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In the Shadow of the Valley of Death

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Now, what is often forgotten is the massive difference between the Marenese border areas and the cities of Gulamina and Bharagala. The two cities together were estimated to contain sixty percent of the nation's population and out of these 264.000 people, one-hundred and fifty thousand of which in the capital of Gulamina, only ten thousand were slaves. These slaves often had specialized purposes and were either ordered from and captured by slaver agencies that had contacts throughout the Marenese Kingdom or found during regular slave raids and transported to the cities' slave auctions. Generally treated better than their brethren in rural areas, although exceptions remained, these slaves were deemed less rebellious; those that were more rebellious and attempted to escape were often caught before they left the city or failed during their attempt to murder their master, with the person often screaming bloody murder and alerting neighbors, police and other guards. Additionally, the near-century that had passed since their first settling of the lands had not helped.

Gulamina, the first city to be settled, contained a lot of citizens that had lived solely in the city itself for three or two generations. While some of the newer citizens remained somewhat in touch with the issues rural life had or retained family there, Gulamina's elite knew nothing about it and thus, generally refused to take rural problems serious and remained passive in the first stages of the conflict. While the Gulamina elite generally served the King and the Marenese Kingdom's army and thus had far fewer personal assets to put in play, their voice could have led King Tamas II to increase the garrisons in the border area. While this would not have stopped the advance of the Laagher Kommandos, this could have ensured that the conflict lasted far, far longer. Instead, King Tamas II kept inactive for far too long.

This inactivity could be clarified due to his notorious love for foreign foodstuffs. While the halted trade in 1808 had ensured that the influx of Variotan goods had mostly stopped, imports through Bharagala from other places remained possible. If the King had had such a love for domestic food, it might have made a difference in regards to properly estimating the problem that Hendryk and his Laagher Kommandos posed. Instead, the King bought more than 80% of his dietary needs from Bharagalan traders. Like some other authoritarian figures throughout history, this gave him a false sense of security. After all, how big could the problem be when he was still able to buy everything he needed? By the time Gulamina got into supply issues, with too many routes deemed too dangerous or entirely taken over by the Laagher Kommandos and ex-slaves, these forces were able to match or exceed anything the King could muster.

Bharagala, nowadays Frijheitswaterplaats, was settled twenty years after Gulamina but managed to copy its prosperity by being a major river trading hub. From Bharagala, goods moved down the river to Variotan lands, other lands and the sea and similarly, goods moved to Bharagala from up the river. Due to the river's length, the varied lands it crossed and the fact that the river was often a faster, if not safer, option than going over land, Bharagala quickly grew wealthy. For the Marenese Kingdom, mostly just Gulamina as many rural farmers could not afford the high prices asked for foreign luxury goods, Bharagala was the city of progression, the city of fashion and innovation. While the halt of trade with Het Huisselant in 1808 ensured that the growth of the city was severely halted, the city managed to keep its importance.

Its traders were well known throughout the Marenese Kingdom to be the people to talk to, the best and most varied amount of supplies and other goods in the entire nation could be found here. These traders often banded together in informal alliances based on the gentleman's club that they belonged to, also operated various businesses in rural areas. While most were in the vicinity of Bharagala or Gulamina, areas that were affected in later stages, some of the traders that operated businesses further away were among the first to be affected by the actions of the Laagher Kommandos. One issue here, however, was that other traders were often hesitant to aid their affected allies. Sending some of their forces, meant to guard the slaves, farms and mines, would mean taking a risk that your business could be attacked next without proper means to defend itself and that was if the men returned. If they didn't, the risk became even greater as new reinforcements would have to be hired and sent to the businesses, taking weeks.

Had the response from Bharagala and Gulamina been far less passive, there would have been a good chance of the Laagher Kommandos and the slave rebellion being beat down. After all, the Marenese Kingdom's army was, while not armed with the newest rifles, well-trained and the guards under the Bharagalan traders were often recruited from said army and armed in a similar fashion. The Laagher Kommandos, while well-equipped at first, grew rapidly and had to adapt and integrate the weaponry they found into their ranks, which in turn grew from a reasonable trained force into a mixed rabble of ex-slaves and trained Kommandos that primarily found their inspiration in hatred and worship.

