|Planet of origin:||Romulus, originating from Vulcan|
|Affiliation:||Romulan Star Empire|
|Warp capable:||320 AD|
|Environmental requirements:||Class M conditions
|Typical lifespan:||200 years|
|Sexes:||Male and Female|
|Telepathic abilities:||None displayed|
Pointed ears, cranial ridges
Varied skin colouration and ridge formations
Being descended from Vulcans, Romulans have pointed ears, eyebrows that are arched and upswept, a heart located where a Human liver is present and copper-based green blood. As such, they possess many similarities with only small differences separating the two species.
One of these noted differences is the presence of only a vestigial inner eyelid, as the Romulans no longer live under a bright sun. As such, the inner eyelid no longer possessed a function and became vestigial, though a small number of newly born Romulans do possess an additional lid. Romulan geneticists, however, believe that within another few centuries, the genes that produce the inner eyelid would be bred out.
Furthermore, due to the decreased gravity on Romulan worlds compared to Vulcan, the Romulans have lost the greater strength as well as endurance of their Vulcan cousins. (The Way of D'Era: The Romulans)
A Romulan possesses greater strength compared to a Human of similar height and weight. This is attributed to the greater muscle mass and increased bone density of their bodies. (TNG novel: The Romulan Prize)
Many Romulans have two brow ridges above the bridge of their nose, forming a V-shape on the forehead. Others lack the ridges, making them outwardly indistinguishable from Vulcans. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror", TNG episode: "The Neutral Zone", Star Trek (2009))
While being direct descendents of the Vulcans, the Romulans have not exhibited the physical strength and telepathic abilities common in Vulcans, this is possibly because the Romulans do not share the Vulcans' mental discipline. Physiologically speaking, the Romulans have a much faster heart rate than humans, at an average rate of 240 beats per minute. (TLE novel: Serpents Among the Ruins)
In addition to this, the Romulans did not undergo the affects of Pon farr, due to mutations faced between them and their Vulcan cousins. Despite this, certain Romulans are telepathically receptive to this condition. (TOS novel: Killing Time)
Finally, the Romulan lifespan is noted to be still prodigious and it's not uncommon for certain members of the species to pass two centuries of age. (The Way of D'Era: The Romulans), however in an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager", entitled "Eye of the Needle" the crew encounter a Romulan with a 2 year old child who states that, "In 20 years, I will be an old man".
It was a curiousity to many as to why the Romulans did not possess the same psionic talents as their parent race. Numerous debates on the subject meant that there was no certainty to the reason with arguments ranging from it being a factor of genetics wilst others felt that it was societal upbringing that was the key. Some even believe that due to the Romulans desire to retain their aggression, that they never found the inner strength of the mind that the Vulcans possessed thus denying them any form of potential telepathic powers. (TNG novel: Triangle: Imzadi II) As such, Romulans do not demonstrate the telepathic traits that their Vulcan cousins possess, though it has been hypothesized and speculated that the dormant gene allowing these abilities does surface on the rare occasion among Romulans. (TOS novel: Captain's Blood) In fact, once they became aware of this fact, a movement sprung during the last century where they attempted to develop these talents. (TNG novel: Triangle: Imzadi II)
Psionic development was noted as being limited amongst the Romulan race and lacked the intensive training of their Vulcan cousins. Despite this being the case, it was known that the potential existed should the race choose to exploit it. Some reports indicated that the Romulans used their limited psionic potential to enhance the expression of emotion between individuals in close contact which was done so only amongst family members. (FASA roleplay module: The Romulans (FASA)) Though their experiments to develop psionic capabilities was not an overwhelming success, there was some notable achievements such as finding empath's amongst their population. Such individuals were often tested as a young age for definitive psi potential whereupon the offspring were taken from their parents and raised by the Tal Shiar. (TNG novel: Triangle: Imzadi II)
The Romulans originate from the planet Vulcan where they were one of many warring factions on the violent world. After the Vulcan race adopted the beliefs and doctrines of Surak the Romulans departed to find a world of their own in deference of the Vulcan culture.
