Terra, a raw planet brimming with life as well as conflict. Centuries ago it used to be a free planet, harmony was commonplace and wars were few and far between. Terrans themselves were unique in more ways than one. Some were born from the elements, able to wield their talents as second nature. But those unfortunate enough to rather be forged, or more commonly known as turned, paid the ultimate price of their memories being expunged from their thoughts in exchange for their newfound power. A simple, bare touch of an elemental crystal was enough to trigger these effects. Luckily, their memories could be regained through the consumption of crystals of their aligned element. Of course this method would strengthen the use of their skills in the process.
Death, on the other hand, would render an elemental back into a crystal. And if the strength of their powers were fleshed out enough, it would carry their talents to the next Terran who would dare harness the crystal's contents. Natural made crystals could also be found within the regions of Terra. Unlike cut crystals produced after an elemental's death, natural crystals were jagged and ridged, taking on the forms of stalagmites and stalactites in caves far away from the sun.
However, not everyone on Terra is of the elements. There are some who seek a more simple life, without the stress or struggle of being turned. Regardless, all Terrans had lived side by side in peace for the most part. It seemed as if things would remain this way for eternity, though the future held different plans for the unaware planet.
Enter an alien race, unknown, yet familiar to Terra, striking very similar body frames and appearances... Without the elemental gifts that is. They came in the form of a futuristic militarized research company, looking to do no harm. When they were asked who they were, they only replied that they were Empyreans, seeking and collecting information on Terra and Terran life, especially the elementals. The welcome given to the Empyreans was a cold one indeed. The aliens' flashy gear and gadgetry were more than off putting to the Terrans who were accustomed to their primitive lifestyles.
For the first few years, the Empyreans only observed the Terrans, learning their culture and what made them tick. But there was more to them than what the Empyreans led on... And the Terrans suspected it as well. Eventually, the Empyreans took the opportunity and made their move, quickly regulating sections of Terra and keeping the turned and true wielders of the elements in check. Those free of any elemental alignment were given a pass, holding no threat to the Empyreans, let alone holding their interest.
Boundaries were further crossed with the implementation of live elemental subjects being held captive for experimentations to further the study of the elementals. It didn't take long for news to spread like wildfire of what was happening to the elemental Terrans. Small rebellions gathered across Terra to fight against Empyrean's brutal methods, but any resistances that took spark were swiftly extinguished under the supremacy of the Empyreans. Years upon years, life on Terra went on this way, eventually leading to Terra abandoning all hope that the Empyreans would leave. As time went on, the idea of a free Terra was purged from their mind, as this new Empyrean led life had become all they would know.
Their fate was further twisted as the Empyrean started to employ Terrans into their ranks, elemental and non-elemental alike. Granted, not every Terran had the option to join. Either they were born into it, or turned, by Empyrean hand or otherwise. As their numbers grew, the Empyreans began assembling mining teams to scavenge the planet for its natural crystals. This new direction was taken over the outrage of killing the elementals for their crystals seeping through the guilty conscious of the Empyreans carrying out the dirty work... Unfortunately, this was only after they had wiped out a few subspecies of Terran elementals.
The revolts had died down in response to their new lenient methods, but a bitter cold peace had remained as things behind the scenes were brewing on both sides. Terrans working inside of Empyrean's company eventually took bribes in exchange for classified information which in turn had Terrans forming their own secret societies, away from Empyrean eyes. The most notable was an underground crime syndicate called The Burrow, located within the heart of Terra's scorching desert. They had paid the best for Empyrean information as well as contraband within Empyrean research labs. Though exchanges were scarce, seeing as Empyrean pushed capital punishment on those who have committed treason to their company.
However, these threats hadn't stopped even a few of Empyrean's very own. It was rumored that a portion of Empyrean had completely dropped off the radar and not a trace of it was to be found, even through the use of Empyrean tech. This had kept Empyrean on their toes, especially around the desert city. Both sides were stuck in deadlock, only waiting for a move to be made by their opposition...