One interesting thing within this conflict is the starting of rebellions throughout the Marenese Kingdom. Within the rural areas, which we currently define as everything outside of Bharagala and Gulamina, the amount of slaves neared nearly a third of all citizens present. While slavery as a whole had only been instituted relatively recently, the Marenese had went overboard and its economy depended on their labor, even more so after the trade with Variota was halted. This essentially ensured a situation that could be described as a powder keg and this showed once the Laagher Kommandos started to gain momentum.

A notable location where a loose rebellion started was in the far north of the Marenese Kingdom, near the borders of the regular Variotan provinces. Mines here employed a mixture of Variotan slaves and slaves from areas further up the river with such a mixture often being popular within mining areas as the hope was that the difference in languages would keep the slaves disorganized. In the Lōha śētāta or Iron Fields mine, currently a historic landmark and interactive museum, this did not work. Piet Ooifaar, a missionary that had been sent to convert people up the Frijheitsrifier or Freedom River, had picked up rudimentary knowledge of a few languages spoken in those areas. When he heard guards discuss issues about shipments of iron going to the eastern parts of the Kingdom, he knew something was brewing. Leading a mixed crew of slaves, he managed to liberate the mines and sent word to the Kerke for aid. While he himself had died by the time Kerke reinforcements came, an infected stab wound ending his life, these reinforcements allowed this small northern rebellion to stay afloat until it was linked up with the Laagher Kommandos.

Other loose rebellions popped up in early stages, often instigated by forward scouts sent out by Hendryk Reierfer-fan Gautfanger. These scouts focused themselves on more secluded areas, areas similar to the Shinde Plantation, as a way to establish safe houses and safe locations for the Laagher Kommandos, ex-slaves and anyone else anti-Marenese Kingdom. A system of signs was developed to aid this and remains active today, used for Ferredaal nature trails and cabins. It was not uncommon, however, for these same scouts to completely remove the inhabitants of non-slave owning farms. These actions worked demoralizing towards the general population and some of the more notorious removals remain within the Marenese culture as ghost stories and other supernatural stories. 

A notable exception to the momentum of the Laagher Kommandos was Fort Akul, in the southern tip of the nation. Intended to hold the line in case of Reierfer or Variotan invasions into the area, the fort was well-stocked and maintained a garrison of some of the finest Marenese soldiers. While they were unable to get word out of their plight towards Gulamina, the fort remained standing for four months until the commander arranged a deal for safe passage back to Marenese-controlled lands in exchange for them surrendering the fort. The deal was promptly broken by the local Kommando commander, who slaughtered the Fort Akul garrison when they set up camp for the night.

Historie Magazine Issue #8 of 2012, 'How did the Frije Reepubliek Ferredaal come to existence?'

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Frijheitswaterplaats / Bharagala travel guide

Frijheitswaterplaats, also known by its old name Bharagala, with about 450,000 inhabitants, is the most populous city of the Variotan Ferredaal province. It is situated on Frijheitsrifier or Freedom River in the western edges of the nation. While the capital city of the province, Gulamina, remains just as popular with tourists, Frijheitswaterplaats is seen as being more forward-thinking and modern. The city additionally serves as a major port for the Frijheitsrifier, goods and tours going down and up the river finding their way here.

Understand
Frijheitswaterplaats is the largest city in Ferredaal and the closest thing to cities such as Grootwaterflakte and Ferrefaaierhafen that you will find within the province. While the capital remains Gulamina, Frijheitswaterplaats is seen as the economic capital of the province and the center of the Maretan culture, a mix of the indigenous Marenese and Variotan cultures.

The city has a long history as a river port since its founding in 1758, it rapidly expanding as trade found its way to the many docks, warehouses and traders of Bharagala. These traders banded together based on the gentleman's club they belonged to, essentially forming alliances to control prices, import routes and more. The Variotan embargo in 1808 stopped most of the expansion of the city as goods could no longer reach the sea, however the city maintained its importance through importing and exporting to the areas further up the Frijheitsrifier.

