With the destruction of the Eisn System and death of the Empire's ruling class, many worlds across the Empire found themselves without Imperial oversight. Owing to the lack of a clear system of succession following the Praetor's death, chaos gripped the Empire as former Imperial expansionism stalled. Both members of the Senate and various other military warlords attempted to grab onto what territories they could, while tailored propaganda messages often contradicted each other. Some refused to legitimize the new Romulan Republics formed by various dissident groups, and thus banned referring to it by name. Others portrayed them as monstrous terrorist organizations, swallowing up Imperial worlds for plunder and conquest. Governor Tovan, who was in charge of the Vertilia System, attempted to downplay the destruction of Eisn and cover up the collapse of the government and death of billions. Shutting down all travel and communications in and out of the Vertilia System, Governor Tovan established a blockade and formed his own remnant faction.
After the Destruction of Eisn, media reports of the calamity, as well as Seperatist propaganda detailing the secession of worlds such as Salieh and ch'Nahir, began to disseminate throughout the galaxy, with many risking arrest and execution for spreading what the Empire claimed were lies. However, the increasing view that the Empire was weakened, reinforced by the insistence of authorities claiming otherwise, prompted many planets to nominally secede or condsider themselves in a state of 'benign neglect.' Declarations of a new Senate were announced almost every day, but none were able to consolidate any substantial power. Former Vice-Proconsul, Kirin ir-Canmahr tr'Suibhne attempted to keep the Empire together while House fleets, Imperial fleets and other Imperial officials fought each other to support the various factions.
In late 2388 Admiral Taris recalled all remaining vessels to return to Romulan space. Over the next two years, she organized these ships into a new fleet and closed holes in the chain of command by approaching each ship's captain personally. Outside observers expected the Romulan military to be fully operational within seven months. Despite Taris' orders for the fleet to focus on relief efforts and the defense of border regions, Federation analysts warn that these ships could conquer civilian-led colony worlds to be brought under military control.
Infighting continued among the leaders of the Romulan colony worlds. While basic needs were being met and Starfleet delivered supplies and replicators to every world that would accept their help, the Romulans lacked a stable government and the chain of command of the military was chaotic at best.
Throughout the course of 2389, five Romulans attempted to seize the emperor's throne, more than two dozen people declared themselves Praetor, and at least a dozen more claim the role of Supreme Commander of the Romulan fleet. Most of these erstwhile leaders fell prey to quick assassinations. A fortunate few were simply ignored.
Federation analysts agreed that the Romulan Empire would remain in turmoil until there a leader who is able to command the allegiance of the majority of the colony worlds appeared. Federation diplomatic teams attempted to organize a conference where representatives from each of the colony worlds could take the first steps towards establishing a new government and choosing leaders, but the Romulans could not even agree on where the meeting should be held and the plan collapses.
Taking advantage of the situation, the Klingon Empire launched lightning strikes into Romulan space. The Klingons seized control of the Tranome and Nequencia systems in a matter of days, and was poised to strike deeper into Romulan territory. The Klingons temporarily halted their advance when Starfleet sent a fleet to protect the Romulan/Klingon border, but tensions remained high while reports of minor skirmishes between Federation and Klingon starships filtered throughout the Beta Quadrant.
By 2390, the Romulan colony worlds had begun to develop a loose network of alliances and rivalries, but none of the potential Romulan leaders had been able to unify the worlds under one banner. Left to their own devices, some of the worlds began looking to find allies outside the Romulan Star Empire. On Stardate **67620.54, the Romulan colony of Talvath formally requestd Federation protection and offered to open talks that could lead to Talvath applying for Federation membership. Some saw this as the first step to the dissolution of the Romulan Star Empire.
In early 2391, Klingon Councilor J'mpok gathered ship commanders loyal to his House and the Houses of his allies to invade the Zeta Pictoris System. They fought with a Romulan fleet commanded by Admiral Taris. By the end of the battle, the Romulans had forced the Klingons to retreat.
Taris's victory in the Zeta Pictoris system rallied the Romulans, who had been desperately seeking a sign of their former glory. Rator III was the first to proclaim Taris as the leader of the Romulan Star Empire, quickly followed by Achernar Prime and more than a dozen other worlds. In an address broadcast throughout the empire, Taris says 'I am a military commander, and I would prefer to remain so. The seas of politics are rife with submerged hazards and hidden perils, and a wise person does well to avoid them. But my Empire calls and I cannot resist her plea.' Taris calls on the leaders of the colony worlds to meet at Rator III to select representatives for a new Romulan Senate and make plans to organize a government and build a new capitol.
In 2392, the city of Rihan ws founded on Rator III, with the first constructed building housing the Romulan Colonial Organization Committee that became responsible for drafting a new constitution and restoring the Empire after the Hobus disaster. The Committee laid some initial groundwork for a new government, but was beset by the in-fighting and factionalization that has plagued the Romulans since the destruction of their homeworld. A group of moderates suggested that the Romulans need a single figure to focus their energies and cites historical records of Romulan rulers. Reminders of Donatra declaring herself Empress of a breakaway state trouble some members of the committee, but Admiral Taris announced that she would support the revival of the monarchy. However, Taris added, any move to crown a ruler must be made by the Romulan people.
Several ongoing RCOC legislative sessions were interrupted by Admiral Taris and General Tebok, who argued about the role of the Romulan military. While the General wanted to protect the core worlds by abandoning areas bordering Klingon space, Taris believed it to be their duty to protect every world.
The Constitution draft is completed two years later by the Romulan Colonial Organization Committee. The idea of a Romulan monarchy is rejected, but the vote is close. Instead, a new Romulan Senate is to be established in Rihan on Rator III, being the most powerful of the new institutions. Taris is offered to become the new Praetor, second to the Senate.
Meanwhile, colonists on Rhi III vote against rejoining the Star Empire and begin a struggle for independence. Many Seperatist colonies join them, whether controlled by millitary warlords, House fleets, or groups of civillians seeking their own independence.