One of the more barbaric tortures of the Ancient Norse style. The victim would either be cut down the front (a la disembowlment) and the ribs would be seperated, leaving the chest cavity open and unprotected. The other possible method was that the victim was cut from behind, the torturer digging his hands into the victim's torso and to the front, and seperating the ribs in such a way that they came out through his back, giving the illusion of wings, and thus a "bloody eagle".
Although this is a grusome fate, it was almost humane in that it gave nearly instant death, if not from shock then from bloodloss. Other methods of torture were meant to keep the victim alive and suffering. For example, one way was to put hot coals in the backs of the knees and elbows, burning the tendons, and tying the limbs in a manner that they would be completely flexed, so that they would heal in that way and the victim would be left with functionless limbs.
Mr. Craig: And in the year 512 elephants from New Orleans ravaged the Plains of Normandy though the French King Henry VII did much to appease them.
Joe: Damn it, Mr. Craig, that never happened.
Mr. Craig: Mr. Palombit, if you interrupt me once more I will blood eagle you.
Joe:... (Horrified silence)