The history of the Romulan race began on their original homeworld Vulcan during the Time of Awakening that was being spearheaded by Surak who taught a growing philosophy known as cthia. It was a turbulent time on the Vulcan motherworld as their violent emotion filled nature resulted in numerous wars that devastated the planet and threatened to destroy the species. From this chaos came Surak's message of peace which united the planet at which point the world came to the attentions of an alien race. In their attempt at a united front, they found themselves prey to pirates and slavers that looted the world of Vulcans to use as slaves. It was only through fighting back were the Vulcans able to defeat the aliens and survive. (TOS novel: Spock's World) However, this combined with Surak's peaceful ways divided many of the inhabitants of Vulcan.
Though many flocked to the teachings of Surak, there were many others who did not wish to abandon their emotion filled heritage for various reasons. Some, like the Children of Ket-Cheleb led by the philospher Tellus, wished to retain their passion rather then abandon them to the peaceful logical attitudes being adopted and thus left in defiance of Surak's ways. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire) Others, like Surak's student S'task, believed that in order to survive a barbaric universe, one had to be strong and led a large contingent of Vulcans to leave their world in order to restart their ways on a new unspoiled planet. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way) Another account holds that the departure of the proto-Romulans was an attempt to continue the Vulcan race should their violent transformation consume them. This was done so with Surak's blessings who left it upon his close friend Karatek to lead the people and leave it to his descendants to return to Vulcan in the future. (TOS novel: Exodus)
- See Vulcan history to see the history of the Vulcan race.
Regardless, what followed was an event known as the Sundering when many of the proto-Romulans abandoned the planet to seek their fortunes elsewhere in approximately 4th century A.D. on the planet Earth. These individuals numbered 80,000 and were led by S'task and they began a long trek through space in twenty large sublight travel vessels that would take them on the journey. Several worlds were discovered but these were uninhabitable by Vulcan standard. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way) Others possessed life on them that could evolve into intelligent sentient beings and these two were left alone as it as decided that the race required an unspoiled planet to begin anew.
However, as time went on, numerous casualties were suffered by the travelers. Seven of the large ark vessels were lost in the event horizon of a newly developed black hole. Another two were lost to the predations of the mind devouring creature known as the Iruhe. Some were preyed upon by alien races and others were lost due to internal squabbles among the survivors. (TOS novel: Exiles (2006)) Eventually, a deadly disease erupted among some of the ships resulting in the deaths of many more. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way)
All these factors resulted in many of the travelers losing faith in an ever finding search a new world though Tellus and S'task urged their people to continue the journey. Some, however, grew weary of the constant traveling and abandoned the fleet in order to develop their own societies. One such splinter group was led by Admiral Debrune who led his followers to establish their own colonies, however, in time these would degenerate leaving nothing but ruins though there are rumors of splinter proto-Romulan societies living on such planets. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire, Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
Just as the fleeing ships began to lose hope, an unstable wormhole formed that swallowed the Vulcans-in-Exile and deposited them in a twin planet system. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire, Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide) 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. A lottery was held to determine which worlds the denizens of the various ships were going to be sent to colonize. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way) Though it was the voluntary actions of Karatek that took his followers to the more hostile world of ch'Havran in order to harvest the harsh worlds resources for their kinsmen on the sister world. (TOS novel: Exiles (2006)) The remaining travelers remained on the great ships that brought them to their new homeworlds and became known as the Ship-Clans who provided a level of transportation as well as communication between the Two Worlds.
After settlement began, the newly named Rihannsu returned to the war-like patterns that they left on Vulcans with numerous conflicts emerging for various reasons; from territorial disputes to acquisition of resources. It was from this atmosphere that a new warlord formed and this came in the form of T'Rehu in 67 AS (After Settlement). Within ten years, she had built a powerful army that was far stronger then any on the Two Worlds which she used to take power, through the support of the Ship-Clans, and gain recognition from the Grand Council. The Rihannsu acknowledged her as their new Ruling Queen with only S'task refusing to accept her and leaving the council chambers once this occurred. Several years later during her rule, famine had struck the south continent and she called the Council once more where she derided them for incompetence. Once again S'task turned his back on her dishonorable actions but this would be the last time as she had him killed in the council chambers. Thus began T'Rehu's tyranny that lasted for 18 years where she was both benevolent as well as ruthless on the lives of her subjects.
Her rule would come to an end when twenty years later when the war-like clans of the eastern continents of ch'Havran revolted against her and defeated her armies through the support of the Ship-Clans. Rather then take power for themselves, they decided on a return to the previous style of government. (TOS novel: The Romulan Way)
After the death of Tellus, the Romulus descended into inter-racial conflicts known as the Clan Wars. This period saw brutal infighting which came only to an end when Jo'rek rallied his people. After this, Kimara codified the teachings of D'era and helped in the stabilization of the newly formed Romulan state. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire)
Return to the StarsEdit
By Stardate -3/, the Romulans developed unmanned space flight with the Romulan Confederation coming into existence by Stardate -2/0300 which linked all the city states into one entity. In Stardate -2/0400, the first manned space flight missions were conducted at Kanassarum with an unmanned probe being launched to Remus by Stardate -2/1200. The first manned mission was sent to Remus by Stardate -2/1800 when the female pilot, S'Tanet, landed on the planet. Her actual exploits were later intertwined with fiction making the truth somewhat indiscernable. (FASA RPG module: The Romulans)
- This contradicts the novel continuity as Remus was already inhabited by Romulans some of whom became the early Remans as they mined their harsh planet and shipped it to their sister world.
