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Aesthetes

The Aesthetes are a high society Chaos Cult, dedicated to Slaanesh, and the dream of beautifying the mortal world in his honor.

Overview Edit

The Aesthetes have found a home in Marienburg, arguably the grandest, most beautiful (and most decadent) city in the Old World. It is a centre of trade, where cultures meet as merchants from Araby, Tilea, and Estalia flog their wares on the stinking streets. Marienburg is home to several opulent theatres and galleries and fantastic operas, plays, and carnivals are put on to delight the viewer every year. Beauty, however, is in the eye of the beholder, and there is one group within Marienburg that values it above all other traits. The Aesthetes are, on the outside, like many other societies; prominent, opinionated, well-voiced, and harmless. Based in the exclusive Tempelwijk district, they regularly attend meetings and councils to help further their cause: the increased beautification of the city.[1a]

The average member is extremely well-dressed, following the latest fashions, and is attractive, to say the least. This is not always in a conventional way; while there are many slim, svelte individuals, others are much larger, but with a sultry essence and lasciviousness about them that simply cannot be ignored. Men and women often wear make-up, including thick crimson lipstick, and when out in town, Aesthetes can often be recognised on account of the many servants that hover around them, ensuring that no fi lth is splashed on their expensive clothing, and that no urchins can distract them from their business.[1b]

For all their oddities, the group has proved rather popular, especially amongst the poor quarters of the town. The group has loudly protested that several of the slums districts are unfit for human habitation. They proudly display eye-catching designs for how the area should be knocked down and rebuilt to increase living standards to make the whole of Marienburg more pleasing upon the eye.[1b]

The group is led by Anetta van Klausner, a voluptuous woman in her thirties, who, despite her size, is still of striking beauty. She has never taken a husband, though various men of the city have tried, and failed, to woo her. Rumours have it that she rivals even the Countess Emmanuelle of Nuln for the number of potential suitors that chase endlessly after her, eager for a night in her favour. She is normally clad in a tight-fitting velvet robe of some sort, although she insists on never wearing an outfit more than once before it is discarded. She is obviously a wealthy woman, but with no knowledge of her heritage, and no prior husbands, the source of her wealth is a mystery.[1b]

Anetta is also a patron of the arts and has sponsored or written over a dozen works in the city over the last decade. She has additionally helped many young people learn of culture through the Aesthetes school of arts, which teaches acting, creative writing, dance, and poetry to any who are willing to learn.[1b]

However, within the society lies a dark and twisted secret. Anetta and her most trusted colleagues are devotees of Slaanesh. They find exquisite pleasure in beauty and while their carefully orchestrated front is a legitimate desire, they indulge in far more sadistic pleasures as well. The Aesthetes are determined to turn the entire Old World into a beautiful tribute to Slaanesh and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Anything that is not pleasing to the eye is like a poison in their veins and is targeted for destruction or improvement.[1b]

Anetta’s true form would be terrifying to behold. She has undergone countless surgeries to change her appearance and sculpt her into a more pleasing form. A combination of new organs, skin, and heretical rites and ceremonies have kept her alive for nearly one hundred years and countless poor souls have been slain to keep her looking striking. Her cultists abduct people from the streets in order to conduct their trials on them, clawing skin from their still-living bodies, removing still-beating organs, and even more unsavoury activities. They then progress to the inner chamber to make sacrifices and venerate Slaanesh, worshipping by watching the most sensual cultists partake in foul and devolved acts to please their dark master.[1b]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- The Book of Pleasure
    • 1a: pg. 16
    • 1b: pg. 17

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