A major spacefaring race, descended from colonists leaving Vulcan several millennia ago.
While the raising of children is a community effort, their formal education is typically performed under the strict authority of a learned tutor, in a nursery or schoolroom setting. The position of tutor to the House is considered an extremely important post, and good tutors are held in exceptionally high esteem. All noble-born children receive basic education in the sciences, the arts, literature, and military values. By contrast, those children of House Minor and commoner birth have limited prospects, with military service often the only path open to them. Romulan children are tutored in the proper forms of address for adults, equals, superiors and servants. The important concepts of honour, respect, duty, strength, service to the Empire, and self-sacrifice are engrained within them at a very early age.
In the face of ever-present shortages of food and supplies, the ancient Romulans had to make certain difficult decisions. Preferential treatment was given to those individuals with the best chance for survival in a harsh environment. In essence, only the smartest, healthiest, and strongest could be permitted life. It was customary for the ill and infirm to simply walk away from the settlements, electing to die with honour when they couldn’t contribute to the greater good, rather than strain the meagre resources further. This behaviour, it should be noted, originated on Vulcan and was not an invention of the Rihannsu; rather they adapted the concept to their own situation. Rather than informal custom, they institutionalized it with the D’sora Ceremony, the testing of young children for intelligence, strength, and adaptability. Those children who passed the test were feted to a glorious time of feasting, dressed in magnificent ceremonial robes, and honoured at a special religious service. At this time they were given their full name and officially entered into the historical records of the family. Those who did not pass - those who were genetically or intellectually inferior, or else ill and infirm in any way - were quietly and painlessly put to death, and never spoken of again.
One of the dominant Romulan faiths centres on worship of the four Elements; as in some Human cultures, these as Earth, Fire, Water and Air. This system of belief dates back to the interstellar exodus from Vulcan. On Vulcan, before the Sundering, hundreds of religions existed, of every conceivable kind. When the journey began, the Travellers therefore possessed a wide array of faiths and customs. No single belief system dominated the soon-to-be Rihannsu’s attention, until one began to become prominent, one that had, amusingly enough, begun largely as a joke. On one of the news nets on the Great Ship Gorget, a nameless individual left a small dissertation with the title “Matter as God”. She argued that things in the universe noticed, that is, were in some manner consciously invested in their surroundings and their own existence. This, she argued, is why an everyday object, desperately needed, so often appears to have vanished - it simply noticed your need for it, and reacted perversely. The Universe itself, then, is borderline sentient, and will react in a positive or negative manner to your needs, depending on how you treat it. The tone of this assertion certainly sounds mostly humorous, at least tongue-in-cheek, but as the discussion grew larger, the idea was discussed more and more seriously - though never without a little humour thrown in. The Travellers concluded that, quite simply, the fact of the universe’s existence gave it the right to be treated with honour, to be appreciated, and to be named. The Universe, they claimed, desired to be ordered and cared for, and the reasoning behind sentient life within its confines was that such beings would serve that purpose. To treat the Universe well was a duty. If there are indeed gods - and many Romulan communities developed sizable pantheons - then Romulans are merely the tools of these beings, to be used in caring for creation. For example, they are the caretakers of the less sentient forms of life, the herders and farmers. They also name each species they encounter. The discussion continued to grow and evolve over the remainder of the journey. Many modern Romulan beliefs can be traced back to this time period, their foundations entrenched in the Sentient Universe debate. The concept of rehei, an individual’s private, self-found name (which in modern Romulan culture would constitute their fourth name), originally developed from the use of “handles” during on-line discussion. Reheiin evolved until they were names possessing a profound significance, resulting from a true understanding of one’s own nature; who you were. As an extension of this, naming in general was given a great deal of consideration and everything found, be it animal, mineral, or vegetable, was given a carefully considered name, the most appropriate moniker. Since no small importance was placed on the Universe’s actual physical existence, a side discussion began, defining the elements of the Universe. Thali (Earth), Ralaa (Air), Takar (Fire), and Atla (Water), were decided upon. Some argued that Plasma and Collapsed Matter should count as well, but these suggestions soon faded away, leaving only the original four. Just as an idea of “character” was applied to the Universe, each of the four elements was considered to possess a distinct personality. The elements became symbols for ideas. When the elements were invoked, they were to bring aid to that idea, to augment or reinforce it. Takar (Fire) represents quick change, anger, and passion, while Thali (Earth) represents stability, the lack of change, tenacity and fortitude. Ralaa (Air) represents adaptability to change, whimsicality, and celerity of thought, whereas Atla (Water) represents serenity, silence, slow change, love, and seduction. Usually, an individual will adopt one of the elements as a charge, something he feels he represents most, and an element he respects. That individual, if interested in meditating on such matters, can become involved with one of the sects. The symbols and concepts associated with each sect are listed below:
Water: The colour blue, wine, blood, any drink, flowing water, birth, death, tears, purity, eternity.
