Back in 1820, Captain Obed Marsh started a company that reached its peak two decades later, commanding three ships (the Columbia and Hefty brigs and the Sumatra Queen longboat). During an expedition, Marsh contacted islanders in Polynesia, who claimed that they received riches of gold and fish from aquatic beings in exchange for human sacrifice. Since then, Marsh studied what was true in these words, turning to the chief of the islanders, Walakea, to learn their rites and establish a trade route, bartering for trinkets. Apparently, he also married a native. In this way, he began to get rich from the gold pieces obtained by selling them in his Innsmouth business after refining the gold, ensuring that the pieces were of variable purity so as not to arouse suspicion.
This system lasted until 1838, when on a trip to the islands, he discovered that their inhabitants had been massacred by other islanders. In order not to completely lose his source of income, he decided to recreate communication with those beings in Innsmouth itself. The deep ones, after all, owned underwater cities all over the world, and if he threw certain pieces of metal near a city and recited a chant, he could bring them to the surface at his call. On Devil's Reef, using the methods he had learned from Walakea, he made a pact with the deep ones, gaining abundant fish and pieces of gold in exchange for sacrifices. At first, the profound ones had enough of trading crystal beads for gold, but they began to demand sacrifices and people to procreate with.
Thus, Marsh founded the Esoteric Order of Dagon in order to achieve these purposes, showing it as a religion that would offer prosperity in exchange for loyalty to Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. The churches were quickly closed or reconverted to the new creed. Before long, people from the village began to disappear and rumors grew that people had seen Obed Marsh heading to Devil's Reef in the middle of the night. Marsh gained power even after the government raid in 1846, which led to the incarceration of people and a subsequent jail break. By the time he died in 1878, Innsmouth was fully controlled by the Marsh family and the Order.
- Obed Marsh is one of the main antagonists of the video game Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.