After their battle with the dastardly demons, the Dragonbusters spent a fretful night in the tower of Cordalaya. Kiba, too tired from the battle to even wake up after an 8 hour sleep, was dragged off to the woods once again by Dave. Fortunately, the group’s alternate, Set, was nearby to help. Also, Gargantuon the Ball Buster returned to fulfill his namesake.
The next floor in the tower they caught sight of the mistress herself, but she fled up the stairs after siccing a few of her mud demons upon the heroes. In the back of the room was the necromancer’s infernal machine, the Darkness Engine. Before leaving, Cordalaya started the machine up, and the group was kept so busy with the Omoxes that they could not reach it in time to prevent it powering up its protective shield. Whatever the machine did they would not be able to stop it without going through the drow first…
And through a maze of pipes on the next floor! Apparently they were connected to the machine in some way, as some of the pipes were hot and others radiated magic. Using Elsbeth’s ability to sense eldritch auras, the Busters were able to navigate the maze without breaking open too many dangerous pipes. They halted at the next set of stairs, wondering what awaited them.
The stairs turned out to open onto the very top of the tower, where Cordalaya herself and a small group of drow were ready for them. The necromancer, however, cared so little for her fellow drow that she dropped them all with a leadoff Wail of the Banshee! The group initially could not reach the evil wizard as the Darkness Engine was creating a shield for her half of the tower, but after besting fire elementals, cauldrons of lava, and some weird animated bones, they were finally able to bring the fight to the magic-user!
She had some more tricks up her sleeve, however. At her beck and call was a corrupted Ansafarilonyxia, mother of Zephus’ loyal gold dragon companion! The paladin, upon seeing their new adversary, called upon his magic steed to assist the heroes. Eventually, after the dragon took wing and came back to earth atop poor Gargantuon, the adventurers managed to get the necromancer away from her huge protector. Hastily erecting a wall of force around herself, Cordalaya began formulating a new plan. Unbeknownst to her, though, the cleric Elsbeth had a better one already! She called upon the power of Lathander to dispel the magic barrier, and Zephus leaped up onto the parapet to deliver the final blow!
In desperation, Cordalaya threw up her staff in a vain effort to stop the arc of the descending Holy Avenger. The magical blade sheared right through the staff and into the drow’s body. But such staffs of power are notoriously volatile, and the magical energy contained in it erupted into a huge explosion! Cordalaya was consumed, and Zephus, standing in the epicenter of the blast, was incinerated as well!