In Stardate -2/4100, the Romulans made their first interstellar expedition which was launched to Perhonies which were followed by a massive exploratory efforts coreward. (FASA RPG module: The Romulans) It was during the Age of Expansion that the Romulans returned to the stars where they began a period of conquering neighboring alien races. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire) In Stardate -2/6100, the people of Gorwah were conquered and became the first culture absorbed into the Romulan state. (FASA RPG module: The Romulans)
By Stardate -1/, the Romulans had approximately 100 settlements on other worlds. (FASA RPG module: The Romulans) With the Romulan state expanding through space, the ability to govern these colonies grew more and more difficult. This resulted in the Romulan Civil War and it was the actions of Admiral Valkis that resulted in the formation of a true interstellar government after him declaring himself Emperor as well as forming the Romulan Senate to serve as his advisors. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire) The Romulan Star Empire was officially formed upon the first meeting of the Imperial Senate in 938 A.D. (Earth relative date) (Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
Between the 1270 and 1370, the Romulan Star Empire discovered a pathway back to their ancestral homeworld of Vulcan through the same unstable wormhole that deposited them at Romii system. Using this doorway back home, they waged a century long conflict through sublight means that became known as the Vulcan-Romulan War in order to regain control of the planet. However, Vulcan strategy and tactics won against the Romulans naked aggression resulting in their defeat. The Vulcans were never aware of who the attackers were as the Romulans hid their appearance carefully as they would only declare their origins had they achieved victory. The war ended when the wormhole once again destabilized which separated Vulcan space from Romulan territory. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire, Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
In 1411, the scientific arm of the Tal Diann discovered the means to isolate a quantum singularity and harness it for use as a power source for their starship fleet. This enabled the Romulan Star Empire to venture out beyond their solar system and become an interstellar power. (Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
After a reign of decadent Emperors, the Imperial Senate abolished the position of Emperor in 1698 and installed a new leadership role that became known as the Praetor who would command the military. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire, Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
During the early part of the 20th century, the Star Empire suffered from an attack from the Stellar Kingdom of Corill which had attacked the Romulans from a spinward position thus catching them off guard. This led to the Corillian Incident and despite heavy losses, the more numerous Romulans were victorious which led to the extinction of the Corillian race. This led to a period of consolidation of the Empires domains. (FASA RPG module: The Romulan Way: Game Operations Manual) The mid-21st century (between 2041 and 2069) saw the empire's expansion briefly halted due to a number of skirmishes with the Klingon Empire. (Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
At some point, early in their history, the Romulan Star Empire was engaged in a brutal war with the Hiram Assembly which started badly for the Romulans. Conflicts reached the outskirts of the Romii system and there were worries that the Star Empire might lose the war. However, the Empire turned back the tide and conquered the Hiram Assembly. The Assembly's colonies were taken by the Romulans while the Hiram themselves were exterminated and made extinct. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood)
The 22nd centuryEdit
Encounters and SkirmishesEdit
By the 22nd Century, Romulus was united under the Romulan Star Empire and had begun a campaign of expansion and conquest.
During this century, the Romulan Star Empire came into conflict with the Klingon Empire over territory. Skirmishes over the Gamma Hydra sector were known to be common with the Romulans deploying gravitic mines in the region to prevent the Klingons from making a claim over that sector of space. (ENT novel: Kobayashi Maru) It was also known that the Praetor of this era launched a campaign of conquest against the planet Haakona. Whilst the planet was occupied, the Romulan military faced stern opposition from insurrection movements on this world which was a bloody campaign that lasted for nineteen years. It ultimately forced the Romulans to abandon Haakona to its native race and left a disgrace on the Praetor for the failure in his mandate to conquer the planet. (ENT novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing)
The Empire made first contact with Humanity when an Earth starship, Enterprise, fell victim to a cloaked minefield in Romulan territory. A pair of Birds-of-Prey, also equipped with cloaking devices, confronted the vessel and forced it to leave the system. This site was apparently a test location for the Romulans for their new cloaking technology; Romulan stealth technology was still very much in its infancy, the cloaked mines were considered a relative success but the power requirements for cloaking a whole ship were problematic. Sometime after the encounter with the Enterprise, the prototype cloaking ship Praetor Pontilus was destroyed in an antimatter containment failure caused by its stealth systems; it would be decades until a successful system could be developed. (ENT episode: "Minefield"; ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)
Through the early 22nd century the Romulans worked to infiltrate the Vulcan government, seeking to "reunify" with their ancestral brothers, though presumably under Romulan rule. By 2154, a Tal Shiar agent posing as a Vulcan, V'Las, working alongside fellow undercover Romulan agent Talok, had successful risen to the position of Administrator of the Vulcan High Command. (ENT episode: "Kir'Shara"; ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
V'Las attempted to damage Vulcan and destabilize the region by pushing the High Command to war with the Andorians, claiming the long-standing rivals of the Vulcans were developing weapons of mass destruction based on Xindi technology. Recognizing that the rising influence of the radical pacifist sect known as the Syrannites might harm civilian support for the war, V'Las had the United Earth Embassy on Vulcan bombed and framed the Syrannites; unfortunately, this plan backfired, the Earth starship Enterprise was sent to investigate, discovering the Syrannites had been framed. (ENT episode: "The Forge")
While the former Vulcan Ambassador to United Earth Soval boarded the Enterprise to give the Andorians advance warning of the planned Vulcan first strike. Captain Jonathan Archer and his Vulcan first officer T'Pol tracked down the Syrannites and with their leader T'Pau vindicated the Syrannite teachings by uncovering the Kir'Shara and leading a coup d'etat removing V'Las from power and abolishing the Vulcan High Command. The Romulan plot had utterly failed. (ENT episodes: "Awakening", "Kir'Shara"; ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
- It is not known whether V'Las was actually a Romulan himself or a Vulcan who had been recruited by the Star Empire. However V'las is identified as Romulan Tal Shiar agent in the ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years'
Later in 2154, the Romulan Star Empire engaged in a covert campaign under the command of Imperial Fleet Admiral Valdore, to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant by igniting a war between Andoria and Tellar, utilizing a modified T'Liss class starship as a telepresence remotely-controlled drone, using holographic technology to mimic other vessels. The vessel was used to implicate forces from either side, it would then attack the opposite side's ships, devastating interstellar trade and threatening to ignite a war.
