- This article refers to the government that persisted until the Romulan Supernova of 2387. You may also be looking for the Star Empire of Rator, the Romulan Republic, or the Romulan Free State
|Romulan Star Empire|
320 (Earth Year)
320 (Earth Year)
The Romulan Star Empire was founded approximately two thousand years ago by Vulcans who rejected Surak's path of logic and emotional suppression. It expanded slowly but steadily for over a millennium, until coming into contact with the Human race. Dealt a stinging defeat in the Earth-Romulan War, the Empire was held behind the Romulan Neutral Zone but continued to expand away from what is now Federation space. An alliance with the Klingon Empire in Earth's 23rd century gave the Romulans advanced warp power and ensured them a place as one of the great powers of the Beta Quadrant. In 2385 when it was discovered that the Romulan star would go supernova within 2 years, the Federation offered assistance in evacuating the Romulan star system. However, the failed attempt led to a fracturing of the Romulan Star Empire into multiple successor states.
The Star Empire of Rator claimed for almost 15 years to be the legitimate successor, but collapsed to internal disputes in 2400. The old territory of the Star Empire is now split between the Romulan Free State, the largest and most successful of the factions, the democratic Romulan Republic, and a wild region of many independent systems and local warlords vying for stability or expansion.
The Romulan Star Empire, despite its authoritarian nature, followed a republican structure of government. Supreme authority was placed in a Senate composed of 44 members, which was overseen by a Praetor whom the Senate selected. Both Praetor and Senators served until retirement or death.
Senators were selected by election or legislative appointment. Most represented an entire Romulan world or systems, though Romulus possessed multiple Senators and special arrangements were made for Romulans living on predominantly alien worlds. The Senate was responsible for setting legislation to decide all foreign and many domestic matters; the execution of Romulan law was overseen by a series of Consuls, who were appointed on a basis of one per sector. The Proconsul directly controlled this apparatus; while having no seat in the Senate, the position was viewed as an ideal stepping-stone to Praetorship. The Senate, and by extension the Praetor, had direct command over the fleet commanders and thus the Star Navy. This highly centralized command structure allowed for smooth, efficient military operations.
An extension of the Senate was the Continuing Committee, an executive body headed by the Praetor which at times met separately from the Senate at large to decide matters of particular importance with speed. This was commonly made up of Senators, though this was not a requirement and other high officials (such as the chairman of the Tal'Shiar or, rarely, the Proconsul) were at times be appointed as well. The Praetor was the only permanent member of the Committee; all other members served staggered eight-year terms, then needed reappointed by the other seven and confirmed by the Senate at large.
All Romulan worlds except Romulus and Remus were overseen by a governor. In the case of Romulan worlds, this official was elected and then confirmed by the Senate; for alien worlds, the governor was appointed by the Senate directly. Alien worlds, however, could use whatever political structure they possessed to select a Viceroy to serve with the governor in a dual-executive capacity. The Viceroy did not need to be confirmed by the Senate, but the degree of power the office held was dictated on a world-by-world basis by Senatorial edict. On some well-favored alien worlds, the Viceroy's power eclipsed that of the governor; but on others, the office of Viceroy was essentially meaningless and the governor exercised complete control. (The fact that Remus had no governor did not necessarily enhanced the Viceroy's authority, as the world was often run directly by the Senate.)
Surak and Rihan (CE 230-410)
The Time of Awakening was marked by decades of nuclear warfare on Vulcan.
The history of the Romulan people begins during the Time of Awakening on Vulcan. Prior to the philosophical emergence of Surak, the Vulcan people had fought catastrophic series of wars that may be among the most brutal waged by any pre-warp species in the known galaxy. Surak's teachings of total logic appealed broadly to a populace weary of destruction; but a sizable minority rejected the emotional suppression inherent to his philosophy; soon, Surak's teachings had themselves become the subject of another massive nuclear war. In time, Surak's followers were victorious, though he himself had been killed.
What happened next is not clearly known. Many Romulans contest that Surak's followers, following a path of cold logic perhaps more extreme than Surak's own, demanded that all Vulcans either undergo Kohlinar and purge themselves of emotion, or leave the world forever. Other historians believe that the Romulans were self-exiled, although the first theory would better explain the near-uniformity of Surak's teachings in contemporary Vulcan thought. In any case, in the centuries following the Awakening, these Vulcan rejectionists took what ships they could find and set out by the millions to find a home of their own.
