When the Phoenix crashed, a motley crew survived by hanging on to flotsam, including the adventurers. They saw one of the ship's boats row away. Washed up in No Man's Land between the elves and gods, they marched on foot for 100s of miles to Free Port where Chris the monk knows people.
While the monk and hunter went to reconnoiter, the rest went to get rooms at the Groggy Troll. The young folk are excited about a post on the wall that came by bird. An invitation for the bold to gather at Campaigner's Retreat to deal with the evil warlock about. The team worked the room until the Warlock came down the street murdering fools.
They put up some resistance, but he's the darkness + dark vision style warlock with a nightmare and some ethereal powers, and the horned king doesn't go down in chapter 1 of Taran. The team does their best for the injured and dead. The silver lining is that no authorities show up. An adventurer could get used to that.
They set off to the retreat with a couple townsfolk the next morning, but someone has busted the sign at the first 5way intersection. Mending will only repair things that were once whole, which let Yu (druid) re-assemble it.
The warlock has minions already set up. Some poor tortured schmuck puts down a lantern that spews wax men, and the team gets used to their combat roles.
Then thorns threaten to force the team from the path, but V isn't fooled and walks through the hallucinatory terrain. While this avoids the wolf ambush, the fight still occurs and the poor, dominated wolves are killed or driven off.
The team makes it to the Retreat.. but uncertain what's inside, they hide and camp out nearby.