Just a little something I threw together on a slow Friday night,thought I'd throw it up for y'all
Earthrealm has become a centre for inter-realm warfare in recent years but has historically been divorced from the affairs of other realms. In fact, Earthrealm seems unique among realms in that for the vast majority of the history of the current inhabitants of Earthrealm, the majority of those inhabitants have had no knowledge of other realms. Exceptions to this include the Shaolin Order of Light, the White Lotus Society, the Lin Kuei and the Shirai Ryu and the Black and Red Dragons, all of whom frequently interact with beings from other realms. It is a realm of much beauty, with natural forests and oceans and grasslands among a variety of terrain on a largely temperate, extremely habitable realm. This, as well as the great power said to be found in Jinsei of Earthrealm, has led to it being the object of many conqueror’s desires, most famously Shinnok and Shao Kahn.
The participants of Eathrealm who participate in Mortal Kombat have historically been organised by the Shaolin Order of Light and the White Lotus Society, under the guidance of Lord Raiden, though exceptions do exist, notably the warriors of the modern era, such as Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage and Jackson Briggs.
Earthrealm is likely the most peaceful realm, with the possible exception of Seido though its inhabitants enjoy far more freedom than the Seidans. It is also the most advanced realm technologically, which compensates for the fact that most of its inhabitants lack any magical or superhuman abilities. Seemingly, the original inhabitants were the Saurians, but they fled Earthrealm fearing destruction during the first Shinnok War.
The inhabitants of Earthrealm currently are humans, who share the same rough form as the major inhabitants of other realms but, in particular, are very similar to Outworlders, Seidans and Edenians, though lack the propensity for magic and long life common in other realms.
Outworld as it currently exists now is as an agglomeration of the myriad realms conquered by Shao Kahn during his time as Emperor.
The earliest history of Outworld is the Rule of Onaga, the Dragon King, who conquered the entirety of the original realm of Outworld before his assassination and usurpation by Shao Kahn. Thus, their society has long been dominated by totalitarian rule that some Outworlders grow to resent. The inhabitants of Outworld are generally well versed in combat and are more aware of the true nature of the realms. Outworld is a much more magical realm than Earthrealm, with many occurrences that would be considered supernatural in Earthrealm considered commonplace in Outworld: accordingly, Outworlders are much more likely to be skilled in either chi manipulation or some species of sorcery.
Outworld is a realm dominated by combat and warfare, and violence is a much more accepted fact of life than it is in many places on Earthrealm. The landscape of Outworld varies, as might be expected considering the method of its formation but is dominated by barren wastelands and deserts, vast fields of ice, lakes of lava fed by rivers of molten rock flowing from impossibly huge mountains, lakes of blood fed by an endless supply of corpses, with naturally occurring pools of acid and inescapable forests composed of trees with living faces that hunger for flesh, invariably all beneath a purple sky, with deep purple oceans, teeming with great krakens and sea dragons.
It is unknown how much of the foreboding environment of Outworld is influenced by the corrupting magic of Shao Kahn but it is possible that should Shao Kahn be removed from power, Outworld’s landscape would resemble Earthrealm and Edenia more. In particular, legends say that the skies and seas of Outworld are a deep purple only because of the malicious power of the Emperor.
Much of the ancient parts of Outworld stand deserted after the desolation wrought by Shao Kahn, but some are still in use, such as the infamous Tower used by the Shadow Priests as a place of worship toward the Emperor himself. Shao Kahn himself has ordered the construction of numerous castles and other great works, such as his Coliseum, where the Outworlders slake their lust for blood on vicious battles to the death. The Emperor himself occasionally takes the field at this Coliseum, effortlessly obliterating any who are unfortunate enough to face him in combat. The great temples, castles and fortresses which cover Outworld are notable for their non-Euclidean geometry, achieved through the dark magic of the Emperor and his Shadow Priests: it is said that an unprepared mind would be broken by the sheer impossibility of the construction.
Outworld is quite backward technologically, particularly in comparison to Earthrealm. It is a much less populous realm, unsurprisingly considering the widespread conquests and murders of Shao Kahn and his regime, with its population much more likely to live in small villages rather than the urbanization often found in other realms. Nevertheless, there is industry on a vast scale in the armouries and foundries Shao Kahn uses to arm his horde.
It is uncertain which species are native to the original realm of Outworld preceding the conquests of Shao Kahn, but it is likely that some Outworlders, who resemble the inhabitants of Earthrealm, are native inhabitants of the original Outworld. In addition, the Cryomancers long ruled a kingdom in Outworld and may have been vassals of the Dragon King. They are now long extinct though some Earthrealmers manifest abilities so similar that they may be descendants of that long-vanished race.
Among the species added by the conquest of their realm by Shao Kahn were the proud Osh-Tekk, the Moroi of Vaeternus, the Kytinn of Arnyek, the Saurians of Zaterra (though seemingly only one now remains, despite rumours otherwise) and, most famously, Edenians following the brutal conquest of their realm.