The diaspora was extremely difficult on these ex-Vulcans; very few warp ships existed on Vulcan, and still fewer found their way to the exiles; they generally traveled in sub-light sleeper or generational ships. In signs of some early coordination, most set off in close to the same direction, but many lacked effective navigation equipment. Becoming lost, they settled on the first world that might support life; some of these civilizations survived for a time, and a few still exist today, developing a remarkable cultural diversity that has fascinated Federation and Romulan sociologists alike.
The bulk of the exiles, however, did remain together, in a convoy numbering thousands of ships in all. It is said that this fleet was guided from its launch by an individual named Rihan, who lived to be well over 300 and was the only person to see the journey from beginning to end. (Rihannsu, the Romulans' original name for themselves, may be translated as "Rihan's people".) While elements of his story may be exaggerated—he may not have existed at all—but a sizable number of ex-Vulcans did find their way to the twin worlds that would become Romulus and Remus.
It seems that these settlers, who would become the core of the Romulan people, had in mind very early on that they wished to return to the stars. (The dream of a triumphant return to Vulcan, Surak's argument once and for all, may have been a driving factor.) The Romulans cannibalized their fleet of ships for equipment and jumped straight into an industrial society; the first city sprung up near the fleet's first landing site within months, and is the Romulan capital to this day. Although plagued by disease and weather – the proximity of Remus produced strong tides and seismic activity – the Romulans' physical hardiness, plus the drive that had kept them united through their centuries-long trek through space, allowed them to thrive.
The Star Empire (CE 410-2100)
The Romulan calendar begins with the year of Rihan's arrival on Romulus and the founding of the Romulan capital, which is analogous to the Earth date of January, 410 CE. One year on Romulus (and Remus) is slightly shorter than one Earth year.
By the Earth year 527, the Romulans had returned to space. The first object of interest was Remus, due to its obvious proximity and (somewhat) habitable environment. Being tidally locked with the Romulan sun, Remus' only temperate zones were the stretches of land along the terminator between night and day; but the planet was incredibly mineral-rich, and some Romulans considered it worth the effort to mine. (In this period, however, they had little use for dilithium, which is Remus' most abundant resource). Oddly, it was on Remus rather than the far more temperate Romulus where indigenous life had evolved; these would become the Remans known today after centuries of interbreeding and deliberate genetic manipulation (often by Remans themselves)—an often unsavory process that contributed to the disdain for Remans in contemporary Romulan culture.
As the Romulans expanded into space, their first priority was to reestablish contact with those ex-Vulcans who had settled on other worlds. None of these settlements had been as successful as Romulus and Remus, and willingly joined the political entity that became known as the Romulan Star Empire. Although warp drive would not become entirely practical for another millennium due to the Romulans' dependence on nuclear-based engines, these "exile worlds" provided a jump-start for further territorial expansion.
During this period, the Romulans began to encounter worlds populated by alien species, most of which had not yet attained space travel. As it was not yet considered feasible to transport enough troops through space to subjugate whole planets, it was quickly decided to employ more subtle means in establishing Romulan sovereignty. At times, simple negotiation with the promise of advanced Romulan knowledge would suffice; but some worlds reacted with fear or hostility to the Romulan visitors. In these cases, the Romulans' now-famous talent for subversion was often applied. Since every species in the region was technologically inferior to the Romulans themselves, these contacts did much to reinforce an impression of Romulans' natural superiority. Generally, this was meant in a cultural sense as a rejection of Surak's way, though certain schools of thought suggested that the Romulans' advantage was even genetic in nature. This was bad news for Remus, as its people were increasingly looked upon as a lesser degree of being; the Empire's two homeworlds were no longer equal.
