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Many milennia ago, the Elder gods were the true rulers of the many realms that made up the universe. They watched as worlds were created and destroyed, and governed the realms with great wisdom and power. Not all were infallible, however. Shinnok, one of the Elder gods, gave in to greed and attempted to take control of the Earth realm. With the realm, he would gain unmatched power with which he could challenge the other Elders. However to take control he had to face a young thunder god named Rayden, who had been appointed the Earth's protector. The two began a fierce battle that lasted for centuries, nearly destroying the Earth and plunging it into darkness. Eventually Rayden emerged victorious, and the ambitious Shinnok was humbled.

Rayden discovered that Shinnok had used a mystical amulet to enter the Earth unchallenged. With the help of the Elder gods, Rayden stripped the amulet from Shinnok and banished him to the dead realm known as the Netherrealm. As soon as he arrived in the Netherrealm, Shinnok was attacked by Lucifer, the ruler of the domain. Lucifer's armies were made up of deceased souls that Shinnok himself had sent to the realm. Locked in shackles, Shinnok remained helpless against his tormentors for many hundreds of years. His amulet was buried beneath the Himalayan mountains, and a temple was established over it's location where it was guarded day and night.

Shinnok remained imprisoned until a sorceror named Quan Chi came to his aid. Quan Chi offered to free Shinnok, in exchange for a place at the Elder god's side once he came to power. The two joined forces and defeated Lucifer, and Shinnok established control over the Netherrealm. It was a desolate realm, and Shinnok used his power to reshape the land to resemble the Earth. Even though he was now in control, Shinnok could not leave the Netherrealm.

Centuries passed, and Quan Chi had exhausted all methods of freeing the fallen Elder god. He finally realized that the missing amulet was the key. Quan Chi struck up a bargain with Shang Tsung, another sorceror who knew the location of a map which would lead to the amulet. In exchange for Shinnok's aid in resurrecting the dead queen Sindel, Shang would tell them the location of the amulet. Shinnok agreed, and began working on the spell that would resurrect the queen. Meanwhile, Quan Chi left for the Earth to procure the amulet.

Quan Chi had been unable to directly access the temple which housed the amulet, and had been forced to hire a human to retrieve it for him. Soon, however, he had the amulet, and he presented it to Shinnok. Or, so the Elder god thought. In actuality, Quan Chi kept the amulet for himself, and gave Shinnok an exact duplicate. Before he could actually use the fake amulet, however, Shinnok found his citadel under attack. Rayden had found the Earth warrior who had taken the amulet, Sub-Zero, and sent him to get it back. Because the amulet was not genuine, Shinnok was relying on power that was not there and was easily defeated by Sub-Zero. The fake amulet was returned to Rayden, who destroyed it to end Shinnok's menace.

Five years passed before Shinnok got another opportunity to escape the Netherrealm. He was able to contact Tanya, the daughter of the Edenian ambassador who was power hungry herself. Shinnok had sent one of his agents, Noob Saibot to scout the Edenian realm, and knew that it was a source of real power. Disguised his agents as refugees, Shinnok was able to convince Tanya to trick the resurrected Queen Sindel into allowing them through the portal. Once there, his forces quickly overtook the realm and slew the queen. His power increased, Shinnok was finally able to travel between realms unaided and took control of the Outworld.

From there, Shinnok carried out his plan of revenge against the Elder gods. His forces went up against the guardians, and emerged victorious. His thirst for power was not sated, as he still desired the Earth realm. He ordered his forces to invade the Earth, but he met up with considerable resistance. Then, at the critical point in the battle, Quan Chi rebelled against his master and revealed that he held the true amulet of power. As powerful as Shinnok was, he was unable to match the mystical energies contained by the amulet. He fell before his former servant and was slain, finally ending his threat forever.
1. Mortal Kombat Mythologies (unselectable boss) 2. Mortal Kombat 4 3. Mortal Kombat Gold
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