Romulan Culture

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Romulan Culture

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 the teachings of Surak that brought about the logical Vulcan culture of today. It was a student of Surak's, S'Task, who determined after the deception of the people by a "barbarous and cruel universe" that logic and peace were not the answer. Thus, he 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 their travels, called 'The Journey of Sundering' in the ancient texts of both the Vulcan and Rihannsu people.

There is an old Rihannsu proverb that sums up the culture rather well: "Certain it is and sure: love burns, ale burns, fire burns, and politics burns. But cold were life without them." Rihannsu people enjoy all aspects of life to the fullest, reveling in their experiences. Even seemingly unpleasant experiences like death, and war, are cherished for their intensity. One of the most surprising things to outsiders, is the discovery that the Rihannsu are a very poetic and artistic society as well, balancing their fierce warrior ethic with the sensitivity of true artistry.

All Rihannha usually practice some form of creative endeavor in their spare time like painting, sculpting, music, or creating literary works. Museums abound throughout the Rihannsu territories, and many mediums are expressed in their artwork and creative endeavors. Epic poetry is considered one of the most favored styles of literature. Another art form that the Rihannsu hold in high regard, are the Martial Arts, and sword play.

Often, Rihannsu by the thousands flock to the Arena's to enjoy the demonstrations of their finest athletes. It is not unusual to see the spectators challenge the athletes themselves, more to learn a new technique that had been demonstrated, than out of any great desire to defeat the champions.

The Rihannsu also enjoy a great deal of games. The most well known are: D'elo the game of stones and sticks that traces back to ancient Vulcan, Lhi the game of wits and riddles, and even three-dimensional chess has become popular within Rihannsu space. The Rihannsu also enjoy Khariat, a game made up of pieces that are removed one at a time from the structure. The one to draw the piece that causes the structure to fall is the loser. Trayatik is a dice game, similar to 'craps'. Villrillu are the Rihannsu's versions of playing cards, and there are numerous games to be enjoyed with them. Another popular game, Tyr'llryanniha, is a full-contact, often a brutal and bloody, sport. It is similar to Earth's football, but with the added danger of razor-sharp, bladed weapons. It is not unusual to see at least half of the players carried off the playing field before the first half of the game is finished. The Rihannsu also relish nature, and enjoy the outdoors a great deal. Most Rihannsu are avid hikers and campers, and participate in a wide variety of other outdoor activities as well.

Romulan Religion

Rihannsu religion is similar to the practice of Wicca or Druidism. They have no particular Gods or Goddesses. Rihannsu religion instead centers around the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Space, as well as the Archelement which oversees all. In connection with this, the Rihannsu celebrate festivals to honour these elements. Each element has a festival devoted to it, with one culminating festival to the Archelement. Some of these festivals likely date back to the pre-Reformation era on Vulcan as do a few other Rihannsu practices in the area of religion. Though Rihannsu do not preserve 'katras' as the Vulcans do, many religious ceremonies retain a distinctive Vulcan flavor.

Surprisingly, there are priests and priestesses of various sects in large numbers. Each element has, in theory, a single sect devoted to it (although in reality, many sects exist for each, some competing at cross purposes. But such is the way of the Rihannsu). There is no central leader to the sects, only a five person 'Key'. The Key is a group of High Priests and Priestesses (one from each of the primary sects of each major element) who hold the sects together and advise the Praetorian directly when asked. As already mentioned, there are 5 major elements -- Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Space. Strangely, there is no sect for the Archelement, although all sects join together to worship and celebrate it equally. Each of the sects has three scrolls as its basis.

These scrolls govern the daily life of the Elementals and the populace. S'Task and his followers created these scrolls and each tell of tales or legends for easy understanding without misunderstanding the true meaning. Each scroll stands for Mind, Heart, and Soul. Together they are the key to the understanding of the Archelement. There are many, many rituals, ceremonies, prayers, songs, poems, stories, tales, legends, and sonnets for respect and empowerment.

There is no known Elemental of Space, but if one existed, it would have been S'Task. The Rihannsu also consider the Universe itself to have borderline sentience, much as a favored pet. It craves attention, and responds to such (or the lack of it) with affection (or annoyance). The Rihansha further believe that the existence of a 'thing' gives it the right of nobility -- to be honored and appreciated; to be named, and hence to be able to respond to that name. The Rihannsu language is therefore rich with phrases which acknowledge the sentience of the Universe such as: "Oh Elements, avert it!", "What in the Element's name?", "Elements be thanked!", "Oh Fire & Air & Earth!", "Powers and Elements!", "Elements granting" and so forth.

