Continuing through the next few empty rooms the group met the ghost of Sir Terris a paladin of Pelor. He explained that there were 3 other areas connected from this central area, the Proving Grounds. Each of the other rooms contains 1 of the remaining items needed to complete the ceremony required to open the Inner Sanctum. Completing the ceremony would open the door but would also call out The Guardian. He would not say much about the Guardian other than it had been responsible for his own death.
The team decided to first search the West room and pushed open the double doors to reveal a horrific nightmare. 20’ tall brass minotaur statues stood at the near and far ends of the room. The group stood on a small platform in the northeast corner with a matching platform in the southeast both raised 5’ above a swirling pool of blood. A narrow walkway split the room from north to south and on the opposite side were 2 low platforms (1 in the north and the other in the south) each containing 1 half of a dagger. Thoradin noticed dark shapes moving under the surface of liquid and everyone decided it was not good for anyone to go into the blood pool. A plan was hatched to have Shorndorr attach a grappling hook to one of the statues and try to leap over the pool to establish a sort of zip line to keep everyone dry. As soon as he stepped onto the narrow middle ledge, the statues animated and began swinging their scourges across the room. Shorndorr had one end of the ‘zip’ line attached to his belt and in what felt like slow motion realized the path of the scourge was going to entangle in his rope and fling him at best into the pool and worst into a wall. The rope slowly went taught and he was able to pull himself under the swing of the scourge and brace against the stone steps to keep from being thrown. Upon falling up to his neck into the blood though, the Evistros lurking were suddenly aware of his presence and more importantly his warm flesh. Before they could move to attack him, Onder in a moment of bravery (or insanity) leaped into the pool and sprinted across to cut the rope free. Saving his companion but making himself a blood drenched target. Thoradin jumped across to try to disable the statue but only succeeded in denting the base. The Evistros swirled in to attack but Shorndorr and Onder pushed past making a dash each for 1 of the blade parts. Onder had to use his short range teleport ability to escape the initial rush and made his way to the platform. With a running start, Shorndorr hurdled the gap and retrieved his half of the item. Now that both pieces were off of their base, the brass statues began whirling their scourges at twice the speed. Wyger was caught trying to cross to the middle and battered badly by the statues. The Evistros sensing his weakened state moved in for the kill but Onder rushed back to administer aid putting him back on his feet to try to escape. Meanwhile, Shorndorr was cornered by 2 of the demons and knocked out. Thoradin, finally giving up on the statue controls hurled himself into the pool to heal his friend. Arriving just in time to perk Shorndorr up but drawing the demons to attack him next. The group struggled back out to the east side pool taking a savage beating from both the statues’ scourges and the demons claws and bites. Shorndorr made it to the northeast platform but the rest of party was in the south so he tried to leap across the platforms to help. His bloody boots caused him to slip though and he was back in the pool. The poisonous effects of the liquid began to take a toll and soon Thoradin was knocked out and starting to sink. Onder rushed again to render aid and perked him up enough to get him to move onto the southeastern platform. Wyger took one final blow as he climbed away and nearly collapsed escaping down the hall with Onder and Shorndorr right behind. As they staggered away, they realized the dwarf had again passed out from the poison. Shorndorr hurried back to the rescue but was himself knocked out by the statue’s scourge. Onder and Wyger dragged the 2 nearly lifeless bodies back into the hallway to complete their escape. The party collapsed in the hallway covered in several types of blood (much of it their own) and decided to call it day and make camp to recover.