Like every city, Ptolus has a dark side. Here, criminal lords command veritable armies of rogues and assassins, and war amongst each other as well as against the law. These criminals deal in extortion, smuggling, gambling, usury, and prostitution. Chief among these criminals are Menon Balacazar, leader of the oldest criminal syndicate in the city, and the newcomer Kevris Killraven. They are bitter enemies. Depraved assassins called the Vai hunt victims for money and to fulfill their own bloodlust.

But worse things lurk in Ptolus than simply criminals. Dwelling among the crypts of the city’s graveyard are the death-loving Forsaken, so called because the rest of society finds them so abhorrent. Worse still, chaos cultists—in league with terrible inhuman things—plot the destruction of the city and, in fact, the entire world to sate their lust for destruction. Lastly, and strangest of all, Ptolus is home to actual demons from the lower realms: Some are merely demon-blooded tieflings, but others are full-blooded fiends that call themselves the Fallen. These beings dwell alongside the Forsaken in a place called the Dark Reliquary.