—Qali as the unofficial "ringmaster" of the Festival of Death.
The Festival of Death (though once simply and continuously referred to as the Festival) are a wicked traveling circus and evil minor characters introduced in the namesake episode of the TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest.
This strange and unusual "carnival" of sorts that has been traveling from place to place, are a group of costumed people with ghoulish masks (Festival Ghouls), swift acrobats (Festival Acrobats) and playful jugglers with shrunken heads instead of balls (Festival Jugglers). They are also accompanied by their scythe-wielding bodyguards called Scythe guards on their journey. They put on their shows and festivities including a small fighting contest, passed out every red tickets with the red/black three square signia on them to everyone as invitation, and they've entertained men, women, and even children of all ages. Yet, beneath their colorful disguise, is that they are a cult of undead ghouls serving a demon, and that demon is non other then the Netherrealm sorcerer Quan Chi. His plan was to collect bodies of foolish fighters and unsuspecting victims and to instill demon souls from the deepest depths of the dark realm into their new vessels in order to create his new undead puppets to serve him forever. The Festival of Death was the perfect disguise as this sinister circus travelled countless places from one realm to the next in search of thrill-seeking audience, and of fresh new victims.
The Festival has begunOne day, a traveling circus of sorts, the Festival arrives in Zhu Zin with the fighter Qali as its ringleader. On the surface it appears to be just another carnival with acrobats, jugglers and costumed characters, but as Kung Lao, Taja and Siro know, where Qali's involved, trouble is sure to be close at hand since the last time Qali was in Earthrealm, she betrayed Princess Kitana on behalf of Emperor Shao Kahn.
Taja and Siro who both were among the people seeing the Festival's arrival, warn Qali that they're watching her and will not tolerate any trouble. Qali claims that the festival allows her to make a living since being shunned by both Kitana and Shao Kahn--which is only partially true. She has been shunned, but the festival isn't a living, it's actually a means for Quan Chi to collect humans to raise an army of undead warriors.Each night, the festival holds secret fighting contests in which the villagers compete for a chance to win money. At the end of the night, the strongest villager (and thus, the best candidate for Quan Chi's army) faces the assassin Mika, whose stunning beauty belies her deadly skill. Once Mika has beaten the villager, Qali releases one of Quan Chi's undead souls from the circus' gold coin-filled treasure chest which is used as the contests' grand prize to take over the body. The rest of the members of the Festival of Death unmasked themselves and revealed to be undead ghouls as they watched the defeated villager's soul added to their collection.
Back in the Cobalt Mines in Outworld, Shang Tsung is concerned that Quan Chi is raising an army as a way to strengthen his alliance with Shao Kahn. If Shao Kahn begins to look favorably at Quan Chi, then he'll have no use for Shang Tsung, when and if he is ever freed from the Cobalt Mines. Shang Tsung knows he must put a stop to Quan Chi and dispatches Vorpax to Earthrealm to investigate.
Vorpax reports back to Shang Tsung and the two devise a plan. If they can get Kung Lao to fight at the festival and he is beaten, then Qali would unleash a soul to take over his body. If Shang Tsung could control the soul that's put into Kung Lao's body, then his value to Shao Kahn is restored.
Shang Tsung needs Qali to help him carry out his plan, so he tells her that once he's back at Shao Kahn's side, she will benefit--perhaps even getting Princess Kitana's throne. She agrees to have Shang Tsung's fighter face Kung Lao and will make the soul transference as instructed. Getting Kung Lao to fight, however, is another thing.Kung Lao's old friend Lori has heard about the fighting contests and thinks she's got what it takes. Determined to fight, Lori sneaks out to the contest with one of the red tickets the Festival has passed out to everyone else. Once there, she's taken in by Qali, who is using her as bait to get Kung Lao to the fights.
When Kung Lao agrees to fight in Lori's place, Qali presents Shang Tsung's fighter--a giant of a man who looks as if he'll crush Kung Lao. It's a fierce battle, but Kung Lao manages to get the upper hand. As Kung Lao delivers the final crushing blow, the giant falls to ground knocking over the chest containing the undead souls of Quan Chi's demons and creating a firestorm of otherworldly pandemonium. Kung Lao, Taja and Siro literally run for their lives, leaving Lori behind--for she's already joined Quan Chi's dark legions as she is now a new addition to the Festival of Death.
- Festival Acrobats
- Festival Ghouls
- Festival Jugglers
- Scythe Guards