United Earth volunteered to mediate a peace conference at the neutral planetoid of Babel, and Archer once again thwarted the Romulans' attempts to start a war by uncovering evidence of the drone ship's existence. Archer then organized the first united fleet operation of Andorian, Tellarite, Vulcan, and Earth vessels in what came to be regarded as one of the first steps towards the founding of the United Federation of Planets. (ENT episodes: "Babel One", "United", "The Aenar") The Romulans once again attempted to gather more Aenar to control their drone ships by using Orion mercenaries in slaving operations on the Andorian homeworld. This attempt would fail and their development of superior warp engines was halted. (ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)
Despite the setback, the Star Empire continued its attempts at fulfilling the doctrine of unlimited expansion. In 2155, the Romulans had developed a new type of telepresence technology which took remote control over enemy ships allowing the Star Empire to command enemy warships. Taking over several Klingon battlecruisers, the Romulans used the vessels to attack the planet Draylax in order for it to appear to the Coalition of Planets that they were facing aggression from the Klingon Empire. The Romulan Star Empire's aim was to create a war between both nations with the resulting conflict weakening them to the point that it would be easy for the Romulans to defeat the weakened interstellar powers. Further Coalition vessels were also captured such as the Vulcans in order to create a rift between the Coalition members. With their plans underway, the Romulans then made a push to conquer Calder II with an outpost falling before the Star Empire. The goal of the Romulans was to establish beachheads on Calder II and Alpha Centauri which would allow them a clear access to Earth, Vulcan and Andoria. (ENT novel: Kobayashi Maru)
The Earth-Romulan WarEdit
In 2156, the Romulan Star Empire and United Earth went to war. The Earth-Romulan War was fought with atomic weapons between the two fleets, and even reached Earth itself. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror", DS9 episode: "Homefront") Whilst the Romulans were gaining ground against the Coalition, they faced their first test to their sneak attacks when the Vulcans installed system wide warp detectors. Changing their strategy, the Star Empire began using motherships stationed outside the detection grid and using sublight fighters to destroy the grid nodes as well as attack the unaware defenders. The Romulans faced many successes during the war by gaining beachheads on the planet Deneva along with Berengaria VII where they destroyed the under construction Starbase 1. Furthermore, they managed to gain a victory at the Andorian world of Threllvia IV. However, much of the Romulan campaign was hampered due to the deteroriating health of Praetor D'deridex who was suffering from Tuvan Syndrome. This affected him mentally to the point that he became fixated on his fathers failure at conquering Haakona. Thus, he divided the Romulan Star Empires military might into subjugating Haakona; a campaign that ended in failure due to new advances the Haakonans had made to combat any further invasions. (ENT novel: Beneath the Raptor's Wing)
At some point in 2159, the empire was involved in forging an alliance with a rogue Vulcan female known as T'Uerell. Working in secret, she managed to develop an artificial mutagenic virus for use by the Romulans against their enemies. In exchange for the virus, the Romulans were to provide T'Uerell with protomatter. Once the details of the virus were given to the Star Empire, the Romulans began to manufacture it as a bioweapon which was to be deployed through drone ships. A series of stations were used for this task with drone ships serving as the means to disperse the weapon which wiped out the world of Encaria as well as infecting the planets in Epsilon Theta. The plot was stopped by the intervention of the United Earth starship Enterprise. As a result of this, the Romulan alliance with T'Uerell also ended at this point when the Vulcan was responsible for stealing the Star Empire's newly developed singularity drives and made her a fugitive wanted by the Romulans. (ST video game: Legacy)
The war ended in 2160 with a victory for United Earth at the Battle of Cheron; during the war, no Human or allied personnel ever personally encountered a Romulan, and so their origins as Vulcan offshoots remained unknown to the galaxy at large. That year, a treaty was negotiated over subspace radio, establishing the Romulan Neutral Zone around much of the Romulan Star Empire, behind which the Empire would retreat for over one hundred years. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror";ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
The 23rd centuryEdit
During the early part of the century, the Romulans were involved in the abduction of numerous Vulcans which were part of an ongoing operation for the future. The Vulcans were placed on an icy world on the border of the Federation and were overseen by Romulan guards. They became known as the Freelans who masqueraded as a separate neutral race by hiding their appearance under heavy robes and limited contact with outsiders. (TOS novel: Sarek)
In 2266, the Empire emerged from its cocoon, testing the strength of their now-unified adversaries by launching an attack on several Earth outposts along the Neutral Zone with a ship commanded by Keras. This ship was equipped with an advanced plasma weapon and a new cloaking device. The USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk responded to one of the outpost's distress calls and engaged the Bird-of-Prey. In the course of the battle the Enterprise made the first visual contact with the Romulans, uncovering the longstanding secret of their relation with the Vulcans. Upon defeating the Romulan ship Kirk made contact with the vessel, speaking briefly to Commander Keras, the first time that a human and Romulan had spoken openly with each other. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror")
In the 2260s, the Romulans entered into a tenuous alliance with the Klingon Empire. The alliance, spearheaded by Proconsul Merrok, aimed to "contain" the Cardassian Union. The first non-aggression and technological exchange treaties were signed in 2267. The Romulans obtained a number of D7 class vessels in exchange for giving the Klingons cloaking technology. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time; FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update; TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")
Tensions between the two powers were evident when Klingon forces engaged Romulan forces near the Triangle in 2272. (FASA RPG: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update) The alliance finally ended in 2273, when Klingon Captain Kor, son of Rynar, of the IKS Klothos, led a major Klingon victory over the Imperial Fleet at the Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt. (DS9 episode: "Blood Oath")
In 2276, Romulan khre'Riov Ael t'Rllaillieu led a coup d'état along with a faction called the Free Rihannsu Movement and overthrew the corrupt Tricameron that ruled the Praetorate and the Senate at that time. Shortly after the coup, t'Rllaillieu was named the first Empress of the Romulan Star Empire. (TOS novel: The Empty Chair)
- It is unknown how long t'Rllaillieu's reign lasted, but it surely had ended by the year 2311 and the infamous Tomed Incident.
