The British Expedition to Egypt found a large, metal ring. They studied it for years and with the help of the best minds in Britain and America, Mr. Babbage, Mr. Edison, Mr. Tesla, et al, they have gotten it to work. Using the new science involving Orichalc to power it, they have sent expeditions out to find new markets, new goods and whatever else they can find.
The adventurers eventually returned to earth. (game over)
After that, take a look at your wiki. There is some more helpful info there.