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Decades before Carl Denham's film crew came to Skull Island, Bar-Atu was the chief priest of the village that existed beyond the wall. Manipulative and power-hungry, he orchestrated the death of King On-Tagu and schemed against On-Tagu's daughter Ishara and the next king, her husband Kubali. Bar-Atu rallied followers to his side by spreading terror and worshiping Gaw as an immortal god that would reap vengeance if they were not sated. When a young kong ape, the future King Kong, was captured and taken to the village, he was also instrumental in the torturous attempts at subjugating the beast, which warped the primate into future hostility.
When Kubali and Ishara sought the secrets ways their ancestors used to live in peace from the ruins in the center of Skull Island, they discovered Bar-Atu was also aware of the past to a limited degree. While he didn't know how to replicate them, he had discovered caches of herbs that kept the creatures of the island from noticing him, revealing to be the secret behind his often-revered ability to not be harmed by his beast god. When the now-grown Kong slew Gaw, Bar-Atu manipulated the story to suit his own ends. Having Kubali killed, he christened the ape the true king of the island, King Kong. Bar-Atu enjoyed decades of power, but his supply of herbs ran out and so too did his culture of fear. In 1933, King Kong killed Bar-Atu when he rampaged through the village by biting him in half.
In 1912, a group of outsiders came to Skull Island. Bar-Atu and a group of warriors apprehended them on the beach, and Bar-Atu proposed they be given to Kong, but before he could put his plan into action, the Storyteller came to tell them to stop. Bar-Atu walked away claiming that if Kong did not take them, the island would.
The following night, Bar-Atu gathered his Church of Kong. They partook in smoking a black vine that grew on the border wall and told tales of Kong. Long ago, an evil wizard came to Skull Island to use his magic to kill Kong. He created golems of flight, fire, stone, and steel. Kong easily slayed them all. The wizard then resurrected the bones of Kong's ancestors, but Kong put them back into the ground, and the wizard with them. One hundred years later, white slavers from the outside came to the island and killed many of the Tagatu warriors before the Pteranodons began to attack them and the Sea Creatures destroyed their slave ships, pushing them back into the jungles where Kong and the Deathrunners came for him.
When Kong was still young, he was kidnapped by a giant worm that came from underground. His mother went to save him, and during the time when they were gone, the Church of Kong became the Church of The Worm. However, underground, Kong and his mother defeated The Worm, and re-emerged. While telling this story, one of the outsiders, named James Copland, sent a disfigured boy named Kupak to the front of the congregation to preach about their foreign god. Kupak's father rose from the crowd and beat his son. As a punishment for this, Bar-Atu and his followers burned the intruders' camp and church, as they tied up Copland and banished him and his followers to the other side of the wall.
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