Within those woods I find Creighton the axe man who was locked up in a hut by Merciless Roenna, whose name doesn't suit her at all if she takes prisoners. Guess she had some sort of kinky thing going on there - didn't bother asking while killing her. Anyway, Creighton blames Pate for his current predicament and after warning me about the soap giver, heads off to hunt him while I continue on my way.
The forest gives way to cliff side caves with skeletons that self revive. Having seen this at the catacombs before I know better, and take down the annoying necromancers that reanimate those bones. In no time at all I am again at a boss chamber, this one occupied by THREE skeleton lords. Fortunately they're slow, but they are still irritating in that slaying one summons a mob of skelies into the chamber (including a pair of those irritating wheel riding ones). With careful sprints between cover my bastard sword lays them all to waste and it's just my first go. Hah, I'm getting better!
You're gonna need a bigger army.
Past them the path leads up into the mountains, and to poison filled moats of doom. Chloanne the stone trader is here, and she must be pretty stoned herself to be hanging around this death trap. I push forward through some mines, careful to avoid the poison tunnels below, and straight to a large fortress called Earthen Peak, where apparently they store poison in large jars. WTF is wrong with these people?