WARNING: Lategame Spoilers
Once upon a time, there was a person named . . . well, we'll call him Aureol.
Aureol played Icewind Dale, and he loved it. It was no Baldur's Gate II, but that was a GOOD thing, he realized; after beating it, Aureol found this wintry game had a contrarily-warm place in his heart.
Shortly after beating it once, he realized an Enhanced Edition was to be shortly released! After a little wait, Aureol procured the Enhanced Edition of this fantastic gem which evaded him for over a decade.
Aureol played it again, and he loved it more than the first time! He loved it so much, he decided to play the expansions along the way! He played through Heart of Winter, and though a little short, it was a fun adventure. Before slaying the last foe, Aureol proceeded to follow a horrid little Halfling to some Lathander-forsaken castle.
This castle was tedious, but it was not too difficult. Spectral guards hit hard, that is sure, but that was about it. He made it through the Jackals, and that was tough, but again Aureol pulled through.
Curious to measure his team's ability, Aureol took a quick break to see how his team would handle Heart of Fury mode as they were in a new game. He exported his adventurers, killed a few beefed-up goblins, then returned to the Maluradek Interior.
He ventured into the bottommost dungeon, and . . . nightmares. Oh, the horrible nightmares! Minotaurs shredded, spiders shanked, and harpies proved nigh invincible! Nay, this particular band of harpies took far longer than Aureol cares to admit on this forum! And after defeating the harpies in a bloody manner involving much abuse (Project Cheese), Aureol basked in temporary rest . . . *sob*. *Sniff* *wipes tear* only to have his sole resurrector killed by a couple Stone Nuisances.
Aureol wailed in agony. What injustice was this!? All this hard work, in some STUPID expansion with IMPOSSIBLE enemies, he had won, only to die to some careless oversight!?! He would not stand this injustice!
Upon reloading, Aureol proceeded to CTRL-Y the harpies into oblivion. Yes, no mercy for the weak! Aureol might be a Lawful Good Priest of Lathander, but mercy only goes so far! Aureol cackled! They all died in a fell swoop! And the Stone Nuisances? OBLITERATED! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Having accomplished what could only be described as Hell, Aureol went to face the Luremaster. After realizing the Spectral Heroes were all but one-shotting each adventurer. SLASH, Groma the Sorceress died. HACK-STAB-HACK! Dmirio the Cavalier, gone! SMASH! Rahamas the Broad, blasted into bits from 30+ damage of overkill!
"Why me?" Aureol wondered. How could he fail so hard? Then, it hit him.
"What . . . was the difficulty at?" Aureol checked the options. Alas, after testing his team against early-game goblins endowed with hearts of fury, he had neglected to set it back to the far-more-sane "Core" rules! Aureol cursed himself, but then he sobbed happy tears.
"I . . . am free. I am free from the Luremaster!!!" Changing the difficulty back to Core, Aureol proceeded with confidence! They were no match for his slightly-overleveled-due-to-Heart of Fury-bonus-experience party! They fought well, but they met an untimely doom!
Aureol left the castle, pleased. Proud. Triumphant!
Aureol went on to fight Belhifet. Belhifet was stalwart, but when Aureol reflected on that final battle, he remembered . . .
Belhifet could not compare to the Harpies of Maluradek.
So, once again Easthaven was saved, but of infinitely greater importance, Aureol did not hate the Dale of Icewind.