Legacies can be interesting things. You might get one from a long-lost relative or from your closest friend and sometimes they have interesting conditions in them for the inheritor. Sometimes legacies can also be problematic, since they may come with duties or a heavy tax attached to them. Sometimes inheritors are not private persons. societies, universities, religious and charitable organisations receive legacies all the time.
Sometimes legacies come with a stigma on them or with other strings attached. A notorious privateer might be rich, but his gold is stained with the greed and blood of many. Or there might a conditional clause on the legacy. A quest might have to be done to receive the legacy or the inheritor might need to get married…really fast.
So when a humble parish church receives the legacy of it’s richest and most infamous member, the feared slave-trading, privateering captain “Blood-eye” Jenkinson, they must make a difficult decision about how to use the new property and how to fill the strange obligations laid out in the will.
“Blood-Eye” Jenkinson was in his day, one of the most feared of the English privateers. His ship, “The Noble Savage” plundered far and wide. His name was feared by the French, the Spanish and the Dutch alike. His prizes ranged from humble French fishing boats on the Channel to mighty Spanish Treasure Galleons on the Caribbean seas. He even once sailed to Japan on a mission for the king himself, delivering gifts to the mysterious East and capturing a Dutch porcelain trader on his way home.
But his privateering wasn’t his only source of income. When the wars subsided, he turned to slavery. Carrying human cargo from Benin and Mali to the slave markets in the Americas. his overcrowded holds became the deathbeds for many a slave and eventually the stench of human filth and death became so overpowering and no amount of cleaning removed it that in a moment of madness he burnt his ship in a New England port and bought a new one with his amassed fortune.
Despite his bloody career, he lived old enough to decide to retire from the seas. when he was fifty years old, he sailed back to England, sold his fleet and built a grand mansion in the seaside village of Hammouth.
For years, captain Jenkinson was the village’s most prominent member. He entertained nobles (some rumor even the king has visited him incognito), built a reputation for entertaining ladies of questionable morals (and some whisper, noblewomen) and terrorized his neighbors by hiring many of his former crew as staff. yet, every Sunday he was in the parish church singing praises to the Lord, despite the malicious whispers behind his back. the parishioners say that he prayed with the fervor of a true sinner.
And after living over 80 years he died, unmarried and without an heir.
His will left generous legacies to his crew, servants and business partners. But the rest, amounting to a truly impressive wealth of both land and money he left to the village parish, under the care of the village priest, Father Dominic. But only if certain conditions were fulfilled. And these conditions, while not anything illegal, made old father Dominic uneasy.
But the parish really could use the money, the church roof was starting to leak yt again. and despite the fortune being tainted with blood, it would be put t o good use. So Father Dominic called a few of his friends over and they started planning…