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In the Shadow of the Valley of Death


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  • 2 months later...

The Shinde Plantation. It wasn't extremely large, extremely wealthy or extremely well-guarded. And precisely thanks to this, the Plantation was chosen. Would the Plantation be able to offer substantial aid to the Laagher Kommandos? Beyond a far-flung base for troops to rest at and a stop near the border for slaves looking to escape, the Plantation had very little value. And a place with very little value, in an area like this, was a place that would be visited sporadically at best. If Hendryk had his way, it wouldn't be visited by any Marenese every again. The Shinde's and their plantation would serve as a test for his forces, a test for their tactics. The test to check if they were ready.

Their tactics were simple for the battle itself. Old Raj Shinde, the aging Patriarch of the family, had maintained relations with smugglers from Klan Reierfer, men who valued wealth more than the plight of their brethren. Through coercion, in the form of a blade threatened to be forced into a dark, deep and intimate place of the ringleader and a small pouch of coins, the smugglers had been persuaded to postpone their route for a couple of days. Instead, Hendryk would send some of his men in during the night, posing as the smugglers. Once through the gates of the compound, they would deal with the night guards; each of his men armed with a knife, a rifle and a pistol. Whether they would pose as smugglers or regular traders mattered little in this regard, no convoy traveled these parts without having atleast some of their men being armed.

The hope was that the night guard, three men according to the smugglers, would be able to be dealt with in a quiet, slitting of the throats with knives way. Surprise was a big factor in this plan, the longer the other guards weren't woken up by gunshots, the better. It would take the other guards two minutes at most to rush out of their barracks, rifles in hand. Would they be dressed? Of course not but one could kill a person in the nude or in sleeping wear as easily as they could do while dressed.

Hendryk and the other men laying in wait could make it inside the compound in eight minutes after signaled but that still left six minutes, in the best case, where five men would be forced to defend themselves against nine others that had the benefit of knowing the compound, nine others that had the advantage of superior numbers until Hendryk and his reinforcements arrived. Eight minutes in which they had to survive or the gates would get closed, making their goal far harder. Would they still be able to take the plantation over? Of course, but at that point losses would have been high enough to make it somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory.

The plan against the Marenese did not allow them to suffer equal casualties. Their resources did not allow them to suffer equal casualties. God himself and the holy Wilm fan Amalberga would not allow them to suffer equal casualties. Their goal was one of salvation, vengeance, unequal repayment of the suffering that everyone under the boot of the Marenese suffered. This was not a fair nor equal fight but if they did it right, if He smiled on them, they would be able to turn that around and make the fight unequal and unfair towards the oppressors.

Unlike those filthy Marenese, these were people that had lost everything. And one thing about people without something to lose was that they were able to give everything, do everything to make the result be theirs. The Marenese had children, parents, pets, family. People and things that they would miss, people and things that would miss them. That's where the Laagher Kommandos would hit them, right in the heart. Murder a woman's father, murder a woman's brother, murder her husband. Take away any will to resist, take away the feeling of safety unless they do what you want.

Did the needs of the Marenese matter anyway? Did their lives really have meaning? Of course not, they were filthy heathens. Normal Buddhists were one thing, a reasonable Variotan did not mind them. Karma was merely a strange way of telling someone to live a good life so they could enter Heaven. Reincarnation had some similarities with Variotan beliefs of guardian angels, ghosts and souls. Nirvana and the various heavens that they had were just a delusional version of the One True Heaven, presumably a corrupted view of it from the strange mind of their false prophets. Marenese were far different from these regular, tolerable ones. Marenese were animals, perhaps even lower than that.

Would He really care if these so-called people ended up in Hell earlier than planned? Could one even speed up His plans? Perhaps the widespread murder were His plans, a test for His People to see if they would do what was needed to free their brethren. A test to see if they were still worthy of His endearment, being His Chosen People. In a way, He wanted them dead. And who was Hendryk, who were the Laagher Kommandos to deny Him His will, His needs? For many among the Laagher Kommandos, this was one of the tests of God that they readily accepted, even enjoyed. Not an eye for an eye but a life for an eye. A village for a life. Or, as the gangster movies would say far later in history, he puts one of mine in the hospital, I put one of his in the morgue.