In 2293, the Romulan Ambassador to the United Federation of Planets, Nanclus, was involved in a conspiracy with a number of high-ranking Federation and Klingon officials to assassinate the Klingon Chancellor and Federation President in order to avert peace talks between the two states. (TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country) In the same year, they were also involved in the use of their agents masquerading as the Freelan species as a means to telepathically influencing other nations officials through covert means in order to spread chaos and confusion amongst their enemies. However, the intervention of the Enterprise crew revealed the deception and the Freelan Plan ended. The captive Vulcans were allowed to return to their homeworld whilst those who were considered Romulan citizens returned to the Star Empire. (TOS novel: Sarek)
In the 2258 of the alternate reality created by Nero, the Romulans regretted that they were not able to welcome Nero back home into their embrace following his genocidal attack on Vulcan. Following Nero's death, the Romulans were approached by survivors from Nero's ship, the Narada. These survivors had acquired plans for the Narada and stolen from a Vulcan salvage ship, the last drop of Red matter. After evading the USS Enterprise, the Narada survivors then made their way towards the Romulan Neutral Zone. In actuality, these survivors were actually Vulcans under Ambassador Sarek who wanted to destroy Romulus in revenge for Nero's actions.
Three Romulan warbirds then met up with the Narada survivors. The warbirds then took Captain James T. Kirk and his shuttle crew as prisoners. Kirk tried to convince the Romulans that they were in danger from these survivors, to no avail. Kirk and his shuttle crew were then taken to the Romulan Senate where they were tried at a tribunal. Kirk and his crew stood accused for violating the treaty between them and the Federation, espionage, and for intended destruction of the Empire. Kirk tried to justify his actions, knowing that as long as the red matter exist no one is safe. The Romulan tribunal, believing that Kirk just wanted to steal back the red matter back, sentenced Kirk and his crew to life imprisonment on Romulus. Just as the survivors presented a couple of Senators the red matter, Kirk, his crew, Sarek, and Spock interrupted the meeting and stopped the Vulcans. The Senate then changed it's decision, deciding to imprison the Vulcans, and let Capt. Kirk, His crew, and Sarek go. However, in return, the Romulans decided to keep the Red matter and the plans for Narada as a fair exchange. This affected the balance of power in the quadrant. (TOS - Vulcan's Vengeance comics: "Part 1", "Part 2")
In 2259, the Romulans and their senate were then approached by a group of Section 31 agents. Despite the circumstanced created by Kirk's and the Vulcans incursion the year before, the Senate listened to their proposal. The Romulans agreed to work together to wipe the Klingon Empire from the stars. However,in 2260, one senator did not trust the Section 31 agents. However he believed that they would give the technology they need to annihilate the Klingons. However, knowing that the humans wanted the red matter, they would make sure they would use it on them. The Romulans then sent a fleet to rendezvous with Section 31 at Khitomer. (TOS - After Darkness comics: "Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 3")
In 2261, the Romulan fleet, with new weapons systems from Section 31, under Commander L'Nar attacked and annihilated the Klingon colony on Khitomer. L'Nar's fleet then rendezvoused with the rest of the Romulan fleet in the Hectori system. L'Nar and his fleet then met up with Section 31's ships. Both the Romulans and Section 31 took part in the attack on Qo'noS. Following the capture of the Chancellor, the High Council, and Captain Kirk's landing party, the Romulans were then doublecrossed by Section 31. Section 31 eliminated the Romulans on the surface, took the Red matter, and then had the Romulan fleet self destruct itself. (TOS - The Khitomer Conflict comics: "Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 4")
The 24th centuryEdit
The Tomed IncidentEdit
The Klingon-Federation alliance prompted the Star Empire to step up its rivalry with the Federation, and by 2311, it seemed that a war was inevitable. That year, peace negotiations broke down at Romulan Space Station Algeron, and war was only narrowly averted after the Tomed Incident, in which the leader of the Imperial Fleet of the Romulan Star Empire, Admiral Vokar, launched an unprovoked suicide attack upon the Federation's Foxtrot Sector, claiming thousands of Federation lives. The attack was unsanctioned by the Star Empire, however, and when the Klingons prepared to join the Federation in battle against the Romulans, the Praetor ordered the Imperial Fleet to back down 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 again withdraw within its borders while the Federation agreed to refrain from developing cloaking technology. (TLE novel: Serpents Among the Ruins)
- "Matters more urgent caused our absence..." - Tebok to Jean-Luc Picard.
The Taurhai begin a campaign of attacks against worlds on the leading edge of Romulan space in 2313 which results in a long and extended conflict between the two powers which forces the Star Empire to isolate itself from the rest of the galaxy whilst they combat this threat. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire)
The Star Empire's promise to withdraw within its borders was only tenuously followed, however; illegal trade between the Empire and the outside galaxy continued, such as the smuggling of Romulan ale into the Federation in violation of the Federation's then century-and-a-half-old trade embargo upon the Empire. Many wealthy Klingons and Klingon houses remained in debt to the wealthy Romulan houses, and the Romulans maintained covert attempts to influence foreign states under the administrations of Praetors Aratenik and Dralath.
