The party makes for Lowenvale with the town's children, some bearers and their newly appointed trade envoys.
Kparis - as the contact in Lowenvale
Dondo - as lead envoy to De Shamod
Aslowen - as exchequer of accounts in De Shamod
Dondo and Aslowen were given a letter worth 1000gp to bring with them to De Shamod.
The grateful Lownevalians pledged to build a hold for Ar-Ensul in their town, to house Kparis and act as a storeroom for trade good in both directions.
While there Linneaus and Elidia sequestered themselves and performed the ceremony to grant Linneaus the feat of Intuitive Sense, allowing him to never be caught flat footed.
Ferrethryn used the time to decipher the uses of the Rune Plates, which she discovered can hold lesser runes without using up Rune Slots.
The party then headed upriver to the ancient runes.
They came upon the large temple and found it the home to thousands of birds of all kinds. They approached cautiously. As they climbed the stairs covered in the droppings of the birds, they were attacked from the wood. A Totem Warrior with magic arrows rained down a volley of arrows seriously hurting Ferrethryn. Graal and Linneaus launched their own attacks against him, and the feather garbed warrior fled shorlty thereafter. Linneaus got close enough to see his bizare contorted face, he seemed quite mad.
The party explored the main part of the ruined temple spying a large statue of a sphynx, and of a large winged humanoid. As they got close, Graal, in the lead activated a rune covered by droppings and was compelled to leave the temple. The party seemed unsure how to procede. Vor Tarn followeed his liege to ensure his safety, at Graal's behest the rest of the party advanced to peer into the temple proper. They activated another rune, which confused Linneaus temporarily, then Elidia used her knowledge to guide them safely inside, mystically erasing another rune. Their they spied a colossal stature of a four armed, winged humanoid made of stone, holding a duplicate made of platinum. Linneaus quickly invoked his totem and climbed the statue to get at the statuette. This seemed to attract the attention of the Sphynx which had transformed some how from statue to real sphynx. She demanded they stop, called them infidels and defilers, and moved to attack. She activated some kind of rune which caused her to radiate intense heat and light. As she neared Linneaus he was scorched by the effect. He landed a blow on her then moved to escape. Ferrethryn and Elidia who had already moved from the area, dashed past her.
There was a brief discussion as Ferrethryn tried to negotiate, and the party was granted leave, ostensibly to return with some sacrifice. By this time Graal had recovered and he met with her as well, and confirmed that plan. The Sphynx was not particularly friendly, but she was keen eared, and when Graal made a disparaging comment under her breath, she roared, summoning a swarm of birds which harried Graal as he tried to leave the temple. The party was able to heal up, and return to Ar-Ensul.
There was some discussion of the need for more party unity and cohesion. Plans were made to construct some kind of offering to the temple.