Romulan Factions

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

Romulan Faction Romulan Republic Faction Romulan Free State Faction

The Romulan Factions refer to the governments that arose after the collapse of the Old Romulan Star Empire with the supernova of the star of Romulus in 2387. The Star Empire of Rator claimed itself the most direct successor, but with its collapse in mid-2400 there has been no clear line of continuation. In the 25th century it is the Romulan Free State that stands as the largest and most politically significant of the successor governments, buoyed up as it is by the Tal Shiar. The burgeoning Romulan Republic has gone from strength to strength, particularly with the support and protection of the Federation.

Since the fall of the Star Empire of Rator, its former territories have become part of the region of space referred to as the 'Independent Romulan Factions' - tiny regimes that lie outside the authority of either the Free State or Republic. The area is beset with constant power-struggles and remains under threat from pirates, competing warlords, and sometimes the Klingon Empire. It is the most dangerous part of Romulan space, which is starting to emerge from the détente of the last decade where subtlety ruled the day, and entering a new phase of violence.


The Supernova

The decline of the old Empire began arguably with the end of the Dominion War, where the weakened and frustrated state of the Romulan Navy paved the way for the attempted coup of Shinzon of Remus. While the coup was unsuccessful, it exposed fractures within the Empire, wiped out almost the entire Senate, and triggered a fresh era of paranoia in the surviving government. As such, when Romulan scientists reported the coming supernova of their home system's star, these reports were kept secret from the general populace and other major powers.

The Romulan supernova

This made the evacuation efforts, already an operation of unprecedented magnitude, even more complex. The forced relocations and seemingly nonsensical orders from the Senate led to several years of in-fighting between various factions of the Empire, and heightened tensions along the borders with both the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. The Romulan Empire even violated the Treaty of Algeron to evacuate refugees to the Romulan Neutral Zone, though this ultimately forced them to reveal the truth to the Federation and beseech them for aid. By this stage of 2384, it was apparent that at least 900 million Romulans could not be evacuated before the supernova without outside assistance. Despite internal opposition, the Federation offered the necessary aid, only to withdraw it later after their own crisis of the Attack on Mars.

The Romulans were left to save themselves. The only relief from the Federation was access to the old Neutral Zone for evacuations, and the eventual aid of Ambassador Spock, who perished in his successful efforts to mitigate the effect of the blast beyond the Romulus system. The loss of life was still astronomical, as was the loss of resources and damage to infrastructure, both physical and political.

The Collapse

The Romulan Senate's legitimacy hugely undermined, both by the loss of the seat of power and by their handling of the crisis. Though the Praetor and much of the Navy supported the remaining Senate as it reestablished itself on Rator III, there existed significant opposition to a simple continuation of power. A small but determined faction within the Senate itself rejected this continuation, relocating instead to the world of T'Met and establishing the so-called Romulan Free State. More worlds than expected pledged allegiance to this separate Senate, and it became apparent the Free State was supported by the Tal Shiar, who had found the Imperial Senate too intractable in the crisis.

This competition between the two Senates, one supported by the old navy and the other by the Tal Shiar, caused only more discontent among the worlds most distant from the old seats of power, those more likely to be ignored or harnessed for resources during the struggles. Many of the Romulan people had been left to fend for themselves, either in escaping the supernova or in their own governance as the central authorities struggled with the crisis. This paved the way for the rise to power of the third, more liberal faction: the Romulan Republic.

The Factions

Romulan Free State and the Tal Shiar

Mismanagement of the crisis of the supernova by the Romulan Senate led to multiple discontented factions. The Free State arose out of one of the more powerful wings of the Senate who refused to join the new government on Rator III. The Tal Shiar, meanwhile, had found the Imperial Senate intractable during the crisis, Shinzon's attempted coup leaving them with fewer hooks in the reformed government. Unable to push their agenda or respond to the supernova crisis as they wished, they withdrew from Rator III and looked to these senators. Where many other splinter factions collapsed, the Free State thrived with the backing of the Tal Shiar, their resources, and the naval power they had built up during the crisis in anticipation of just such an eventuality. While the Free State maintains a Senate and a Praetor, with power structures much like those of the old Empire, the Tal Shiar is more embedded in government than ever before, formally and informally, and drives the agenda.

Since the collapse of the Star Empire of Rator in 2400, the Free State is the most powerful Romulan successor state.

Romulan Republic

As the Imperial government squabbled amongst itself and prioritised maintaining its own power throughout the crisis, border worlds and some more firebrand senators found themselves and their interests overlooked or outright ignored. Many inhabitants of the Romulan system escaped the supernova without the aid of the Navy, Empire, or the United Federation of Planets, surviving by only their own wits or the help of Romulan citizens who came to their aid of their own accord. These are the groups which formed the Romulan Republic, centered around a world they christened 'New Romulus'. Without any competing claims of legitimacy, they maintain a similar but far more democratic government structure, and have sought positive diplomatic relations within and without Romulan space. The chaos of the rest of the Romulan regions and the friendship of governments such as the United Federation of Planets have enabled the Republic's survival when other such liberalism among Romulans in the past has withered.

Independent Romulan Factions

Some regions, particularly deeper into the Beta Quadrant, never fell under the authority of any major government after the supernova. The Star Empire of Rator sought to bring them to heel, and it was this over-extending that heralded their downfall. Now, all but a smattering of worlds remain loyal to Rator, and the rest of the successor state has shattered.

Stretching between the Republic and the Free State, the Independent Romulan Factions is the name given to the region that was once the Star Empire of Rator. Now it is a series of countless regimes, ranging from governments of a handful of systems to the single worlds on which former military warlords now squat. The area is as volatile as it is varied, with some worlds seeking peaceful independence, while others are driven by ambitions to unite the factions under a new restored empire.

The Romulan Factions In-Play

  • With Star Trek: Picard continuing to prioritise the Romulan Free State as the most significant faction, fleet canon these days likewise considers the RFS as the 'default' Romulan government. With the backing of the Tal Shiar, they remain the subtle Romulan adversaries well-known to Trek fans.
  • The Romulan Republic is loosely based on the STO faction, with some distinct differences, and offers a chance of a friendly and reformist Romulan face in storytelling.
  • The Independent Romulan Factions are countless in number, and a great opportunity to write your own governments for your own stories as member canon. Starfleet is committed to stopping the region from bubbling over, and for every ambitious warlord emerging from the collapsed imperial navy, there is a local government of Romulans wanting a quiet life.