Since the construction of its own airport in 1994, the city has seen yearly increases in foreign and domestic tourism although the limited amount of scheduled routes have dampened the local tourism industry's ability to expand fully. Thus, the shipping and transport industry remains the largest economic sector of the city, moving the many raw resources that come from further up the river to the various Variotan factories that greedily await their arrival or even further down the river, to the various sea ports of the world.

While the Variotan government has enforced the learning of Common among its citizens in order to enhance the competitiveness of its citizens on the international market, do not expect the vast majority of Frijheitswaterplaats inhabitants to speak more than a few words; standards are relatively low to begin with and are even lower outside of cities such as Ferrefaaierhafen, Grootwaterflakte and Ranjekaat. Knowing Common isn't deemed as important in Ferredaal compared to more local languages such as Bahinese and Lukan or languages more important to the shipping industry, primarily Iverican.

Variot phrasebooks are available for purchase at any of the larger bookstores within the city, at the Tourist Information Center, some of the major hotels and at the airport. Using online translators to translate Variot is not recommended as they've not yet reached the level of sophistication required to translate on the level needed during your trip. Most phrasebooks additionally contain discount coupons for nationwide chains such as the Snelkoop convenience stores, SnuifFuif narcotics stores and Pater Wilm's Huisfoer restaurants.

Get In
By train
The BahiMare line runs from Samgala in North Bahinar to Reierferplattoterp, Gulamina and Frijheitswaterplaats. Entirely run by the Variotan train operator Vrein, the line provides an exception to the generally chaotic and irregular nature of Bahinese train travel. Due to agreements between Het Huisselant and the North Bahinese government and the establishment of a Variotan customs checkpoint at the Samgala central train station, one only has to pass through customs before entering or after leaving the train in Samgala. The line departs twice daily.

Domestic train connections exist in the way of various lines and one shouldn't have any issue reaching the city from Gulamina, Reierferplattoterp, Grootwaterflakte, Ferrefaaierhafen, Kattetralerstatt or Fingerfaaierplaats. Lines running from the airport to the city go every fifteen minutes, making a stop at Frijheitswaterplaats Suid before reaching the central train station. Both Frijheitswaterplaats Suid and the central train station maintain frequent lines to Frijheitswaterplaats-Ponnieplatform, where most youth hostels are located.

By bus
FlexBus offers various routes to the city, all of them arriving at the central train station. Their routes are punctual and luggage allowances are reasonably generous; services are budget-style however so expect to pay for any drinks or food during your journey as well as having to pay to use the toilet within the bus (often 0,50 Waarttemun at a time or a one-time 2 Waarttemun payment for the entire journey). Stops are frequent and smoking, narcotics use and drinking is allowed on the bus; keep in mind, however, that causing hinder or being a general nuisance may lead to your abrupt removal off of the bus and/or a trip to the local police station.

Those that seek more luxurious means to travel to Frijheitswaterplaats may travel with a variety of other bus companies including the Klan Reierfer Gebiet's Busreierei Reierfer, providing routes from Reierferplattoterp, and Gloorie Reisen, providing routes from Kattetralerstatt. Those that seek temperance should travel with Gloorie Reisen, as they prohibit the usage of narcotics in their buses. Drinking and smoking remains allowed across the board with all bus companies. While fares are more expensive, usage of the bus toilet is included and often, a light meal and beverage is included on the longer journeys.

By boat
There are various companies offering the trip to Frijheitswaterplaats from up and down the Frijheitsrifier as well as from the Variotan city of Fingerfaaierplaats. Routes are more frequent during the summer, when many young adults strike out to the poorer areas up the Frijheitsrifier to participate in charity work, seek out economic opportunities or simply go to visit family. 

One should be careful that the trip, in fact, takes them to Frijheitswaterplaats. Some companies have been known to advertise with routes to Frijheitswaterplaats, only to mention in the small print that the actual drop-off point is the smaller, and thus cheaper to the company, port town of Martinusterp. Marinusterp maintains no train station and thus, travelers will be forced to take either one of five taxi's the town has or buy a bus ticket; available at a premium in the bus itself or at a discount at Gladde Anton's Fis-en-Yshut, located near the dock.

