Cautious at best and extremely xenophobic at worst, the Rihannsu people have a right to paranoia born of their violent history. The experience with the Orion pirates of Etosha on ancient Vulcan and during the journey, the Iruhe, burned a lesson into their minds forever: never trust an alien. In the mind of a Rihanha, only a pure-blooded Rihannsu person is worthy of respect and civility, all others are discounted and never trusted. It is their belief that all other races are inferior and wastes of material and space, unworthy of either respect or mercy.
Even Rihannsu who are not of pure blood are shunned and treated much as aliens, generally shown neither respect nor mercy. This attitude was demonstrated in the Rihannsu's Treaty of Algeron with the Federation, which was negotiated completely via subspace radio, and through the countless confrontations with the Klingons and Federation.
At the center of the Rihannsu code of behavior is the importance of "mnhei'sahe." It is an abstract measurement of a Rihannsu's personal honor and is often used as a status symbol in their culture. Mnhei'sahe, which translates loosely to "the ruling passion," centers around a strong respect and appreciation of honor, duty, courtesy and strength. In all interactions between Rihannsu, it is imperative that all parties leave afterward feeling that their honor and "face," is intact. If not, it is paramount to denying mnhei'sahe to the offended party. If the offending party feels he can apologize without himself losing face, he does so. Wars, executions and deaths of entire households can be required to satisfy mnhei'sahe. If mnhei'sahe is always intact within the Empire, the Rihannsu believe that they can never lose.
If the disgraced party is beyond redemption, those present may simply execute him or recommend he commit ritual suicide by sending him swords in order prevent further disgrace and loss of mnhei'sahe. Above all, mnhei'sahe is sensitive to the context of the situation and is a rather interpretive concept. It is not a specific codified set of rules, but an unspoken understanding which guides the actions of all Rihannsu throughout life. Rihannsu honor their word when it is given to another Rihannha. To break with one's word means dishonor and a loss of mnhei'sahe, a fate worse than death. Politeness, respect, and quiet dignity are always required if mnhei'sahe is to be satisfied.
Rihannsu honor power as much as they honor loyalty. The goal of each Rihannha is power. If not for one's self or House, then always for the Empire. Rihannsu are always loyal to the Empire itself, not to any one person. For the Rihannsu, power can not be defined in the standard Terran terms, but is the power of mnhei'sahe, and it defines the structure within Rihannsu society and the daily decisions each Rihannsu makes.
In MUSE terms, if you show respect for those around you and are polite in your interactions with other Rihannsu, chances are you have shown mnhei'sahe in your actions. As it would be a bit destructive to execute every player who was rude to you, it is important that alternate ways are found to deal with this lack of mnhei'sahe. However, should a player prove to be a thorn in the side of the Empire and is shown to be beyond redemption, the Rihannsu High Command will not have a problem with executing the troublemaker. Good IC roleplaying is an important part of being a member of the Rihannsu Empire, and that involves knowing how to properly roleplay a Rihanha and knowing just what the typically Rihannsu citizen is.
There are many times when you will have to deal with people outside your chain-of-command, whether it be people from other Legions or from parallel commands within your own Legion. It is not the purpose of this course to attempt to outline chains-of-command for each branch of the service, nor do we indend to do so. Let us simply say that, because someone is not in your chain-of-command does not mean they should not expect proper courtesy from you. You may not be required to follow their orders, although in some circumstances you may, but in all other respects, you should treat them as you would an officer of equivalent rank in your own command structure. If their rank does not translate into your command structure, assume they are a superior. If it does translate and they are an inferior, remember that they are no more expected to follow your orders than you would the orders of their superiors.
These courtesies are a means, not an end in themselves. The words themselves are simply that: words. The importance lies in the underlying attitude of respect, both towards other officers and towards our traditions. Walking up to your commanding officer and saying, "hey, d00d! What's shakin?" is totally inappropriate, not just because the words are wrong, but because the attitude is wrong.
The exception to all this, of course, is the Tal Shiar. The Tal functions both as the Empire's intelligence agency and as counterintelligence. Some would call them the secret police, while the Terrans compare them to organizations from their history known as the KGB and Gestapo. Whatever you call them, regardless of your rank or branch of service, it is always wise to consider any Tal of any rank as a superior officer in your chain-of-command. You ignore the "requests" of even the lowliest Tal at your own peril.
