Art by Ángel Alonso Miguel
After the 2009 Star Trek feature film established the planet Romulus was lost in a supernova, Star Trek: Picard provided much-needed clarification of the specifics: It was Romulus’s own star that exploded, and the Galaxy had years of advance notice, allowing Starfleet to assist in evacuating the Romulan population. (Realistically, the signs of an impending supernova are detectable millennia in advance; but realistically, no star with habitable planets would be large enough to be capable of a supernova.)
However, for me, a major question was left unanswered: What happened to the Remans? Remus is Romulus’s twin planet, established back in “Balance of Terror” but ignored until Star Trek: Nemesis. If Romulus was destroyed, Remus would have been lost simultaneously. Were the Remans evacuated as well?
Many fans are content to ignore the Remans, but I found their introduction refreshing. Nemesis is controversial, but I liked it, partly because it actually understood the meaning of the word “empire”: a state that rules over other states and draws upon their wealth, resources, and labor. Real empires routinely employ subject peoples in their military, a practice common throughout history from Ancient Rome to the British Empire. Yet most Star Trek “empires” are depicted as single-species powers – the main exception being the Dominion, which isn’t even called an empire. Nemesis improved on this by showing the Romulan Star Empire actually functioning like an empire for the first time, employing a subject race as a servant class and cannon fodder in its military. As a student of history, I welcomed this more believable portrayal of an empire, and I regret that so little has been done with the Remans since.
Since there was no sign of the Remans in the two onscreen stories about the Romulan supernova, the premise of “Children of the Wolf” practically wrote itself (though I wish the same had been true of the more detailed adventure, which proved more challenging to crack). I picked up on Nemesis’s reference to the Romulans using Remans as infantry in the Dominion War, during which much of Federation space was conquered and occupied.
What if Reman infantry had been used earlier in Romulan incursions into a Federation sector, and what if the Romulans, upon joining the alliance against the Dominion, had used Reman troops to liberate that sector? How would the sector’s inhabitants feel about accepting Romulan refugees – let alone Reman ones? What if they discovered Remans being smuggled into the sector in secret? Could they possibly trust that they were simply more refugees? The situation was a natural powder keg, fraught with possibilities.
I tried to be flexible with this adventure, to set up a situation that could evolve unpredictably through the players’ choices and luck, with the outcome riding on their ability to persuade strong-willed NPCs with clashing goals and abundant reason for mutual mistrust. As with many refugee crises, there may be no easy answers.
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