Shao Kahn wasn’t the first to attack our realm... 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 Raiden, 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.
Raiden 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 Raiden 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 Netherrealm.
Raiden 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 Netherrealm 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 Netherrealm, 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 Netherrealm and made the fallen god an 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 Netherrealm
entirely. Shinnok agreed and the two waged a war in the Netherrealm 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...
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 Netherrealm never was a living planet. 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 first 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...