This game was . . . . how would I describe it? Huge? We had, 7-9 players throughout the evening. If we were playing 3.5 I'd be on Xanax and in a rubber room. Thankfully, 4e did a great job (again) of smoothing play and I could maintain sanity with a beer.
The new players arrived in Death's Reach via "soul comet", being plucked out of their normal existence by their respective gods to aid in the fight against Orcus. Almost immediately, the group was accosted by an Elder Blue Dragon that did a flyby and performied a "wing tap" on Osric (I think?). The entire party dove for cover and hid as best they could. Except for Osric. Osric boldly confronted the dragon, convinced it to land and then engaged in a clever tete-a-tete which was on the verge of succeeding until . . . . . right when Osric was about the seal the deal, . . . a large snap and crunching sound erupted from Groo's hiding place. Apparently Groo took this interlude before possible death to eat a pickle. It is the only explanation for Osric's subsequent failure and the resulting dragon battle. Of course, it is well known that Groo always wanted to fight a dragon.
It was a good fight, nobody died although the Dragon proceeded to open a whole can of whoop-ass on the party. Az'rael(sp) was able to cleverly "snatch away" a powerful protective charm the dragon had which allowed the party to drive the dragon off. Although one might wonder what a pissed-off blue dragon that just had his prized magic item stolen might be thinking.
A few days later the party was looking for any excuse to get away from the constant recitation of the tax codes by Althaer (High Accountant of Pelor and member of the Golden Abacus). Thankfully a celestial meteor provided a diversion. The landing sight of the meteor was guarded by a Boneswarm and something that looked like a pretty good version of death. Groo, who was uncharacteristically closest to "Death" had his life force sucked out in one round and collapsed in disbelief. Althaer fell into a pit and was stuck there for most of the encounter, oddly enough nobody helped him get out (which he eventually managed to do on his own). Hmmmm . . . .
Finally, at Nerul's Gate there were two battles. The first, against an undead Marilith with undead Treants who were trying to connect the gate to the Abyss. By the way, a Marilith has six swords and apparently no respect for the tax code as she repeatedly killed Athaer. Orcus (his Aspect) made an appearance in the second battle. But Frost had the biggest problem as he was dominated by a ghost for most of the battle.
And so the party learned from The Raven Queen herself that they must travel to the Reliquary of Timesus to prevent the agents of Orcus (The Ebon Riders, et al) from making use of the primordial's power.