The Tal Prai'ex, or the Praetorian Guard, is a Romulan military force that protects the Praetor, Senators, and other dignitaries the Praetor desires to place under their protection.

The Tal Prai'ex answers only to the Praetor and is unswervingly loyal to him. Praetors with military experience often appoint former military colleagues and subordinates to the Tal Prai'ex upon their installation, and garner many military supporters through the promise of a position in the Tal Prai'ex as a reward for loyalty and service.

By tradition, the Tal Prai'ex is made up of a full legion of Romulan troops, along with the various support personnel and resources necessary to maintain them. The Tal Prai'ex has its own ships as well, including a fleet of D'deridex-class warbirds and support vessels. Traditionally, only the Tal Prai'ex may keep armed vessels in orbit around Romulus.

The primary duties of the Tal Prai'ex include attending the Praetor at all public and ceremonial functions and escorting the Praetor wherever he may travel. On occasions when the Praetor must leave Romulus, he always travels on the flagship of the Tal Prai'ex, escorted by other vessels.

In addition to ceremonial duties, the Tal Prai'ex make a useful resource for the Praetor. Praetors have used members of the Guard as their personal agents, spies and assassins to carry out missions too sensitive to entrust to anyone else (especially if the Praetor happens to be out of favor with the Tal Shiar). Members of the Guard are sometimes appointed to positions on ships or outposts in the camp of particular senators, either to support the Praetor's allies or to spy on their political enemies.

It is rumored the Praetor has Guard members within the Tal Shiar, to keep watch over the secret police and report any indications of disloyalty or deception. However, there is talk the Tal Shiar has agents in the Tal Prai'ex as well. Thus, the Tal Prai'ex and the Tal Shiar act as checks on each other's potentially dictatorial power.

Fan continuities Edit

RIS Bouteina Edit

Annika Hansen is the commanding officer of the RIS Bouteina on a five-year exploration mission on behalf of the Romulan Star Empire. The Tal Prai'ex has all the Norexan-class ships outfitted with the Bouteina Refit. As of 2384, only two are in service, the other being the Tal Prai'ex flagship, RIS Norexan.

To tell Tal Prai'ex ships from non Tal Prai'ex ships, the Romulan Star Navy uses a different prefix from regular forces' ships. While the regular military (and also, presumably, Tal Shiar when their commanding officers are Tal Shiar operatives) uses the prefix IRW, the Tal Prai'ex uses the prefix RIS. Praetorians are often entrusted the Romulans' most advanced ships of any size.

In normal duty, Tal Prai'ex members follow the regular chain of command of the Romulan Star Navy but their orders can be countermanded by any ranking member of the Imperial Household or the Senate. All Tal Prai'ex command-level officers are expected to provide regular intelligence to the Praetor. They have two divisions: a surface arm often called the Praetorians (or Tal Shava), an elite legion of the Romulan Ground Forces and a space arm. Said space arm serves as escorts for prominent Romulan ships. To become a member of the Tal Prai'ex is one of the highest honors in the Empire. Tal Prai'ex captains are known for their fairness, honor, ability, and respect for the common people.

The Tal Prai'ex sometimes performs first contact missions. (RIS Bouteina: "Women's Dark Frontier")

Annika Hansen was the prima donna of the Tal Prai'ex ballet troupe. (Star Trek: The Stoneship Files: "Dilithium Dance")

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