A large-toothed, four-handed woodsman's saw. The unfortunate subject is suspended upside-down, and the saw was used to split the body in two, beginning at the crotch. Because the victim is inverted, the brain remains adequately oxygenated and little blood is lost, ensuring that consciousness was maintained until the saw reached the navel and even possibly the breast.
The purpose of this device is not torture but execution. The apparatus is comprised of a blade which falls between two vertical columns equipped with grooves. Painless perhaps, but scientists discovered (and this has been confirmed by modern neuroscience) that a head that is cut off in this swift manner is well aware that it has been beheaded, maintaining consciousness just long enough to perceive this. Go to Comment
I went to a website that had historical torture devices and they had some crazy devices. I remember one vividly that looked like a melon and it was inserted up the rear and then opened up. It was called a Pear Blossom or something like that. Very nasty site. But cool if your into that sort of thing.
Pillory : A wooden framework on a post, with holes for the head and hands, in which offenders were formerly locked to be exposed to public scorn as punishment.
The barrel pillory was a device of perfect torture if used correctly.
This particular device was mainly used on those who ere common to befall the disgrace of to much drink. The barrel fit over the entire body of the person being punished with their head sticking out of the very top. Only the head could stick out as the top was usually two parts that were clamped shut allowing only the head through but did not allow the person being punished to dip their head below the opening.
There were two kinds of this particular device. The enclose barrle which forced the person being punished to kneel in their own filth for the length of their punishment, not to mention not being able to properly sit, kneel, or bend to a comfortable position.
And the open barrel where the perons being punished was forced to walk the streets to show their crime to the populace always to open ridicule and scorn.
Often there were scenes painted on the sides of the barrel showing the transgressions of the person being accused of. Drunkenss, fighting, theft were all popular themes. Go to Comment
Not a common item used in a dungeon or torture setting it could however be used for a purpose to punish both men and women.
Other names of this same device were, the girgle of purity, girdle of venus, or the florentine girgle.
The history of this device predates Christianity but its use rose to a high during midieval periods. They were never intended to be worn for long periods of time, more for short jaunts to protect against the possibility of rape.
There are two forms of the belt, the partial pudenda and the full pudenda. The partial pudenda was a metal belt that locked around the waist and had a metal front. The covering around the genital area was left open but was usually covered in small, sharp pins or spikes that pointed outward. Some even had a single edged blade that ran the length of the opening.
The full pudenda was built in a similar manner but instead of a single opening in the front it had one in the rear as well. Both openings had the same spikes or teeth that protected from enterance.
A rarely used torture, but one I would use in my setting to really get into the players heads, was to force a male onto an individual wearing one of these devices. The male usually does not last long with this kind of torture.
It could also, uncommonly, be used against woman who are pronounced shrews or adulterers to keep them from continuing their ways. Go to Comment
Not the piece of armor but ana ctual device made by the germans, who oddly enough gave it a french name.
This was an odd device usually made out of what was lying about the shop of the blacksmith who built them. It was formed of a breastplate surrounded by three or four bands of metal that locked in the back. A locking band would go under the groin of the prisoner to lock in the back as well as bands locking over the shoulders. This was not a custom built device but the bands were able to lock in different positions making it possible for different sized prisoners to use the same device with similar discomfort.
A prisoner would be locked into this device with their arms bound to their sides and the bands locked into place. The weight caused by the breastplate would cause a heavy discomfort but with the inability to bend and stretch or even move the arms, the prisoner was uncomfortable quickly. Sitting in this device was near impossible, and unconfortable to boot. Go to Comment
The simple cross or crucifix, so beloved of the Roman and Greek civilisations, was more a torture device than a method of execution (although death was almost always the end result).
The piercing of both wrists and ankles with nails is the key. Also it is vital to position the ankle nails such that the victim's knees are slightly bent. (Note that, contrary the Christian mythology the upper nails were nearly always driven through the wrists rather than the hands as this provides a more secure hold. Similarly the lower nail was typically driven through the ankles rather than the feet, although this was largely a matter of convenience).
It works as follows:
The victim is suspended by his (or indeed her) wrists. This not only causes considerable pain but also tightens the pectoral muscles across the chest, constricting the lungs and making breathing all but impossible.
In an attempt to breathe the victim instinctively straitens his knees, in order to relieve the pressure on the lungs. However, the only support is the nail driven through the ankles, which causes the victim excruciating levels of pain that cannot long be endure.
To relieve the pain the victim relaxes his knees and is again suspended by the wrists. Thus the cycle repeats endlessly.
The perverse beauty of all this is that no active torturer is required as the victim's own instinctive desire the live does all of the work.
Contemporary accounts suggested that a healthy man might take three or four days to die. Go to Comment
Death wasn't always by asphyxiation. Dehydration, blood loss, and simple shock were also ways to die when crucified. In addition, the manner of crucifixion wasn't set in stone. There were constant variations in the specifics, sometimes including piercing through the actual palms.
In addition, in an honor/shame society (as the ANE was), crucifixion would be a most shameful, dishonorable way to die. That was a major part of it's purpose. To degrade and shame, as well as torture and kill. Something to keep in mind if you're going to be using this in a campaign. Go to Comment
Just because something has an asian flare to it doesn't mean it should never be used. We could apply the same criteria to other cultures. "Oh, those horsemen are too Mongolish. Toss'em out. Those Iron Maidens too. They're a bit too European for my taste."
Something feeling 'asian' or not is a foolish criteria for usage. Go to Comment
mmm... Physical torture. So gruesome, and so unnecessary.
A galss ball is put into the person's mouth, then a belt like thing is put around their head, from the bottom of their jaw up to the top of their head. A pen and a piece of paper are given to them, and they are told to answer the questions. They are also told, in excruciating detail, what happens when that ball shatters and shreads their mouth into ribbons.
If they don't the belt is tightened one hole. Eventually the pressure on the ball will become so great that they don't know if the next lie will be thier last. Also, you can have the ball be hollow, and filled wih a noxious gas that would cause them to gag/puke to prevent them from swallowing the glass shards. Go to Comment
For this one the victim is strapped to a chair, with both of their palms face up. A substance such as heroin is heated up to the point where it melts, and a knife is heated until it is red-hot. The knife is then run through the heroin, or any other suitable drug, until the whole blade is coated with a thin film of the drug. The knife is then used to peel the skin off of the victim's exposed arm, in thin strips so that this can be done repeatedly on the same arm.
The knife is then heated again, and the drug reapplied, the process is repeated until the victim caves. Go to Comment