Like many extremer societies, the Marenese had their flaws. Slaves worked, the men worked but the women stayed home, kept the family going, cooked. The Variotans did not know such a thing, women were equal and worked. They had been forced to in earlier days and, in the cases of frontier areas, were sometimes still forced to work and provide. People did what was needed, whatever one's genitals contained was not important. And as such, while the Marenese would turn out to be rather unwilling and not used to fighting women, the Variotan women had no such qualms. In some cases, due to their inherit emotional nature, the women fought even harder, more ferociously and bloodthirsty than the males, using the memories of their lost loved ones and/or their time as a slave to fuel that.


A couple hundred meters from the Shinde Plantation - Forested area

Forty-five men and women laid in wait, the forested area near the Shinde Plantation filled with them. Forty-five people that would see blood shed today, forty-five ready to do what needed to be done. All waiting for the signal, the signal from their friends and brethren. Once the guards had been taken care of, one of the men would stand by the gate and wave a torch to signal the others. In a way, it was as if God himself smiled on their actions and their plan.

The night was clear and the moon seemed to give off enough light to illuminate the surroundings, a perfect night for an ambush. The gates of the Shinde Plantation, two massive and thick wooden doors, were closed but that was to be expected. In the frontier, no one kept their gates open at night. Most travelers kept off of the roads and the few people still on the road were the unsavory kind, smugglers, bandits, Laagher Kommandos. Wild animals roamed around, seeing if there was carrion laying around for them to feed on.

The wagon of the Laagher Kommandos was slowly edging its way towards the Plantation. Hendryk gave one last signal to everyone to check their equipment, as there would be no other chance to do so between now and the conquest of the plantation. If everyone would go right, none of his comrades would die. He even planned to offer the Marenese a chance to survive, although it would obviously be a fake chance. Let them slide into the feeling it was merely an attempt to free the slaves and when his comrades had disarmed the remaining guards, he would personally slit the throat of every one of those filthy, oppressing, slave-hating monsters. 

His hands would turn red and warm with the blood of the people that did the same to his mother, to the brother of the man next to him, to the children of the woman on his left. And in the end, when he himself would die, God would smile upon him and tell him personally, standing in front of the gates to Heaven: 'You did well, Hendryk. You followed my orders, you fulfilled my tests, you have shown me that you are indeed worthy of being the Chosen People.'


At the gates of the Shinde Plantation

The wagon was edging forward, the horses showing their fatigue from a day of travel. For the most part, the wagon was a regular wagon, one of the many that the Laagher Kommandos maintained, one of the many of this same type. One could see this type of wagon anywhere, from the paved streets of Ferrefaaierhafen to the cobbled streets of Reierferplattoterp to the dirt roads leading to here. The ruse had been carefully prepared, a lot of wares and goods sitting on top, serving to help the act of them being smugglers merely looking to sell these goods on for a tremendous profit.

Under those goods, however, were rifles, pistols, bullets, gunpowder. Everything needed to arm the slaves they were planning on freeing. More supplies weren't far off as Hendryk was not planning on surrendering the Shinde Plantation back to the Marenese, nor did he expect that the soon-to-be ex-slaves wanted that. For their suffering, they were deserving of reparations. And what better reparations than owning the fields they were forced to work? Owning the large house, the guard barracks, their own slave quarters. 

He would leave behind one or two of his comrades to help train them, help them achieve a level of training needed to keep their righteous property or ensure its destruction if it came down to an absolutely superior force finding and attacking them. The Marenese would not be allowed to take anything back, to regain anything. The only thing they would gain was death, the only thing they would enjoy would be destruction.

''Jan, run up ahead and knock on the gate.''

One of the five ran towards the gate. For those times when the gates were shut but one wanted to come in, there was a small opening with bars over it. The man knocked on it and a gruff voice could be heard in Bahinese. Hendryk had specifically chosen five people that knew enough Bahinese to carry a conversation. Most of them knew atleast some Bahinese but for this, Hendryk needed people able to understand and pick up on nuances, pick up on changes in behavior.

