|Shao Kahn wasn’t the first to attack
Thousands of years ago, Shinnok existed as an Elder God. The Elder Gods are the true rulers of all realms. They watch as worlds are created and destroyed and govern the realms with untold eons of wisdom. Shinnok, however, gave in to greed and illusions of false power by the new realm of Earth. If he could have that realm to himself, he would have power unmatched. He first would have to face the young god of thunder known as Rayden, who was appointed as Earth’s guardian by the Elder Gods themselves. Their battle for the realm of Earth was fierce; causing the planet’s near destruction and plunging it into centuries of darkness.
Rayden soon discovered that Shinnok entered the realm through the powers of a mystical amulet. It allowed Shinnok to enter the realm without challenge and keep the other Elder Gods from intervening. The amulet could only be created once, and Rayden stripped it from Shinnok’s possession. With the aid of the true Elder gods, he banished the fallen god into a place known as the Netherealm. Rayden buried the amulet deep within the mountains of Asia. He then created a massive temple within the mountain to house the amulet and appointed four guardians as the protectors of Shinnok’s sacred amulet. Each guardian represents one of the four elements that make up the realm; Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire. As long as the amulet remained on Earth, Shinnok would be trapped, forced to remain dormant for the rest of eternity.
Over the millennia, the Netherealm has had many rulers. Most of them were forged within it’s fiery pits, eventually ripping their masters mercilessly from their thrones. One, however, came not from the bowels of the Netherealm, but from the heavens of reality. He was the fallen Elder God known as Shinnok.
Upon entering the realm, Shinnok found himself immediately under attack by its then ruler Lucifer. He would exist tortured and tormented by the dregs of hell for thousands of years. Until he met Quan Chi.
Quan Chi is a free roaming sorcerer. That means that he can travel the various planes of reality without detection from their gods. It also means that over the years he has obtained great power. Aware of Shinnok’s dilemma, Quan Chi traveled to the Netherealm and made the fallen god and offer. He will free him from his confines and assist him in defeating Lucifer and his minions in exchange for power and the ability to rule at his side if and when he escapes the Netherealm entirely. Shinnok agreed and the two waged a war in the Netherealm that lasted for centuries. But, the ex-Elder God eventually won as he viciously slew his former master then took his seat as the new ruler supreme of the dead realm. Shinnok, however, had nothing to rule. The realm was a desolate wasteland of fire and brimstone inhabited by grotesque demons. So, he decided to create a physical world, trying his best to emulate the realm he wanted so badly...Earth.
He took the demons of his realm and transformed them into as human a form as possible. but unlike the Outworld, which became a wasteland after Shao Kahn sapped its energies, the Netherealm never was a living planer. It always will exist as a dead world. Its true form hidden by its ruler.
It was through the Mortal Kombat tournament that the Outworld’s soul-stealing sorcerer Shang Tsung discovered the location of the sacred Map of Elements. After Goro, the reigning Outworld champion, defeated the original Kung Lao over 400 years ago, Shang Tsung sapped the human’s soul. He retained his thoughts and memories thus discovering the secrets of the sacred map, which has been hidden within the Shaolin temples for centuries. These events enabled Shang Tsung to strike a bargain with Quan Chi.
In exchange for Shinnok’s assistance in a plot to reincarnate the Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn’s dead queen, Shang Tsung would reveal to Quan Chi the location of the map that would lead to Shinnok’s sacred amulet. But, Shang Tsung failed to inform Quan Chi of the elemental guards that protect the amulet. Their mere existence makes it impossible for Quan Chi to enter the temple where the amulet rests. But, if he could get a human to enter, the right human, one who could perhaps defeat the elements...
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