Erniesum Onestone, a barrister of Italian-Czech extraction, had devoted his entire life to the law, first for Austria-Hungary and later for the newly-independent nation of Czechoslovakia. He’d consulted on the drafting of the nation’s constitution as well as numerous pieces of civil law, learning the enormously complex system from square one. An inveterate practical jokester and fervent nationalist, Onestone delighted in tweaking the system and those within it precisely within the bounds he’d helped establish, though never to an extend which might harm his beloved nation.

Such a life didn’t lend itself to starting a family, and all of his immediate family had died during the war, leaving Onestone to seek other ways to make his mark as he lay dying of lung cancer in 1927. Months of work in his law office resulted in an enormously detailed will that became a national sensation when it was read upon his death. One hundred and twenty-seven clauses contained instructions for the dispersal of an estate swollen with sixty years of legal fees.

A million-koruna mansion to two barristers who were both spendthrifts and notorious enemies.

A cash prize equal to twenty years’ wages to the woman in Prague who bore the most legitimate children over the next five years.

A fully-paid membership in a prominent upper-crust social club for a notorious Bratislava pimp.

And, most mysteriously, a professionally made safebox with instructions not to open it for 80 years–protected by a generous endowment for a family to guard it (invalidated by premature opening).

Distant relatives fought Onestone’s bequests in court, but the wily old barrister had known what he was doing and the will stood as was, unaltered. The rival barristers put up with each other for five years before agreeing, through intermediaries, to sell the property and split the proceeds. Three Prague women won the baby race with a fourth given a consolation price, each tied at five children apiece.

As for the sealed strongbox…it vanished from history. Most of the relevant records were destroyed in the accidental firebombing of Prague in 1945, while the family Onestone had subsidized to look after his treasure vanished in the maelstrom of war. The box was lost to history.

Until now.