By air
Air Reierfer offers twice-weekly flights to Frijheitswaterplaats from Reierferplattoterp, generally using their smaller airplanes unless demand is high enough. In case you're willing to wait half a week if the flight is full, try getting tickets three days in advance or even on the day itself at the airport; you can often snag a reasonable discount or a free upgrade or two for yourself. Air Reierfer is a budget airline so expect the bare minimum in regards to what is included in your ticket.

Nasionale Flieg Maatskappij Variota offers flights from Finfishafen, Ferrefaaierhafen and Fingerfaaierplaats. Flights from Finfishafen and Ferrefaaierhafen run regularly, although arriving in the winter may mean that flights are less regular due to a lack of demand. Flights from Fingerfaaierplaats are more irregular and depending on demand, it is not uncommon to have one's ticket cancelled or rolled over into the next flight. NFMV is more expensive than Air Reierfer but includes a soft drink and luggage within the ticket price for domestic flights; legroom is also noticeably more spacious.

Fleugels fan'es Huisselant is the third option for those seeking to fly to Frijheitswaterplaats; albeit this will come at a significant cost as the airline mainly works on a charter basis for domestic routes. If you get lucky, you might be able to claim an open seat on an already arranged flight as it's cheaper to join in on an existing flight; do not count on this, however, as most FfH flights from and to Frijheitswaterplaats are rented out by Grootwaterflakte or Ferrefaaierhafen-based businesses with interests up or down the Frijheitsrifier. If you do manage to catch a seat or are wealthy enough to afford a flight on your own, FfH offers the type of service that rivals any other exclusive or luxury airline in the world.

In case one has enough money to afford a Fleugels fan'es Huisselant flight but prefers a more carnally enjoyable experience, Vooters Air is the last option for a flight to Frijheitswaterplaats. While the airline operates no official routes to the airport, it maintains agreements with both Fleugels fan'es Huisselant and Air Reierfer and has been known to operate charter flights; thus, theoretically, one could charter a Vooters Air flight to Frijheitswaterplaats.

Get around
The central train station is square in the middle of the town and one can comfortably walk around the entire city center from there, signs exist at major locations to point locals and tourists alike to the main sights. As with all Variotan cities, pavements exist practically everywhere and thus, one can walk to anywhere in the city; with public transport being high-quality and frequent, that's not recommend unless one is strapped for cash or willing to spend a lot of time walking.

By bus
Frijheitswaterplaats maintains an extensive and well-connected bus service. FBM, the Ferredaal Bus Maatskappij, provides all inner-city bus lines within the Ferredaal province and offers an app through which one can track the status and location of the buses. The Nasionale Rontrit card, an electronic ticket, can be purchased at the central train station for a ₩10 deposit and charged at any train station, larger bus stations, the Tourist Information Center, many of the larger supermarkets and online; online charging only works if one has a bank account connected to the HantelHulp e-commerce payment system or if one has bought a prepaid 'FrijMun' card.

Line 1 travels throughout the city center, mainly used by the elderly, school children and shoppers. Buses run every ten minutes and start and end their route at the central train station. Line 2 to 10 run from the city center to the various outskirts of the city and run regularly, lines run more often during peak hours.

Lines 20 to 40 run between parts outside of the city center, although not all may run during a certain day or time. Using the FBM app to check the best route one can take is advised, although most bus drivers will be willing enough to aid a lost traveler.

By bike
Vrein, the primary Variotan train operator, offers rental bikes at the central train station. You pay a ₩50 deposit which gets returned once you turn the bike back in, minus the fee for renting it. Prices vary for people with and without the Nasionale Rontrit card, those without pay ₩10 a day for a bike, those with one pay only ₩5. Vrein only maintains a limited amount of bikes so be sure to come in the morning, as there's a chance they'll all be rented out for the day if you come in the afternoon. The maximum rental time is forty-eight hours at a time.

