Imagine this: Christopher Columbus lands in the West Indies and instead of finding American Indians, he finds Orcs, Gnolls, Arcane Towers where hermits live who can bend the very fabric of reality. The Americas are a savage place, more backward in technology than its European visitors but the humanoid races and the humans that live there have the ability to manipulate The Weave. The Weave is the fabric that makes up reality. They have the ability to conjour fire and ice out of thin air, or to see and hear far distances. Wizards consort with extra-planar beings to gain more power while Necromancers steal the dead from their slumber for labor. To establish colonies the European nations have to make deals with the natives. And while firearms work well against the primitives, a pistol shot does very little against a lumbering skeleton, or a stone golem.
But in discovering the new world, Europe also reconnected itself to a lost legacy. Magic used to be as abundant, but less refined, in the past. However as technology advanced, those who could manipulate The Weave became more obscure. Creatures who had an inherent stake in The Weave such as Elves, Dragons, and even Dwarves, retreated from society or hid within in, waiting for the return to the ways of magic. When the European nations learn of this lost legacy, the creatures of legend came out of hiding. Atlantis never sank into the sea, it was never above it. Populated by Sea Elves, humans had simply forgotten how to travel to it, and the elves lost interest in dealing with the humans.
Now that the elves and other demi-human races are seeing a Weave renaissance amongst the humans again, it is time to rejoin and re-integrate. Through treaty or violence.
Today, in the early 19th century, most of the larger European cities have gotten used to Demi-humans, and some humanoid races, but not without the usual prejudices. England’s empire spans the globe as they came out ahead of the other competing nations for remote resources in colonies. Despite the loss of the Americas, England is still one of, if not the most powerful nation. Their sea navy, combined with their German designed Zeppelin fleet they still dominate the globe with colonies in Africa, India, and China, and still all throughout the islands of the seas.
The United States Of America is one of the new up and coming world powers. After their successful rebellion from England, the European colonists combined with the demi-human native inhabitants to form a group of thirteen city-states. Each of these states was headed by either a council, or a wizard, appointed by the state to represent their people. After the Louisiana Purchase, and the discovery of a peculiar petrified wood with lighter-than-air properties when treated, and many human immigrants fleeing from the continued wars in Europe, and the orc slave trade, the United States is beginning to find its industrial roots.