Edwin effectively blocks the exit, and a couple cower in the corner. «There is nothing more to take,» they whimper. «You took all there was the day before.» It sounds as if they weep, but the light that enters the room is too dim to be sure.
Those who look around outside will see that one cottage has burnt down recently, and there are some other scorch marks too, here and there. Two fences have been run down, with some hasty repairs on one of them. Perceptive eyes (12+) may see another villager peaking from a window, but other than the couple cornered by Edwin, the villagers are either gone, dead, or pretending to be so.
"Do not worry, we are not raiders. We have managed to avoid the carnage that caused so many dead near here. Are you injured at all? Can I help with any wounds?" Edwin tries his best to sound reassuring.
«No, nobody is injured,» they say. They get slowly to their feet while glancing around. «Who are you, then?» they ask, looking at Edwin, and ignoring the magus in the doorway.
( you may roll a Folk Ken + Per 9+ )
"The estate I work for had been wrecked by raiders, so I gathered what I had and came north, only to discover the results of a massive battle and the local lord's men harrying any survivors."
[Edwin makes a 9]
«Why would you go North? That's where the war has gone now. Not a good place to make a living. I have heard that peace is coming to the South.»
Edwin notices that they are glancing towards the empty larder. The door is broken and unhinged, as if someone took an axe to it.
All of you, looking around in different places and different ways, see evidence of the village being raided. There is little structural damage; it is not as if the raiders have attempted to sack it. The raiders have not been gentle though, and cellars and larders are broken open. Footprints suggest an army passing through. It is good that you have provisions for almost a week, if the land ahead has been plundered like this. Will a week be enough, though?
"Thank you. We just need to avoid the armies and try and find our allies."
Edwin goes outside to speak to the others. "It seems the armies have taken every scrap of food. We need to decide on a direction to head in, and keep going until we get outside the area destroyed by war. Should we head north and risk meeting armies, or another direction?"
The couple looks worried. «Who are your allies?» they ask with a shaking voice?
(Feel free to narrate the in-party conversation outside in parallel, @John_Graham_52 , @Nyriu , @Plot_Device )
Luciu shrugs. "Avoiding armies is good, but getting out of reach of Wulfric is the most important thing. Wherever we need to go to do that, that's what I'd vote to do."
“We should move north and seek our Diedne enemies. This war is not over until we destroy every one of them and their allies. Let’s camp here and move on tomorrow. May be the Roman wall would make a good base to operate from?” States Janus
The magi probably know that there is or has been a covenant on Hadrian's Wall, towards the East. Whether they survive or not, you do not know. There also used to be one in the Lake District; probably better defended since the hoplites have used it as a rally point. Those are really the only locations you know that might remotely resemble safe havens, if you do not want to turn South. The land is, of course, open ahead of you; war torn, as you know, but there must be oases and magic auras somewhere ...
Any strategy for further travel?