Various smaller rental businesses exist throughout the city, their prices are higher than the Vrein bikes. Try and look for a sticker or sign that states they're part of an Asosiasjie or Association, these are generally a bit more expensive than others but offer better quality bikes and service at any other rental business part of their Association, useful if you end up with a flat tire on the other side of town.

The city has dedicated bike lanes almost everywhere, the city center being a notable exception due to its small streets. Be mindful of other, faster vehicles and give them the space to pass you safely, Variotan traffic laws are not unconditionally pro-bicyclist and not doing so may lead you to receive a ticket for endangering and/or halting traffic; a ticket that you'll be forced to pay on the spot.

By taxi
Taxis are readily available to those with a larger budget. Prices are fixed at a maximum per distance, although taxis are free to charge a premium for extras such as drinks, snacks, karaoke, narcotics and more. Hailing a taxi on the streets is not normal within Variota and drivers will assume that you are merely waving at them; expect them to wave back if they're friendly or a middle finger if they're not. Instead, you should call the company's dispatch or go to one of the many places where they wait for a ride, including the train stations, the airport and the central library.

Haast Taksie, Taksie Spesjaal and Taksie Harrie are the larger ones in Frijheitswaterplaats, are found at the central train station and the airport and can be trusted, all three are additionally part of the Western Variotan Association of Automotive Transportation Companies. For other companies, either look for membership stickers of the WVAATC or the FAATC (Ferredaal Association of Automotive Transportation Companies) or their quality labels; these taxis aren't full members of either organisation but have submitted themselves to their standards and get checked regularly.

Some businesses, primarily the Gaut'n Gokker Casino and the Lantheere Babu Bollebont Hotel, Nightclub and Brothel, maintain free transportation to and from their establishments. Rides to the establishment are always free, although they may require you to spend a certain amount before the ride back is provided to you for free.

See
Bollebont's Heereklub, an authentic Bharagalan gentleman's club where traders used to mingle and ally each other. The building had been left to end up dilapidated after the last owner died without heirs, the municipal council divided on what to do with it, until Babu Bollebont bought the building in 1990 and renovated and restored it to its original purpose. All furniture has been custom made to be authentic for the time period. Visitors can view some of the rooms for free, tours are given and include a drink in their price and those looking to see everything without a tour can do so after purchasing a drink or some food.

Prices are reasonable for the portion size and quality. Cuisine served varies from authentic Marenese dishes to Marenese-Variotan fusion and kids meals are also available. Reservations are only done on national holidays.

The Fissersmarkt or Fisher's Market. While the name implies that the building hosts a market of sorts, it's actually a museum. Bharagala was taken over by the Fissers, a group of Variotan privateers-turned-freedom fighters that originally made their money by looting and sinking Marenese vessels; their name comes from the explanation they gave customs officers in regards to the origin of their goods, they 'fished up jetsam'. The Fissersmarkt provides visitors with a view into the lives and operations of the Fissers throughout history, ending with their victory over Marenese forces in the city.

The Central Post Office's stamp shop offers visiting philatelists the chance to purchase authentic stamps of the Frije Reepubliek Ferredaal. While the state never produced stamps as they were only introduced after its existence, Hendryk Reierfer-fan Gautfanger printed his own stamps under the name of the state with two versions of all designs, the value in both regular and Klan Reierfer Waarttemun, in an attempt to raise funds for improvement projects throughout Ferredaal; these stamps originally lacked legality until the Klan Reierfer parliament voted to honor them in 1855. Many of these stamps were left unused as the amount of Klan Reierfer inhabitants buying their stamps in Ferredaal were extremely limited and they were only usable for post within the Klan Reierfer Gebiet, most of the stamps instead being bought as a way to contribute and be charitable by the local middle and upper class.

King Akul I's statue, situated in front of the central train station. King Akul I was the first king of the Marenese and the one who settled Ferredaal with his people in 1738. A benevolent ruler that held good relations with both Het Huisselant and the Klan Reierfer Gebiet, his statue was maintained after the takeover in a show of good faith by the Fissers. Read the plaque to learn a bit about his exodus and reign and take a selfie with the statue like the locals do.