''What do you want?''
''The Mountain Goat croaks at the mountain.''
''Uh, what?''
''The Mountain Goat croaks at the mountain.''
''You mean, the Toad croaks at the mountain?''
''Oh, that's how you say it. Sorry, I'm used to the Gulamina dialect.Yes.''
''Ketan, open the gate. It's the... traders.''

The gates were slowly opened as the man named Jan returned to the wagon. It was do or die time for all five of them. If it went right, they wouldn't even have a scratch. If it went wrong, the chance was big that they would all die. Jan quickly checked where he had his knife as the wagon passed the gate. The others had already done their own checks and all of them had quickly said a small prayer in their heads. From here on, it would all be chance. If they were lucky, there would indeed only be three guards. But what if the smugglers decided to double-cross them and had somehow managed to let them know?

One guard... And that's the other, Ketan I think the first one called him....
Where's the third? Are there only two?

''Quiet night tonight? Only the two of you and all that.''
''Two? f*ck, you're right. Where's that fool Ganesh gone to?''

sh*t, not what I wanted to hear. Three but one is gone...

Jan checked the faces of the other men, whom had also heard the news. Three men as the smugglers had said, atleast if this didn't turn out to be an ambush. But with the third man gone off to god knows where, they had to be careful. Giving each other nods, two of the men signaled to the others that they would find Ganesh while the other three took care of the two at the gate.  They had to time it properly, however. If they killed Ganesh with too much sound, the others at the gate would hear it and vice versa. Neither outcome was great. And while slitting someone's throat is always much quiet than firing off a rifle or pistol, no murder was ever completely silent..

''Say, I could have some of my boys find Ganesh. Seeing as you guys are working so hard this late at night, I want to give you first choice on some of the goods. I'll even give you a small discount if you guys end up buying more than one thing.''
''Sure, sure. Just don't enter the mansion or the barracks or we'll have to shoot you all. Try the outhouse, Ganesh ate some dodgy meat last night.''
''Where's that?''
''On the right, just behind that big tree near the fields.''

Two of the men broke off and went towards the outhouse. The wagon barreled on a bit to a small clearing, left of which were the guard barracks and the slave quarters. In front, the large house of the Shinde's stood. The two guards wanted to close the gates but were quickly ushered toward the wagon by Jan, stating that he had some amazing goods. The men became slightly suspicious until Jan promised them an additional discount. For people that would only be visited by caravans with luxury goods two or three times a year, this offer became highly appealing.

Besides, if the smugglers would try anything, they could just call out and the other, sleeping, guards would come out and murder them all. If they played this right, they could even turn this into a great situation for them. Falsely call out while money switches hands, call them cheats and the other guards will come out. Maybe a rifle goes off, shoots one of the smugglers, other guards start shooting... In the worst case, Ganesh would die by the hands of the two smugglers when they hear the shots but Ganesh was an annoying layabout anyway.

Jan and his men positioned themselves so that the two guards were in the middle of them. Two men on each side of the guards and Jan behind them to assist if needed. A large panel was opened on the side of the wagon, allowing them to lean in and see items from the side of wagon. As the two guards leaned in, each of the men on the side grabbed one of the guards. Left hand, or right one, over their mouths and the other hand wielding the knife to slit their throats with. Jan grabbed both men their pistols, held in a simple holster on their belt.

While the guards also carried rifles on their back, Jan guessed that they would sooner attempt to grab their pistols, as they could fire them with one hand. A rifle, on the other hand, would require them to swing it off their back and fire it with two hands. When one has to worry about their life being ended, they would sooner grab the quick option to attempt to live.

Thanks to the hands over their mouths, the guards didn't manage to scream out. Instead, only the soft gurgling sound of their throats rapidly bleeding could be heard, giving them a much softer dead. Or atleast, softer in sound. Being shot to death and getting one's throat slit tended to end up equally high in 'deaths I want to avoid' lists made by anyone. The bodies were quickly shoved under the wagon, although no one would really be fooled. Feet stuck out and the side of the wagon was somewhat covered in blood. Anyone with two eyes and more than a split second of time would notice it and call out. Each of the three men hoped that none of the sleeping guards would need to use the outhouse.

