Since the beginning of his existence, Man has longed for more limbs than he was given. Since the acquisition of more limbs has proven elusive, his efforts have turned to making the greatest possible use of the existing ones. The result was multidexterity: the ability to use all four hands and feet as effectively as most people use their dominant hand.
At first, multidexterity was achieved only through training. It is believed that the development of multidexterity began in the Cavendish Era. This theory is bolstered by the existence of ancient devices known as the “jungle gym” and “climbing wall,” which are thought to have been tools used by young trainees in the art. Those who desired multidexterity began by having their dominant hand tied up, so that they were forced to utilize their off hand to perform all everyday tasks. This resulted in the practitioners of multidexterity gaining something of a social stigma, as others grew frustrated with the clumsy handwriting, spilled drinks, and other minor offenses committed by the novices. After both hands were in good condition, the students would move on to training their feet. Initially this was attempted in the same manner as off-hand training, but the multidextrous eventually acknowledged that foot training was impossible to conduct in normal society until some basic level of skill had been achieved. Thus special exercises were developed for use in isolated dojos.
Even with the best possible training, the capabilities of the feet still left something to be desired. Advances in biotechnology in Phlogistonia and Unistan made it possible to modify the human foot to possess greater dexterity and gripping strength. The hands were also enhanced by the process. Early attempts at appendage improvement ran into some difficulties (see photo), but with the perfection of the process came the emergence of the greatest masters of multidexterity, who essentially realized the ancient dream of having “four arms.”
The training and body modification necessary to become multidextrous are fairly arduous, and true masters are still relatively rare. They are in demand as players of complex musical instruments such as the Hungarian Bellowphone, as circus performers, and as the operators of various types of machinery. Thus though most of the masters are found in the performing arts, a number of surgeons, engineers, and construction workers become multidextrous in order to qualify to use various mechanisms essential to their work.
The multidextrous masters have generally used their skills for the good of the world as they perceived it, with one especially infamous exception. The operators of the Rumble were all reportedly multidextrous, and had met while training at the same dojo. They concluded that their special abilities made them godlike and entitled them to rule all of the peoples living at the boundaries of the Great Desert. With the help of a mole machine specially designed for their use, they terrorized the region for almost six years, until the Desert Roar uprising shut them down. The CCC received great public acclaim for assisting with Desert Roar, mainly by supplying the desert nomads with Radiometric Dowsers. It is unlikely that the nomads would have been able to find and disable the mole machine without these clever devices.
-- Ariane Vulpinia