The historical Het Apparath's Building. After the takeover, Het Huisselant's intelligence agency established an office and prison on the outskirts of the city center to investigate which of the Marenese in Bharagala had been closely involved with Variotan slavery, appropriate their wealth for rebuilding and reparation purposes and keep an eye on the city. While Het Apparath has since moved on to other buildings, one can still visit it and get a tour through the building. Those interested in the full experience can rent one of the cells as a hotel room, including a bucket of water and an empty bucket as the bathroom. Unlike the original inhabitants, this stay does include breakfast; in the form of coupons for the nearest Vooters Chestaurant.

Do
Gambling
The Gaut'n Gokker Casino or Golden Gambler Casino is the primary gambling establishment of the city, situated only a few minutes off of the harbor. Owned and operated by Frijheitswaterplaats' most prolific businessman, Babu Bollebont, the casino maintains a style that can be best described as a sensory overload of gold and red velvet. The place features various card tables and slots, the minimum bet at card tables being ₩5 although slots start out at ₩0,25. There's live entertainment every night, ranging from singers to drag shows and magicians, and soft drinks and beer are available free of charge. The bar serves fried snacks, those seeking a full meal are well-served in its restaurant, serving international and Variotan dishes.

The Lantheere Babu Bollebont Hotel, Nightclub and Brothel offers a small selection of slot machines, the same minimum bet as the Gaut'n Gokker Casino applies here. Local gamblers swear that the chances at these slot machines are better than at the casino, although that might just be because they have a good view on the available men and women of the brothel. Drinks aren't provided for free here.

Ponnieplatform Reesbaan offers horse racing throughout the day, races being more frequent in the weekends. Races differ between regular races and pony races, which feature ponies and child jockeys and are a sight to be seen. Do not trust anyone that offers to sell you a 'hot tip', they are most definitely not hot tips and will most likely lead you to lose your bet.

Amusement parks
Mesijnerkamp Tierentuin Frijheitswaterplaats offers children and adults alike the chance to learn about the indigenous species of the area in a playful and fun way. Exhibits include signs with information and often a small game that children can do to learn more about the species. If you get lucky, you'll meet Makker het Mesijner, the veterinarian mascot of the park that's based on Robbert 'Pa' Mesijnerkamp, the veterinarian that started the chain of zoos to rehabilitate abused and wounded animals. Adult tickets are ₩20, children under 16 are ₩10 and children under 5 get in free. 'Deluxe' tickets are ₩5 extra but include a small thermos mug with the logo of the park that one can get unlimited refills for for free on the day of purchase.

Varinco Shooting Range - Frijheitswaterplaats is a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. Attached to the Varinco store near the Frijheitswaterplaats-Ponnieplatform train station, the Varinco Shooting Range offers the chance to fire with the entire range of Varinco small arms. Depending on what you prefer, you can purchase tickets for half-an-hour, an hour, multiple hours or the entire day. Regular targets are provided for free although one can purchase 'luxury' targets such as Altvarna vehicles for some additional fun. You're required to submit to an alcohol and narcotics test before entering and will be denied entry if you've consumed more than two drinks or heavy narcotics. Staff is extremely friendly and can help you pick out the right weapon for you, be sure to ask them for their favorites and get a picture of yourself firing off some of the finest weapons on Eurth.

Performing arts
The Rifier Pootjum offers a wide variety of theater pieces and shows as well as allowing visitors to eat a mystery 'home cooked' meal in their restaurant. Most shows are done by local Ferredaal artists although they'll occasionally manage to get national stars. The nationally-renown magician Piet Horloosje often gives shows here in the summer and is highly recommended to see if you're able to get a ticket. Ticket prices are generally fair, they offer senior and student discounts and may honor your foreign student ID if you're lucky. Most shows aren't sold out so you can try to get a ticket on the day itself.

Schuttebuikjes Lagklub is the place to be in town for comedy shows. Most shows are in Variot so expect to bring your phrasebook. Ticket prices generally include soft drinks and beer during the show, hard liquor and wine costing extra. The club doesn't offer full meals although fried snacks are always available. 

