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Gilles de Rais is an infamous aristocrat who served during the Hundred Years War alongside Joanne of Arc as her personal guard and is the central figure in the extreme metal band Celtic Frost's song Into the Crypts of Rays which was found in their debut album Morbid Tales.
After the war, he retired from his militaristic life and returned home. He was a man known for flaunting his mass wealth, but in this case, this would prove to be his undoing. After spending his riches on lavishing living, he found himself deep in debt. As a means of rectifying this and amassing more wealth, de Rais resorted to the dark arts and mysticism. From there, de Rais lured numerous children to his black masses where he sexually assaulted and sacrificed them to several demons.
Eventually, after the numerous disappearances of the children, word circulated about de Rais' sinister machinations, and he was apprehended. The song described him as taking perverted pleasure in seeing these many children become limp before him as he believed that his goal of recovering his wasted wealth was slowly becoming a reality. Found guilty of the murder of over 140 children, de Rais was sentenced to death for the sexual abuse and child murders. The song ends with him being hanged.
- Contrary to popular belief, many scholars debate on whether or not there was a smear campaign against de Rais as it was noted that he was forced into making a confession.