselves to be superior. At least some Romulans believe that one day the Romulan Empire will rule the entire galaxy. According to some Starfleet engineers, there is no piece of technology in existence that the Romulans dodn't claim they invented before everyone else.
Paranoia is etched deeply within the Romulan psyche and character background, which is made evident with the floor of the Romulan Senate holding a picture of the Romulan Neutral Zone, a symbol of everything that inhibits and threatens the Empire. The totalitarian nature of Romulan society, in which dissent is often a crime and Romulan security officers masquerade as citizens, has played a large part in leading many Romulans to be extremely paranoid.
Among the Romulan people, the race developed the concept of "Final Honour", which is something that requires a Romulan to sacrifice their life to prevent them from being captured, or for their honour being taken from them.
Romulan society does not appear to have a gender bias. Both males and females command warships, can obtain high political positions and can be members of the Tal Shiar.
By tradition, a Rihannsu who is incapable of mating and continuing the clan line is not permitted a political career. This means that castration is considered an act similar to execution in some instances and has been employed against conquered political enemies as well as upon Court servants in order to eliminate their aspirations for power.
A common Romulan courtesy is the saying "Jolan Tru", although what exactly this means is unclear, as it is used both in context of greeting and goodbye.
While many arguably belligerent and militaristic species, such as Nausicaans, Breen, and even Klingons often sell their fighting skills to the highest bidder, Romulans are rarely, if ever, seen involved in such activities. This is possibly due to the apparent superiority complex of most Romulans, many of whom would likely find such work beneath them, and would prefer to serve the Romulan Empire in some capacity. In cases of anonymity, they were known for commonly using hired assassins, such as the Flaxians, to conduct their off-world "justice."
Food and beverages
- Jumbo Romulan mollusk
- Osol twist
- Romulan ale
Romulan technology is often cited as one of the reasons why the Romulan Star Empire is regarded as such a dangerous foe in times of war. The Romulans are known to have developed a multitude of different technologies that are either the first of their kind or unique to he Romulan Star Empire. Some Romulan technology is regarded highly enough that the Federation even resorted to stealing an example of the cloaking device in 2268.
The Romulans were the first known race to develop the cloaking device stealth technology, first observed on Romulan mines and the Romulan Bird-of-Prey in 2152. During the brief Romulan-Klingon Alliance in 2268, the Klingon Empire provided the Romulans with an unknown number of D7-class battle cruisers in order to acquire Romulan cloaking technology, which is still in use by the Klingons into the 24th century.
The Romulans and the Federation have long engaged in a technology war of cloak and cloak detection. In 2152, a quantum beacon provided an effective countermeasure for detecting less advanced cloaks such as those found on Romulan mines, but not those on early Birds-of-Prey. In 2368, the Federation developed the tachyon detection grid, a technique that allowed for the detection of Romulan vessels of the day.
By 2379, the Star Empire had perfected the cloaking technology. The cloak of the Reman Warbird Scimitar produced no tachyon emissions and left no residual antiproton traces for detection. The Scimitar was the only vessel in the Empire known to have overcome the long-standing problem of not being able to raise shields or fire weapons when the cloak was active, and this advantage has not been able to be worked into the specifications of the newest Valdore-class Warbirds in mass production around the Empire and supplementing the ageing D'deridex-class.
The Romulans also developed site-to-site holographic emitters, a significant improvement over the Federation's holo-communicator, which required a physical set of holographic emitters at both ends of the transmission. The Romulan technology could capture live sounds and images of a person in one location and project those images to another location; even to a location without local holographic emitters. Images and sounds from that second location could be detected and transmitted back to the first location, making two-way interaction possible.
The first known use of these emitters was in 2379 during the Battle of the Bassen Rift. The source of the hologram once projected was untraceable, though Starfleet has since been working on the technology to correct that.
An image can be sent from a ship that was under cloak and the technology is known to be able to penetrate the deflector shields of a starship. The emitters are only observed when used between ships in relatively close proximity, suggesting that the technology has a far more limited range than the Federation's holo-communicator. When used by Shinzon, his hologram was seemingly able to sit in a chair but also pass through a table.
The Romulans were one of three races along with the Klingons and the Breen who were known to use the Type-3 disruptor. When fired, a Romulan disruptor left behind residual antiproton particles that remained for several hours.
By the 24th century, an artificial quantum singularity serves as the primary power source for almost all large Romulan spacecraft, such as the D'deridex-class and Valdore-class Warbirds. Once activated, the singularity core can not be shut down.
A relay station network of ancient origin, claimed by the Hirogen in the Delta Quadrant, is the only other known example of a race using quantum singularities as a power source.
OOC Information for COs
- The Fleet Admiralty understands that the events surrounding Romulus alluded to in the Star Trek 2009 film are a controversial topic within the simming community, and have attempted to appease both sides of the argument by stating that Romulus was damaged, but not destroyed by the supernova, thus allowing either side of the story to be played by sims. Non-the-less, as per By-Law #4 Fleet Canon, sim COs should feel free to ignore any part of this article if they so choose.
- Any additions or alterations to data on the Romulans not passing a vote of Fleet Canon should be marked as 'Non Canon' clearly within this article. Such items may still be used as part of Sim Canon, but the Pegasus Fleet Wiki staff reserve the right to remove such sections if they are confusing to voted-in Fleet Canon.