To begin with, Shinnok was one of the many Elder Gods that resided over the universe. Hungry for power, Shinnok took it upon himself to try and take the innocent Earthrealm for himself. However, he knew that he hadn't the power to enter the realm by himself.
So, with the aid of a mysterious amulet, he broke the barrier down and soared down to Earth in hopes of conquering it. When they heard this, the Elder Gods flocked to Shinnok to try and repel him, Raiden being one of those Gods. The battle raged on and soon it became clear; if Raiden were to save Earthrealm he would have to sacrifice a race simply known as the Saurians, Earthrealms indigenous race. After doing so, the Saurians were almost completely exterminated and the Elder Gods banished Shinnok to the Nether-Realm forever. From then on Shinnok became known as a "Fallen God."
His time in the Nether-Realm only served him well. Despite being constantly tortured by his overseer and lord of the realm, Lucifer, Shinnok had found Quan Chi, who offered the fallen God the means to overthrow Lucifer and take the realm for his own. Together, the slaughtered Lucifer, and Shinnok took the throne, blessing Quan Chi with the greatest of dark powers. Now he had his own kingdom, the fallen God built an army of cultists, known as the Brotherhood of Shadow. The Netherealm changed over time, to Shinnok's accord, donning the appearance of the realm he tried to take before, Earthrealm.
But to escape from the hold of the Netherealm, Shinnok would need more. Quan Chi knew of an aretfact that could release them from the realm, and so, sent the assassin, Sub Zero to retrieve it. During this time, Shao Kahn had arose to power and was the main force invading Earthrealm. Though his mission failed, the emperor turned his gaze to the Netherealm only to be defeated once more by Shinnok's hordes. It was time to get out, Shinnok and his mightiest warriors, disguised as refugees, escaped to Edenia from which he staged another invasion. Killing many of the Gods, Shinnok and Quan Chi managed to capture Queen Sidel and Princess Kitana. All was lost until Raiden once again stoof up to his foe, bringing the finest warriors in the realm with him. After hard battling, it was Liu Kang who finally defeated Shinnok, and he was once again banished to the Netherealm.
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