Dralath, in particular, was a true tyrant, and would often have senators who spoke out against him murdered personally on the Senate floor. His policies badly hurt the Romulan economy; indeed, the Star Empire was still recovering from his economic excesses as of the 2370s. Dralath was also responsible for the attack on Narendra III that resulted in the destruction of the USS Enterprise-C; Dralath was removed from power by a coup d'etat subsequent to the attack, which inadvertently solidified the then-floundering Federation-Klingon alliance. Upon Dralath's removal from office, the clone and android projects were abandoned. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Heart)
Numerous problems would plague the Star Empire during this time beyond politics including the rogue Vulcan T'Uerell who hid the bulk of her forces within the Beta Quadrant and harassed Romulan forces in 2333. (ST video game: Legacy) The conflict between the Taurhai and the Romulans end in the Battle of Chi'tai in 2343 when the Empire manages to drive off the Taurhai Unity forces from their space. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire)
Dralath's successor, Narviat, assumed power in 2344 after having led the coup against Dralath. Narviat's government was responsible for launching the infamous massacre on Khitomer after the Tal Shiar received false intelligence from the Cardassian Union of a secret program by Klingon Chancellor Kravokh to develop weapons of mass destruction for use against the Romulans on that planet. Under the Narivat administration, the Tal Shiar initially launched a number of operations to attempt to once again place agents within the Federation, even creating a clone of Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard and acquiring a Soong-type android to attempt to replace noted Starfleet officer and artificial lifeform Data. Research into the banned thalaron radiation weapons technology was initially pursued; eventually, however, a new faction assumed power in the Senate, and Narviat abandoned these programs. Thereafter, covert operations against foreign powers decreased dramatically. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Heart; TNG novel: Death in Winter; TNG short story: "Twilight's Wrath")
- "Your presence is not wanted. Do you understand my meaning Captain? We... are back." - Tebok to Jean-Luc Picard.
In 2364 several Romulan outposts and colonies were mysteriously destroyed. Assuming Federation attacks, the Romulans reemerged, 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. (TNG comic: "Operation Assimilation"; TNG episodes: "The Neutral Zone", "Q Who?") The next year, the Romulans begin the Third Taurhai Offensive. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire)
The Romulan Star Empire was involved in a number of isolated conflicts along the Neutral Zone with the Federation for the next ten years. In late 2366, it was discovered that the Romulan Star Empire was aiding the House of Duras in its attempt to gain the Klingon chancellorship in the Klingon Civil War. (TNG episode: "Redemption")
The Empire also came into conflict with a growing movement of its own citizenry who sought peaceful reunification with Vulcan and the adoption of cthia, known as the Unificationists and led by the legendary Spock. (TNG episodes: "Unification I", "Unification II")
The Dominion WarEdit
In the early 2370s, Narviat's government came to regard the Dominion as the gravest threat to national security that the Romulan Star Empire currently faced. It granted permission to the Federation to install a cloaking device on a Federation starship posted at Starbase Deep Space 9 in 2371. (DS9 episode: "The Search")
Later that year, the Tal Shiar launched an unauthorized invasion of Dominion space in conjunction with the Cardassian Union's Obsidian Order. The invasion force intended to destroy the Great Link by decimating the Founder homeworld. However, it was a disaster, as the Founders had learned of it after impersonating a Tal Shiar agent. While the Tal Shiar was able to recover from the loss of many of its personnel, the Obsidian Order was not so lucky and virtually ceased to exist after the attack. (DS9 episode: "The Die is Cast")
In 2373, Praetor Narviat sent a fleet of ships to join in a joint Klingon-Federation task force that was preparing to repel an expected (but unappearing) Dominion invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. Narviat faced significant opposition from those who favored neutrality, however, and by the end of that year, had signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, pacifying those members of the Senate who believed that a war that damaged the Federation and Klingon Empire could only benefit the Romulans. (DS9 short story: "Blood and Sacrifice") During this time, whilst neutral in the conflict, the Romulans dispatched intelligence agents in order to learn more about the war. This led to the discovery of an artificial wormhole that the Dominion was attempting to construct and had it been successful, the Romulan Star Empire would have joined the Dominion alliance. (DS9 novel: Behind Enemy Lines)
The next year, Narviat was assassinated, and the Continuing Committee elevated Neral, who had been made Proconsul only a year earlier, to the praetorship. In mid-2374, Emperor Shiarkeik was assassinated by an archpriest in the Imperial Cult, prompting major riots throughout Ki Baratan even as the Senate continued to debate the Star Empire's neutrality. Shortly thereafter, Senator Vreenak of the neutrality faction was killed when his shuttle, departing Deep Space 9, exploded; the Tal Shiar investigated and discovered a damaged Cardassian data rod containing what appeared to be a recording of a high-level Dominion plan to launch an invasion of the Star Empire. Praetor Neral then declared war upon the Dominion and formally allied the Romulan Star Empire with the United Federation of Planets and Klingon Empire for the first time in interstellar history. (DS9 episode: "In the Pale Moonlight"; DS9 short story: "Blood and Sacrifice") The Star Empire remained allied with the Federation and Klingons for the duration of the conflict, during which it used Remans as shock troops and cannon fodder. Nonetheless, Shinzon of Remus, the remnant of Dralath's plan to clone Federation officers, emerged as a skilled leader in the Imperial Fleet; after defeating a Dominion garrison that had captured a Tal Shiar facility containing a prototype thalaron weapon, Shinzon was even granted command of his own warbird. (DS9 short story: "Twilight's Wrath") Whilst this was happening, the Romulan Star Empire began the Fifth Taurhai Offensive in 2374. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire)
In 2375, the Imperial Fleet attempted to fortify a Bajoran moon upon which the Republic of Bajor had allowed it to build a hospital facility at one point; after facing the possibility of the Federation severing its alliance with the Romulans over this attempt to gain a foothold in the Bajor system, however, the Star Empire relented. (DS9 episode: "Shadows and Symbols")
Later that year, Senator Kimara Cretak was disgraced and expelled from the Senate after attempting to access the personal database of Koval, Chair of the Tal Shiar. Koval and Cretak had been rivals for some time; Cretak claimed that she had done so in an attempt to determine which of Koval's enemies might be working with a rogue Federation agency known as Section 31 to have Koval assassinated. At her trial before the Continuing Committee, Koval claimed that he had uncovered evidence that Section 31 did not exist, and presented such to the Committee; unbeknownst to Praetor Neral and company, however, Section 31 did exist and Koval had become their mole in the Romulan government, engineering the plot to disgrace Cretak in order to give Koval the open seat on the Continuing Committee that Cretak would otherwise have gotten, using Bashir and Starfleet Admiral William Ross as pawns in their game. (DS9 episode: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")
After the Allied victory in the Dominion War, Romulan forces occupied much of the former Cardassian Union in conjunction with the Federation and Klingons, and some Romulan ships were even stationed at Deep Space 9 in the months following the war for continued Alpha Quadrant protection. (DS9 novels: Avatar, Warpath)
In January 2377, a Romulan colony was viciously destroyed by a mysterious power known as the Watraii, who claimed to be the original inhabitants of Romulus. Possessing extremely advanced weaponry, the Watraii threatened to destroy Romulus. Neral, recognizing that the Imperial Fleet was overextended, that the Federation and Klingon Empires were not going to intervene, and that the Star Empire could simply not afford another large-scale war, ordered the Fleet to the Romulan system, to concentrate defenses around Romulus and Remus, believing this to be their next target. A number of Romulan ships went rogue, however, joining a rogue fleet of civilian and Starfleet ships in an attempt to confront the Watraii. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus)
- The conclusion of the Watraii affair is told in the final two books of the Vulcan's Soul trilogy.
