Our heroes found themselves drifting ashore after their climactic battle with captain Greenbeard onboard the Sea Ghost. What they didn't expect was the town of Saltmar was seemingly abandoned and partially set ablaze.
They investigated the remains of the town finding dead bodies and burnt homes as they went. Ultimately their suspicion took root in the Green Sleep and the shady bar owner whose name they never bothered to learn. After investigating the house and finding a magical robe, Torin smashed his way to Charles' secret coffin chamber and discovered that he is in fact a vampire.
After meeting Adrian Glade upstairs our heroes fought and frankly whooped some vampire ass in the bar downstairs against Charles as he attempted to ambush and infect them. After being lit on fire, Charles turned into mist form and escaped.
Adrian suggested to the group they make their escape incase Charles returned. His daughter (Ariana) owns a shop in Evanholm and he can lead the party on the Road. On their travels, Cloud finds Rhonis alone pondering his newfound paladin powers, Adrien tells the about the political machinations of Evanholm and its fabled 7 guilds:
Magic Adepts seeking to learn the arcane
Lorekeepers and treasure hunters
Mercs for hire serving as the unofficial militia
Merchants and Sailors in the Navy of Evanholm
Bankers and Guild Artisans who wish to profit above all else
The Etherian Circle:
Those who respect nature and wish to worship the spirit of the forest.
And The College of Bardem
Those who love butter beer and the Bards of the 4 noble houses.
After two days of travel, they get to a forest that has been recently cut down for timber. After exploring the now devastated patch of forest they encounter and enraged Owlbear. After a narrow victory, and hearing the legend of Bjorn, the fallen bear god from the Nightvale. The group makes its way into the bustling city of Evanholm.
The city is alive with trade and smells of fish and sea salt. The large stone towers and ruins of old city rise amidst the wooden shanties of the new one. great hills pepper the north bank and the bay is filled with ships of war and trade.
The group avoids a would be gang conflict from some shady looking half-elves due to the kind offer of Althea and makes their way to the Yawning Portal for some R&R. There they receive two quests the wire but jolly barkeep Durnham: one to investigate the final resting place of Bjorn with a map acquired from a former patron, and two, to investigate a mysterious coin given to him by a strange halfling patron not too long ago, mentioned something about the Brightstar Mines as his occupation.