The most famous species of Outworld are of uncertain origin. The Shokan continue to rule their subterranean kingdom of Kuatan, home to many rich mines, while paying homage to the Outworld throne and have historically assisted Shao Kahn in his conquests but it is unknown if Kuatan was originally a different realm from Outworld. Much the same can be said for the Shokan’s eternal enemies, the Centaurs.
The Tarkatans roamed the Wastelands of Outworld for untold years until being marshalled into forming the backbone of Shao Kahn’s army. It is known that Shao Kahn conquered their realm and, as Tarkatan culture revolves around supremacy through martial force, the conquest of the Tarkatan homeland thus earned Shao Kahn the undying loyalty of the Tarkatan hordes and warchiefs for millennia. Thus, they have long formed the body of Shao Kahn’s legions. It is unknown what degree the Emperor has shaped the loyal footsoldiers of his horde with his own dark magic: given that the Tarkatans possess bone skeletons but metal blades they unsheathe from their flesh, he may have had a hand in their evolution. Some even whisper that the Tarkatans were created by the Emperor entirely, from merging Outworlders who opposed his reign with demons from the Netherrealm either through magic or through forced interbreeding.
The Netherrealm is eternal in size and span. Alongside the Heavens, it offers eternal life to the souls of deceased beings who descend to it but, unlike the Heavens, souls who journey to the Netherrealm will know an eternity of pain and suffering. Similarly, while the Heavens remain inaccessible to beings without the express permission of the Elder Gods, all beings may journey to the Netherrealm if they so wish. Legends say, however, that no being or soul can journey to the Netherrealm without a taint of evil upon their soul, meaning that beings condemned to the Netherrealm can ascend from its clutches if they find a way to purge their soul of evil.
The Netherrealm itself exudes malicious power and it drains the power of magical beings to even be present in the Netherrealm, while conversely enhances and restores most beings who are native to, or who have reincarnated in, the Netherrealm.
It is unknown what the original environment of the Netherrealm was, though it is suspected to have been a simple eternity of fire and brimstone. The Netherrealm as it is now owes its very landscape to the Fallen Elder God Shinnok, who remade the land of the Netherrealm to more resemble Earthrealm, albeit a twisted, hellish copy.
The geography of the Netherrealm is appropriately infernal, a vast, endless continent of rock laced with rivers and lakes of lava. Towering spires rise from endless abysses and cliffs and mountains scrape the very sky, a sky that often as not showers the land below with meteors and fiery rain. This reconstruction of the Netherrealm involved the creation of huge fortresses belonging to Shinnok and his acolytes, massive prisons brimming with torture devices, a vast, bottomless sea surrounding the fortress of Quan Chi and the pyramid of Shinnok and even some cities such as Nekros.
The Netherrealm is home to legions of demons, wraiths and spectres but whether or not any of them are native to the Netherrealm or whether all are the reincarnated spirits of deceased beings is unknown. It would seem that the species of demon known as Oni are, at least in part, native to the Netherrealm though it is known that beings can become Oni upon descending to the Netherrealm. Moreover, Oni can also be found outside the Netherrealm, notably kept in Outworld dungeons. Oni are considered lesser than true demons, lacking the malevolent intelligence of demons and are generally seen as simple barbarous torturers and savage warriors
Oni themselves can become demons through various means: for instance, the high priest of the Brotherhood of Shadow and arch-sorcerer of the Netherrealm itself, the necromancer Quan Chi, was originally an oni before he came to master sorcery. The inhabitants of the Netherrealm are almost all beings of malicious power, although some long to escape its clutches and redeem their souls, and many display abilities which would be viewed as demonic and otherworldly by beings of other realms.
Souls that descend to the Netherrealm seem to be either destined for eternal torture or possess such evil and the potential for malicious power that their souls will be reincarnated as a demons or Oni after suffering from torture sufficient to drive them insane or convince them to surrender to the evil power of the Netherrealm. Powerful sorcerers and necromancers, usually belonging to the Brotherhood of Shadow, a cult dedicated to the worship of Shinnok, can even reincarnate damned souls as spectres, wraiths and revenants, and often do so to the souls of powerful warriors to serve their whims.
All inhabitants of the Netherrealm, regardless of whether or not they are native to the realm, vary in appearance from vaguely humanoid to monstrous demons. It is also known that some demons possess the power of transmogrification, allowing them to take on humanoid forms, often beautiful ones, to conceal their true forms, be it for the purposes of deception or to make them more appealing to the eyes of their masters.
Also known as Orderrealm, Seido is a realm distinctly apart from the other realms. Though its inhabitants know almost total peace and enjoy long-lived, comfortable lives, this is achieved through a totalitarian regime that is brutally unflinching in its punitive approach. Little is known regarding the geography of Seido or it’s true landscape, as the Seidans seem to all live on narrow bridges suspended and interwoven in the sky, with trees growing seemingly out of the very stone of the bridges, small streams of water trickling from nowhere and falling off the precipices of the bridges, presumably to the ground far below and vast pyramidal structures floating in seemingly endless perfect ranks.
