Moon, date & weather unchanged.
The party climbs up toward the twisted pines, where the cart track ascends into. All along the way, they find themselves carefully inspected at a distance by the onlookers; some of them make encouraging signs, some only speak to each other, but no others approach the party. It's clear that much of the attitude is similar to the old man and women the party already met.
Being that its February, the grass is green; it is long and uncropped, and Maximillian can see that no beasts come here to feed. The pines are thin and do not offer much concealment ... though its understood the party makes their way carefully along, perhaps with Sofia occasionally making a brief reconnaissance ahead to ensure the way is safe.
Not far into this forest, which spreads over the top of a wide, rolling spur of the greater hill that has its top another mile or so away, the party comes to a place where the cart track deviates. There is an old, battered sign, difficult to read, that points to the right track. It may say "TOROGL" or possibily "KOROGI," or some combination of both.
It's not hard to see that about fifty yards along the left track - through the screen of trees, concealing the party - the cart and mule. Beside both, the two soldiers and the two boys - openly, not restrained - sit on stones, apparently chatting, eating sausages and loaves.