As the Rihannsu IC MUSE history section shows, it is not necessarily a given that players know how to properly roleplay a Rihannsu citizen. Becoming a troublemaker or improperly roleplaying your character affects not only yourself, but every other Rihanha with whom you come in contact.
It is expected that at all times, you will behave in an honorable way. Inappropriate childish and immature behavior will be dealt with with disciplinary measures. As an eredh, (student) or citizen you should treat your superiors with respect at all times. This doesn't mean that you can't joke around, but when a situation is serious act accordingly. Failure to treat your superiors with respect and acting without mnhei'sahe is a sure way to earn the wrath of the Tal Shiar and a path to a slow and painful execution.
As a citizen of the Rihannsu Star Empire, your conduct reflects upon the entire Empire. You will all undoubtedly choose a wide variety of paths in life, but the one true goal of all Rihannsu is the glory of the Empire. Wherever you are, your behavior reflects upon the training that you have received at the Phi'lasasam and upon the Empire in general. Do not forget that our duty is to the Empire, and that the pristine face that is the Empire should never be marred by your actions. Use your judgement and common sense, and if not expressly authorized to do something, it is safest to assume you have no such authorization.
As a citizen or eredh of the Rihannsu Empire, your behavior, manner, and conduct reflect upon our Empire. There are many reasons why you may have joined the Rihannsu Empire, but the one true goal and duty of all Rihannsu is the glory of the Empire. Wherever you are, your behavior reflects upon the training that you have received at the Phi'lasasam and upon the Empire in general. Do not forget that our duty is to the Empire and that the pristine face that is the Empire should never be marred by your actions. You are to serve the Empire to the death if the Empire so requires it, regardless of the reasons. It is not the place of citizens of the Rihannsu Empire to question their orders or the word of their superiors and the Praetorate. As a Rihannsu, your life is service to the Empire.
A common question for most cadets and citizens is when to bow, whom to salute and how many times. Citizens do not have to salute, but it is polite to bow to your superiors. Once is enough when entering a room and leaving. The same holds true for eredhin (cadets or students), saluting when you enter and room and leaving. When you become a higher ranking officer, you may acknowledge lower ranks in any way you feel fits the situation: from a bow to a nod to completely ignoring them.
Regardless of where you serve, superiors can be addressed in one of two ways. Most formally, they are addressed by their rank. Instructors at the Phi'lasasam, for example, would be addressed as Vaed'rehai. In less formal situations, if you are in the military, you are generally expected to address all superior officers as "rekkhai," with the exception of social or OOC occasions. "Rekkhai" is a gender neutral term and is used for male and female superiors alike. Inferior officers may be addressed by rank or name. Civilians are expected to address military officers by their rank unless invited otherwise.
Important civilian citizens should be addressed as "lhhai" (sir) or "lhhei" (madam) while heads of noble houses should be addressed as "hru'hfirh" (lord or lady). It is impolite for even a high ranking civilian not to acknowledge the bow of a military officer, as that would mean ignoring a defender of the Empire. Position, however, always outweighs rank. If an Arrain is the commanding officer of a vessel, he would be addressed with his position, "Riov", not with his rank, "Arrain." If you were talking to the Fvillha, who was also the head of his own house, you would address him as "hru'hfirh," but if it was a matter dealing with the Empire, you would address him as "Fvillha."
If two civilians meet, one may choose to bow to the other, although it is not required. The other may choose to nod or bow in return, or to do nothing at all, although that can be considered rude. When military personnel greet each other, the one of lower rank is required to salute the officer of higher rank. The higher ranking officer can then decide whether to nod, salute, or ignore the other. Very seldom will someone ignore a salute. If the two officers are of the same rank, they may nod or salute the other, and do the same in return. Both the Galae and the Tal Shiar are considered military legions for this purpose. If a military officer and a civilian meet, the lower ranking one would bow to the higher ranking one, who could bow, nod, or ignore the other. It is impolite for even a high ranking civilian not to acknowledge the bow of a military officer, as they ignore the defenders of the Empire. Members of the Kiith Mrevhoqq'ghi and the Rihannsu Merchant Marine may be considered civilians.