Romulans believe in the Way of D'era which dictates that they are destined to rule the galaxy and is perhaps the source of their arrogant views as well as their belief in their own superiority. It comes from the teachings of Tellus who stated that their people were the children of the Vhorani who made the Vulcan race to become their inheritors to a great destiny of controlling the galaxy. Therefore, under these teachings, all other races were inferior to the Romulan people. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of D'Era: The Romulans) Some reports even indicated that Romulan writings that their ancestors were told by a race of great beings called the Great Brothers who were possibly the Preservers gave them a responsibility to build a Road to the Stars in order to join their gods at the end of their task. Furthermore, these stories state that that they were given enough just to start the "Road" and that it was their duty to build upon it further which makes Romulan expanionism a religiously motivated behavior. Their relationship with the Great Brothers was not entirely clear but a shrine of them existed in each family temple. (FASA roleplay module: The Romulans (FASA))
The dictates of D'Era became the source of the Romulan concept of honor which differs greatly compared to the Klingons for it was not a warrior-like concept but a reflection of the accomplishments made by the individual on a family, personal and imperial level. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of D'Era: The Romulans)
Interestingly, the Romulan had their own concept of a mythical creature that would die in fire and be reborn such as the Phoenix of Earth myths. It was known as Alth'Indor in the Romulan language. (DS9 novels: Millennium, The War of the Prophets) In addition to this, certain demons existed within Romulan beliefs. One such creature was a demon lord called Bettatan'ru who certain Romulans prayed to in order to achieve their goals. (TOS novel: Killing Time)
Vulcans and Romulans are genetically compatible for breeding purposes, although for many years the Romulan government denied this was a possibility, to avoid the consequences of being forced to pay reparations for any such offspring should they occur. According to Saavik, a practice of the 23rd century Romulans was to sire children with Vulcan females by rape, forcing the women to remain alive only long enough to give birth to the child. This could also be forced on a Vulcan man coerced to impregnate a Romulan woman, and in both cases the situation was seen as a great coup of social status for the Romulan. Romulans would also establish dominance among prisoners by taking wives from other species and fathering children with them, although the marriages were rarely harmonius. Sela was the result of such a marriage. (TOS novelization: The Wrath of Khan; TNG episode: "Redemption II")
Romulan children are branded at birth with a mark unique to their family. Saavik stated that her brand afforded her proof of her lineage and with it, certain rights—such as the right to a blood duel with her Romulan father, should she find him. (TOS novelization: The Search for Spock)
Details from the Eridam Papers state that the Romulan Way allows for no room for individuals who are not physically able to serve their obligations to the Star Empire. As such, children born with physical deformities or attributes that impede their ability to serve their society are not allowed to live which means that the Romulans practice euthanasia. The development of the child is monitored closely until the age of 5. If the child is fit then they enter a rigorous training program of schooling, cultural indoctrination and physical training for 15 years. During this time, the child is regularly tested as the Romulans are reluctant to spend resouces on a child that is unable to compete; such children are forever left behind.
Until the age of 20, the child is judged on whether they are physically and mentally fit by Romulan standards. If they are not then they must prove that they have the right to live by fighting a youth of the same approximate age. This trial by combat is to the death with the winner proving their worthiness while the loser being shown to be unsuitable to become a Romulan citizen. Once this is complete, it is compulsory for all Romulans to spend at least 5 years in the military with both sexes serving equally which provides the bulk of the Empire's military forces. After completion of this tour of duty, the Romulan is accepted as a citizen and may marry. (FASA reference: The Romulans)
Within Romulan society, there exists the family structure known as the House who are an extended family of nobles who sit in the Imperial Romulan Senate. The leader of the House tend to manevuer its members to positions of power and authority in order to enhance the Houses power, prestige and wealth. Houses can be divided and merged which can lead to new Houses forming or old Houses being destroyed. (TOS video game: Starfleet Command)
Family was important to a Romulan, most notably among the upper echelons, the pseudo-aristocracy that rules Romulan life. Family is a source of pride. It is a way to amass great wealth and power within the empire. Notable Romulan families control entire fleets and worlds, and most often send a family member to sit on the Senate. They are patricians in the classic sense, believing they have the right to rule, but caring for their subjects as though they were beloved children. (ST reference: Aliens)
It was Romulan tradition that upon the death of a loved one that the grieving loved ones painted ancient symbols of love and loss onto their skin. This represented their grief according to their traditions and by the time the paint faded, the mourning period was over whereupon life went on. (TOS comic: "Countdown, Number Three")
Romulans were known to fear disgrace over death. (TAS episode: "The Practical Joker") This was one of the reasons why Romulan parents were known to kill offspring who possessed any form of birth defect as they would be a waste of resources as well as a burden on the family. (TNG episode: "The Enemy")
Part of their races belief that they are a superior form of life and destined to rule the galaxy stems from the fact that the early Romulans, once they settled on their new home world, encountered very few alien races and tended to believe that they were the only advanced race in existence. (TOS video game: Starfleet Command)
Paranoia was etched deeply within the Romulan psyche and character background which was made evident when the Romulan Senate's floor held a picture of the Romulan Neutral Zone, a symbol of everything that inhibits and threatens the Empire. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)
Among the Romulan people, the race developed the concept of "Final Honor" which was something that requires a Romulan to sacrifice their life to prevent them from being captured, or for their honor being taken from them. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror", TOS novel: Vulcan's Soul Epiphany)
Romulans tend to consider themselves, as well as their distant Vulcan brethren, as superior to other races. (TOS video game: Starfleet Command II) However, this being said, the Romulans also consider the Vulcans to have strayed away from the warrior teachings of D'Era and have abandoned their destiny that was given to them by the Vhorani. (Last Unicorn RPG: The Way of D'Era: The Romulans)
The Romulans possess a caste system-based society with a high caste; given more respect, due to the nature of their birth. (TNG novel: The Romulan Prize) The Reman species, being an offshoot of the Romulans, are considered an undesirable caste within Romulan society. (TNG movie: Star Trek: Nemesis) Romulans are also known to make use of slaves. (TNG novel: The Romulan Prize)
By tradition, a Rihannsu who was incapable of mating and continuing the clan line was not permitted a political career. This meant that castration was considered an act similar to execution in some instances and was employed against conquered political enemies as well as upon Court servants in order to eliminate their aspirations for power. (TOS novel: Dwellers in the Crucible)