The Romulans' first contact with another warp-capable species was not until Earth's twenty-first century, with the appearance of Klingon scouts. As Klingon vessels of the period were markedly superior to Romulan craft, the Romulans chose to avoid confrontation—which was not difficult, since their territories were still far apart at the time. Relations were inconsistent, but a significant cultural exchange would take place between the two star forces: the design (and name) of the Klingon Bird of Prey types are not dissimilar to those of contemporary Romulan interceptors, and Klingon vessels sport a stylized bird pattern on their hulls to this day. For their part, certain aspects of Klingon honor (though not their somewhat anarchic command structure) found its way into Romulan military culture.
By this time, the Romulan Star Empire included more than a dozen worlds in all, and its necessarily slow expansion provided time for an excellent transport network to evolve. And the Romulans had convinced themselves that theirs was the most powerful empire in the galaxy: despite the Klingons' technology, most who had not seen a Klingon themselves considered them too barbaric to take seriously. Likewise, the reclusive Tholians did not inspire much concern when their tiny scouts began to appear at the edge of Romulan sensor range. Discovery of the Tellarites and Andorians provided a shock to this Romulan complacency; but it was the Humans, a species that had barely known what outer space was when the twin worlds first were settled, who would finally spur the Romulans into action, igniting perhaps the most defining conflict in the Empire's history.
The Earth-Romulan War (CE 2100-60)
Romulan agents re-established clandestine contact with the Vulcans around the Earth year 2100. While the harsh form of logic observed by Vulcan's current leaders struck the Romulans as precisely what their ancestors had left to avoid, they quickly determined that these Vulcans' shortsightedness could be used to Romulan advantage. Some even dreamed that Vulcan could be incorporated with the Romulan Empire as a third homeworld; "triple worlds" emblems are sometimes still seen in relation to the current Unification movement.
The Vulcans had been fighting a long series of wars with the Andorians, who in turn enjoyed foul relations with more or less everybody. Wishing to avoid direct attention due to the inferiority of their technology, the Romulans applied long-practiced skills at covert influence, working to exacerbate regional conflicts between the powers, keeping them occupied while the groundwork was laid for a swift, decisive assault. Several star systems that had not been colonized due to their inhospitality became Romulan forward garrisons, where ships lurked within striking distance of key Andorian and Tellarite systems. Romulan ships' low power signatures lent themselves well to sensor-stealth technology, and it was believed that a swift surprise assault would do enough damage to these powers that they would be unable to organize and repel the Romulans' onslaught, which would eventually take them all the way to Vulcan.
However, due to the slow speed of Romulan ships, this plan took time to set in place. Although the groundwork was laid with remarkable secrecy, the rapid ascendance in interstellar affairs of the Human worlds made the Romulan plans obsolete before they could even be implemented. Not only was Human space was too distant from the Romulan Empire to be effectively struck, but the Humans proved quite adept at mediating disputes between the feuding local powers. Plan after plan was hastily devised to counteract the Human factor; these became increasingly brazen into the 2150s to the point where their subterfuge was exposed, sending alarms through the other powers. The Romulan leadership essentially panicked, ordering the military to end Human expansion immediately, with all necessary force.
The ensuing conflict lasted several years, and despite Romulan success at isolating and undermining the relationships of the nascent coalition of humanity's allies, the Star Empire found itself over-extended. Blossoming tensions with the Klingon Empire on distant borders, and the reform of an alliance of Alpha Quadrant races that would eventually become the United Federation of Planets left the Romulans outmatched on multiple fronts. Ultimately, the Coalition of Planets defeated the Star Empire at the Battle of Cheron in 2160, a crippling blow to Romulan military and morale.
Apprehensive of further aggression and keen to protect the borders where the Klingon Empire prowled, the Senate immediately insisted the empire sue for peace. While the armistice did little more than reaffirm the existing borders to be buffered by the Romulan Neutral Zone, this amounted to a total failure of the Romulan forces to achieve any of their objectives at the start of hostilities. Facing a tremendous crisis of faith, the Romulans severed all their contacts with outside powers, observing the formation of the United Federation of Planets in silence.
The First Isolation (CE 2160-2267)
It would be over a century before the Romulans made contact with Earth again. In the interim, they committed themselves to expanding their borders in every other direction, rebuilding their fleets and strengthening infrastructure. Advances in nuclear fusion allowed the Empire to expand its borders to the point where it finally ran up against Klingon space; the Gorn would be encountered not long after. Moreover, the Romulans became pioneers in plasma-based weaponry, constructing ships that could pack a punch that was highly disproportionate to their size.