The regime controlling Seido, the Guardsmen, have ruled Seido as long as any source can attest and oppose Chaos, or indeed, anything which is contrary to their unwavering belief in Order and control, in all its forms. This consists of Draconian laws in Seido itself and supporting attempts to impose Order in other realms, such as the Seidan siege of the city of Lei Chen in Outworld. It has also lead the Seidans to cooperate with other regimes attempting to impose similar regimes of Order on the realms and, according to legend, helping to train individual beings to achieve Order within themselves.
The only species known to inhabit Seido are the Seidans themselves. Similar to the Edenians, they generally resemble the humanoid forms found in Earthrealm and Outworld but are far more long lived and possessing a greater inclination towards magic and superhuman powers. Seidans invariably possess an obsession with order and structure, to the degree where ensuring all is in order and structurally supersedes concerns over even life and death.
Chaosrealm is a realm that can be understood as the direct opposite to Seido. It is a land of sheer chaos and anarchy, without even a semblance of order or a guiding hand. Chaosrealmers interpret this pandemonium as the ultimate example of freedom, without which life is not worth living. Chaosrealm possess a vast amount of water, which is deemed sacred due to its shapelessness and capacity for change.
The landscape of Chaosrealm consists of shattered, disconnected slabs of rock of varying size. According to legend, Chaosrealm was once a contiguous land like other realms but was shattered by the God of Chaos unleashing the ‘Tempest’. No being can truly state what Chaosrealm looked like before this, however, not even the inhabitants of Chaosrealm.
Chaosrealmers worship Chaos itself as religion, and their piety seems to be a byword as this religion dictates every action a Chaosrealmer takes. These makes them utterly unpredictable in their behaviour and, although their physiology resembles the humanoid forms found in other realms, Chaosrealmers seem capable of defying the biology that restricts other beings, breaking their own bones and even tearing themselves asunder while suffering seemingly no ill effects. This calls into question whether or not life and death operate in Chaosrealm as they do in other realms, The Netherrealm and the Heavens aside. Chaosrealmers will often mutilate themselves as marks of their own individuality, or even for seemingly no reason at all. Chaosrealmers are generally parochial but have been known to foment anarchy in other realms if they believe those realms to be becoming too orderly.
Edenia is, quite possibly, the most beautiful mortal realm in existence. For untold millennia, Edenia existed as an independent realm, great and powerful and peaceful. This changed, however, when the warriors of Shao Kahn succeeded in winning ten consecutive Mortal Kombat victories, triggering the invasion of Edenia. The forces of Outworld succeeded in their invasion, which led to Shao Kahn killing King Jerrod of Edenia with his own hand, and absorbing his soul through his black magic, along with the souls of billions of other Edenians. Finally, the Emperor took Jerrod’s Queen, Sindel, and infant daughter, Princess Kitana, for his own.
The protector God of Edenia was Argus until he was slain along with his wife by the hand of his son Daegon. His wife was Delia, the Lady of Fire, a prophetess who recorded the fabled prophecy of the Battle of Armageddon. The deaths of Argus and Delia preceded Shao Kahn’s invasion, which may have weakened the defences of Edenia or at least deprived Edenia’s warriors of the guiding hand of their God
The landscape of Edenia is similar to that of Earthrealm, with varying terrains but notable lush forests and verdant grasslands. In the south of Edenia stretches a vast rocky desert littered with impossibly ancient ruins. It is here that the prophesised Battle of Armageddon is said to be destined to be waged. There is also a great desert somewhere in Edenia, where a great statute of Queen Sindel once stood.
The only known species native to Edenia are the Edenians themselves. Similar to the Seidans, they resemble Earthrealmers in their general form but differentiate themselves through their extraordinary longevity and affinity for magical and superhuman powers, as well as their skill in combat and general beauty. Legends tell us that all mortal species descend from the Edenians and that the Edenians themselves descend from the Gods, though this is ultimately unknown: it is possible that a corruption of this has found its way into common human allegory with the story of the ‘Garden of Eden’.
The Heavens is a mysterious, eternal realm said to be the abode and origin of the Gods. It is unknown whether the Elder Gods themselves dwell here alongside the lesser Gods, but it is known, or at least believed, that the souls of virtuous, deceased mortals ascend to the Heavens, making it the reverse of the Netherrealm. It is considered paradisiacal by Earthrealms, even though they are ignorant as to the true nature of the universe.
It is said that, just as a pure being cannot enter the Netherrealm and would be expelled from it’s infernal landscape, a being either lacking in purity or with a tainted soul cannot enter the Heavens unless granted safety from the Elder Gods.
The Gods alone are native to the Heavens, even if they seem to spend more time in their respective realms. The Elder Gods themselves originated in the void, however, and are not native to the Heavens.
It is unknown whether or not the Nexus, a hub containing portals between the cardinal realms and a place of audience with the Elder Gods, exists in the Heavens or whether it is suspended outside the other realms.
The History of Mortal Kombat: the Realms