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Quote1 Along time ago all the Great Masters went to war. Can you imagine? Masters from every school... the Red Hand, the Panther Clan, the House of the Jade Tiger. Even the poor bastards of the Spider Cult... all of them battling each other. To the death. Until only the Masters from the Ten Rings and the Iron Fist remained. It's always them, isn't it? Those two psychotics nearly murdered each other before they realized what they had done to the kingdom. K'un-Lun on fire and all the schools crumbling... their students dying in the ashes. It was enough to bring them to their sense. For a while, at least. The surviving Masters vowed that their rivalries would never again threaten K'un-Lun. But how to keep peace? Those ancient idiots decided to prevent bloodshed with more bloodshed. K'un-Lun would be ruled by an Emperor selected through combat... in the Thirteen Chambers. The Iron Fist's Great Master won that first tournament and brought order to K'un-Lun. But thirteen years later, he fell in the Thirteen Chambers and another master took his place. Then another, and another... so many that I've forgotten their names... until at last, our benevolent Emperor Zheng Zu, Master of the Ten Rings, won the throne. And so began his one-hundred-year reign of prosperity. Or terror. It all depends on who is telling the story, doesn't it? Now, in just a few days' time, the Thirteen Chambers will open again. Will someone finally defeat Zheng Zu? Take his throne and become the new master of kung fu? Do you think it's gonna be you? No, me neither. So here's to another thirteen years of my beloved father's rule. The Gods help us all. Quote2
-- Shang-Chi src

History

K'un Lun is one of the domains located on God Emperor Doom's Battleworld and its baron is Emperor Shang-Chi, who succeeded his father, Emperor Zheng Zu.

This domain consists of a world where martial artists actively trained and fought against one another, similar to the original mystical city of K'un-Lun. It is also home to Shang-Chi, an exiled martial artist who lives actively on wine, as well as the Morlocks, the royal guard of Zheng Zu (Razor Fist, Typus, and Nightwind) and top assassins Red Sai and Laughing Skull. K'un-Lun is also home to a messenger named "Herald" and Rand-K'ai, who wields the power of the Iron Fist.

According to Shang-Chi, in the past, there was a great war that involved many martial arts schools and almost all of them were wiped out except for the Ten Rings and the Iron Fist clans. They eventually realized that K'un Lun was being destroyed and created the Thirteen Chambers challenge, wherein the masters would fight each other every thirteen years to decide the new emperor. Eventually, the Emperor Zheng Zu came to power, and would rule for 100 years.

After disobeying an order by the royal guard of Zheng Zu, Shang-Chi engaged them in combat and later a group of Morlocks joined the fight, causing a distraction for Shang-Chi and he descended into a underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, his father, Zheng Zu, ordered his top assassins and Daniel Rand to capture Shang-Chi.[1]

Below the streets, Shang-Chi was training the Morlocks as they complained that he wasn't giving them proper training, just as everyone else refused to train them. Kitten offered some encouragement to Shang-Chi, but unfortunately, though Shang-Chi was one of the greatest fighters ever, a master of nine of the ten techniques from the Ten Rings School, he wasn't the man he once was and could only think about getting drunk. He told them of what it would mean for him to teach them as his father would, and he informed them of all the ways that his father would torture each one of them for being so weak, then he went to find a place to pass out.

A little dissonance happened in the royal chamber after Rand-K’ai and Emperor Zu had heated words. The Emperor had just cut-off Razor-Fists’ hands for failing him and he wasn't in the best of moods. A visitor showed up, and it was Callisto. She had came to tell the Emperor where his son was in exchange of her admittance to join the Ten Rings.

Shang-Chi woke up only to find the Morlocks face-down and about to be executed by Red Sai and Laughing Skull, who was barely being controlled by Rand-K’ai. In fact, Laughing Skull stabbed Cy right through the chest, and he was about to kill Caliban when Shang-Chi leapt out and disarmed him. He yelled for the others to run, calling upon the Nightbringer Technique to summon darkness to cover their escape. They managed to get away, but everyone was remorseful at the loss of Cy; especially Rahne. Shang-Chi admitted to being his father’s personal assassin and admitted he had killed Rand-K’ai’s master. He vowed to never use the Ten Rings Techniques again; however he realized that he must enter the tournament to defeat his father. The rules say that any master, great or weak, must have a school in order for him or her to enter the Thirteen Chambers tournament, so he asked the Morlocks if he could be their master.[2]

