After another day of resting and preparing, the Pathfinders continued their arduous climb up the Fallen Tower. Hawkman remained on the Watchtower with Doctor Fate, aiding in the rebuilding and resupply of the orbital station while the remainder beamed to the planet below. One of the figures that teleported in from Earth was Kent “Superboy” Connor, who offered his services to the group in the fight against the undead infesting Gossamer Keep.
Superboy led the exploration of the tower. Wielding a powerful greataxe left behind by the former Pathfinders, he cleaved his way through. Still weakened by his arrival, he took considerable damage in his first skirmish. The others rallied to defeat the skeletons in the room, with Jonah Hex soon running out of bullets and damaging his rifle. After a brief rest, they continued upward. The third floor contained several burning skeletons performing some kind of macabre ritual on the charred remains of their victims. Ingeniously, Spectre recommended they lure the skeletons to the water-logged lower level. When the undead gave chase, their fiery auras were doused long enough for the Pathfinders to pummel them to the ground.
On the fourth floor, Jonah Hex stepped into a seemingly empty barracks – save for a little girl sitting on one of the beds. The girl, whom Hex had seen in the compound before, invited him to play and seemed both nonviolent and lonely. The others filed into the room and noticed skeletons resting in the beds. The girl warned them not to wake the corpses and spoke in hushed tones. She told them she had been alone ever since the “bad men” came into the keep, possibly Loki’s raiding party. To combat her loneliness she summoned a being called Evanog, who resided upstairs.
As the girl told of her woes, Batman discovered an adjoining room with a truly horrid sight within. The dark and foul-smelling room looked like a hideous blend of prison and altar. Holding cells lined the walls, though no prisoners filled them. Instead a heap of bodies lied sprawled over a central slab, their throats ritualistically cut. On closer inspection, Batman could see most of the victims were children. All were dressed in play clothes and clutched crudely-fashioned toys and dolls. Joining in on the disgust and horror was Jonah Hex, who spotted the mortal remains of the undead girl in the heap. Wanting to give her a proper burial, he picked her up and began to carry her off. Presented with the sight of her own corpse, the girl screamed and revealed her true cadaverous form. She screamed and attacked, doing little damage to Hex but silencing and exhausting him with her touch. Hex retreated into the room with the bodies while the rest rushed in to combat the girl and the now-awakened skeletons. After a long and brutal fight, the Pathfinders destroyed the armed skeletons. The girl, wounded, ran crying up to the top floor. Rather and pursue, the depleted Pathfinders decided to let her go for now and regroup.
Jonah Hex and Spectre returned to the Watchtower for supplies and ammunition, while Batman and Superboy remained behind to ensure no enemy reinforcements arrived. From a nearby room, however, a flesh golem lumbered in. Batman and Superboy rushed over and surrounded the construct, coordinating to divide its attention and flank it. Within moments they had destroyed the creature, once more ensuring a night of rest and peace.
The next morning Hex and Spectre returned, fully loaded and ready to proceed. Together the quartet marched to the fifth and top floor. There the frightened girl pointed out the intruders to what could only be Evanog – a blue-skinned pixie who darted around a centralized throne.
“Your efforts mean nothing,” the insane fey squealed. “Darkness always prevails! Ghlaunder requires sacrifice of the innocent. You will have to do for now.” The pixie then went invisible, firing on Superboy and others in safety. Superboy and Batman rushed the girl, and after a few moments reused their coordination to silence her once and for all. Evanog, removed of his anchor and sole worshiper, revealed himself in a fury. The Pathfinders swarmed him, finding their physical attacks nearly useless against the fey’s magical skin. Spectre used his magic to bind Evanog, rendering him motionless as the others surrounded him. Tapping into their old strength, a mythic reserve of power, they swung and managed to damage Evanog. Batman and Superboy pummeled him into submission. Not wanting to take any chances, Jonah Hex stepped up and fired a bullet into the creature’s head.
Finally, after days of fighting, the Pathfinders had claimed Gossamer Keep.