Old soldiers tell many the tale of their glory days to young pups eager to draw blood for the first time, but one tale they only share with others who have shared their fate. It begins with a crippling wound such as ends the saga of many a would-be hero; an arm or leg is ruined, and the unfortunate one waits in agony until the chirurgeons can remove the maimed appendage. Sleep for such unfortunates is hard to come by, and is tortured by anguished nightmare. But worst dreams of all are the dreams of the tattered black-robed ones, who come and take the pain away. In the morning, when the doctors come with bone-saws and cutting lasers to remove the mangled flesh and bone, their patients are amazed. "I thought you took it off last night!" they quaver when they see their injuries in the light of day. And then the horrors commence in earnest, for where they had whole arms and legs the night before, in the light of dawn... they now have none.
Many are those who have lost an arm or leg and yet feel it still, a phantasm conjured by minds that cannot accept their loss. But the ones whodreamt of the dark bedraggled devils, who took their good whole limbs and left them with their mutilations, know for a fact that their limbs are still whole, still hale. They know, too, that someone else is walking on their stolen feet, caressing soft flesh with their plundered hand... and they damn, in their impotent ways, the fiends from hell they call the Limb Traders.
The Limb Traders themselves dismiss these tales as the delusions of traumatized minds, and offer a generous 10% discount on the purchase or lease of replacement limbs.