The two men walking towards the outhouse drew their knives. If Ganesh happened to come out of the outhouse before they were there, it would be a bit of a gamble. Of course, one could always attempt to throw a knife but most knives were not exactly aerodynamic enough to be used for that purpose. Still, when approaching the outhouse, they could hear that they had nothing to fear. A meter or two away, one could begin hearing snoring come from the outhouse. Apparently,  the hatred towards Ganesh was well-founded, using an excuse in order to be able to sleep in the outhouse. How one could sleep in such a place was another thing but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Nearing it, the smell was simply horrendous. The Marenese were truly animals, as the outhouse stank as much as a pair of stables that weren't cleaned for a year. Both of the men had to gag and their disbelieve in the fact that the man named Ganesh could actually sleep here grew. Still, each took a side and as one opened the outhouse door, the other quickly dived in to grab Ganesh. Normally, they'd have slit his throat inside the outhouse but neither of the men wanted to be in that room than absolutely needed. As Ganesh was pulled to the hard ground, he only woke up as his head hit the floor. He attempted to give out a shout but merely managed a small little 'aah' sound before his throat saw the same treatment as those of his two friends at the gates.

Once the men returned to the wagon and gave Jan a thumbs up, Jan ran to the gate with a torch, taken from a nearby wall. Stepping outside, he waved it around to signal the main force to come. The next eight minutes would be the most tense these men had had for a long time. Hoping no one came out to pee, hoping no one would pay them attention, hoping that Old Raj wouldn't hear anything while awake during one of the many times he had to pee at night. 

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  • 1 month later...

Tap.

Tap. Tap.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

As if guided by divine purpose, the feet of the men and women rushing towards the Shinde Plantation seemed to barely touch the ground, for as much as that was possible. Their heavy rifles swaying back and forth on their bodies, thumping softly against their backs and chests. Their holsters bumping against their muscular legs, trained by the rough life they had led and were leading. Long dusters and animal furs clinging to their, now sweating, bodies to protect them against the cold and, if the sh*t would hit the fan, hopefully somewhat against a bullet.

The very first phase of running was somewhat easy as while the forest also contained a lot of branches and other noise-producing nature, the forest was also a place where noise naturally existed; animals, plants and trees rustling and bustling around in the wind. Within the forest, no one would figure the sounds being heard were a highly-armed group of vigilantes, poised to slaughter the nearby inhabitants in order to free their brethren. Instead, one would figure it'd be a fox, a bush cat or a hyena poised to slaughter any nearby herbivores and dine on their flesh. Did it make it better that the Laagher Kommandos were not intending on eating the flesh of their slain enemies? Or were they, in a way, even worse than the animals here? Showing their raw, animalistic urges that had been grown, almost bred into them by the treatment they had received by the Marenese. The fox, the bush cat, the hyena did what they had to do because of their appetite, because of their survival. For these men and women, it wasn't about their survival bur rather, about the opposite side's death, the opposite side's deserved punishment.

The Wraaksoekene Fertoemte, or Vengeful Damned, asked that themselves a lot. But in the end, the same result, the same idea always came out. They could not and God would not allow them a peaceful life if they merely returned to the life they had lost at the hands of the Marenese. They would be empty inside, half a person churning forward on the void, the black emptiness inside themselves. As much as this journey was about revenge, about punishment, it was also a journey of redemption, of salvation. Salvation through blood, redemption through suffering, like the first Aloorians that settled on the shores of Alharu had done. Like how God had led them and His Chosen Child, the holy Wilm fan Amalberga, to slaughter the aggressive natives and settle the Promised Land, moving their unified purpose forward in a wave of blood, a wave of suffering. Hardship was how a man, or a woman for that matter, grew and became closer to God, it was how the Variotans and the Klan Reierferers were now allowed to life a prosperous life, how they grew and improved while sinners in other sections of the world still toiled and suffered.

