Finally, after many tries, I completed Fire On The Water, book number 2 of the Lone Wolf series. I rolled up a new character who had a combat skill of 19, which really improves the odds during combat!
This time, I knew right where to go. Pack extra food instead of a shield (having a 19 affords me that luxury). Skip the fishermen rescue, pick a fight with a would-be assassin at the inn, … and be sure to take the path to Port Bax which gets a Magic Spear or else you’ll die in the Tarnalin tunnel.
From there, it’s basically home free. A cut scene to the Sommerswerd, and home to a battle against an enemy navy.
The Sommerswerd gives +8 to your combat skill (and stacks with your +2 weaponskill with swords, if that’s your thing) and does double damage against undead. Did I mention that navy? Did I mention that it’s a navy… of zombies? The Sommerswerd cuts them down like a lawnmower on grass.
Then we’re treated to the Sommerswerd nuking the invading hordes with explosive beams of cleaning magical light, and the hordes of nasties scattering back to Mordor for another century. Hail to the king, baby!