The history of Belfan is a rich tapestry of peace and misery. A chessboard patchwork of the moral elements, you could say. There are times of great cooperation and artistic expression, where civilisation thrives, yet they seem to be balanced out by times of sheer tyranny when it wasn't safe to be outside. Or inside, for that matter.
Many of these times of utter torment are occasions when an evil soul takes it upon himself to achieve world domination... and while these sorts are a copper a dozen, lurking down every back alley and in every spooky-looking house, occasionally one of them actually succeeds, and rules with an iron fist of dread.
Nine times out of ten, their ascension comes about via the acquisition of the Elemental Crystals of the world. These mighty deific artefacts can empower a wielder, and with each additional Crystal, their power grows ever stronger.
Though they have homes in the Elemental Temples, it is not uncommon for them to be wrenched from their rest to either heroic or megalomaniacal ends. Either to stop villains or become them.
The vile souls who enslaved the world using the power of the Crystals have come to be known as the Crystal Tyrants. Their reigns have varied in length, and invariably come to an end at the hands of an assorted bunch of ragtag heroes, who put aside their differences and learn the true meaning of friendship and teamwork.