Did they not toil now, suffer now? Of course. But God's message was clear, his aim a destined one. While the Variotans had never believed in crusades, in aimed warfare campaigns in the name of bringing His Light to non-believers through the force of sword and bow, this was one of the times when those participating in it felt that it could count as one. God had seen the vile nature, the unworthiness of the Marenese, the disgusting presumption that they had made that they were allowed to take his Chosen People captive. Hendryk was like a second Wilm fan Amalberga to his people, his brethren that were now running across the field. And like Wilm fan Amalberga and the natives, Hendryk would make the Marenese drown in their own blood, make them crawl to his feet and beg him to stop, stop the punishment that they had deserved. And in turn, like His Chosen Child, Hendryk would show the survivors mercy. But this time, there would be no exodus, no departure. Hendryk would keep them, educate them, show them the light. And those deemed unworthy before would bathe in waters worthy of His Light and turn into repentant sinners, turn into those that may have a chance of being redeemed like how Hendryk and his brethren had redeemed themselves.

And as the gates of the plantation were being reached, Wraaksoekene Fertoemte left and right were panting, panting as one would do after having ran several minutes while fully armed and packed. But with the light of God warming their hearts, filling their lungs with breaths of his love, no one thought of taking a minute or two to get their breath back. They had been extremely lucky, the murderous gurgles of the night guards not waking anyone up, the large and long amount of heavy taps on the section of plains before the plantation not waking anyone up, Old Raj Shinde not waking up to go to the outhouse like all old people often did in the time they ran to the gates. 

Now, all eyes were trained on Hendryk. The mastermind, the leader, the savior. And with some hushed orders and a simple twirl of his fingers, the next phase began. Jan, his men and some others would go to the house and hold the Shinde's under control until Hendryk was able to join them. Another group of men would move towards the slave quarters and free those held there, bringing them back to the center clearing. And the last group, containing Hendryk, would go towards the guard barracks.

The Marenese had made one mistake with their barracks, namely the placement of their rifles and pistols. In reality, if the guards had had their weapons near them instead of in one place near the door, they would have had atleast some chance to escape or fight. As it stood, however, the collection of firearms sitting near the door quickly came into the control of Hendryk and his brethren. With the men and women rushing into the barracks, the sleeping guards all awoke, some mumbling the Marenese version of 'what?'. Those that attempted to jump up from their beds were quickly pushed back and given the company of a pistol barrel on their temple.

''Good evening gentledogs. Please nod if you understand me, I know that you dogs have various dialects. Do not try to speak or else me and my companions will righteously strike you down right now.''

A slow but solemn nod followed from all of the guards.

''Good, good. Hereby, we liberate this plantation in the name of the righteous, the chosen people and place it under His Light. Your lives, as those propagating the injustice done here, has been forfeited. Your possessions have been forfeited. You will die. However, God allows those that are truly repentant to soak in the blessed waters touched by His Light and join him in working towards the expansion and improvement of His Vision On Eurth. Does anyone of you feel truly repentant?''

While most stayed quiet, one piped up.

"I do, I do.''
''You do?"
''I do."
"You really do?"
"Yes, yes."

Hendryk neared the guard, looking into the scared beady eyes of the man. Even though the heat had mostly disappeared from the barracks, the man was profusely sweating. Fear sweat, the sweat of those frightful to die. Not true, truthful sweat of a person looking to accept the love and warmth of God in their hearts and minds. Filthy sweat, done by a filthy creature looking to save his own skin. As if Hendryk and his men had no way to see if someone was speaking the truth, as if they could not see into the soul of a person. As if they could not see if someone was as broken as them, as hurt as them, as void of any emotions except anger as them. As if they could not see if someone was ready to accept the chance to redeem themselves.

''You lie."
"I don't! I really don't!"
"You are. I can see it. God does not like fake believers. God hates pretenders. You shall die first."
''Nooo, noooooo!''