Later on, the Emperor introduced the contestants for the Contest of the Thirteen Chambers and was about to begin it when the “Lowest Caste” school walked through the door led by Shang Chi. As though calls of “murderer” arose, Shang Chi declared that he was going to enter into the tournament since the only requirements were that a master had both a school and students, and so he could not be denied. Emperor Zu agreed and then summoned a gigantic open-mouthed head statue from beneath the arena and all the contestants entered it. While descending deeper into it, Shang Chi noticed that Kitten had followed him in. He chose not to dismiss her, though, since she was perpetually incorporeal and couldn't interfere; thus making her a mere observer.

Coming down to a chamber that quickly filled with water, Shang Chi met his first opponent: Namor, the Sub-Mariner. He claimed to hit with the force of the tides and to have trained his lungs to breathe water. Shang Chi defeated him easily by transforming his hands into knives and puncturing his lungs – the Mortal Blade technique. Namor was taken away by the magic’s of the chamber to be healed. Chi soon realized that he would be forced to fight every one of the other contestants, but through the use of his various techniques he managed to defeat them all, claiming that he didn't fight to rule, but to prevent the further rule of his father; and none of the others could defeat Emperor Zu. As he suffered from the many blows received from his last opponents, Chi found new ones: Rand K’ai and Red Sai.[3]

Shang-Chi told Rand-K'ai his story that he was born with a heart forged by the Ebony Blade within the Eternal Flame, two Infinity Gems for eyes, and the Cosmic Cube for a brain, Emperor Zu baptised Shang Chi in the Styx River. He was a still-born but brought to life after his father filled his lungs with the ashes of the Phoenix, but in reality, he probably just couldn’t remember which of his concubines Shang’s mother was.

Hearing enough of the story, Rand-Kai attacked Shang, shadowed closely by Red Sai. They put up a good fight, but Shang had only been defending. Red Sai got in a good shot with her blade and revealed that its tip was poisoned. Rand-Kai didn't want vengeance in such a dishonorable way, but demanded that Shang repent for the murder of Lord Tuan. Red Sai spoke up and told Rand-Kai that she was sent by Emperor Zu to assassinate Lord Tuan. She failed and Shang Chi was sent by the Emperor to finish the job. Kitty pled with Rand-Kai to understand that the command of Zheng Zu was not just the command of Shi's father, but of the Emperor as well. Rand-Kai didn't know what he would have done in such a situation, but he understood that Shang-Chi was the only warrior who stood a chance of defeating the Emperor, so he used his iron fist technique to heal Shang.

After walking through the doors to the 13th Chamber alone, Shang-Chi met the Emperor. The Emperor chastised Shang for not completing his task of assassinating all the great masters. Shang stood defiantly, fighting back blow-for-blow. Emperor Zu taunted him by reminding him that he’d taught Shang nine on the ten styles of the Ten Rings School. He never taught Shang the 10th style, the “Spectral Touch”. He then used this style, going for the killing blow, but Shang used the technique that Kitty was trapped in. Though she was stuck in her ghost form, Shang had mastered it and could shift between solid and intangible at will. In this form, Emperor Zu couldn't harm him. Shang-Chi then used all the Ring Techniques that he knew against the Emperor. The Mortal Blade, the Nightbringer, the Zero Touch, the Flaming Fist, the Shocking Palm, the Long Breath, the Daemon’s Eye, Remaker’s Gift, and the Lost Hope; bringing Emperor Zu to his knees.

Shang demanded the Emperor to yield, but Zheng Zu refused. He attacked his son again, but Shang channeled his energy and touched Zheng’s forehead, calling upon a technique that he had recently invented; the Gorgon’s Touch. The final moments of Emperor Zu were lived in a mixture of shock and terror as he turned into stone. With the battle over, Shang-Chi went out to the welcoming citizens of K’un-Lun as K'un-Lun's new emperor.[4]

Points of Interest

  • Citadel of the Ten Rings
  • Halls of the Red Hand
  • Temple of the Ten Rings
  • Thirteen Chambers

Residents

See Also


Links and References

Footnotes

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