Last night, the party decided to take a break from kicking the Iron Throne in the backside and delve deeper into Durlag's Tower. Several party members were very close to leveling, so I figured clearing out the tower would push them over. Aura hit level 8 artificer on the way down, Sirene hit level 8 paladin while clearing the 4th level. Isra was within spitting distance of level 8 when we found Clair, and hit level 8 on the way out.
The confusion is because several things changed at once. First, the party opted NOT to use the mirror, and instead tried taking the DK on by themselves. Second, unlike Minsc, Isra has two pips in two-handed swords and a pip in two-handed weapons. While her AC goes frightfully up (due to the lack of shield), she can deal some serious damage with a two-handed sword, and in this fight, she had The World's Edge +3. Lastly, I have SCS installed in this game, which is a first for me.
Now, I remember this fight in the past being ridiculous - not only were there copies of the party, but there were also other creatures that were pains in the backsides. The whole floor of the room was filled with high-level bad guys. I'm guessing that by not using the mirror, we were left with only the DK.I will note that the first attempt failed when my PC decided to wander down to the lower floor to pelt him with bullets for some stupid reason. The DK dropped fireball on himself, immolating my PC and forcing a reload. The second time around, I kept her butt on the platform above with Aura, limiting the ranged attack to Sirene and Imoen.
Which is where it got weird. Tenya sent a couple of skellys and a lesser water elemental to draw the DK up the stairs a bit, then boxed him in. Isra came in from behind with World's Edge and started wailing on him from the rear while Sirene and Imoen pelted him with bolts/arrows of biting. The rest of the party remained invisible and tried to keep Tenya out of trouble (she got hit with fear) Only this time, when it was just Isra and the summons, the DK only cast a few minor spells on Tenya - specifically dispel magic and fear. The rest of the time he stuck with melee fighting.
Isra was wearing Battalista's ring, so she had decent fire resistance, but he never tried the "drop a fireball on myself" trick. Instead, he focused on the lesser water elemental while Isra just sliced and diced him until he dropped. The whole battle was over in maybe four rounds? Had Eilrie not gotten too close, that was pretty much how the first attempt was going as well.
Remembering what I had read about SCS, it made me wonder if this fight was made inadvertently easier because the only party member near him was resistant to his most potent attack?
Were I not on a minimal reload run, and already right at the XP cap (though I have it removed in my game), I'd try it again to see if that were the case. As it is, that was a surprisingly easy fight.