Shinzon of RemusEdit
By 2379, Hiren had replaced Neral as Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire. Hiren accepted the defection of Starfleet Lieutenant Soleta to the Romulans, giving her command of a ship in the Imperial Fleet. The Romulan-Federation alliance was over by this point, and the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation were contending for control over much of the still-rebuilding Alpha Quadrant. (NF novel: After the Fall)
Domestically, Hiren faced another crisis with the rise of Shinzon of Remus to political prominence; Shinzon had won the loyalty of the Star Empire's Reman servant class, and many in the Imperial Fleet supported the jingoistic policies he supported towards the Federation. In October of that year, Hiren and the entire Imperial Senate save Tal'Aura were killed by a thalaron weapon that Tal'Aura placed in the Senate chamber on behalf of Shinzon. Tal'Aura and two Commanders in the Imperial Fleet, Donatra and Suran, back Shinzon when he claimed the title of Praetor for himself. Unbeknownst to them, however, Shinzon was dying, requiring a complete transfusion of blood from Jean-Luc Picard, the man he had been cloned from, due to imperfections in the cloning process. Shinzon lured the USS Enterprise-E to Romulus under the guise of an offer to negotiate a true peace treaty; this attempt to capture Picard failed, and the Enterprise crew later thwarted Shinzon's attempt to destroy all life on Earth using the thalaron weapon aboard his flagship, the Scimitar, killing Shinzon. (TNG movie & novelization: Nemesis)
With the fall of the Senate, the Romulan Star Empire devolved into chaos, and supply lines throughout the Empire were damaged. Tal'Aura claimed the Praetorship and received the backing of Proconsul Tomalak, a former commander in the Imperial Fleet. However, her claim to power was contested and tenuous, with several different factions vying for power. These factions included a "war hawk" group that favored preemptive strikes against Earth and Vulcan led by former Senator Pardek. The Imperial Fleet itself constituted another rival faction, much of which had fallen under the leadership of Commanders Donatra and Suran, former Shinzon backers, after the death of Admiral Braeg. Donatra and Braeg had had a romantic relationship, and Donatra believed Tal'Aura responsible for Braeg's death. The Tal Shiar was yet another rival faction, having fallen under the leadership of Rehaek after he assassinated Koval, as were the Remans themselves, now under the leadership of Xiomek, a former colonel in the Imperial Fleet. The Unificationists, under the leadership of Spock of Vulcan, also constituted a rival faction in the immediate post-Shinzon era. (TNG novel: Death in Winter; TTN novel: Taking Wing)
Starfleet Captain William T. Riker of the USS Titan led a Federation taskforce into Romulan space in late 2379 in an attempt to broker a power-sharing agreement amongst the rival factions, to ensure social stability on Romulus, and to distribute humanitarian aide. Capt. Riker barely averted an armed conflict in orbit of Romulus between the disjointed Imperial Fleet and a fleet of older ships commanded by Xiomek's Reman forces, brokering a deal whereby the Remus became a protectorate of the Klingon Empire and would be allowed to settle on the Romulan continent of Ehrei'fvil. Unfortunately, the presence of the Klingon Defense Force in Romulan space over the course of the next year sparked a number of brushfire conflicts; even as Tal'Aura solidified her position as Praetor, winning the support of all the rival factions save the Imperial Fleet, the domestic situation for the Star Empire deteriorated. At least one fleet of ships led by Admiral Mendak went rogue, launching attacks on Klingon ships throughout the Star Empire, and Dontra's contingent remained unsupportive of the Tal'Aura government. Reman settlement in Ehrei'fvil failed, and the Klingon Empire granted the Remans the right to settle on a planet in the Klingon Empire; eventually, the entire Reman population was transported there. Mendak's fleet destroyed that planet's moon, however, damaging the new Reman homeworld's ecology, before all of its crew killed themselves with honor blades. (TTN novel: Taking Wing; ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
In late 2380, Commander Donatra assembled a fleet of ships loyal to her at Achernar Prime. There, she declared the existence of the Imperial Romulan State and herself to be Empress of the I.R.S. Empress Donatra then annexed Xanitla, Ralatak, and Virinat, which constituted the Romulan Star Empire's most important farming worlds. Facing the loss of the Star Empire's major food sources, Praetor Tal'Aura prevailed upon Federation President Nanietta Bacco and Klingon Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog at a conference on the neutral world of Grisella not to recognize the sovereignty of the Imperial Romulan State and to aid the Star Empire in defeating Donatra's fleet. Chancellor Martok, unmoved, immediately gave Klingon recognition to Donatra's government, while President Bacco refused to take sides while assuring Tal'Aura that the Federation would provide humanitarian aide, including food, to the Star Empire's people should it be required. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
Starfleet's later monitoring of the region noted a deteriorating state in the Romulan Star Empire in 2381 which was moving toward open civil war. Imperial forces under Tomalak engaged Reman ships in space between the two worlds with an eventual Romulan blockade over Remus being placed. This led to foot shortages amongst the Remans during the siege. During this time, the Unification movement was also growing on Romulus and allied with the Remans though the two factions disagree on how to reach their goals. (ST video game: The Path to 2409)
The Post-Shinzon EraEdit
In 2382, Romulus faced severe food shortages due to the loss of its agricultural planets to the Imperial Romulan State. In addition to this, the power plants and factories on Romulus were unable to increase their output due to the loss of heavy metals and dilithium that once flowed from the mines on Remus. Thus, in order to stop civil unrest, Praetor Tal'Aura reluctantly accepted the offer of food shipments from the Federation but refused their attempts at brokering negotiations between her and Empress Donatra, claiming that the matter was an internal Romulan affair. She later charged her proconsul and fleet commander Tomalak to retake the planets from Donatra and he in turn appointed Admiral Taris as his second in command, who reorganized Romulus's remaining military forces.
