Made some nice progress over the weekend.
Petty much cleared the entire Baedish Lowlands map. In doing so, I replaced Fiona in my party with the Paladin Bryan of Dorn. Having two front line fighters has made combat vs. the Paladins and Ogre things so much easier. I do miss the extra Bard buffs, and I’d given Fiona the “Wine Pairing” skill, which doubles the health that food restores. I need to give Markus, my original Bard, that skill ASAP.
I also gained the level needed on my main character to give him the Vanguard arch type, which comes with the ability to wield two-handed weapons in your main hand. This means I’m now swinging a 2-H sword with double stacks of Rend, which pretty much obliterates enemy armor on contact, while still using my tower shield which makes me very difficult to damage without enemy rend. Combined with the increased damage output from having Bryan join the party, I was able to take out the three ogre things guarding the Caravan key, take out the Paladin camp to get the Fatherite artifact AND go back and finish the tough fight at the top of the Sentry Tower to get the spear reward there.
I’m now swimming in excellent gear, around 5000GP and all my characters are Lvl 15 or so. I need to tie up a couple of remaining loose ends, and it’s off to the Forest of Inshriach!