Need ideas for high level sidequest - trip to hell !


So, my players are level 16.

One of the players sold his soul a long time ago and finally died.

His friends are hellbent (hehe) on saving his soul, so going to hell to reclaim it.

The plottwist is that because of some strange combination of wishes. The devil that contracted disappeared from existence.

But since a wish is not enough to break a contract, there's a paradox where his soul is still bound to hell and to a hellish owner, but no one can remember who the contractor was.

Basically, there's a powerful devil that OWNs his soul, but has no idea why.

For this reason, I think it IS possible to have him relinquish the soul at the end of said quest (since it's not a normal situation with the contractor that got erased from Existence)

The reason I need some help is that 1- I never ran a quest that high level (I am running SCAP and that's how they got to this level and it's a first for everyone to get so high DM included), 2- I never ran an extra planar quest (high or low level).

Here's my first thoughts :

His soul was bound to Dis - That way, they can still "Go down in hell" but not too deep, it's a major sidequest, but I don't want it to last a year by going down 6 levels in hell. I want them to get 1.5 level and get some equipment since they recently lost almost all of their gear, almost.

The rescuers will have to make their way to the outlands, find the gate town of Ribcage and find a way to get into hell (first third of the side quest)

Once in avernus, they will have to find what happened to the strange soul that was bearing an owner mark, but no contractor (second third of the side quest)

And finally, they'll have to get down to Dis, and find a way to convince the owner to reliquish the soul in exchange for....... ?

My way of thinking, is that open confrontation is impossible ; if they just go gun blazing, they will die. But Devils being lawful and respecting of their twisted laws mean that there is more than enough room for roguish activity, information gathering, diplomacy, etc.... my goal is not to make a 100% fighting sidequest.

Anyone would like to share their ideas ? Thanks !

Have them run into some devils that were expecting them and make them a few offers they can't refuse to complicate matters.

They could encounter another adventuring party that is in opposition to them. They would have to figure out how to get around them without outright killing them. Imagine a group of lost paladins and the like that see your party as evil.

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