After the total failure of their attempts to sow division among the powers that would found the United Federation of Planets, the Romulans adopted a more straightforward approach to diplomacy. Decades of détente with the Klingons ultimately led to a cautious alliance, once a Romulan raid on the Federation Neutral Zone convinced the Klingons that the Star Empire possessed both the technology and spirit to make it a worthy ally. The Romulans were given a dozen Klingon D7-class battlecruisers and the technology to construct a dilithium-based reaction chamber, while the Klingons in return were given cloaking technology and a substantial amount of dilithium from the Reman mines, which the Romulans had previously found little use for. (The growing importance of dilithium can be related to a substantial decline in Remans' status in the Empire, as they were sent en masse into the mines.)
Relations with the Gorn were more complicated due to the xenophobia of the Gorn regime, but to some degree Romulan influence may be credited with the Gorn's disastrous first contact with the Federation. The Romulans attempted also to make overtures to the Tholians and Breen, but were thoroughly rebuffed.
The Critical Peace (CE 2268-2311)
Renewed contact with the Federation during this period came gradually; initially, the Senate decided to launch an incursion against Federation outposts to test both their new cloaking device and Federation resolve, while demonstrating their "warrior spirit" to the Klingons. The cloaking device proved a success and the Klingons were very impressed, but Federation resolve proved strong and the Neutral Zone was quickly re-fortified. Short years later, Starfleet caused what is known as "the Enterprise incident", where Federation agents stole a state-of-the-art Romulan cloaking device from an Imperial battlecruiser. The military, embarrassed and infuriated by this incident, was ready to invade Federation space to retrieve the cloak, but the Federation hastily pledged to use the device only to develop countermeasures against Romulan ships, not to build a cloak of their own. Although skeptical, the Senate agreed, stipulating that violation of this pledge would be considered an act of war.
In the incident's aftermath, progressives in the two governments engaged in a diplomatic push for measures to advance galactic peace; the Romulans at this time were leery of confronting the Federation head-on, especially after the Organian Treaty forestalled any Federation-Klingon conflict, lending mainstream support to this approach of peaceful influence. Most notable in this approach was the settlement of various worlds inside the Neutral Zone as joint colonies, some of which the Klingons contributed to as well. Most were total failures, particularly Nimbus III which became a haven for privateers and a diplomatic embarrassment. Other colonies, most notably the Federation-Romulan venture on Qualor III, proved more successful, but their populations remain highly divided to this day.
Despite the closeness of the Klingon-Romulan alliance, the two empires were never quite at ease with each other, for the same reasons as always: The Klingons disapproved of the Romulans' version of honor, while the Romulans felt Klingon society was dangerously barbaric. Early flare-ups began not long after the alliance came into effect, most notably the Klingons' claim of the Klach D'Kel Brakt—which the Romulans had been using as a surveillance post on the Federation for the better part of a century, but held spiritual significance for the Klingons.
A rogue group of warships captured the Klach D'Kel Brakt a few years after the Enterprise incident, and the Klingon High Council refused to return the territory, it seemed to validate Romulan suspicions that the Klingons were too barbaric to honor any agreement with an alien species; this incident signaled the beginning of the end of their alliance. The Romulans soon began making diplomatic overtures to the Federation, and when Klingon-Federation relations began to sour once again over the Genesis Incident, the Star Empire declared itself neutral. The Klingons were furious, and the alliance quickly dissolved; for the Romulans, this was a wash, as due to the skilled maneuvering of the Romulan Ambassador Nanclaus, it soon found itself in close confidence with the Federation at its highest levels. For a time, it seemed as if these two powers could form a united front against the Klingon foe.
