Torture is a well known, and to most, sickening skill that involves forcing someone to do something. Specifically, in involves purposefully inflicting physical or mental pain in order to, often, extract information. Occasionally, a torturer will use their craft to create the most pain possible before killing someone, however the vast majority of their work is done with the goal of receiving information.
Torture relies heavily on several factors to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information received. The ability to read people, and accurately determine their deepest fears is a central concept to torture. There are those who think that pain is the road to information, but those who do so are scorned by the larger community. It is far more effective for one to tackle each prisoner as a new challenge, and individually determine their hopes and dreams. From this, a skilled torturer will pick a method that falls under one of the two main subtypes of torture.
Torture falls into main specializations; Physical and Psychological.
The first, Physical, is what most people think of when they hear Torture. It is often the side that is learned first, as it is by far the easiest of the two. Physical can then either involve permanent, or non-permanent damage. Permanent damage is the removal of digits, limbs or other extremities, or more severe wounds, while non-permanent damage covers a broader variety of torture. Tactics such as whipping, beating, or smaller cuts and burns all fall under this category. Physical is a much faster path towards the goal, but it is risky, and leads to false information as often as not.
Psychological is by far the more damaging of the two, and often leads to much more information, and it is significantly more reliable. Often people will say anything to get out of physical pain, however psychological pain is much less obvious. Torturers typically will be much more skilled by the time they learn this side, and must be calculating enough to meticulously plan it out. The simplest technique is simply to deny the prisoner sleep. A large bell or horn rung every time they nod off can be surprisingly effective after several sleepless trials. Other methods include solitary confinement, or destroying a foundational preconceived notion.
Only those truly gifted in the art of Torture can combine these two with enough skill to create the truly terrifying technique. The most common type is mock executions, but the level of experience required to sell the performance to the prisoner is immense, and can backfire very easily if not done to perfection. Several notable effective mock executions include slow hanging, or waterboarding. Both of these leave minimal physical signs, but the simulated effect of almost dying wreaks havoc on the prisoners mental state.
Starting out, this person has only a basic knowledge of torture, probably having used some basic forms as a child, such as hair pulling or physical beatings. They may have had a chance to try their hand at torture; however their attempts varied clumsily between causing the prisoner minimal pain and accidentally killing them. They cannot tell truth from lie easily, and misjudge the ideal method of torture often. But these early failures prompted this person to begin research into more effective methods. They have made a small arsenal of half a dozen techniques, however are still unsure of how effective their methods are. The truth of their prisoners' confessions continues to elude them, but they have had some successes with several of their methods.
Torture has opened up to this individual, and their arsenal of implementing pain has exploded, containing dozens of techniques, which the character has perfected to varying degrees. They have become aware of psychological torture, however any attempts made into that field have been met with backlash, often making the job harder than it needed to be. They are able to judge the truth from the lies a little over half the time, and have become fairly adept at choosing the correct technique to use.
This person is beginning to get their name recognized. They are usually able to tell how truthful the information they receive is, however it is not a guarantee. Their arsenal has near a hundred different techniques, and they have a basic knowledge of several forms of psychological torture. When attempting these, they may only succeed half the time, but they usually know when they have failed. They are constantly learning and refuse to accept such set backs. They have heard of using mixed forms of torture, but have only begun working with them.
This character has become infamous to their enemies. Perhaps a handful could boast of the knowledge they have, and they have extensive experience working with all forms of torture. They are almost always accurate at discerning the truth, and can determine someones fears rather easily. They still occasionally fail when attempting a new technique, but never more than once. They are among the best in the world.
This character has learned skills that no living being should ever know. Immortals fear their knives, and their name has become a story to scare children with. They can tell truth from the lies without fail, and their ability to correctly read a persons fears has become a form of art. Their arsenal of tools is nigh on infinite, and they often innovate on the job, to great success. No field of torture is unknown to them, and often their name is enough to extract the information.