My main character is a rather short and rather skinny seventeen year old, who still looks young enough to be considered a boy, which tends to make authority figures try to treat him like a child whenever they can. This, and his typical attitude, which tends to be very defiant, and insubordinate gets him into a lot of trouble, especially when he is captured and held as a hostage...
Okay, so, I had the idea for my character to have his mouth stitched shut, as an attempt to shut him up for a while. Obviously, someone will be taking care of making sure he stays alive, and I don't believe the stitches will be in for longer than twelve hours at a time. It's basically a way to control him when he starts mouthing off, after the people who captured him realize he has no information for them, and isn't going to stop being a little jerkass to them as long as he can.
They can't kill him, as much as they want to, because he's a valuable bargaining chip for the member of his gang that they really want, but they do intend to do whatever it takes to really teach this "child" his place, including beatings, threats, etc. When none of these seem to work on him (said character has a long history of abuse and can endure fairly a lot), there's an order given to stitch his mouth shut.
Obviously, from googling variants on "mouth stitching", etc, I've found that modern body modifiers who have tried this have a LOT of swelling immediately after the stitches are taken out, but otherwise no scarring after a while or any ill effects.
I am wondering, given the period, if scarring will be an issue in his place. I believe they will be using fairly sanitary methods for the period because they do want him alive, and probably have access to the best threads possible for doing this. I'm imagining they'll use some of his friend's embroidery threads just to screw with his mind even more, but I've found that horsehair threads are also correct for the period, and have learned that thin threads can hurt even more when they are used. So... in short, a few questions:
1. Will this cause any permanent damage such as scarring, assuming that my character does live through the experience (spoiler: yes, he does. he's lucky and he has a damned good healer.)?
2. How long after the stitches are removed will it take for his swelling to go down enough to return to making witty comments and annoying the hell out of the rest of the world?
3. Said character has actually had a person who he was afraid of try to do this to him before, but this is the first time someone's actually gone through with it. Given that he thinks that he knows what to expect, and is sadly mistaken, am I right in assuming that he's likely to be in a lot of distress here?
4. What are the best types of threads for causing my character the maximum level of pain while still making sure that he remains a viable hostage for ransom? (This event is pretty much the catalyst for his major change of heart in the story, so I want it to be memorable as possible).
5. Any other ideas for things that the sadistic captors might do/order done to my character in an attempt to shut him up? I'm thinking that the lip stitching is on the road to the last resort of cutting out his tongue, but I'm open to suggestions for things that they might try before this point.
And I think I'm done being scary now.