Tours
Various tour companies offer tours through the city. From historic tours, pub crawls, gastronomic routes to narcotics tastings and brothel bashes, the variety of tours should be large enough to entertain almost any group. Quality and prices may differ, be careful of street promoters offering you large discounts for random reasons. That cheap narcotics tasting tour that was offered to you because you're just so clearly the coolest tourist that they've met all day isn't just going to get you high, it's going to get you high and robbed or worse, get your organs stolen.

Of course, you could totally be the coolest tourist around and you'll only have fun. Maybe you'll even be offered some illegal organs.

 

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Prolific Ferredaalers: Lantheere Babu Bollebont

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Who? Anton Mohan Bollebont, Hereditary Lantheere of Marinusterp
Why? Lantheere Babu Bollebont, as he is called by the locals, owns the majority of the Bollebont Maretan Groep, personally owns iconic establishments in Frijheitswaterplaats as well as the small port town of Marinusterp and is well-known for his philanthropic ventures throughout the province. Additionally, he is seen as one of the major contributors to the Waarre Laagher Partij fan het Huisselant.
How? Lantheere Babu Bollebont's story is one of both existing and gained wealth. Born into the Bollebont family in 1955, already running the reasonably successful Bollebont Fissers Floot that dealt primarily in fish and fish products, Anton Bollebont managed to earn a scholarship to study in Ferrefaaierhafen; something that was only reserved for the Ferredaal elite back then, something that the Bollebonts were far from part of.

Ferrefaaierhafen was a wondrous cornucopia of advances, freedom and wealth compared to the relative backwater that Frijheitswaterplaats was back then and Anton's eyes were opened, the way forward was not conservative, tried-and-tested methods that many of the local leaders proclaimed but instead, Ferredaal and specifically Frijheitswaterplaats should adopt a development method that was similar to his own heritage as a Maretan. A way to combine the strengths of the local population as well as incorporating the successes of the Variotan system as seen in Ferrefaaierhafen.

While his father managed to expand the business into transportation, feminine healthcare products and paper manufacturing, the business wasn't growing as fast as Anton wanted. Leveraging his share of the company as collateral for a business loan to buy and start expanding Frijkaat, currently Marinusterp, back then a small town that was riddled in debt after a local pyramid scheme broke down, it was the start of his rise to fame and fortune. In 1972, two years after the start of his project, the town proclaimed him Hereditary Lantheere, an entirely ceremonial title, in a large celebration in Gladde Anton's Fis-en-Yshut, a restaurant that had been renamed in his honor; although some doubt about it being entirely positive, Gladde Anton translating into Smooth or Slippery Anton.

It all went up from there, especially when he managed to inherit the Bollebont Fissers Floot corporation in 1979. Renaming it the Bollebont Maretan Groep, it became and has stayed the largest employer within the province, holding shares in almost all aspects of Ferredaal's economy. He has given his name to many of his modern projects, including the Bollebont Heereklub, the Lantheere Babu Bollebont Hotel, Nightclub and Brothel and the Babu's Buns ready-to-bake rolls, all of which feature a 'stamp' of his face.

Lantheere Babu Bollebont isn't just an entrepreneur, however, as he has shown himself to be a philanthropist as well as politically active. With his Babu Bollebont Scholarship Fund, he actively supports the children of Marinusterp by providing them with scholarships in fields that are needed within the area. But this is just one of his many projects which include, but are not limited to, investing part of the profits from the Bollebont Heereklub in historic preservation.

His political adventures include being a large benefactor to the Waarre Laagher Partij fan het Huisselant, the biggest opponent for the Variotan communist party, which has always seen some popularity within Ferredaal. At times, he has participated in elections for the Variotan Parliament, mayor of Frijheitswaterplaats and mayor of Marinusterp. While he has never managed to get into the Variotan Parliament, he has served as mayor of Frijheitswaterplaats between 2008 and 2010 as well as mayor of Marinusterp between 1978-1984 and 1998-2006.

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