Eventually I got back, did those storyboards, and watched Sunset Boulevard before going to Tim's and playing Oblivion, in which I had a decidedly Lovecraftian experience.
I was in the town of Chorral when a shopkeeper told me about her daughter, Dar-ma, who had not returned from a town to the south called Hackdirt, where she'd gone to acquire some trade goods. The shopkeeper begged me to go looking for her daughter.
Outside Chorral's south gate, I asked an Altmer about Hackdirt. He told me there was some kind of very bad trouble there many years ago, but he wouldn't say what exactly; maybe he didn't know. The trouble was bad enough that the Legion was called in. He said most people believed the town didn't exist anymore. It exists, he said, but it's not a nice place, certainly not a place you want to be after dark.
The shopkeeper had seemed naïve enough that I believed she didn't know any better when she sent her daughter to Hackdirt. I started going south after feeding off a boy I found sleeping in the stables--my character's a vampire, by the way. A tall Nord woman I named Ilsa. And, yes, I was thinking of Ingrid Bergman.
It was around midnight when I found Hackdirt. It was fairly enshrouded by trees, so I didn't notice it until I was confronted by blackened, burnt out husks of buildings. Only in the centre of town were there buildings that looked as they were in working order, and there weren't many--an inn, a warehouse, a couple houses, and a chapel. I found Dar-ma's horse in one of the ruined buildings behind the warehouse. So I broke into the warehouse but didn't find anything unusual, aside from the fact that it was somewhat disarrayed, with overturned furniture, cupboards, crates, and sacks. I was to find this sort of thing in every building I entered in Hackdirt, including the inn, where I went next, and which I found strangely deserted. In one of the rooms upstairs, I found Dar-ma's diary in which she mentioned a creepy innkeeper who gave her dirty looks.
I was beginning to think the town had been spontaneously abandoned a few hours earlier. But I soon after found the town's entire small population gathered inside the chapel. I learned it was something they did every midnight as part of a ritual they referred to as "the Gathering." Most of the people I talked to angrily told me to leave immediately. The innkeeper was there, a grey-haired woman, who told me in irritated tones that she didn't remember meeting anyone matching Dar-ma's description, and that the horse was her own and she'd had it for years.
Eventually one man was willing to speak to me, first leading me away from the crowd and to his house. He told me the townsfolk worshipped the Deep Ones, and that they gathered each night to summon them. Dar-ma, he told me, was being held in some caverns under the town, which could be reached via trapdoors found in nearly every building.
I found Dar-ma in the caverns, and freed her after killing a few men who came at me with clubs. I never saw any Deep Ones, but it was a pretty damned cool experience anyway. I keep meaning to go back to Hackdirt and really search.