Okay, I think I found out what happened. When ZIffer shows up with his potential recruits, HOW did you deal with them? DId you take a diplomatic solution (an actual diplomacy check) and reject them or did you accept them?
IF you accepted his volunteers, that FORCES your elite level status down two slots and you can't get the CC.
By the way, that's consistent with why you got only 170,000 gp from the dragon horde as well.