However, like with the Klingons, too much animosity remained between the two peoples; although their leaders viewed reconciliation as valuable, domestic pressures prevented such ambitions from being played out. When the Klingon moon Praxis exploded and Chancellor Gorkon made overtures for peace with the Federation, the Senate chose to continue playing both against each other; although Nanclaus himself lobbied against this course of action, his role became symbolic of Romulan treachery for a new generation of Federation youth. And while the Star Empire continued to participate in the Khitomer peace talks, the Romulan populace was becoming impatient; the upcoming anniversary (the eighteen hundredth, which in Romulan numbering is fairly significant) of Romulus' settlement gave rise to a millennial fervor and the belief that the Romulans' time had come to conquer the galaxy. As this sentiment filtered into the Senate, the Romulans' position at Khitomer became ever more untenable; eventually the Star Empire pulled out entirely, claiming that the Federation was being too favorable to the Klingons. Parties on both sides began gearing for war.
Tensions came to a head in the Tomed Incident, a brief but violent confrontation that left thousands dead and nearly expanded to full-scale war. The Romulans view the incident as being sparked by the Federation's illegal development of cloaking technology based on the device taken during the Enterprise incident nearly half a century earlier; while the Federation cited Romulan incursions into the Neutral Zone, which had become somewhat porous over the past few decades. A frantic series of talks led to the Treaty of Algeron, which reinforced the Neutral Zone, ceded all joint colonies to one power or the other, and prohibited the Federation from ever developing cloaking technology of any sort.
The Second Isolation (CE 2311-64)
While the Treaty of Algeron was if anything favorable to the Romulans, the Tomed Incident served to strengthen the Federation's alliance with the Klingons and spelled the end of Romulan-Federation detente. Following the conclusion of talks at Algeron, the Romulan Empire closed its embassy in Paris and prohibited any official contact, on any level, with either the Federation or Klingon Empire.
As in the first isolation, the Romulans dedicated their energy to the frontier, expanding rapidly. Romulan expansion reached the point where the Gorn were being boxed in between the Star Empire and Tholian Assembly, sparking a brief but intense Romulan-Gorn war that resulted in a net loss of territory for the Gorn. Some of the captured space was later annexed by the Tholians, and the Gorn regained a few systems in the confusion; the three-way war eventually ended with the Romulans and Tholians splitting the advantage. Development of the forced quantum singularity as a power source allowed the construction of massive new Warbirds, which aided tremendously in the expansion of the Star Empire's borders. Ships equipped with the new drive entered service just in time to ward off a major border challenge by the Chodak, a powerful but tactically inept species who are members of the reclusive Interstellar Concordium.
After a decade of relative quiet on the Klingon-Federation front, a surprise assault by the Breen signaled a new period of conflict; though the Romulans fought them to a stalemate, the fighting eventually spilled over into Klingon space, resulting in a decades-long war that resolved very little. The Romulans enjoyed modest successes, which only served to infuriate the Klingons more. (In one battle, at Narendra III, the Federation starship Enterprise intervened on the Klingons' behalf; the ship was destroyed, but some crewmembers were captured and brought back to Romulus in the most significant Federation-Romulan encounter of the period).
Re-Engagement (CE 2365-71)
53 years after the Tomed incident, several Romulan outposts along the Federation Neutral Zone were obliterated by a heretofore unknown force. Although speculation that some new Starfleet weapon might be responsible proved unwarranted, the Romulans did discover that the Federation had expanded tremendously, and advanced technologically just as quickly as the Romulans themselves. The Senate determined isolation to have been a failure, and quickly adopted a more active policy—a decision that was soon reinforced with the discovery of the supposedly mythical Iconian homeworld by the Federation starship Yamato. Frontier expansion slowed as Romulan attention turned once more across the Neutral Zone.
Ever since the last Romulan-Klingon war, the Empire had maintained contacts with the Klingon House of Duras, an influential force in the High Council. Romulan agents assisted Duras in his covert assassination of Chancellor K'mpec and, later, supported his sisters Lursa and B'etor in the following civil war, until an intervention force led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard uncovered their involvement and placed the Romulans in an untenable position. Even though their ultimate goal failed, the Klingon Empire was seriously weakened in the process, with several subject worlds claiming independence.
Re-engagement, however, faced consequences as well; renewed focus on the Federation led to a fledgling underground movement aiming to re-unify the Romulan and Vulcan peoples; an attempt to subvert the movement and invade Vulcan was foiled - again by Captain Picard - and the movement went on to claim defections within the military and from governmental officials as important as Vice-Proconsul M'ret, who escaped to the Federation with the aid of a Starfleet officer impersonating a Tal'Shiar operative. This was the clearest sign yet that the Tal'Shiar was not adapting well to its foreign obligations; a top-level shakeup would not help matters. The unification movement lost some support after "the Pegasus incident", when it was revealed that the Federation had pursued cloaking technology in violation of the Treaty of Algeron. Still, the Federation's conduct – a formal apology followed by the release of all information related to the device – was difficult to fault.
