|Actual photo of the real island.|
Surts' Isle is modeled off of the real life island Surtsey off the coast off Iceland, but with some D&D twists.
The island is not hard to miss. Smoke continuously bellows from it, visible for miles around in the northern seas. Merchants avoid the island as much as possible as flaming boulders have been known to fall from the sky nearby. Pirates, dwarves, and mighty wizards have set sail to Surt's island on purpose. Few have returned.
Fifty years ago, a cook on a trading vessel reported seeing a tremendous battle in the sky. An Eftreeti and Djinn, each the size of a mountain, fought tooth and nail in the clouds. Suddenly, the Djinn grabbed the flaming entity and cast him down into the ocean with such force that only molten rock rebounded from the ocean floor and solidified into a small island. The cook was the sole survivor of the following tsunami.
Over the decades, the smoldering island has cooled and solidified. The cook's stories have circulated far and wide, sending many to Surts' Island to seek fortunes. Returning explorers have spread rumors of new magical alloys, huge rubies the size of watermelons, and the still beating heart of a dead Efreeti deep within a bubbling volcanic cauldron.
Who would be crazy enough to go there on purpose?
Oh yeah - this is D&D.
(Check out the rest of the Sea of Os'r Project over at the Lands of Ara.)