There are many times when you will have to deal with people outside your chain of command, whether it be people from other legions or from parallel commands within your own legion. It is not the purpose of this page to attempt to outline chains of command for each branch of the service, nor do we indend to do so. Let us simply say that, because someone is not in your chain of command does not mean they should not expect proper courtesy from you. You may not be required to follow their orders, although in some circumstances you may, but in all other respects, you should treat them as you would an officer of equivalent rank in your own command structure. If their rank does not translate into your command structure, assume they are a superior. If it does translate and they are an inferior, remember that they are no more expected to follow your orders than you would the orders of their superiors.
Despite the time just spent discussing it, these courtesies are a means, not an end in themselves. The words themselves are simply that, words. The importance lies in the underlying attitude of respect, both towards other officers and towards our traditions. Walking up to your commanding officer and saying "hey, d00d! What's shakin?" is totally inappropriate, not because the words are wrong, but because the attitude is.
The exception to all this, of course, is the Tal Shiar. The Tal functions both as the Empire's intelligence agency and as counterintelligence, and some would call them the secret police. The Terrans compare them to organizations from their history known as the KGB and Gestapo. Whatever you call them, regardless of your rank or branch of service, it is always wise to consider any Tal of any rank as a superior officer in your chain of command. You ignore the requests of even the lowliest Tal at your own peril.
At some time you will undoubtedly have to deal with those who are other than Rihannsu. Even then, certain protocols apply. Allies should be treated with respect, though you should always remember to use caution in your dealings with them. Even our enemies deserve a type of respect. First, and most important, you are always expected to be IC in your treatment of them. Second, you should remember that we are an honorable people, even if our enemies are not. Do not forget that an enemy's lack of honor is no excuse for you to forget your own.
This brings us to our first rule: never do anything that limits the ability of other players to go about their business and enjoy themselves. This might be restated as do not do anything to anyone else you would not want done to you, only that you might have different tastes from someone else. Respect those differences and be nice.
But wait, you might rightly protest, I'm a Rihannsu. I am not supposed to be nice to lloann'mhrahel (Humans) or klivam (Klingons). What if I want to fight them in space? Should I be nice to them then? You would have a good point, but would be making a very common mistake, namely, forgetting the distinctions between in-character (IC) actions and out-of-character (OOC) actions. The distinction between these two types of acts is usually a matter of common sense, sometimes subtle and always very important.
In-character, you might indeed want to be less than nice to members of other empires. Assuming the High Command allows it, your character can destroy their warships, outcompete them at trade, diplomatically isolate them or obtain military secrets by espionage, any one of which could ruin someone's day. Those are the sorts of things that one would expect a real-life Romulan to do. One would not expect a real Romulan to pollute someone else's channels with spam, or page them with verbal abuse, or sexually harass them. One wouldn't expect a real Romulan to use powers like @tel, examine, and so forth, to go places or obtain information that there was no other way to get. These are things that show disrespect to the player behind a character, and they are OOC.
These are things that show disrespect to the player behind a character, and they are OOC. Not all OOC actions are bad. In fact, OOC interactions between players are one of the attractions of TrekMUSE. Players have page-conversations, and sign on to OOC channels to discuss their real lives, get to know each other and even make friends or enemies. This is all good, but it's important to remember never to allow information exchanges, enmities, and friendships between players come to bear on interactions between characters. To this end, the following are the laws of the virtual land:
Remember, this game is about playing a role. Your character isn't you. Sure, it is an extension of you and controlled by you, but it's different. It may lack some of the information you possess, and it would certainly lack the ability to manipulate the database in sociopathic ways. Let it act on the information it has, in the context of its station in Rihannsu society, and your character will become a pleasure to you as well as a valuable addition to the MUSE community.
Finally, you might wonder how your IC conduct can be affected by OOC concerns. If it is necessary to leave OOCly, for whatever reason, simply make an acceptable reason for excusing yourself IC, and then go about your OOC concerns. If your superior shows signs of not accepting your reason, a small OOC page of explanation will finish the matter. Your departure OOCly should never be taken as an offense by another.
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