After leaving Newkeep, it should only be about 3 days to Neverwinter. Near dusk of the first day, you are attacked by a gargoyle. Once the creature is killed, a search of its body reveals a very strange and unique pattern carved into its back between the wings. It looks like a compass rose with a very stylized spiral pattern (maybe an intricate S?) overlayed.
You make it to a small roadside inn that is absolutely packed with what appear to be farmers. They are all wearing either necklaces of garlic, or roughly made flowers on a wheat backing (Chauntea). They share concerns about travelers on the road. Apparently caravans have not been making it south from Neverwinter…or if they do, the caravans are very late. A few of the farmers think that vampires are responsible. They have had to burn down some of their own farm houses becauses they were afraid that after the attacks, more vampires would rise from the bitten creatures.