Air: The colour yellow, Name Flag, any flying bird, starship, wind, weather, the mind, freedom, unpredictability.
Fire: The colour red, plasma fire, light, lightning, explosion, volcano, singularity, the soul, passion, strength.
Earth: The colour green, grass, soil, stone, tree, mountain, valley, building, the physical body, the family, endurance, renewal.
Whatever sect a Romulan citizen belongs to, he should not ignore the other elements and the attitudes they represent, merely recognizing that he favours a particular element. If his only course of action in a situation was to adapt to it, a typical Romulan might meditate on Ralaa, though if he was normally part of the Takar sect, he might find a Takar slant on the symbolism of Ralaa. A general term for sect members is Galan - “Seeker”. An Atlan is a Water sect member, Ralaan an Air sect member, Takaan a Fire sect member and Thalin an Earth sect member. Sect leaders are entitled d’Atla, d’Ralaa, d’Takar, or d’Thali. A d’Galan is a Great Seeker, or spiritual advisor. Obviously, this Elemental philosophy is not the only religion in modern Romulan culture; there are many. Some, such as the d’Ravsai faith, have quite a number of followers, yet the Elemental religion has ensnared the thoughts of a majority, perhaps because it is so open to free discussion and debate. There is no single text or pronouncement which must be followed in this respect, somewhat unusual given the absolute morality and strict respect for tradition which typically define Romulan society.
Popular Romulan beliefs also include the concept of Mra’he’nod, analogous to “Armageddon”. This is a day on which the skies will blacken forever, and the dead will rise and rampage through the cities. They will then return to the underworld, taking all who live with them, into the abyss for eternity. Romulans in many regions tell their children that Mra’he’nod will eventually come, and for that reason it’s important to remain in the good graces of departed relatives.
Forms of AddressEdit
Aefvriha - head administrator.
Afvillhei - governor.
Arahtih - scientist.
Arrhai - merchant.
Auethnen - advisor.
Deihu - senator.
Dhiys - citizen.
Ehainos - miner.
Ehkifv - consul.
Enviy - bartender.
Eredh - student.
Esael - manager.
Fvehai - worker.
Fvillha, - Praetor.
Fvrihai - administrator.
Hfai - servant.
The following are titles that apply to anyone involved in Romulan religion, particular in worship of the Elements:
- Galan - Seeker, a general term for sect members.
- Atlan - Water sect member.
- Ralaan - Air sect member.
- Takaan - Fire sect member.
- Thalin - Earth sect member.
- D’Atla, d’Ralaa, d’Takar, d’Thali - Sect leaders.
- D’Galan - Great Seeker, spiritual advisors.
Important civilian citizens are addressed as “lhhai” (sir) or “lhhei” (madam), while heads of noble houses are addressed with unisex “hru’hfirh” (lord or lady). When talking to the Fvillha, who is also the head of his own house, he is addressed as “hru’hfirh”, except in matters dealing with the Empire, where he is “Fvillha”. A respectful rustic form of address for an elder female is ‘lai (‘Lai), a corruption of Lhhei. In addition, Romulans in all regions greet each other by bowing. It is impolite for a civilian, even a high ranking one, to ignore the bow of a military officer, as that would mean ignoring a defender of the Empire. Position in general always outweighs rank in Romulan greetings, although rank is never discounted. If an Arrain is the commanding officer of a vessel, he is addressed with his position, “Riov”, not with his rank. If two civilians meet, one may choose to bow to the other, though it is not required. The other may choose to nod or bow in return, or to do nothing at all, although the latter can be considered rude.
For the most part, Romulan ships use the same basic systems technology as Starfleet vessels, albeit with occasional variations in construction, and of course aesthetics. Romulan ships, generally speaking, are more like Starfleet ships than either Klingon or Cardassian craft. Important differences do exist, though, among them use of artificial quantum singularities in place of warp cores.
The Romulans do not have independent reactors to power their holodecks. Instead, they run off the ship’s main power grid like every other system. This is in contrast to a Starfleet Intrepid-class ship, which keeps the holodecks separate. The Romulans have created their own version of EMH technology, but have not yet installed it on more than a few testbed ships. Romulan personnel seem much less sanguine than Starfleet crew about trusting their medical care to a “machine”.