As in the Federation, a looming threat overshadowed all Romulan maneuverings over the period. Although the Borg apparently deemed both the Federation and Romulans unsuited for assimilation based on their outdated Neutral Zone outposts, they soon encountered the starship Enterprise-D and resolved to assimilate the Federation. It is speculated that their assimilation of Captain Picard led to their interest in the Romulans, as a Borg vessel appeared on the Star Empire's frontier a few years after their first incursion was stopped at Earth. The Romulans managed to stop the Borg ship only at tremendous losses to their fleet; Admiral Mendak, who commanded the defense, famously remarked, "The Empire cannot survive many victories such as this."
The Dominion (CE 2371-75)
While the Romulans took only a passing interest in the initial discovery of the Bajoran Wormhole, the information coming out of the Gamma Quadrant about the mysterious Dominion quickly caused alarm within the Romulan Tal'Shiar. After the destruction of the Federation starship Odyssey at the hands of the Jem'hadar, the Senate agreed to cooperate with a Starfleet fact-finding mission by lending a specially fitted cloaking device to the starship Defiant. That vessel's mission fared little better, and caused significant worry within the Romulan government.
The extent of the Dominion's knowledge of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers brought the Tal'Shiar to near hysteria. After the Unification debacle, the Senate was in no mood to endorse any more Tal'Shiar adventures, so the agency determined to take matters into its own hands. Although an uncharacteristically blunderous attempt to destroy Deep Space Nine and the wormhole tipped off the Senate to the Tal'Shiar's efforts, the extent of their agenda did not become revealed until too late to interfere.
Colonel Lovok, at the time the Tal'Shiar's interim director, found an ally in the Cardassian Obsidian Order. A fleet of eight D'Deridex-class Warbirds joined twelve Cardassian Keldon-class cruisers in a full-scale assault on the Founders' homeworld in the Omarian Nebula. Lovok, however, was in actuality a Changeling infiltrator who had led the fleet into an ambush; although heavy casualties were inflicted on the Jem'Hadar ships, the entire combined fleet was destroyed, leaving the Tal'Shiar crippled and humiliated. (This episode resulted in another top-level shakeup of the agency, which led to the ascendancy of General Koval, who would go on to disgrace the agency even further.)
Having lost its primary foreign intelligence arm and several state-of-the-art Warbirds all in one stroke, the Senate was at a loss regarding how best to face the Dominion threat. For a time, it was hoped that the Dominion would focus on the Federation and Klingon Empire, allowing the Romulans time to regroup; this gamble proved accurate, but provided only a temporary reprieve. When the Cardassian government was overthrown and the military junta aligned itself with the Dominion, the Senate determined that it was past time to wait on the sidelines, and dispatched a fleet of Warbirds to Deep Space Nine. This fleet, however, was nearly destroyed when a Changeling attempted to ignite the Bajoran star with a protomatter device, handing the Romulans another intelligence fiasco and further cause for alarm.
After an intense, drawn-out debate in the Senate, the Romulans followed the examples of the Tholians and Miradorn in signing non-aggression treaties with the Dominion; again, it was hoped that letting the Dominion busy itself with the Federation and Klingons for a time would give the Star Empire time to regroup. However, the early months of the Dominion War were mostly characterized by internecine fighting within the Tal'Shiar, most prominently on display during the theft of the Federation prototype vessel Prometheus. Although the Romulans gained valuable information from the vessel's design plans, they lost the ship itself and one of the Warbirds sent to intercept it; General Koval, who had opposed the mission from the start, declared it counterproductive and had its planners imprisoned.