Romulan Family

At the root of Rihannsu political organisation is the House system. Houses are family groups or clan-like organisations, with hereditary succession structures. Unlike feudal family organisations, 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 honours and loyalty. Lesser Houses have not received the honour 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
hru'hfirh Head of House
eri'hfirh Heir of House
rianov Weaponsmaster
auethnen Advisor
llaugh Representative
hru'diranov Grandfather
hru'nanov Grandmother
di'ranov Father
ri'nanov Mother
ira'dianvm Oldest Brother
ia'rinam Oldest Sister
dianvm Brother
rinam Sister
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
vadi Uncle
vadia Niece
vadii Nephew
vada Aunt

The most important person in a House is the hru'hfirh or Head of House. The hru'hfirh is responsible for the members of the House, maintaining the House's mnhei'sahe, and the day-to-day financial and social dealings of the House. The eri'hfirh, or Heir, assists the hru'hfirh. The status of the House and the responsibilities are decided by the hru'hfirh, but usually the importance of House members is as follows: hru'hfirh, eri'hfirh, Auethnen, and then Llaugh and Rianov with equal rank. The other status and importance follows as listed above. As you can see is the chart above, there is the added complexity of adoption. An adopted member of the family has the same rank and receives the same respect as a blood member, but with the added responsibility of another House, perhaps. Adoptions are commonplace.

Another commonplace is a unique form of revenge, usually prompted by a mnhei'sahe in the case of the murder of a child, is known as "hostage fostering". In this situation, a House steals the children of a rival House and rears them as their own. A family that has lost their child in this manner usually never sees them again.

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 favoured, 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.

Women and men are equals in the social structure. Sexuality is expressed via eye color changes. Violet and Black. Violet is the color showing sexual desire or desire for mate. In time to choose a mate, it is involuntary and only occurs with a mate whom also exhibits the same reaction in direct contact via palm to palm. If no reaction or if one sided, then there is no contact. If the reaction is mutual then a mating is found to be possible. Recent social changes have enabled multiple mates to be enjoyed, but only one lifebond can be chosen. When the time is not for finding a lifebond (usually during the middle of the year known to Vulcans as 'Amok Time' and around the 30 to 40th year of life is it generally practiced though no age is set) but is for 'romantic' interludes, of which can produce a lifebond in time, it is more of actual interest than biological (though can also be interest and not limited to just mating with the Rihannsu people). This form of mating is akin to serious dating in humans. At this instance, a conscious or unconscious change in eye color is available to show desire. Bonding does not require the religious sect, but can be brought in for marriage or even to break or strengthen bonds. Only bonded mates are telepathic with each other. Other than this bonding, which is both empathic and telepathic, there is no other psychic ability apparent except for in the Elementals.

The Rihannsu are rather proud of their names and heritage. First and middle names are usually given with reservation, usually to friends and family. The last name is the family/clan name. A fourth name, a very private and personal name, is rarely spoken, and only known by those who are life long intimates.

A woman's clan name is often preceded with (t') and a man's name is usually preceded by (tr').

Examples of women's names: Thue t'Radaik, Arrhae ir-Mnaeha t'Khellian, Ekkhae t'Thusaith, S'anra t'Hwaehrai, Hanaj t'Eleijha, Ael t'Rihaul, Aidoann t'Rehu, N'ale t'Rllailieu, Dhiove t'Hrienteh, Janicka t'Maekh, S'Tarleya t'lllailhlae, Meira t`Kethry, Ullho t`Rhenn.

Examples of men's names are: Valdus tr'Tomalak, H'daen tr'Aimne, Lhaesi tr'Khev, Vaebn tr'Hheinha, M'Narth tr'Lhell, Nnerhin tr'Hwersuil, Lai I'Ranmau tr'Ehhelih, Llunih tr'Raedhoel, Tiercellus tr'Khnailmnae, D'tan tr'Keirianh, Donal tr`Rhagarokk.

