I recently got back into playing Dungeons and Dragons Online, mostly because of my stolen x-box. DDO is quite enjoyable in short sprints, but as I was re-playing the opening quest node, a lonely fishing village plagued by a white dragon, I realized the game designers had given a subtle nod to Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth.
First of all, understand there are some spoilers here for DDO, but considering how long it’s been out, I don’t think anyone will mind. Your character begins the game washed up on a beach, apparently the victim of an airship crash (DDO has magic airships). You meet a band of adventurers who decide to escort you to Korthos on the other side of the island. Along the way, you run into the treacherous Sahuagin.
As you can see, the Sahuagin are very similar to the “creature from the black lagoon” or, more precisely, like Deep Ones from Lovecraft’s Innsmouth. The characters prevail against the evil Sahuagin and eventually make their way through the caves to the village.
The village, it seems, is under siege by an evil white dragon (the same one that crashed your airship) who has frozen the harbor solid. To add to their woes, an insidious cult has been slowly taking over the town, including kidnapping the mayor’s daughter.
Through a series of short quests, you come to learn that many of the villagers are actually in league with the Sahuagin, and the cult is pervasive throughout the town. You break up the cult and eventually rally the last of a noble bloodline to defend the town from the dragon, who, it turns out, is being mind controlled by an illithid.
This isn’t the only nod in the game to the elder horrors, but it’s a pretty interesting romp through a fantasy version of the venerable old Innsmouth, where fishy smells and strange eyed people lurk about every corner.