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Ten thousand years ago, Shao Kahn conquered the land of Edenia. He killed King Jerrod, forced Queen Sindel to become his wife, and took the infant Kitana as his daughter. Revolted at the thought of ruling by Kahn's side, Sindel took her own life, but Kahn kept her soul as a symbol of his power. Edenia became a wasteland, and merged with the surrounding lands to form the Outworld. Shao Kahn ruled supreme, with Kitana and her clone, Mileena, as his personal bodyguards.

The Outworld was not enough for the power-hungry Kahn, and he longed to possess the Earth realm. However, Shaolin monks in that realm had forseen his coming and had instituted a martial arts tournament to prevent him from entering the realm. The Earth realm and the Outworld were kept apart by the furies, and as long as they were stable, free passage between the realms was impossible. The Shaolin tournament had been created with the help of the Elder gods, and it proved effective in keeping Kahn from the Earth realm.

However, there was one member of Kahn's court who had a solution. The sorceror Shang Tsung came up with a plan by which he could take control of the tournament, and then use it to unbalance the furies and open a portal between the realms. Shang had been born on Earth, but had been granted great powers and immortality for his service to Kahn. Kahn sent Shang, Goro and Reptile to the Earth, where Goro became the champion of the Shaolin tournament. It remained in Tsung's possession for nine generations, and only one more remained before a portal could be opened. The last victory was denied when Liu Kang defeated Goro and returned the former honor of the tournament.

Shang Tsung returned to the Outworld in disgrace, and begged for Kahn's mercy. Kahn was about to kill him, when the treacherous sorceror suggested hosting a tournament in the Outworld. Liking the idea, Kahn restored Shang's youth and granted him more power. Several Earth warriors were lured to the Earth realm, and the bloody combat began. Kahn himself was the final opponent in the tournament, with Shang Tsung and Kintaro beneath him. He believed his victory was assured, and was surprised when Liu Kang took out both Shang and Kintaro. Kahn held the power of the entire Outworld at his disposal, yet even he fell to the skilled Shaolin warrior. He had planned to hold the entrants hostage, but the beaten Kahn could not stop them as they escaped through a temporary portal back to the Earth.

His defeat in his own tournament did not stop Kahn. He restructured his army in preperation for an all-out assault on the Earth. Tired of seeing his Shokan henchmen defeated, he appointed Motaro, a Centaurian, as the leader of his armies. After his preperations were complete, an event that had been planned hundreds of years ago occurred. With the help of the fallen Elder god Shinnok, Shang Tsung had been able to create conditions whereby Sindel would be reincarnated on Earth. When this occured, Shao Kahn was able to enter the Earth realm to claim his bride. She had been reborn with the taint of evil, and eagerly agreed to rule by his side. A permanent portal now open, Kahn ordered his armies to invade the now vulnerable Earth. His extermination squads were brutally efficient, and nearly all human life was extinguished. It seemed that Kahn's hold on the Earth was unbreakable, but forces unknown to even Kahn were working against him. Even as the Earth realm and the Outworld began to merge, a group of surviving Earth warriors banded together to oppose Kahn's rule. Simultaneously, many of those who were believed to be loyal to Kahn began to rebel against him. Kahn found himself under attack from all sides, and the final blow came when Sindel regained her memory and turned against him. Losing the one who had allowed him to enter the Earth realm greatly disrupted Kahn's control over the realm, allowing the opposing warriors to break through his defenses. Motaro was defeated, and his forces were decimated. The warriors, mostly former Edenians led by Kitana and Sindel, engaged Kahn in battle. Overpowered and betrayed, Kahn was slain by the assembled fighters. With his death, Earth and Edenia returned to their original states, and the two realms were finally freed from his oppressive influence.
1. Mortal Kombat 2 2. Mortal Kombat 3 3. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 4. Mortal Kombat Trilogy
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