Whilst they occurred, Tal'Aura sought to bring order to the homeworld and reformed the Romulan Senate with a re-organization committee voting that she appoint senators directly rather then allow any elections. Tal'Aura thus selects individuals who are her supporters in the Senate. The leaders of the Unification movement also petition for Tal'Aura to have representation in the Senate for themselves and the Remans but she declined to respond to their requests. The makeup of the Senate, however, greatly angered Romulan nobles who dominated it prior to Shinzon's takeover. Having only a handful of seats, the representatives of the noble lines argued that Senate was always a partner with the Praetor in governing the Empire and that the current body was simply a weakened body that was incapable of fulfilling that role. The Line of Tellus went as far as publicly denounce Tal'Aura and withdrew its members from government service. This internal strife and weakened position of the Star Empire allowed the Klingons to take advantage of their state and they began lightning strikes in order to take sectors surrounding Khitomer.
Civil unrest began to spread on Romulus in 2383 when the Praetor enacted food rationing procedures and places a strict limit on replicator usage on the homeworld claiming that the empire's resources needed to be conserved in order to support the military campaign against the Imperial Romulan State. This ultimately sparks riots in the capital of Ki Baratan which goes on for two days before Tal'Aura orders troops to intervene. During the struggle, 2,000 people were noted to have died in the riots or at the hands of Romulan troops. The combined civil upheaval and resistance from the nobles puts additional strain on Tal'Aura's ability to command the empire. She thus called her allies in the Senate to aid her in stabilizing the government. They in turn responded by expanding the powers of her position, allowing her to grant or remove the titles of nobles which was previously a privilege only the emperor enjoyed. She was also given the ability to declare war without the approval of the Senate.
Fleet Commander Tomalak later attacked Donatra's fleet at Xanitla on Stardate 60900.31 but was soundly defeated in the battle. He was dealt a further blow when Admiral Taris left the Romulan Star Empire and joined the Imperial Romulan State with twelve ships under her command. Due to his failure, Tal'Aura stripped him of his position in 2384 and replaced him Sela but despite this she allowed Tomalak to retire to his private estates on Romulus as a reward for his dedicated service to the Star Empire. His defeat at Xantila made continued war against Donatra unfeasible and thus the Praetor reluctantly entered negotiations with the Imperial Romulan state with a border and establishment of a neutral zone agreed upon though the Federation are rejected by Tal'Aura to mediate the talks. Donatra dispatches Admiral Taris as her ambassador and representative on Ki Baratan.
Tal'Aura was later found dead in her private chambers on Stardate 61602.00 with Tal Shiar investigators reporting that she was attacked in her sleep. This results in a firestorm of rumors and accusations in the capital with various groups accused of the assassination which included the coalition of noble houses, the Tal Shiar and events agents working for the Imperial Romulan State. Donatra denied involvement in the matter and recalled Taris and ordered her to defend Imperial holdings for possible reprisal attacks. During the Praetor's funeral, Sela publicly blamed the Remans and Unification movement for the murder. A year later, Romulan space calmed down in the wake of Tal'Aura's assassination with both Starfleet and the Klingon Empire pulled back some of their ships from the border of Romulan space. The recently deceased Praetor's Proconsul Sela took the reins of power in the government with her being granted temporary executive powers by the Senate as part of an emergency measure. She in turn used them to replace more than two dozen of Tal'Aura's supporting senators who are replaced with representatives of the noble houses that were opposed to the Praetor's rule with one of their number being the influential noble Chulan. This gave Sela the clout she needed to run the government but her regime was not expected to last long unless she gained the backing of the Tal Shiar and the military.
The leader of the Tal Shiar made a rare public appearance at the time and announced that he would personally take charge of the investigation of the assassination of the Praetor. In the mean time, Empress Donatra won the hearts of the people of Romulus when he offered food shipments to the civilian settlements. When it was believed a three way struggle would erupt on the Romulan homeworld, Donatra instead met Sela and Rehaek on Romulus to find a peaceful solution to the problem. The three agreed to put aside their personal agendas aside for the good of the Empire with the worlds of the Imperial Romulan State rejoining the Romulan Star Empire. However, despite losing her position as empress, Donatra took control of the military and kept much of her forces off world in order to maintain their safety in case the peace did not hold. In the aftermath of the civil war being averted, the Senate began to debate on who to elect as the new Praetor. Sela made an attempt for the position and though she was considered a possible candidate due to her being the proconsul, rumors springing about her involvement in the assassination as well as a lack of endorsement from Donatra result in her failing to achieve the Praetorship. During the extensive debate, it was Senator Chulan who was chosen to be the Praetor as he was a compromise candidate though he was not strongly supported by the major factions.
In order to continue to further stabilize the Empire, Donatra traveled to Remus and brokered talks with General Xiomek of the Remans. In exchange for full citizenship in the Empire as well as representation in the Senate, the Remans were required to support the Star Empire which they quickly agreed upon despite opposition from Sela. The Remans physical might and their supplies of resources added to Donatra's might and she reopened shipyards and munitions plants that were closed since Shinzon's death. Any food and power shortages became a thing of the past as a result. Xiomek was given a position in the Senate as a result when Donatra managed to convince the Senate to support her proposal. Despite citizenship being granted, the Remans were still treated as second class citizens.
