Gone to the Birds
The party arrives at the temple bearing the gift of a statuette resembling the Sphinx. Still unsure of how to treat the creature, they send scouts ahead. The scouts spot the sphinx feasting on some large bird. They return to the party to tell them this. The party ponders the possibility that this sphinx is not the protector of the temple, but rather, some kind of intruder.
They approach the next day with caution, and encounter the sphinx in her normal perch. She transforms from stone and treats them with her usual disdain. She seems to anticipate their questions with uncanny ease, and denies any disrespectful behavior towards the birds, or the temple.
The party gives her the gift and leaves.
As they camp for the night nearby they find themselves attacked by the crazed Totem Warrior.
He assaults them from the trees and scores several hits before Malthus manages to entrap him in an Eldrtich Web. The party surround him, and tries to reason with him. But it is clear that he is beyond reason. Malthus drops the web and they prepare to attack. The Totem Warrior transforms into a falcon and tries to escape but is downed by Malthus again, proving his utility once again. Ferrethryn and Linneaus succeed in killing him, albeit with some regret.
Linneaus takes his Totem and vows to find a proper place for it.
The party rests the night and plans an assualt on the Temple.
They make it there but find that the Sphinx has flown to the top of the temple and sent a foul smelling Giant Stork to attack them. It was barely able to attack before the party brought it quickly down. Then fearing an attack by the swarms of birds, the party decided to leave the temple. They were attack by two Giant Vultures, who also were killed quickly.
Returning to the temple they found the Sphinx gone, but the hundreds of birds eyeing them suspiciously. They tried to make it to the temple entrance and had to deal with the swarms. The swarms did serious damage to the party and nearly cost Malthus his life. Both Linneaus and Ferrethryn activated Runes, Linneaus was able to elude the effects, Ferrethryn was magical put to sleep. But they all made it into the temple where the swarms refused to enter.
Inside the temple walls, they quickly healed up a little and proceeded inside. They were immediately attacked by two cockatrices, but neither managed to land more than one blow on the party before being killed. And Graal eaily resisted the petrifying effects.
They proceeded down the stairs, with Graal in the lead. He activated another rune and turned on his comrades. He was able to resist the command to attack his friends, and instead fled the area allowing them to fight it out with the Sphinx. One Hero Point for Graal sometimes descretion is the better part of valor. The party proceeded to fight the sphinx who did serious damage to Ferrethryn before being slain by a combination of attacks from the party.
Looking around they found the room to be tomb to three human bird hybrids. They explored cautiously not wanted to desecrate this place.
From Doushaun the Hawk Totem Warrior they recovered.
Boots of Acrobatics -> Linneaus
38 Arrows of Airy Surging (+1 + 1d6 Air Damage)
18 Arrows of the Ram (+1 + Bull Rush at Attack Value)
Pouch of unidentified transformation powder (14 doses)
In the tomb room are magic auras one two items.
Candle stick and 18inch purple and gold speckled candle. (transformation magic)
Prayer Beads deep red glass (transform)
The statuette in the main lobby is made of platinum and gold (appraise skill anyone?)
There are three items of magic on it.
It holds two magic feathers (transformation)
A tiny magic bow (enchantment)
A golden egg (evocation magic)
There are four towers that can also be explored, as well as the grounds surrounding them.
As to the issue of descration. The temple is probably already descrated by the Sphinx. The creatures encountered there, the cockatrice, stench stork etc.. are perversions of the nromal animals.
Now that doesn't license you to do whatever you want. But it may give you some more freedom.
The bird swarms appear to have dissapated for now.
You might want to consult with someone with Knowledge Religion about what do with a temple.
Everyone advances to 7th Level
Graal gets one Hero Point