Romulan Clans

To understand Romulan clans and their role in contemporary Romulan society, one must first look into the past and examine their beginnings. At the true beginning of Romulan history, back before the sundering, there were a multitude of clans. The primary 'Romulan' clans, as they would later become, were those who were the largest contributors, in both currency and property, to the Far travel ship construction project. As their elitism would have it no other way, a major clan had control of their own ship- in all spreading 19 major clans over 20 ships. The 20th ship was reserved for S`Task's own house, which, while not a primary clan itself, was of obvious political clout. With only 6 fare ships left at the end of the long journey, the 'Romulan people' as they declared themselves, were limited to only 5 major clans: the Khelliana, Gilgamma, Aanikh, Zorek, and Jorani. Like wise, there were only a few more minor clans- some of which had formed on the ships during travel. As all clans dropped their Vulcan names upon land fall, and created new ones, the sub houses don't always seem to make sense. In essence, some of the sub houses are named more closely to their Vulcan ancestry.

The Khelliana (Hunters)

Went south to found their own city away from the rest of the declared. They were the most 'woodsy' of the clans, and also the least centralized. It was entirely possible for the clan to get as caught up in internal fighting as external. They were also known for being the most blood thirsty and brutal of all the clans. Greek-Roman traditions of dress and architecture. The heat of the Vulcan sun still burns in their blood. Notable adeptness with: Chaotic Elementa (Fire + wind) Hunting + Scouting Frenzy + Berserk.

Early sub-House factions

Khellian, Khnialmnae, Khev, Khaell, Kazanak, Keirianh.

The Gilgamma

Were amongst the closest to modern Vulcans in the Romulan clans. While not exactly pacifistic, the Gilgamma sought to purify their fighting techniques for better understanding of the body, soul, and mind. They were also known as being the largest collection of smaller houses. Unlike the Khelliana though, they maintained a strong sense of clan unity and rarely fought internally. They stayed near the capitol, but moved in a scatter pattern to the west. (Greek-Roman attire) promoted 'no distractions' with clothes Notable adeptness with: Healing Elementa (water), Extreme physical control, Extreme mental control, variety of martial arts.

Early sub-House factions

Illialhae, Iawaain, Hwaehrai, Hrienteh, Hheinha, Hwersuil, Liun, Llhweiir, Llweii, Leinarrh, Lhaihtrha, Lhoell.

The AAnikh

Were considered strange by Romulan standards. Not blood luster's, nor pacifists, the Aanikh were prone to random swings back and forth. they were the embodiment of whimsical passions. No one dress style, no one locality for clan scattering. Notable adeptness with: Elementa (lower count than other clans, in all fields), unpredictability, luck + timing.

Early sub-House factions

Ahaefvthe, Aimne, Annhwi, Arriufvi, Mandak, Merrok, Marus

The Zorek

Unlike most of the Major clans, the Zorek were political and social in power. They believed in the pomp and circumstance of militaristic life, and held the other less property laudable clans to the same standards. They stayed close to land fall, and helped build i'Ramnau, then and forever the Romulan capitol. They also were first to shed their traditional Vulcan (Greek-Roman) garb in favor of a warmer, more fully covering style of dress (Central European-gothic era) Notable adeptness with: Elementa (Earth), Domination ,quick and decisive action.

Early sub-House factions

Vrenak, Volskiar, Viaen, Tomalak, Pardek.

The Jorani

Compared to the other major clans, the Jorani were relatively small in number. What they lacked in numbers they made up in currency and cunning. Like their perpetual social opponent, the Jorani were politically and socially based in power -more than militarily so. As they preferred the softer, gentler side of life, their style of dress shifted away from the light, formless and thin (Greek-Roman) styles of Vulcan. Not moving into the realm of leathers and heavier gear the 'barbaric' Zorek wore, they settled on silks and other finely produced goods (Asian styles). Stayed relatively near the capitol- but scattered to the east. Notable adeptness with: Elementa (wind + earth + telepathic), Observation skills, Silent movements.

Early sub-House factions

Jeiai, Jarok, Jaihen

The Noble S'Task 'Clans'

While not literally a clan, S`Task had a large number of 'self appointed' servants and a large number of students. Combined with his brother Tellus' army, they stood as strong or stronger than any other major power. Their dress was not dictated, but Greek-Roman in nature to 'keep away from softening their minds and 'to keep battle's need for function in site. They lived primarily in the capitol city, but were known to wander and spread their teachings all over. Notable adeptness with: -S`Task's people: Elementa (varying levels of all 4 forms), Composure + calculation, Oration + Teaching skills; -Tellus' people- Elementa (varying levels of all 4 forms), Fierce, but very control aggression tactics + combat skills.

