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Methods of torture and execution

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Swordfry, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Swordfry

    Swordfry Troubadour

    Lots of us here have great, imaginative worlds and ideas. So I am sure some have come up with unique ideas for torturing and executing prisoners/criminals. Here's a couple of mine to start off this gruesome thread:

    The Mind Needle. This object is a simple sewing needle enchanted with foul magic. Victims are literally poked on various parts of the body. It is a small needle, so the damage is very minimal. However, the needle evokes a sense in the victim's mind of being poked on several other spots of their body. Physical damage is very small, but the psychological damage is high. The ghost pokes are more than illusion as the victim can actually feel their pain. What they don't know is that that is the pain of their minds slowly being torn apart, allowing them to be more open to interrogation. This can also serve as a method of execution for particularly hated people.

    A method of execution is used by a race of beings that had learned to ascend from their physical bodies a long time ago. They are made up of an ethereal gas that is their mind and soul. The victim is set between two crystals with that emit waves with frequencies that effect the mind and soul. The victim's mind and soul are separated into two separate gases, one their pure mind, the other their soul. In the process, the victim loses their will, a sort of life source energy that holds them together like glue. The two halves of the victim are then released by a reversal of the crystals' properties, and the halves collide into each other. Whenever a member of this race dies, their whole trinity, body, mind, and soul, are lost, the price of ascension. This particular method is the equivalent of separating all the blood, muscles, and bones from one's body, while being kept alive, and, smashing them all back together like a kid with playdoh. There's a reason why this particular race serves as an evil invading force throughout many of my stories, lol.
  2. Trick

    Trick Auror

    Writing a sociopath assassin has granted me some time imagining fantasy death scenarios but I'm afraid torture hasn't entered into it yet. I'm still debating it since he'll have an opportunity for it at more than one point in my WIP but I'm not sure how evil I want him to become in those moments. He's more about efficiency than brutality... I mean, he's not a PSYCHOpath... sheesh :)

    The one I do have is the Assassin's Needle. It began as a medical tool and was converted to darker uses. It's most recent form is a 10 inch needle/stiletto with a punch handle. It's only use in my book so far: It is jammed into the base of a man's skull, right above the brain stem at a 45 degree angle from the spine, and causes instant death; the cool part is that it cauterizes on the way out, leaving no blood and only a tiny dot of reddish black under the hair, making much less of a mess. Efficiency.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  3. For torture and stuff, don't underestimate the power of hot irons and knives. They have been used for millennia, exactly because they are so good at hurting people.

    They are simple, available basically to anybody, and really good at your job. Whilst it's fun to have these magical death weapons, its pointless to have longwinded things used on every prisoner. Swordfry, whilst that is a pretty cool idea, its seems a bit time-consuming. Knives and hot irons - anyone can hurt with them, and they do horrific amounts of damage. People might be able to go, ok, this hurts like hell, but it's not actually doing much damage, if you give them enough reason to, and most of the time, that's why torture is used, to get people to talk when they really don't want to.

    Knives, they can mess up a body. That gets to people, not being able to move, slowly seeing that knife peeling off your skin. And hot irons, those are even worse. Just the sight of them will be enough to break a lot of people, and that show, again, is all part of the job. Unless your torturer is actually a genuinely sick person, and, here's a personal gripe, he/she probably isn't, just a person with a job and a family, they'll want their confession as soon as possible so they can go and wipe away the blood, get some fresh air and a drink.

    As for execution, again, us humans in real life are real good at killing people. You want it quick, in my world, they'd either blow your head off with a crossbow/musket, or, if your more important, a Drawer (mage) would "Draw" some lines of power through your neck, severing nerves/bloodvessels instantly.

    And if you want it painful, hung/drawn and quartered or being burnt alive.
  4. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    One shouldn't ignore the psychological impression of torture either. If a group is known for their brutality when torturing people, all it would possibly take in the impression that torture will soon take place to make a victim talk. Often the victim thinks of far worse things than the torturer themself.

    One example of this is from the wheel of time. A thieftaker was searching for some characters that were kidnapped and to get the information, all he had to do was tie them up and request a basket of figs and a mouse.

    The man was frantic to avoid whatever percieved torture he imagined that he told the thiefcatcher where they went.

    This also doesn't really cover the fact that torture rarely works except to make people fear you. Most information garnered by torture isn't that reliable usually.

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  5. Noldona

    Noldona Scribe

    The Sword of Truth series has some inventive tortures too. One I remember reading was where they cut a small hole in a persons abdomen, pulled out a small bit of small intestine, wrapped it around a stake, and twisted the stake slowly drawing more intestine out. They did this over the course of a couple days making sure to keep the person alive while doing it. And then there are the Mord-Sith.
  6. Terry Greer

    Terry Greer Sage

    In my Jangada series the main town of Ballan has hanging.

    Not just your normal hanging though - those convicted are placed (for a number of days - the number of days being proportional to the crime) in a cage hung (via a huge cantilevered wooden structure) by rope over the edge of the floating island of Haadrat from a huge granite rock known as the hanging rock. (All the lands in Jangada float - between them is nothing but void and an apparently endless drop)

    Several times a day a liquid taken at random is poured over the rope. The liquid may or may not contain an acid that eats at the rope - it's chosen at random from a number of jars. If the rope breaks those in the cage fall to their doom - if their sentence is up before the rope breaks they live.

