Nor'Ova is a world that developed similar to our own. In the 21st century of its timeline though, it entered into a great nuclear war between a large, imperialistic state and a somewhat religiously radical set of states that believed the former was evil at its core and needed to be disolved. This great war was on an apocalyptic scale and would later be remembered by the decendants of the survivors as The Great Magic War. The nuclear fallout awakened in every living thing the ability to connect to tne magical elements of the world. It also awakened a great pandemic called the Dark Paralysis, where around 1/2 of the world stayed forever in a deep sleep, Many would be born into and later die while in this sleep.
This all changed around 30 years ago when all of the sleeping people suddenly woke up. The mass confusion caused panic among many, including some of the leaders of the world and wars broke out. Once such war was a war between the sleeping-now awakened true heir to the throne of Chaladonia and the current king of Chaladonia. That war thankfully didn't last terribly long, only a year, with the once sleeping prince took the throne.
The Great Awakening, as it came to be called brought about a time of uncertainty. Those who woke up told stories of the world they were all in, a world that went through many ages of history and turmoil. The Great Awakening also was but a precursor to another far larger event that would forever shake the foundations of the world. For the world that the awakened spoke of was a world created within the mind of the hero of the Great Magic War, Taal Mercleis. It was a world created to trap and confuse the dark god Zodo who had possessed Taal when he was but an infant. As long as Taal slept and nothing changed, the dream world would persist and the real world would be safe from the dark god. However with the people now awake, it was only a matter of time before catastrophy would strike.
The catastrophy was the Great Collapse. 18 years following the Great Awakening, the Dream World collapsed and a great change took place in Nor'Ova. The eight elements merged back into the original four from before the Great Magic War, but magic still persisted. The stored magics of the dream world rushed into the real world, creating great magical instabilities resulting in magic storms and the like. And the people and creatures that never lived in the real world but did live in the dream world were given life.
It is a time of great uncertanity, where people breatly awake two decades still trying to find their way, people given new life that only existed in the dream world, and the people of the real world have to learn to survive a world that seems to be breaking apart.