Gloire (pronounced: GLWAR) is a person's reputation in society and the Japethans regard it as priceless. Operas, songs, and tales paint a person's gloire as more valuable than gold. King Eudes IV of Saronne has pursued gloire with such concentration that it become a fundamental theme of his reign. Gloire is not limited to kings. People at all levels of society are eager to establish their reputation and increase their standing within society.
Gloire is created through accomplishments -- the greater the accomplishments, the greater the gloire. Promises and braggadocio do not increase a person's gloire. For many young men and women, building their gloire is more important than acquiring wealth. The nobles of Japethe are notorious for squandering wealth in pursuit of gloire.
On the positive side, gloire drives men and women to accomplish great deeds. Poets seek acclaim for their musings, architects seek to design ever greater buildings, explorers seek new lands, and so forth. Individuals striving for gloire must hold themselves to high ideals. Gaining a reputation as honorable, trustworthy, and brave increases a person's gloire, while being labeled a cheat, an oathbreaker, or most especially a coward, diminishes a person's gloire.
But there is a dark side to gloire. It commonly leads to pride, envy, and bitterness. Pursuit of gloire encourages people to make foolish or rash decisions. Kings eager to establish their gloire provoke wars to prove their reputation on the battlefield. Furthermore, individuals cannot overlook insults to their character, leading to duels and destructive feuds.
Meddling in someone else's business is a serious cultural offense in Sherbourg. The colonists in Aradie are a stubborn, independent lot that do not care for others interfering in their affairs. Doing so, implies that person is incapable of handling his own affairs, which is a major insult to the self-reliant colonists. The colonists particularly dislike recent arrivals from Saronne (who are dismissively called greenhorns after young deer who haven't learned the ways of the forest yet) telling them what to do. Even representatives of the monarchy are barely tolerated until they have proven themselves capable of surviving a frigid Everique winter. Those who have survived the winter often claim "I've seen the snow" to show understanding of life in Everique, as the snowfall in Aradie is significantly heavier than anything they have in Saronne, even though they are at the same latitude.
The colonies of Everique tend to attract settlers from the lower rungs of Japethan society. These settlers come to the new world looking for a fresh start and an opportunity to make their fortune when both of these avenues are closed to them in Japethe. Since many surnames attached to families because of their profession, those at the lower end of society (like Charbonnier) are stigmatized for generations. The voyage to Everique is an excellent opportunity to shed the old names and the preconceptions that accompany them. Colonists often take common words as surnames. Argent is one of the most popular names in Sherbourg. Other common choices include Fontaine, Labranche, Rivière and anything starting with Beau- (Beaumont, Beauclerc, Beaufort, Beauvoir, et cetera).« Return to the Almanac Index