The year is 1475.
The world is a buzz with chatter about the newest invention to hit the world, the steam engine. This thing has many uses, but the main one it was made for was to create a transportation system that the inventor has dubbed a locomotive, others are calling it a train. Even though it has been in the world for a few years now, it has finally gotten some critical acclaim. No longer will big corporations need to hire mages to transport their good via magic, and vice versa, the same mages can now focus on their studies.
(footnote: I'll add more as world creation keeps going).