The plot this time around is going to be the same. You vets don't have to use the same characters. In fact, you're encouraged to use new ones. This will make the story different. At Ali's suggestion (and, incidentally, this is how it has turned out in the novel), totems and people will be able to access their runes' abilities.
Follow the cs guideline laid out in the link and post them here. If you have any queries, please ask. It is suggested that you newer players, or those who are eager to start, begin in the orphanage or at least in Refthelm. Of course, it would be beneficial for a few of you to appear later on. This is not to say that you can't participate early on. You could narrate what your character(s) may be doing in the meantime.