“You have sold honor for power. You have sold what a Rihannsu used to be for what a Klingon thinks a Rihannsu ought to. You have sold your names, you have sold everything that mattered about this world – the nobility, the striving to be something right – for the sake of being feared in nearby spaces. You have sold the open dealing of your noble ancestors for plots and intrigues that cannot stand the light of day, and sold your courage for expediency. Your foremothers would put their burned bones back together and come haunting you if they could. But they cannot. So I have.”
A comment made by idiosynchronic has sparked an idea. He said, “I’d have problems reading Vulcan’s Soul, I think. I’m pretty entrenched into Diane Duane’s Vulcan pre-history, and that’s a pretty high standard to meet or exceed.” I want to know how well the Duane and Sherman/Schwartz backstories mesh. So I am taking a Vulcan/Romulan diversion from my chronological schedule. I’ll be reading Duane’s Rihannsu series and books about Vulcan by Duane, A.C. Crispin, and D.C. Fontana herself. I will follow with the “Vulcan’s Soul” series by Josepha Sherman and Susan Schwatz. Then we will return to our regular schedule, having become Rihannsu Historical scholars.
How did the Romulans become the Romulans? “The Romulan Way” is the story of The Sundering: the history of the Romulan culture, how and why they split off from the Vulcans at the time of Surak, how they found their new homeworlds and formed their own culture. During their journey, the Romulans change their language and social structure and become Rihannsu.
In the ‘present,’ Arrhae ir-Mnaeha T’Khellian is the head servant in the household of a mid-level Romulan Praetor. She is also Terise Haleakala-LoBrutto, a deep-undercover agent who has lived on the Romulan homeworld for 8 years. She has recently failed to report and McCoy is sent in to check on her. The historical text is from her writing and research.
Random Thoughts Written Down as I Read:
Language shapes thinking; words are important.
80,000 Vulcans left Pre-unification Vulcan in 16 ships. 450 years later 18,000 Rihannsu arrived at their new home in 5 ships. The Eisn system was literally their final chance.
The 80,000 call themselves “the Declared” (rihan) and they leave Vulcan because they object to the pacifistic ways of Surak. The disagreement is so passionate it may end Vulcan society forever.
The journey lasts 450 years in real-time, but only 85 relativistically. Many who began the journey saw the end of it. Others died from diseases, mutations, and when ships were lost in disasters. Many were born along the way.
More die on the planets from disease and war. They nearly wipe themselves out.
Rihannsu fourth names are like internet identities. They are self-chosen and shared only with special people.
Ensign Naraht (the Horta) is now a Lieutenant and accompanies McCoy on the mission.
McCoy’s use of the Rihannsu ‘Right of Statement’ to filibuster his execution is wonderful and completely in character. McCoy has never been a physical character, and here he gets to show off his excellent wit and intelligence.
Ael rescues McCoy and takes the Sword from the Empty Chair. The sword is a beloved symbol of the founding of Rihannsu.
Arrhae/Terise elects to stay on ch’Rihan. She is given a message for the Rihannsu: “If they’ll listen, tell them that the rest of the family is waiting.”
“A people who have come to speak an artificial language will naturally be preoccupied with the meanings of words and names.”