Romulan Society

From IRW Aylhr

Respect is the basis of Rihannsu society -- to be disrespectful is to show a lack of mnhei'sahe. Showing respect to elders and superiors is a must in day-to-day Rihannsu life. Every Rihannsu knows by the bearing and actions of another what rank and social status that person has. Non-verbal cues, reputation, military rank, and past experience all dictate the respect owed to each individual Rihannsu. To an extent, a Rihannsu social status and the rank of military personnel operate in parallel. Because the Rihannsu are a militarily oriented society, geared to the protection and promotion of the Empire, military service and accompanying rank are very important indicators of social status.

The person with the highest status in the Empire is the Shiar'Fvillha, or chief Praetor, the Speaker of the Praetorate, and one of the highest authorities within the Empire. The next important person is the Galae'Fvillha (Fleet Director), followed by the other members of the Praetorate. Other people's status is ordered according to rank, house status, and personal accomplishments in a long chain until ending with the lowest status, that of a prisoner. Prisoners are considered even lower than slaves -- a prisoner is without honor and is not fully Rihannsu.

The Rihannsu social structure is actually much more complicated than what is presented above: there are structures within structures within structures, to the point where it is rare for any two Rihannsu to have the exact same social standing. Finally, although prestige and social standing are often related to rank, social status should not be confused for military chain-of-command. Ranks affect the social structure, not vice versa.

There are many methods of which an individual may rise in status: merit and achievements (as well as military honors), subterfuge and betrayals (including blackmail and strategic use of personal or political secrets), the gaining of powerful allies, "elimination" of opponents, wealth (buying of support) and pressure tactics.