The Romulans' eventual entry into the Dominion War was as confused as every other aspect of its dealings with the Gamma Quadrant. After the death of Senator Vreenak, who had been a leading opponent of entry, somewhat evidence pointed to imminent Dominion invasion plans and suggested that Vreenak had been killed to suppress it. The Tal'Shiar under Koval gave this evidence a ringing confirmation; the Star Navy found it highly dubious, but most members wanted to enter the war anyway, viewing the major powers' combined forces as the only effective defense against Dominion aggression. The Romulans launched a surprise assault of their own, making the first inroads into Cardassian space of any power in the course of the war.
Starting with the First Battle of Chin'toka, Romulan forces played a major role in the war, even helping to liberate Dominion-occupied Federation space (though the Klingons refused to allow Romulans into even occupied Klingon territory. Although a Romulan' attempt to arm a hospital on one of Bajor's moons nearly led to war with the Bajorans, the alliance held firm through to the Battle of Cardassia, and Romulan diplomats were heavily involved in the negotiation of the Treaty of Bajor which ended the war.
The Post War (CE 2376-2385)
The allied victory over the Dominion was expected to signal the end of the three-way alliance, and for the Klingons and Romulans this was certainly the case. Romulan relations with the Federation were somewhat muddled; the expansion of Starfleet into the Raeyan sector on the far side of Romulan space was tolerated, but Romulan ships launched numerous attacks on Federation craft; though they always did so without explicit orders from the Senate, the atmosphere on Romulus was not one that held the Federation alliance in high regard.
When General Koval, still head of the Tal'Shiar, was discovered to be a Federation double agent, the Romulans became absolutely furious, and plans were made for a full-scale invasion of Federation space. When the Senate backed away from these plans expressing concern for their still-depleted fleet levels, the military became especially frustrated. Several officers were receptive to overtures from Shinzon of Remus, who convinced key officers to assist him in overthrowing the Senate and installing himself as Praetor.
Shinzon's agenda quickly lost its Romulan support, however. His coup d'état, in which nearly the entire Senate was assassinated, seemed dangerously vicious; every Romulan who heard about it was ready to revolt. When it became clear that Shinzon meant to repeat the massacre on Earth, the military elements decided to correct their error, staging a more conventional counter-coup. Romulan forces invaded Remus, aided in no small degree by loyalist Reman commandos, while Warbirds raced to aid the starship Enterprise in its efforts to stop Shinzon during the Bassen Rift Incident. This encounter, and the rise of younger, less reactionary elements in the Romulan Senate, led to a notable warming of relations between the Star Empire and Federation: officer-exchange programs, which would previously be unheard of, began very quickly.
By 2385 relations between the two nations had never been better, but a dark cloud was looming. Scientists from all around the galaxy converged on Romulus to confirm what Romulan and Federation scientists had already suspected: the Romulan star was on the verge of supernova within the next few years. The Federation Council decided, in a contentious vote, to assist the Romulan people by forming the largest space-born armada ever known to exist. An engineering mega feat in itself, the fleet was mostly composed of older mothballed Starfleet vessels that were being retrofitted to accommodate passengers.
Tensions were already high as several Federation member worlds were staunchly against assisting the Federations oldest blood rival, some even threatening to pull out of the Federation. On top of that, the Romulan Senate had priorities that didn’t line up with Federation values. Notably, Romulans were prioritizing their own upper class Romulan citizens to the detriment of the disadvantaged and non-Romulans like the Remans, who they were content to let go extinct. Tragedy struck on April 5th, 2385 when the evacuation armada was destroyed by synths, leading to a ban on synthetic lifeforms in the Federation and effectively ending the rescue attempt of the Romulan people.
The Supernova (CE 2385-2387)
Following the destruction of Romulus and Remus as a result of the supernova, the Empire split into multiple factions in various sizes and volumes of power. The Romulan Star Navy supported the short-lived Star Empire of Rator, but the Free State, enjoying the support of the Tal Shiar, has thrived to become the biggest Romulan faction. The Romulan Republic, a democratic state within the former Empire supported by a more modern, yet smaller military, is as-of 2400 the second-biggest Romulan government. The rest of Romulan space is in dispute by the major factions and consistently hindered by smaller pirate, rogue or rebel factions, all vying for control.
