A nocturnal race, the Remans shun light, and are characterized by their imposing heights, grey skin, large ears, keen eyesight in the dark, and the possession of telepathic abilities. As of the late 24th Century, it was commonly believed by the people of the Federation that the Remans were a mutated offshoot of the Romulans. (novel: Articles of the Federation)
It was known that similar to the Romulans, the Remans possessed the genes for telepathy within their DNA. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood) Unlike their Romulan brothers, the Remans have demonstrated telepathic abilities which can dull the sense of pain among those suffering from disease and allows them to invade the mind of others. (TNG movie: Nemesis)
It was learnt that the followers of Surak, who possessed the telepathic abilities among their kind, were banished to Remus while the others were killed on the journey across space. It was later seen how the Vulcans who settled on Remus fared: After one Vulcan, Refas, blundered out onto the ice of the planet's surface in what appeared to be a suicide attempt, he encountered a colony of extremophiles who thrived there. They revived Refas, and began to alter him to more effectively live on Remus (he is able to survive more comfortably in the freezing environment). Healer T'Olryn adapts the extremophiles to work on any Vulcan, and soon an entire colony is being slowly mutated. They develop the hairless, pale skin, sunken eyes, and powerful telepathic abilities that later Remans are seen to possess. (TOS novels: Vulcan's Soul, Exiles, Epiphany)
The history of the Reman species can be traced to the Vulcans during the time of the Sundering when several starships left the planet in order to continue their way of life elsewhere. These ships discovered the twin worlds of Romulus and Remus; however, in order to continue their civilization, a lot of resources were required. To set an example, Karatek of the Shavokh decided that his ship clan would develop a settlement on the hostile world of Remus. After the work was complete, Karatek and his people were betrayed and left in exile on Remus where they worked essentially as slaves. It was during this time that the Remans were born.
The genetic father of the Reman species is Refas while T'Orlyn would be their mother. Their DNA had become altered by the extremophiles that lived on Remus which made them perfectly suited to survive on the hostile planet. The first of the 'prototype' Remans was Rovalat who was the genetic son of T'Orlyn and Refas. He would be the protector and the eldest of the new species which developed a fierce hatred of the early Romulans for what they did to their ancestors. At first, this mutated Vulcan species would remain hidden and make covert strikes against their oppressors which would be done so through collapsing caves that were made in order to kill the guards and to ensure that no exiled Vulcan was harmed. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Soul Epiphany)
In the late 2370s, the Remans came under the leadership of a Human clone named Shinzon; Shinzon had been created as a clone of Federation Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Earth to infiltrate the Federation in Picard's place, but had been condemned to live amongst the Remans early in life. Shinzon's tactical brilliance allowed him and his Reman brethern to rise to prominence within the Imperial Fleet, so much so that the Star Empire's ability to control them was questioned, with many in the Romulan government believing them to now be a private army. These fears proved well-founded; after winning the support of key members of the Senate and Imperial Fleet, Shinzon had the Senate and Praetor assassinated and assumed power. Shinzon intended to bring revenge upon the Romulans for his and the Remans' suffering, but died before this could be accomplished. (movie: Star Trek Nemesis)
In December of 2379, the Remans had come under the leadership of a Reman colonel named Xiomek; in the midst of Federation-mediated power-sharing negotiations between several Romulan factions, Xiomek's forces sought to attack Romulus. Using numerous abandoned starships, some of which were centuries old, the Remans gathered a fleet and launched an orbital battle. The battle was ended when Federation Starfleet Captain William T. Riker of Earth, commanding officer of the USS Titan, negotiated a treaty whereby Remus and all Remans were made protectorates of the Klingon Empire. Under the treaty, ships from the Klingon Defense Force were stationed throughout Romulan space, and the Remans were granted the right to settle on a continent on Romulus called Ehrie'fvil. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)
Unfortunately, however, this plan proved a failure. Numerous firefights between Romulan forces and between Klingon and Romulan forces hampered the Empire's ability to protect the Remans, and a great many hate crimes were committed in Ehrie'fvil, including the vicious muders of numerous Remans. Federation President Nanietta Bacco's administration later developed an alternate agreement whereby all Remans were voluntarily transported out of Romulan space and re-settled on an uninhabited Klingon planet called Klorgat IV. In the midst of resettlement, rogue Romulan Admiral Lhian Mendak, commanding officer of the IRW Rhliailu and several other ships, decloaked and pulverized a Klorgat moon. The Reman settlement was on the other side of the planet at the time; nonetheless, the destruction of the moon would sigificantly damage the planet's environment. The fact remained, however, that Klorgat was still much more hospitable than Remus. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
By the year 2385, after the Imperial Romulan State merged back into the Romulan Star Empire, the former Empress Donatra began negotiations with Coonel Xiomek of the Remans. After arriving at Remus, she offered the Colonel full citizenship for him and the rest of his race as well as representation in the Romulan Senate in exchange for their support. Though Proconsul Sela was opposed to this plan, Praetor Chulan does not stand up against Donatra or her military might.
