Archeron and Drifta should be a mean pair of sidekicks for Auric and the items of equipment you've picked up should make them exceptionally tough. How did you get your beastmaster the Subdue Beasts promotion needed to capture Archeron? Did you level up some rangers on bears? Incidentally I've just captured Archeron in my current immortal game with the Lanun and I'm about to sail over to take out Beeri and Basium. The naval action looks really exciting. I particularly liked the use of the Kraken (Falamar must have a druid or a speaker) and the spell casting from the ships... wow. That's how I managed to get a good kill ratio against privateers and frigates in my game, I use cultists and fireballs to soften up the enemy ships before my frigates go in. But I can also use boarding party promotion to the capture ships . My ships have been hit by ritualists and fireballs from the shore and by cultists water walking but I have yet to face an enemy ship using spell casters. In your game it was probably just an invasion force that had a few mages with Maelstrom rather than how the AI intends to fight naval war even though it is very effective.