For the question about scouts resuming their journey while logged off,
"Q: What does it mean to have a persistent kingdom?
A: Your kingdom will remain virtually as you left it the last time you changed. Your units will still be spaced how you had them, any techs you researched will carry over, and your customized stronghold will be just as you left it, awaiting your command. However - your economy and resource will continue to grow, as will anything you tasked before signing out. Even when a player is offline, their homeland will still be in development with the worker units still gathering resources and finishing constructing any buildings tasked shortly before logging off. Although, the gathering, construction, and training rates are significantly slower than in the fast-paced Skirmish modes."
From the game FAQ