    If it's a dry day the liquid crystalizes out before it eats away at the rope (forming a green crystaline 'mange' on the rope) - if it rains the liquid can be washed from the rope before it does too much damage. On humid days the rope is simply eaten away - and that's before the strength of the acid taken at random is taken into consideration.

    There are other factors (number of cage inhabitants - weight of the cage and quality oif the rope) along with obvious corruption and the occasional fixing of the results. There's a fair bit of luck in surviving - but statistically the longer you are sentenced the more likely you'll die.

    It's more a psychological torture than physical - and can also be used as a method of 'persuasion' rather than a simple sentence.
  7. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    I would think, even in a fantasy world, there would be "something" below the floating islands. It would be interesting if somehow there are survivors that have their own civilization below, one that seeks to regain the islands.

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  8. Addison

    Addison Auror

    I'm not sure what to name this torture yet but it's like this: A criminal is first burned by brands while restrained. They break free, as is intended, and dive for the water running through the grate hoping for escape and ease of pain. But the hot irons weren't poked in patterns for nothing. When the criminal enters the water, or gets wet at all, the brand flips it around so that instead of extinguishing the hot pain it amplifies it all over. The guards and torturer are on the sides of the crick to keep the criminal in the water and occasionally poking them with hot brands to amplify the pain even more.
  9. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

    Well, if you're talking about brutal executions then you can't overlook scaphism.

    It was used by the Persians, and I'm not going to say anything else about it. <_<
  10. Terry Greer

    Terry Greer Sage

    You might say that Saigonnus - but I couldn't possibly comment :) - the key is the word 'apparently' - but this isn't a a conventional spherical 'world' as such - its a 2D plane - but I can't say more without giving away major reveals that are still some way off being disclosed.
  11. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    I kind of thought it was one of the aspects of the world you didn't want to reveal, no worries, i will wait and see like everyone else.

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  12. Surad

    Surad Minstrel

    When thinking of fantasy execution/torture, I did come up with at least two kinds. The first is a form of pain gas that doesn't kill someone, but just causes incredible pain that's unaffected by any known painkiller. I described it as feeling like having a hill of termites course through our veins and eat you from the inside out.

    The second one was an execution device I dubbed the Vampire. It's exactly what you think it is... a device that sucks out all the blood from someone and leaves them entirely drained.
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  13. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

    Mine is an execution method, which is called, the "Maldoxian Sprint". Basically, there is a red pathway in a dark room. The victim must run as fast as they can down the path to the end, where there is a wall of knives - the faster they run, the easier they die. If the victim decided not to do it, they will be flayed alive, tortured etc. So the victim must choose to do the Maldoxian Sprint, as it is their choice.
  14. ArenRax

    ArenRax Sage

    well lets see if magic is involved you could amplify the victims pain and every time they are hit with a whip or shocked the pain that usually already hurts badly with amplifications hurts worse than hell.

    mage fire-instead of actually burning the flesh this fire will convey the feeling and sight of burning but will not kill.

    A good torture wouldnt be complete without hallucinations of well anything, from killing your loved one and feeling guilt to the torture of the afterlife with, this you can think up pretty much anything.

    The slow execution and maybe torture-A poison from some dangerous as hell beast when injected and at a certain point of course will slowly go through the victims blood stream and cause horrible pain, anything from the feeling of lava in your veins to agonizing pain and there always the good ole black veins which means very slowly the victims flesh and bone will either rot off,fall off, or just start disintegrating slowly and then when it reaches the heart itll still go on until it fills the whole body then for one whole say they will feel pain everywhere until the hear disintegrates or the body does.
  15. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    To combine these two points, one could physically torture one victim while magic is used to project similar (but amplified) pain onto his/her loved ones. They would thus be faced with both their own pain and that of their loved one.

    You could play with this so that pain must be willingly accepted by the victim in order to prevent a magical transference onto friends/family.

    Let's not forget the Pears of Anguish ... that'd be unpleasant for anyone but factor in magic and eek. In a Fantastical setting they might not only split a person's body but maybe even their soul too. Ouch. They might never find rest and be forced to roam about the world (probably more than a little pissed too).

    On one of the Kdramas I watched (I think it was The Great Doctor) there was a dude that more or less used sound waves on ... his magic flute (?) to rupture people's eardrums and kill them (I guess via a brain hemorrhage?)... The whole show was in Korean so I'm sure some of it was lost in translation or I just wasn't paying enough attention to catch it . . . It was different than anything else I'd seen and as someone that's ruptured an eardrum (more than once) I can tell you it is literally the most painful thing I have ever experienced it doesn't help that the pain is more internal. Don't underestimate the power of Ear/Audio torture...

    I think the types are Hot, Cold, Sharp, Loud, and Psychological ... am I forgetting one?

    Apologies if this response is all over the place. It's 1AM for me and my ability to uphold a coherent conversation diminishes past 11:30 or so ... which brings me to another point - sleep deprivation. Another torture method used to impair a victim's will and mental capacity.
  16. The Stranger

    The Stranger Dreamer

    one of my more cruel forms of torture and execution was named "Ouroborian Binding". basically, the subjects pelvis was broken and their legs where brought behind them so their feet touched their shoulders. they would then sew or use a heated rod to melt the flesh of the subject together, so that their feet were attached to their shoulders, and as their legs tried to bend back, it would tear at the stitches and cause terrible pain

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