The stabilizing position of the Romulan Star Empire in 2386 placed it in a much better and more open position. During this year, a report from the Romulan Mining Guild and presented by Ambassador Spock revealed that Remus had been seriously over-mined with the very real possibility of it undergoing a similar incident as that that befell the Klingon moon Praxis. Thus, operations on Remus were shut down and the guild's activities were spread offworld. An attempt by the guild to take control over all mining operations in Romulan space was blocked by Reman senator Xiomek who in turn petitions that the Remans be moved off Remus to a continent on Romulus. However, a counter proposal was given which moved the Remans to the failed Romulan colony on Crateris in the Gamma Crateris system which Xiomek accepted leading to the Remans colonizing that resource rich but hostile world.
On Stardate 63322.55, Director Rehaek made a statement to the Praetor and the Senate that brought a conclusion to the investigation in Tal'Aura's death. His results concluded that she was killed by agents from the noble houses who were angered by her reformation of the Senate. When Donatra and Sela requested to see the information on the investigation, the director simply refused to divulge his findings. This began a campaign by the Tal Shiar in assaulting the noble houses as a form of retaliation for the death of Tal'Aura which resulted in a dozen arrested and the seizure of the lands of the nobles as well as their assets. Sela pushed back against this persecution of her supporters and convinced the Senate to cut funding to the Tal Shiar. She even went as far as accuse the Tal Shiar of knowing about the plot to assassinate Tal'Aura but doing nothing about it. Donatra in the mean time refused to take sides in the growing conflict and attempted to encourage the Praetor to handle the affair. Chulan thus appointed a Senate committee to formally investigate the matter but it does little in this action. By Stardate 63446.41, Rehaek's home on the outskirts of Ki Baratan was destroyed in an explosion which brought the deaths of his wife and young daughter. The leader of the Tal Shiar's body was never found and believed to have been vaporized in the incident. Two hours later, the Tal Shiar arrested Sela and her personal guard on the charge of murder of Rehaek with a secret trial conducted later that nominated that Sela be executed. Donatra however managed to intervene and pressured Chulan to allow Sela and her supporters to accept permanent exile rather then the death sentence.
By the year 2387, the Romulan Mining Guild uncovered a chain of supernova reactions that were centered at Hobus that was creating a shockwave which was destroying planets. Ambassador Spock attempted to urge the Romulan Senate to evacuate but they denied his request. When the Hobus shockwave expanded, the order was given but it was too late as Romulus and Remus were both destroyed leading to the deaths of millions of Romulan lives. Praetor Chulan along with several senators managed to escape and were rescued by the Narada but were killed by the grief stricken miner Nero.
A year later, the Star Empire was in disarray due to the loss of the Senate and in the vacuum the leadership council of Rator III declared itself as the new Romulan Senate which nominated their own world as the new capital of the empire. However, this claim was disputed by the leaders of Achenar Prime and Abraxas V who made similar claims. The loss of both Praetor Chulan and Donatra meant that many Romulans looked to Admiral Taris for leadership though she concentrated on organizing her people together. The Federation attempted to offer aid to the Romulan people but the various factions that vied for power hindered the relief efforts. However much of the infighting had ended by 2392, as Admiral Taris united the fleet. Also that year construction began on the new capital city on Rator III, Rihan. Also, a growing movement began to rekindle interest in restarting the Romulan monarchy. This proposal was narrowly rejected by the Romulan Colonial Organization Committee and they also rejected Rator III as the site of the new Romulan capital, instead deciding to establish the new Senate on Nova Roma. (ST video game: The Path to 2409)
In a variant timeline where Humanity never evolved, the Romulan Star Empire was engaged in a long bloody war with the Klingon Empire for many years. The Klingons, along with the Vulcans, attempted to form a lasting peace between the warring parties. The Romulans used this opportunity to deploy an agent disguised as a Vulcan to trick the Klingons in lowering their guard long enough for a military strike to be staged against several colonies and the Klingon homeworld itself with an entire continent suffering from immense damage. The war would shift to the Klingons advantage when they employed suicidal attacks against Romulan ships. Several races were exterminated by the Romulans for being neutral or siding with the Klingons. This timeline was erased when Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise used the Guardian of Forever to ensure that Humans evolved on Earth. (TOS novel: First Frontier)
Another variant timeline was instigated by the Romulan themselves in order to gain dominance over the Federation by reducing the influence of Earth. To accomplish this, the Praetor send androids into the late 21st century where they assassinated Doctor Palmer and his two top aides. The resulting timeline was called Second History by the Romulans and greatly impacted the timeline as it made the Vulcans the prime movers of an interstellar government called the Interstellar Alliance of Planets. Though this body was smaller then the Federation, they were far more ruthless and quite capable of fighting the Star Empire. This timeline was erased by Spock, Kirk and Thea because its affects were slowly driving all the inhabitants of the timestream insane. (TOS novel: Killing Time)
In a possible parallel timeline, the Romulans were victorious in the Romulan-Vulcan War and conquered their ancestral home world of Vulcan. However, the wormhole linking the two regions vanished once more meaning that the conquerors were cut off from Romulus. What followed was a return to the aggressive, war-like behavior that Surak had worked hard to remove with the establishment of a Vulcan empire that would began a period of aggressive expansion until it encountered the Romulan Star Empire. The two powers were hostile to one another as both saw themselves as the true inheritors of their heritage which brought about a tense period between the twin empires. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook)
In yet another parallel timeline visited by the USS Defiant, the Romulan Star Empire conquered Earth. This timestream was witnessed through a anomaly near Earth that sent several vessels into this alternate timeline. (TNG video game: Encounters)
In one possible future that Jean-Luc Picard saw while suffering from temporal jumps to the past, present and future due to Q, it was revealed that the Romulan Star Empire was conquered by the Klingon Empire. However, once the temporal anomaly was stopped, it is likely that this future may not come to pass. (TNG episode: "All Good Things...")