50 years ago the world changed, and not with a bang -- but a whimper. A solar flare. An electromagnetic pulse, unprecedented in size and power, brought the world to its knees in a mere instant. Electronics fried and rendered completely useless, the lights went out all over the planet.
The first world was the first to fall, dependent as they were on their modern conveniences. Panic. Starvation. Disease. Governments collapsed inwards, imploding upon themselves as they tried and failed to keep stability. Most of Europe fell into chaos in a matter of days. The United States fared far worse.
Only the strong survived the tribulations that followed.
The event awoke something latent in the genetic code of some humans, granting them an affinity with the elements. Elementals, as they were called, used their newfound gifts to thrive in this new world. There were others too, vampires and shifters, but they remained from long ago, hiding on the very fringes of society -- only now returning to the foreground without fear.
It's a new world out there.