Luckily, a curious Racer picked up some of the $SLIVER that The Supervolcano had vented across the landscape. They held it. They shook it. When they inspected the glowing shards, they felt a life force vibrate in sync with their own.
While academics disagree about the exact origins of The Great Misfortune, there's consensus that an unusual alignment of The Three Moons, along with unknown factors, caused the eruption.
Although there's no evidence to back it up, Factions have long argued that it must have been another Faction behind The Great Misfortune. Typical.
Does it matter whether The Great Misfortune's primary cause lies with nature, an independent group of pirates, or one of the historical Factions? Modern Racers mostly worry about how to avoid another catastrophe.