Mara paused. She shielded her eyes from the sun and scanned the horizon. A light wind licked the tips of the long grass gently, tickling her fingers. Under other circumstances, it might have been peaceful.
The army had ridden out a fortnight ago. The soldiers were beleaguered from(more) a long, weary, and ultimately failing campaign, but still hopeful of victory in the heart of their own land.
The plan had been to regroup in town and then strike out again swiftly, catching the enemy off-guard. Their siege weapons could bring down the highest and hardiest of her people's walls, but they were cumbersome, and long in readying for battle. If they rode out and caught the enemy in the rocky hillocks to the east, perhaps they could shatter their ranks and break the siege before it started.
No sign nor word had been heard from them since.
Normally, this would have been evidence enough of the outcome, but there'd been no sign of the enemy in all that time, either. After two weeks of agonizing stillness, a scouting party had been asssembled.
Drawn by the sight of a half-fallen flag standard, Mara and her scouts crested the highest of the nearby rolling hills. What lay on the other side was rather puzzling. A battle had ovciously been waged there-- in the valley below, the grass gave way to a thick, wet streak of mud and battered metal, bearing sigils from both sides. As they descended, it was also clear that blood had been shed. Yet several minutes of searching had yielded no bodies.
Another scout waved Mara over. As she approached, he pointed beyond the next hill, where a pair of enormous trenches had been burned into the chalk.
They ran north, unimpeded, as far as the eye could see.