Need help designing Elven "protect the artifact" temple

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In the 3.5e game I'm running, one of the villains is searching for the Hand of Vecna. He has tracked it to the elven lands and is currently searching for exactly where it is hidden. The elves actually found the artifact centuries ago and, being unable to destroy it, instead built a secret temple to protect it. The temple was guarded by priests of Boccob who willingly allowed their memories of what was in the temple to be wiped so that it would be more difficult to find, but who are oathsworn to defend its contents with their lives (though they are forbidden from actually enterring the temple). Other precautions were taken as well of course, things like permenancied sequester spells as well as all manor of traps and guardians. 

The temple is constructed underneath an enormous tree, so I was thinking I'd have the tree's roots animate and burst through the ground/walls in defence. I was also thinking I'd have some wood golems (though I couldn't seem to find any...so I may settle for fang golems from MMIV), but aside from that I'm kinda drawing a blank as to what the elves would have done to keep out servents of Vecna (as well as any other people who may want the Hand). I want the temple to be a memorable one, especially since it's guarding an artifact level item which is evil aligned. The elves would have put a lot of thought into its defence, so I'd like to have something more than one trap and a few golems...any suggestions?

Well, i'll give it a shot...
 
 You may want to replace wood golems with dryads or wood woads. Less cutting and more "natural"...
 
 A few ideas:
 
 Underneath the grand tree is a vast underground lake and verdant paradise. In the direct path to the hand lies an elevated pool on a stone/wooden walkway. It is an enchanted pool of reflection, and it reflects the characters' malice, greed, and selfishness and amplifies them. Servants of Vecna would be up for quite a fight where someone who has led a benevolent life, and has a greater likelyhood of having benevolent goals, would pass without much trouble. It can be quite an interesting tools if you know the party and the players know the party when it comes time to battle thier own vices.
 
 Certain passages, traps, or creatures release clouds of spores that vary in effect from blinding, suffocating, immobilizing, turning the character into a part of the tree or guardians with a hive mind, to slowly growing a plant inside thier body if you like time limits.
 
 Some parts of the temple have becomed fused over time (intentionaly or not) adn the tree is trying to repair itself. The efforts are futile because of protective magics. This results in rooms or waterfalls of sap that are just itching to drown a character slowly.
 
 Unbeknownst to the elves, the tree is the host of parasites that have feed off of both it and the magics that imbue this area. Insects that are resistant to magic scamper or swarm about the place. They could be an enemy, or the party might use them as rides or allies in getting to the hand if they can convice the leading body.

Hope this helps             

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Wow, those are some nice suggestions, thanks! The reason why I had wanted golems for the temple is because I wanted the defenders to be mindless, since the elves don't want anyone knowing what's in the temple for fear of it being found (which has worked for centuries so far). I kinda like the idea of dryads defending it though, since the temple is at the base of a massive tree, so the guardians could easily be the dryads that inhabit said tree, probably at least one having levels of druid.

I like the reflecting pool idea too, and it works well for this party since one of the characters is evil and another still is a repentant character who is currently chaotic neutral but once was a pretty nasty chaotic evil enforcer for a gang (that was in his backstory). How would you run said pool, do you think? Something like a will save that gets easier as you go closer to good that causes these "evil" emotions to come out in the character for a time? Or maybe something more like an "evil twin" spawning pool?

For the sap traps, I'm thinking of using the quicksand rules from the DMG. They seem to apply well enough in this situation.

I like the insect idea too, they would work well as mindless guardians instead of golems. Any suggestions on which insects to use? I'm unaware of any that are naturally resistant to magic, but I could obviously give some SR to an insect that's already in the MM. 
I am very sorry. I have been busy/forgetful. You have probably already created the way you want to impliment the temple run. Do you still want advice?

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Sure, my next session isn't until Friday.
Finally...
 
 I would run the reflecting pool in an evil twin style with a twist (its cliche because it works well). Instead of exact copies, manifestations of that vice(s) appear in an attempt to kill the party. A greedy person might spawn a golum of clattering golden coins or an ooze-like spawn of melting gold that tries to envelop the originator. A person with arcane ability might be able to, with the willing aid of a chosen ally, "reverse the pool and summon a manifestation of a person's virtue to ease the battle's difficulty. Bonus points if the vice of a specific person can only be seen or maybe even interacted with by that person (only they can damage it). For a real feeling of battling thier own demons, you could make the party roll the monsters' attack or damage rolls.
 
 Or the pool has its own guardians in the forms of lurking water elementals in the pool or something else and the manifestations of the party's vices inflect penalties/obstacles in combat. Jealousy might slow down one or more allies or steal health from them when they are supposed to gain it. Malice might actice an aura around a particular character that makes both him and his allies more easily damaged.

 As for the insects, i would just add spell resistance to a giant insect. Beetles seem an alright match. They bury into trees in real life and can be used as either armored tank units or swarms of scarabs. Speaking of The Return of the Mummy movies, you could have some of the smaller beetles try to bury into the party like they are wood.
 
Hope this helps   

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

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