Oh man! I've been playing with Core difficulty, so I can't undo it now. But I was up til ungodly hours last night trying over & over. I *may* need to start over at a much earlier part of the game to better prepare. I've come close a few times though. I have a ton of potions, weapons & Caelar (sp?) is on my side.
Any tips? I've been loading up on fire resistance & magic protection potions.