"Don't worry. We will be certain to kill you. I guarantee you that. It may take a little time, but you will die. There is nothing to worry about on that score. We are in no hurry. Here we are in the vast wilderness, where there is nothing as far as the eye can see. Only time. All the time we need. And I have many things I wish to tell you. Now, as to the procedure of skinning: Every band has at least one specialist—one professional, as it were, who knows everything about cutting off the skin, a man of miraculous skill. His skinning is a work of art. He does it in the twinkling of an eye, with such speed and dexterity you would think that the creature being skinned alive never noticed what was happening. But of course not to notice such a thing would be out of the question. The one being skinned alive experiences terrible pain. And it takes an incredibly long time for death to come. Massive hemorrhaging is what does it finally, but that takes time."
—The Russian officer, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
"A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man has none."
—Lord Roose Bolton, A Song of Ice and Fire
"It's fallen out of fashion... flaying. Sad, but true. Traditions are important! Where are we without our history?"
—Ramsay Bolton, Game of Thrones
A criminal, having raped a seventy-year-old woman, was flayed alive with burning tongs. With mine own eyes I saw the thick smoke produced by his living flesh that had been subjected to the tongs. He was executed by Master Nicolas, executioner of Berne, who had come expressly for the event. The prisoner was a strong and vigorous man. On the bridge over the Rhine, just nearby, they tore out his breast; then he was led to the scaffold. By now, he was extremely feeble and blood was gushing from his hands. He could no longer remain standing, he fell down continually. Finally, he was decapitated. They drove a stake through his body, and then his corpse was thrown into a ditch. I myself was witness to his torture, my father holding me by the hand.
—Diary of Felix Platter
"Skin is the prison of the blessed and the stronghold of the heretic."
—Argent Etchings, plate 64, passage 17, Magic: The Gathering
In most common versions of the myth of Innana and her veils, there are seven gates of the Underworld, seven veils she surrenders, and seven keys she gets in return. A mystick of the Infernal Arts knows the true number is nine. Those nine veils - often depicted as nine layers of skin - represent the nine elements of the Art: what the Council of Traditions call the Nine Spheres. In the process of learning these Arts, many initiates literally reenact the goddess's journey; going though a succession of gates, the Infernalist is flayed alive, then given a token that represents the Art he is to learn. Spells regrow the lost skin but the pain lingers as the warlock studies his new Art. Some Fallen Ones keep the skins as trophies of their learning. A warlock with nine of his own skins on display is a dangerous man indeed!
—Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade - Infernalism