Notable Families of S'Task

S'Task's: Cretak, Neral, Tei, R'Mor, Strevon, Taebok

Tellus's: Riuurren, Sahen, Seroht, Tal, Taris, Letant

The rest of the original clans fall in the category of 'minor' powers. While they held more numbers than the majority of contemporary clans today, they were less influential in the politics and goings on (initially) of the Romulan people. Some even lived in the husks of the far travel ships after landfall. Nanclus, Dor, Ehhelih, Radaik, Raedheol, Rehu, Than, Rllaillieu, Rul, Selok. Shortly after S`Task's death, the Khelliana massacred huge portions of the Gilgamma. With the majority of the Clan main body decimated, all the sub-houses split up and wandered the world. While it did not destroy the structure of either clan, the Jorani fought a vicious war with the Zorek.

Modern Family Lineages

Khelliana: Kal, Kazon, Kazen, Kan, Kethry, Krakken, Khellian, Kandeen, Kierlanh, Kath, Krotash.

Gilgamma: Inimici, Ghire, Ghi'bhon, Loose, Lahzar, Liefvai, Lahzar, Laris, Lhoell, Ourin, Layoren.

Aanikh: Marrus, Anaka, Ahalaen, Anira, Akanna.

Zorek: Val-Bheas, Vrih, Danlek, Tormillius, Talnor, Parnus, Behleaf, Brook, Pranara, Paya, Xibanas, Relek, Rakehn.

Jorani: Nairrehk, Nerik, Rhenn, Noramei, Elenhh.

Miscellaneous: Raala, Raghaellh, Onto, Rhagarokk, Bagarok, Ellkwii, Shainev, Ronga, Raith, Remi, Razerious, Riog

Romulan Fashion

The three main sectors of the Empire all have their differing styles, in which the traditional and the modern seem to be constantly at odds, and are only now just beginning to merge together. Traditionally, the Rihannsu are very conservative in their style of dress, preferring to stay with plain, functional clothing that was the norm within the days of the Empire. However, with the ending of the civil war, the young people of the Empire have discovered the more radical (to the traditionalists) fashions of the Northern Sector of the Empire, and have slowly, much to the horror of their elders, started to adopt this newer style. The color pallet of the Romulan people hasn't changed as much as the rest of their fashions have. They still prefer the blacks, deep browns, darker greens, and light to dark gray hues of the older styles. Though it is not uncommon to see dark, almost midnight or cobalt blues, deep purples, and the darkest of reds. This is especially true of the attire preferred by females within the Western and Northern Sectors of the Empire.

Western Sector It is within the Western Sector of the Empire, including the twin-worlds of ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, that a revolution between the two styles (traditional and modern) is currently taking place. The elder Rihannsu still prefer the more traditional styles of the old Empire, and the common brown and gray robes of civilians and nobles are still the much preferred unisex mode of dress with the over 200-set. House uniforms are also still very much cherished, and can still be seen at the more formal occasions. However, the younger Rihannsu, have begun to cast aside the more traditional attire and no longer wear the common robes of their elders. These younger Rihannsu prefer the more formfitting, gender-specific clothing of the North, and it is not uncommon to see them wear the more provocative styles in place of the more traditional House uniforms as well, despite the fact that their elders obviously do not approve.

Young men tend to wear the more close-cut pants or slacks, either ankle-length to below mid-calf boots, and fitted tunics or jackets with either a mid or high collar. Capes may also be worn in both casual and formal attire by those of nobility. Perhaps the most radical change for the Republic is not so much the attire adopted by the younger men, but the fashion that was embraced by the young women. For it is these young women who have ultimately thrown out the old unisex style of the Empire, and have taken to wear the more figure-revealing dresses and casual wear of the North. It is not uncommon to see the young women of the Empire wearing formfitting pants; loose-fitting blouses with or without embellishments; and ankle-length boots, or soft slipper-like shoes. Dresses are not an uncommon sight with the younger women either. Most of the dresses worn within the Western Sector are suitable for either day or evening. Two of the most popular styles are: long sleeved, off the shoulder, empire-waist, floor length gowns; and dresses that are long-sleeved, form fitting, and either knee or ankle length hemmed. Many females who are not in the military (or if they are, when they're not on duty) have begun to wear the newer fashions at every opportunity, much to the dismay of their elders.