The Romulan Star Navy, better known to the Romulan people as the Galae Command, Imperial Command or the Romulan Guard, was a collection of warships and support craft that compose the Romulan Star Empire military, which was formally tasked with tactical and strategic missions at the Senate's discretion. Its authority was entirely logistical, however, as the Star Navy was controlled directly by either the Continuing Committee or the Senate at large; and within the military itself command was centralized at Galae Command on Rator III. The highest military position a Romulan could achieve was command of an Imperial Fleet -- one of the five fleets which made up the entire military force. However there were also sector commanders, also known as squadron commanders sometimes, which made for the major stepping stone to possibly achieving a position as a fleet commander. There was intentionally a great deal of overlap in these operating areas as this structure gave Romulan admirals considerable autonomy, and they were expected to keep each other in check to a certain degree. The five Imperial Fleets were typically broken up into squadrons which were then broken up into wings. Each squadron would typically be assigned to a specific sector or area of operations.
All Romulans were required to perform service in some public institution or other, and the Star Navy's membership was therefore substantially larger than its Federation counterpart (though still slightly smaller than the Klingon Defense Force). Moreover, the political nature of the Star Navy's command structure lent itself to maneuvering and power plays within and between military units; the Senate tolerated this as a means of honing its soldiers' skills, but looked very unkindly on any action that harmed Romulan personnel, assets or interests. While it was not uncommon for political influence to dictate the assignment of certain officers, ranks were awarded on an entirely meritocratic basis; an older officer with a desirable assignment but low rank was not well looked upon.
Since the Romulan supernova, the Romulan Star Navy supported the Star Empire of Rator, with some elements of it defecting to the Romulan Republic over the years. However, the Star Navy also largely suffered from the inability to build new ship classes over the years due to limited resources, and was fielding the same military hardware for over a decade with few new ship classes at their disposal. With the fall of the government of Rator, a small core of the Star Navy continues to support this minor faction, but most military officers have gone their own way, going rogue or fleeing to the Free State or Republic.
- For more information on the Tal Shiar, please see Romulan Free State
Formally the Praetor's personal guard, the responsibilities of the Tal Prai'ex essentially involved the protection of anyone and anything deemed of special importance by the Praetor. This included the Praetor, the chambers of government and high government officials (such as the Senators and Proconsul), the Romulan home system itself, and other persons or objects specifically designated by the Praetor. Prai'ex were appointed by the Praetor and confirmed by the Continuing Committee from the ranks of the Star Navy; only the most highly decorated officers were even considered.
Due to the Prai'ex's elite nature, their numbers were highly limited, and they were rarely active outside the Empire except in times of war. They, too, operated a force of Warbirds, but unlike the regular military, Praetorian officers were under the direct control of the Praetor and subject to strict oversight by the Senate. The Praetorians' responsibilities at times placed them at odds with the Tal'Shiar, whose tactics of espionage and assassination did not necessarily exclude governmental officials as targets. Actual confrontations were somewhat rare, however; the Praetorians were the one force within the Empire that the Tal'Shiar were rarely willing to challenge.
Following the Romulan supernova, the duties and members of the Tal Prai’ex were folded into the Romulan Star Navy.
Reman Commando Corps
Remans were the only non-Romulan species to have any major presence in the Imperial military. This was not necessarily a positive distinction: Remans were often dispatched on the most dangerous missions so as to minimize Romulan losses. Despite certain physical limitations (most notably their sensitivity to light), Remans proved effective fighters, and their extensive use as commandos gave rise to a regimented, warrior culture; by the fall of the Empire, Remans were essentially bred for the service.
Especially since the Dominion War, where they acquitted themselves well, Reman commandos became an essential force in the Imperial military structure. They were only placed aboard vessels of the regular Star Navy (the Praetorians and Tal Shiar only used commandos selected from within their own ranks) alongside Romulan units; Remans were more generally more strictly controlled, and usually overseen by a Romulan officer, while a Reman sub-commander normally led the force in battle.
Although the Reman uprising following Shinzon's coup d'tat might have provoked severe Romulan backlash after the military reasserted control, the subsequent sacrifice of many Reman commandos in attempting to restore Imperial sovereignty to their own planet generated unexpected support. Following the Romulan supernova, the Remans who did survive largely swore off the Star Empire for their attempted genocide of the Reman people, making the Reman Command Corps effectively dissolved.