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At some point, the Underworld was created as a weighing station between two other worlds: Mount Olympus and the Worse Place. This is the place where all deceased people and creatures with unfinished business are sent to. If they cannot come to terms with their unfinished business, they are left in the Underworld forever. (mentioned in "Souls of the Departed")
There is a gap for an unknown amount of time.
While the Underworld has had no ruler before this, Hades is banished to this realm for killing his father, attempting to kill his brother and trying to usurp a family heirloom. Hades is then unable to repair the heirloom, the Olympian Crystal and can only be repaired once he achieves true love's kiss can he then get his heart to start beating once again and be able to wander freely in the real world. (mentioned in "Our Decay")
There is another gap for an unknown amount of time.
A man named Orpheus who is in the Underworld, saves his deceased wife, Eurydice by feeding her ambrosia from the ambrosia tree making her alive again. Later, he and his lover return to the real world and Hades cuts down the ambrosia tree to prevent any souls from escaping ever again. (mentioned in "Firebird")