Northern Sector The Northern Sector of the Empire is the center for all the fashion that has been the talk of controversy among the elders of the other sectors of the Republic. It is here at the planet ch'Revellion, with it's much harsher environment then either of the twin-worlds, that a more relaxed and provocative style was born. It is not uncommon to see both males and females with nothing on their feet, but beaded thongs for embellishment. The Men wear tunics or jackets in the colder seasons, and lightweight shirts, either long or no-sleeved during the hotter seasons. The attire for women is much more provocative here in the Northern Sector as well. The preferred dresses of the Western Sector females can be seen here often in the colder seasons, but the Northern Sector females most often prefer the mid-thigh skirts and dresses for the warmer seasons. One of the most popular styles of dresses are either sleeveless, or with halter-type straps that encircle the neck, back-less, and either with one or two side slits on the longer skirts, from either hem-to-mid-calf or hem-to-hip.

Eastern Sector The Eastern Sector of the Empire is the furthest out from either the twin-worlds or ch'Revellion, and is therefore still clinging very much to it's fundamentalist attitude in many areas, not the least of which is fashion. It is here that the more traditional attire is always worn. The brown and gray robes of casual wear still is the norm, House uniforms haven't changed since they've first been adopted; even the haircuts are still the same close-cropped ones from the days of the old Empire. One would be hard pressed to distinguish between the genders while in the Eastern Sector of the Empire.

Romulan Appearance

Rihannsu Males

Height:between 5'7" and 6'3"

Weight:between 145lbs to 250lbs

Hair: black or dark brown Eyes: dark colours, nearly black

Strength: stronger than the average Terran

Facial Features: softer than the sharp angles of the Vulcans, but there is still a chiselled 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 colours or brown

Strength: stronger than the average Terran

Facial Features: softer than the chiselled like features of the males, ears are less pointed than that of their Vulcan cousins.

Rihannsu blood chemistry is significantly different from that of Terrans. Like their Vulcan ancestors, the Rihannsu have copper based blood, which is green rather than red. The Rihannsu physiology is not identical to that of Vulcans however, since the two races have had two millennia to evolve in different directions. The most noticeable features of the Romulan are two small bone ridges located on the forehead.

Living on the Two Worlds, which are somewhat colder and a good deal wetter than Vulcan, the Rihannsu have undergone a few changes. Their long pointed ears, used by Vulcans to radiate excess heat, have shortened somewhat. Rihannsu have slightly more exterior insulating body fat, and lack the gaunt look of Vulcans. Rihannsu skin is a slightly lighter shade of green than Vulcans, since they do not need the extra sun protection provided by excess skin pigmentation.

Romulans, like Vulcans, are also extremely intelligent. This is due to a highly evolved cerebral cortex. They tend to be aggressive and are, in this respect, the exact opposite of their cousins, the Vulcans. Vulcans are very logical, and reject aggression, while the Rihannsu look upon logic with some skepticism, preferring to rely on strength and cunning.

Note that Rihannsu age very slowly. The difference is minimal in teen years but increases dramatically as age progresses. In the first 16 years, it is near 1:1 when compared to humans. After reaching the age of 16, the body changes to 0.842:1. Aging is reflected in this difference by becoming a mere 336 years of age using human standards of the average human lifespan of 150. Average Rihannsu lifespan is 400 e'ayy-d. In this instance, Rihannsu do not grow old with age.

Revellions

Revellions Height: between 6' and 7'

Weight: between 180lbs and 280lbs

Hair: black or dark brown Eyes: pupilless

Strength: stronger than the average Rihannsu

Facial Features: Harsh and sun beaten features, including a reddish skin tint. Their ears are in between Rihannsu and Vulcan's in length and point.

Again, like the Rihannsu, the Revellions share much base physical characteristics in common with their Vulcan cousins. Unlike the Rihannsu, the Revellions ended up in a harsher enviroment than Vulcan. ch`Revellion has both higher atmospheric pressure, and more radical temperature swings than either ch`Rihan or ch`Havran. As such, the Revellions have a very dense musculature, and stoic personality. Though not logical per se, they think in a very linear way - locking on to what needs to get done and implementing actions, no matter how clearly ruthless, to get their tasks done.

Life on ch`Revellion is harsh at best. As the planet's orbit is not even around the system's star, Sub-zero winters turn rapidly into blistering summers. Shifts in light levels quickly destroyed the 'Vulcan' settler's eyes and forced them to develop alternative peripheral senses. Evolution forced the Revellions' already strong vulcan psi ability even further- they developed instinctual abilities of space- seeing purely through their minds.

Like their kin, the Revellions do not age quickly. The average life span is 350-375 Terran equivalent years.