Hendryk plunged his knife into the chest of the man as the others were forced to watch. A slow, guttural gurgle could be heard as Hendryk plunged his knife into the man again and again and again, his mouth slowly filling up with blood. Within half a minute, the sound stopped and the only thing heard in the barracks was Hendryk plunging his knife time and time again into the man. Revenge is a powerful thing, a powerful emotion, something that could overpower a man, force them into an animalistic fever. For Hendryk, this was one of the first times that he could feel truly in control, truly his own person again. As the flashbacks of his mother dying played in his mind, his body took over, his deep urges took over. When the red haze, as some would go on to call this violent urge to murder seen among the freed slaves, left his mind, he quickly went from bed to bed to slit the throats of the others.

Could his men and women have done that? Of course. But this first taste of victory, this first taste of death... It would be all his. And as the last man bled out, his companions left the barracks while Hendryk looked over it one last time. This would be the fate of all Marenese dogs, death. And still, this death was far too kind on most of them. A slit throat was fast yet the suffering they made their slaves go through was slow and painful. He'd make them suffer though, him and God. All of them would, be it on this Eurth by his hands or in hell, by His Hands.

When Hendryk returned to the clearing, the freed slaves were standing there, some of them still dazed by the idea of freedom. That delicious freedom many of them had longed for for so long. But Hendryk understood it, he did. No slave could feel truly free without their former master slain, without the symbol of their suffering suffering in return. And he would provide that for them, he would give them the release that he himself had partially received when he stabbed his last master in the neck.

Standing on the balcony of the master bedroom, the one facing the central clearing, was Jan and another one of his men. And with them were Old Raj Shinde, his son and his two grandchildren. Hendryk would make this a show, a good show. Reaching the balcony, he faced the crowd gathered below.

''My friends and brethren, my newly freed companions! I, Hendryk Stanthouwer, stand before you as a free man! A pious man! A man on a mission! My friends here around you know this to be true!"

A quick shout of 'hear hear' could be heard.

"Thank you! Thank you all for your confidence, for your support of our mission! For you to put your own lives at risk as I put mine is something I and as I am sure, God, appreciate deeply! This place serves as our first stop to robbing the dirty Marenese dogs of their lifestyle! No longer shall any Marenese own a person belonging to the Chosen People! No longer shall the Marenese oppress us! This place is now yours, those that worked the hardest to support it. Their weapons are now yours, those that deserve it the most. Their belongings are now yours, those that need it the most! In return, we shall pay them with death! May their suffering in hell be a thousand times worse and a thousand times longer than they would have inflicted upon you!"

Turning to the four Marenese standing next to him, Hendryk continued in Marenese.

"Your life is forfeit. Your goods are forfeit. Your property is forfeit. Your children are ours now. Any last words or requests?"
"Please, I am an old man. Let me die in dignity."
"Dignity? I shall grant you the same dignity as you have granted them!"

A repeat of the scene in the barracks followed, with Hendryk plunging his knife into the back of Old Raj Shinde. Unlike the guard, however, Hendryk did not keep stabbing him but instead kicked him over the balcony. Falling down a story, the man still attempted to crawl away only to be stopped by the newly freed slaves. Kicking and stomping him, it seemed that their anger was only now firing up.

"Next, his son. Or boy toy. Last words, last request?"
"Please do not let my sons witness this, they are only children!"
"Like your people do to us? Do you not think any of us witnesses your atrocities during our childhood? Do you not think any of us had to see family die at your hands? Request denied, may God grant you even less mercy than I have now."

And again, a knife to the back and a kick off of the balcony. As the body hit the ground, a sick crack could be heard and from the position of his head, it seemed as if it had broken his neck. This did not stop his former slaves however, as they continued to kick and stomp on him like they did to his father. The two children, by now crying their eyes out, were forced to watch it by Jan and another of the Cursed Damned, holding their heads in such a way that they had to look, their fingers forcing the eyes to stay open. They would suffer as much as the Variotans did, they would see as much death as the Variotans had. That's something they would make sure of.

''Gentlemen and gentlewomen, let us feast tonight! Jan, pull out the bottles from the wagon. Tonight, we toast to freedom, tonight, we toast to redemption!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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  • 4 months later...

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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  • 3 months later...

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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