The Scarlet Gospels is a dark fantasy horror novel by author Clive Barker which acts as a continuation to both his previous novella The Hellbound Heart and his canon of Harry D'Amour stories. The world's last remaining magicians gather to resurrect Ragowski, a recently deceased member of their order who was killed by the Hell Priest.
Ragowski informs them that the Priest is determined to obtain every source of magic known to man, and that their only hope of avoiding his fate is to give the Priest the location of all of their grimoires and talismans. The Hell Priest arrives, having been alerted by the spell that caused Ragowski's resurrection, and proceeds to degrade and massacre all of the magicians save for one, Felixson, whom he enslaves to use as a human servant.
In New Orleans , paranormal detective Harry D'Amour travels to the home of a recently deceased magician who hired him via medium Norma Paine in order to destroy evidence of his occult activities before his family can discover them. Harry learns that the assignment was a trap set by the Hell Priest to kill him, in order to eliminate Harry as a potential obstacle to completing his mission.
Harry is rescued by Dale, an elderly Southern man who experiences moments of precognition. Dale sends Harry back to New York City to attend to Norma, who tells Harry that a monumental event is about to occur in the spirit world. Harry enlists the help of his friend Caz to move Norma to a safehouse operated by their mutual acquaintance, Lana.
Joined by Dale, they attempt to transport Norma, only to witness the opening of a portal to Hell in Manhattan. The Priest emerges and absconds with Norma, telling Harry that a momentous event in Hell's history is about to occur and that, after Harry's survival of the assassination attempt, he has decided that he will be the perfect individual to write the Priest's personal account of the events.
Harry and his group - dubbed the Harrowers - discover that Lucifer has disappeared and that Hell has developed into a thriving civilization in his absence. They learn that the Priest has been using his accrued knowledge of magic to kill Hell's various ruling classes, in order to eliminate any obstacles on his pilgrimage into a forbidden region of Hell called the Wastelands.
The Harrowers follow the Priest into the Wastelands, where they discover a tribe of inbred demons waiting to take them across a cursed lake to a tiny island in the center. The Priest and Norma have already secured passage to the island, where the Priest hopes to find a rumored cathedral - Lucifer's throne room - where he can experience a spiritual revelation by holding audience with the Devil. The Harrowers and the Priest discover that the cathedral is in fact Lucifer's tomb, erected after he had committed suicide due to being forced to live away from the presence of God.
Enraged, the Priest strips Lucifer's body of its armor, dons it himself, and declares himself the new Lord of Hell. Armies led by the surviving generals of Hell raid the cathedral and attack the Priest, but, powered by Lucifer's armor, he easily defeats most of them. The removal of the armor inadvertently resurrects Lucifer, who, enraged that he must once more endure existence without God, engages the Priest in battle.
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Although the Priest seemingly defeats Lucifer, the angel's immortal body reconstitutes itself and he disembowels the Priest. Lucifer announces his intention to destroy Hell as the Harrowers and Norma, along with the surviving demons, flee the cathedral. The desiccated remnants of the Hell Priest confront the Harrowers on the shores of the lake, where the Priest blinds Harry and rapes Norma to death before fleeing.
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