The addition of new resources ends the deprivation many worlds of the Romulan Star Empire was facing during the initial split of the Imperial Romulan State. However, the Romulan Senate was reluctant to accept the Remans but was swayed by popular support for Donatra and gives Colonel Xiomek a take on the Senate with citizenship awarded to all Remans. However, in practice, most Romulans continue to treat Remans as second class citizens and the Remans themselves are reluctant to openly move to Romulan settlements.
In 2386, Ambassador Spock and the Romulan Mining Guild conclude that Remus has been extensively overmined and that continued mining might result in a similar incident that befell the Klingon moon of Praxis. The Mining Guild proposed to the Senate that they move all mining operations off Remus and also recommended that they be put in charge of such operations. However, the latter proposal was blocked by Xiomek which resulted in numerous skirmishes throughout the Star Empire between Remans and Romulan miners. In addition, Xiomek also placed a further motion that if Remus was going to be abandoned then the Remans should be given a place to live on a continent on Romulus. Instead, a counter proposal was offered that the Remans colonize the failed Romulan colony world of Crateris in the Gamma Crateris system. It was a harsh planet filled with electrical storms but rich in Dilithium, Decalithium and under such valuable resources. Though a hostile world to live on, the Remans accept the offer and see it as a better place to live on then Remus. After which, Remans begin boarding colony ships to settle on their new homeworld. (ST website: The Path to 2409)
Some Remans believed that when they die, their souls would be reincarnated on Romulus where they can live in Paradise itself; however, many others hold the more fatalistic belief that their existence is the only one that is available to them.
Reman myths believe that one day a Reman not of their world would arrive that would free them from their bondage to the Romulans and usher in a new age for their kind; one where all Remans are free. They identified this person with the name of Shinzon which can mean liberator among their kind. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood)
The Remans also share some of the Romulan beliefs as they believe in the afterlife known as the Halls of Erebus. They also developed their own belief in a mythological figure known as Tenakruvek who is believed to have ascended into the Reman afterlife. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)
The Remans were an oppressed caste within Romulan society, with their world having long ago come under the auspices of the Romulan Star Empire. The Remans were, in fact, little more than slaves to the Romulans; many were forced to work under harsh conditions in Remus' dilithium mines, while other worked as personal servants or bodyguards to rich and powerful Romulans. Still more were drafted into the Romulan Imperial Fleet, forced to work as ground forces -- cannon fodder, in other words. (movie: Star Trek Nemesis; TTN novel: Taking Wing; ENT episode: "United")
The life of the Remans has been a long and painful one where they endlessly toiled within the harsh surface of their homeworld. Their spirit had long ago been crushed and the concept of freedom is somewhat alien to them at times. In addition to this, the concept of what is a Reman is somewhat fluid. The race believes that anyone who is banished to Remus is considered a fellow brother and is, thus, a Reman.
The Reman language itself is considered quite complex and makes use of pictographs.
There appears to be very little in the way of culture among the Remans though ancient stories are passed down from one generation to the other through oral means. Mention is made of the Old Ways and the concept of the Clans. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood)
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Remans are sensitive to light due to living on their planet's dark side and within the planet's vast dilithium mines that they are forced to work in. They have shown some telepathic ability. (Star Trek Nemesis)
They are also excellent warriors, which has been exploited by the Romulans. During the Dominion War they were used as "cannon fodder" by the Romulan military and fought in some of the fiercest engagements of the war. Their skills in combat and their imposing nature as also seen them used a personal bodyguards for the Romulan elite. (ENT: "United", "The Aenar"; Star Trek Nemesis)
In 2379, under the leadership of the human clone, Shinzon they gained control of the Romulan Star Empire after assassinating the Praetor and senate. Their reign was short lived after they lost support from the Romulan Star Navy and Shinzon was killed during the Battle in the Bassen Rift. (Star Trek Nemesis)