- "To understand us, there is one place to start. Let me introduce you to the Embrace of Pain."
- ―Shedao Shai
The Embrace of Pain was an organic, rack-like restraint used to torture prisoners. A victim was kept upside down in restraint bands, and tortured while the creature would read the electrochemical outputs of the victim's nerve impulses and evaluate her or his brain chemistry. The resultant data was used to keep the pain at constant and optimum levels. The device had a number of different methods for inducing pain, including stretching of ligaments and joints, acid, electric shocks, sharp devices, needles, thorns, and injected biotoxins. In at least one case, the victim was stripped naked, and all of his hairs pulled out. When the victim was at the brink of dying, the Embrace would tend to the prisoner's body by lowering them to the floor and letting them sleep for a time, while tending wounds and injecting the prisoner with enough water and nutrients to keep them alive. Yet the Yuuzhan Vong did not consider it torture. Some Yuuzhan Vong, such as the members of Domain Shai, used the Embrace of Pain as a form of meditation.
- "The Vong call it the Embrace of Pain. The more you struggle to escape, the more pain it inflicts."
- ―Darth Krayt, to Cade Skywalker
When Elegos A'Kla turned himself over to the Yuuzhan Vong to learn more about them, Commander Shedao Shai introduced him to the Embrace of Pain as a way to learn about the Yuuzhan Vong, scandalizing his subordinates. A'Sharad Hett was placed in the Embrace of Pain following his capture by the Yuuzhan Vong, as was Jacen Solo after being captured at Myrkr.
In 40 ABY, Jacen would use the last known Embrace of Pain to try converting his cousin Ben Skywalker to the Sith, just as he himself had begun to turn. The experience of being tortured by the device was so traumatizing that even years later, hearing the word "embrace" would illicit an instant and visceral response from the young Skywalker.
Darth Krayt would later do the same with Cade Skywalker, having previously encountered the Embrace after completing his apprenticeship with XoXaan on Korriban and being captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. As Dark Lord of the Sith, Krayt would use the Embrace as part of the training for certain members of the One Sith, including Darth Nihl, in order to push them towards the dark side. He would also have the Embrace of Pain installed in the underlevels of the Temple of the Sith.
During her plot to use Cade as a test subject for a new weapon to be used by Darth Krayt's successor as Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Maladi tortured Deliah Blue in an Embrace of Pain that resisted the use of the Force against it and caused even more pain to the prisoner.
- Star Wars: Invasion 3: Refugees, Part 3
- Star Wars: Invasion 7: Rescues, Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- Dark Tide I: Onslaught (First appearance)
- Dark Tide II: Ruin
- Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
- Edge of Victory I: Conquest (Mentioned only)
- Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream (Mentioned only)
- Destiny's Way (Mentioned only)
- The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- Betrayal (Mentioned only)
- Fury (in a dream)
- Revelation (Mentioned only)
- Omen (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 18: Claws of the Dragon, Part 5
- Star Wars: Legacy 45: Monster, Part 3
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia