Relaxing at the Warden’s Camp
Alistair mostly tends to the fire when camp is made, and he often gets left in charge of the soup pot, even though everyone has long since learned better, just because he’s actually there. In his defense, despite his frequent teasing of Leliana, he isn’t a horrific cook. Only a bad one. He likes the main campfire though, because he gets to watch others, and wonder just when they started feeling like family.
Morrigan, off to herself, finds herself watching the others more than anything until she gets her mother’s grimoire. Then she pours over it, reading the same pages over and over again, trying to figure out just what has always struck her as so off about her mother. Something strange and niggling, something just out of her reach and just behind the words written in a hand she can barely make out. More than once, she has almost thrown the thing in the fire only to catch herself at the last minute.
Sten dislikes the amount of downtime the Warden insists on, but he realizes that these humans and elves and dwarves are softer than him. The only one capable of surviving at his pace would be Shale, and while he would be perfectly content traveling with Shale, there is too much riding on the Warden’s shoulders. After the return of his sword, he finds himself allowing the Warden to draw him in by the fire for stories and dinner. He hasn’t truly gotten used to the sorts of stories they tell, and he doesn’t always understand why they laugh when they do, but it’s… pleasant.
Leliana often sings or plays the lute that Zevran ‘acquired’ after he’d discovered that she could play. Sometimes, he joins in when it is a song he knows, and she is always startled to discover that his Orlesian isn’t terrible. More often than that, however, she simply strums the instrument for an idle tune while she tells stories. Her and Wynne frequently have small, good-natured contests for the most horrific or most outlandish story they can think of. It’s always unofficial, and even though they’ve never told the Warden, it’s always the Warden’s reaction that determines the winner.
Shale finds that watching the others is not such a horrible past time. They are not like other fleshy beings who have been completely inconsiderate, and it is always a startling moment when Shale discovers that they remembered offer an invitation. Of course, the food is never anything that Shale finds appealing, but the warmth of the fire is not unlike the warmth of the sun, and more importantly, there’s something oddly familiar about the act of sitting around that fire, listening to stories, telling stories half-remembered. By the time they all go to sleep, Shale is always a little disturbed, and uncertain where the memories come from.
Zevran is generally always doing something, even when the group has stopped for the night. He is frequently either fixing a broken seam on clothing or cleaning weaponry or sorting the herbs gathered through the day for poisonmaking. He spreads his herbs out a short ways from the fire, and more often than not, since he and Alistair are some of the last ones to retire, he ends up picking half-finished poisons out of Alistair’s curious hands before Alistair can manage to poison himself. There’s a certain wry amusement in the motion, as he’s been doing this since he was taught his herbs. Alistair’s curious hands are no worse than the young compradi who grew into Crows under Zevran’s mentorship. He doesn’t mention that part to Alistair.
Wynne generally takes over cooking for the evening, once she’s convinced that the camp is safe and that they truly can settle in for the night. She doesn’t sleep much, but she often goes to bed first, so that no one questions why she’s up so early in the morning. She spends most of her free time with Shale, quietly watching the sun rise or enjoying the silence of the camp. Sometimes, she tells stories. Quiet, easy stories that sound as much as though she’s talking to herself as to Shale, just so in case Shale doesn’t want to listen, there’s no pressure.
Oghren spends quite a bit of his free time drinking, and often with Wynne by the fire while she cooks. He likes Leliana’s and Zevran’s stories, and he enjoys poking at Alistair and teasing him until the boy turns bright red. It’s fun. Not as fun as watching Morrigan pretend she isn’t listening to them though, and sometimes, Oghren will bellow out a loud bar song just for her, just so she feels included even over there by herself. He knows she knows it for her, because sometimes, she gets this very small smile before she huffs and tosses her head and goes back to regally ignoring them all.