Two men were murdered and had letters blowtorched onto their heads, prosecutors claim.
The details emerged as a father and son face accusations they murdered both men.
Ian MacLeod, 66, and Dean McLeod, 41, allegedly killed Derek Johnston, 37, and Desmond Rowlings, 66, at a flat in Edinburgh’s Greendykes Road on an occasion between October 30 and November 1, 2022.
The indictment claims Mr Johnston was repeatedly struck on the head with a Stanley knife and a machete.
He also allegedly suffered “blunt force trauma” and hit with a hammer with the weapon said to have been left “embedded” in his head.
Prosecutors further state the letters “YLT” were burned onto his forehead with a blowtorch or similar item.
It is then claimed Mr Johnston’s ear was severed along with part of his nose.
Mr Rowlings is said to have suffered a similar ordeal.
As well as claims he was attacked with a Stanley knife, machetes and a hammer, the letters “VT”, “YT” or “YLT” were also allegedly left on his head with a blowtorch.
The murder charge involving Mr Rowlings states several of his facial features were severed.
Ian MacLeod alone faces a separate accusation that he was “threatening and abusive” to Mr Johnston for six years before his death.
It is claimed the pensioner took hold of Mr Johnston’s bank card and stopped him accessing his account.
The indictment states MacLeod did then “lend him money” before charging him “high rates of interest”. He also withdrew cash from the man’s bank account.
The accusation spans between April 1, 2016 and October 30, 2022 at a property in Edinburgh’s Liberton area.
MacLeod is further charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis to a named man.
Both face a final allegation of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
The case called for a short hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday.
Ian MacLeod’s KC Michael Anderson said: “He is not present. I understand he is suffering from an illness and has not been brought to court.”
The advocate added, as a result, he was not entering a plea at this stage.
John Brannigan, defending Dean McLeod, then told the court: “He is present.
“I sought to consult with him and his position is that he wishes to instruct alternative (legal) representation.”
Mr Brannigan also made no plea on his behalf.
Prosecutor Richard Goddard KC went on to state: “The Crown is in a position to have a trial fixed, if it comes to it.”
However, he added he had “no issue” in another hearing being arranged for Ian MacLeod to attend court.
Regarding the son seeking new lawyers, Mr Goddard said he could not comment on that other than the prosecution “being keen for progress” in the case.
Lord Arthurson fixed another hearing for next month for Ian MacLeod to be present and for Dean McLeod to have sorted an alternative legal team.