Warning: Some spoilers for the Fiery Dragon adventure Queen of Lies appear below.
Shurrin the fighter/rogue/cleric, Aliya of the Order of the Fist, Sister Mara the cleric of Lothian, Zophas the Knight of the Pale, Canabulum the minotaur wizard, and Urlenius the Star of Navashtrom decided to enter the Dark Reliquary to rescue the trapped soul of their ally, Andach the druid. The Dark Reliquary, home to the Fallen (demons) and the Forsaken (undead and those who work with them), was a terrible place the first time the members of the group were taken there. They just barely escaped with their lives. Now they were going back intentionally.
Zophas got three of his allies from the Knights of the Pale—Vestra, Dartalus, and Cardillian—to go with them. On their way through the Necropolis, they saw a huge cage made of wicker in the shape of a man, with children inside. Undead were about to set it on fire. Of course the heroes intervened to save the children, only to discover that the whole event was set up as an ambush: Their enemies knew they were coming. Wounded and spent from the battle, they retreated, intending to return the next day, although the young and inexperienced Dartalus’ nerves were shattered already. When they re-entered the Dark Reliquary, they did so without him.
They found that there had been some strife in the Necropolis of late—factions among the Forsaken were in the middle of a power struggle. The heroes had learned that the tower of a local necromancer held a secret underground passage into the gothic, palacelike Dark Reliquary. They were unsure as to whether they would parley with or fight the necromancer, but when they arrived at the tower she was already dead, killed in the strife. The adventurers found the secret passage and rode atop a huge creature/construct of bones to gain entry to the nefarious fortress.
There were many tense fights in the Dark Reliquary, mostly with undead. Through divinations, the characters knew they were looking for a place called the Temple of the Half-Born. When they found it they discovered a terrible demon that could take a small tissue sample from a creature and give birth to copies of that creature. Luckily, they avoided being copied themselves but still had to deal with other half-born progeny. Once that demon was destroyed, they found rooms of hundreds of black gems, each holding a captive soul. Destroying all of them, they freed not only Andach’s trapped soul, but those of many others.
They fled the Dark Reliquary, their mission accomplished—but it wasn’t. Aliya had another goal as well. Ever since she was young, Aliya had possessed a strange affinity for mirrors. She could see things in them that were being reflected in completely different mirrors in places many miles away. Occasionally, she saw a young girl who looked a lot like her, but this girl was trapped, held by a marilith named Drusii in the Dark Reliquary.
So the group did not rest after its initial success but instead went back again. This time, the adventurers entered via the secret cliffside passage that they had once used to escape.
They encountered Drusii but used magic to force her away. After even more horrific battles, they found the girl, whose name was Calista. They also found a deva named Falstef who had been imprisoned there for decades, his wings ripped from him. They freed both and sought a way out. Just as they thought escape was close, they found themselves surrounded by demons. The creatures told them that their master, Raguel, wished to speak with them. Raguel’s lover, Lilith (the only creature Drusii answered to), was present and seethed with anger—she wanted the heroes dead for their attacks. (She also did not want them to leave with Calista, who was an important key to the whole situation. But that comes later…)
They were brought before Raguel and left alone with him. Much to their surprise, Raguel was not a demon, but an angel. He explained that long ago his parents, two of the Elder Gods, put him in charge of the netherworld. As new powers, such as Demogorgon and Orcus, arose over the next twenty thousand years, Raguel began to lose faith in his own position. However, all attempts to contact his parents failed. The Elder Gods were gone. So he and the Fallen—demons that still served him—came to the world to learn what was going on. Now, some of them, encouraged by Lilith, wanted to ally with the forces that sought to wake the Galchutt and bring upon the “Night of Dissolution.” Raguel was unsure.
He told the heroes he knew they planned to visit the Seven Jewels of Parnaith. He gave them a small silver orb that floated in the air and told them that, if they agreed to take it with them, they could all leave safely. If they found what he thought they would find in the Jewels, Raguel said, it would help him decide to uphold peace for the innocent people of Ptolus, rather than allow a horde of demons to sweep into town.
The heroes took the orb with grave reservations and, together with Calista and Falstef, they walked out of the Dark Reliquary. Nothing stood in their way.