"It was a town of wide extent and dense construction, yet one with a portentous dearth of visible life. (...) We met no one on the road, but presently began to pass deserted farms in varying stages of ruin. Then I noticed a few inhabited houses with rags stuffed in the broken windows and shells and dead fish lying about the littered yards."
(H. P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow over Innsmouth")Innsmouth is a city in Massachusetts. It was built on the coast of the Essex county. The river Manuxet flows through the centre of the city. Most of the game plot is centred in Innsmouth.
Innsmouth was a town founded back in 1643 soon becoming a local trading hub, known for shipbuilding and fishing. Up until 1815, the town was prospering, but everything took the turn for the worst after that fish left the waters and trade began to decline. The last trading business was owned by a sea captain Obed Marsh. He was the wealthiest man in the city and owned three ships: the Columbia, the Hetty and the Sumatra Queen. He would often make long voyages to the Pacific Ocean to trade with the local natives. During one of these, he met chief Walakea who told him of the gods his tribe worshiped and that they were appeased by human offerings, giving huge amount of fish and sometimes gold as a reward to their worshipers. Walakea taught Obed the ritual to summon these god-like creatures – Deep Ones – and how to offer them a human sacrifice. The Captain continued to trade with the natives for years, acquiring large amounts of gold and ancient artefacts.
When after many years Obed returned, he found the islanders destroyed by other tribes. Now with his trade lost, he returned home hopeless. At least until he went to Devil’s Reef and prayed a chant taught by Walakea and, in great shock, spoke with Deep Ones in person. They entered a pact similar between the natives and Deep Ones, and they soon begun to populate their city near Devil’s Reef – Y’ha-nthlei. Obed founded the Esoteric Order of Dagon and repurposed the Marsh Refinery into gold processing.
While some townsfolk joined Obed and his cult, there were others - mostly christian citizens - who were outraged. "Devil worship", missing persons and Marsh’s amassing of wealth convinced them to take up arms against Obed.
Marsh and his followers were locked up in the jailhouse for weeks until one night of 1846. Deep Ones, angered by the lack of sacrifices, attacked the town killing more than half of a population. Among them was the leader of Obed’s captors, John Lawrence, grandfather of Rebecca Lawrence.
Now the city was entirely run by the Marsh family and taking of the First and Second Oath of Dagon was proclaimed mandatory, while not talking the Third Oath meant certain discrimination. It also became strictly forbidden to speak to the outsiders.
This situation would continue through many generations up until 1922, when the U. S. Military launched a full scale raid of Innsmouth and Devil’s Reef.
By 1922 many of the town’s buildings were on the brink of a collapse (with the exception of the Esoteric Order of Dagon). The city was also sparsely populated with probably no more than 300 inhabitants. River Manuxet divides the town in two parts. While the town has a railway, it has been abandoned for some time. The bus, driven by Joe Sargent, does occasionally go from Arkham to Newburyport.
Notable buildings in the city include:
- The Esoteric Order of Dagon
- Marsh Refinery
- First National Grocery Store
- Variety Store
- Gilman Hotel
- Old Lady Warne’s house
Notable streets of Innsmouth:
- Federal Street
- Dock Street
- New Fall Street
- South Street
- Washington Street