Disclaimer: Dragon Age Origins/Awakening belongs to Bioware and EA Games

AN: This is the second part in the Campfire Stories. This time, it features Morrigan entertaining the group with a tale of her first time with some food…Thanks to Suilven for helping me with this idea…^_^ This chapter is set after saving the Circle…^_^

Mages and Templars and Wardens Oh My!

Chapter 5 – Campfire Stories…Part 2 – Morrigan

It's been a couple of weeks since Gwen and her merry band of miscreants went to the Circle and saved the mages from the depravity of Uldred. Gwen told the others that Jowan, Anders and herself thought that Uldred was a total ass and he was one of the trio's favorite targets for pranks, other than the Knight-Commander. They were laughing at some of the antics Gwen told them, making Wynne shake her head in exasperation.

"Maker's breath, child, that was you?" the elderly mage groused. "And here I thought that one of the young apprentices had problems with the frost spell."

The elven mage grinned unrepentantly. "Wynne, even though you are one of my favorite mentors, you got me upset when you told me that I needed help in mastering healing magic. Making it snow in the senior enchanters rooms was just fun. Freezing Uldred's smallclothes was a bonus. Jowan actually gave me that idea."

Wynne pinched the bridge of her nose and seemed to mutter some sort of prayer. "At least those other two reprobates aren't with you. I'm sure that if you did not let Jowan go, you probably would have conscripted him into the Wardens."

The silver haired mage appeared to think for a bit, her forefinger tapping her chin. "Yes, that would be a wonderful idea. He and I could prank the Archdemon into killing itself…but that wouldn't work. Anders would need to be there in order goad Jowan into doing something…he's such a bleeding little girl sometimes."

Alistair just stared at the elf for a moment and shook his head. He sometimes wondered why he ever fell in love with a mage who loved to joke, who loved to horrify people with her awful singing, and who also loved to shock people with her fondness of lightning. But she just wouldn't be his Gwen if she did not love those things.

"Will all of you please stop your idle prattle?" Morrigan snapped as she handed each member of the party a wooden bowl filled with a savory stew and thick slices of some sort of meat. "Dinner is served."

Everyone dug into their meal and began commenting on how flavorful the stew was and how tender the meat. This was one of the few times that the witch swelled with pride when among her fellow travelers. Some of them would eagerly eat the meals that the bard would cook, but all tended to forgo their meals whenever it was Alistair's turn to prepare the evening meals. The assassin cooked occasionally as did the Sten.

Everyone went to have seconds, while the two Wardens had more than the entire group ate combined. While Gwen and Alistair were on their fifth plates, Leliana sighed contentedly and threw Morrigan a grateful smile.

"That was a wonderful meal, Morrigan," the redhead remarked and then glanced around the campfire.

The witch nodded at Leliana and placed an animal hide on a log and sat down. "'Twas nothing, bard."

Bodahn and Sandal had already gone back to their cart, Bodahn claiming that he was tired and that he and his son needed some rest. Wynne had already gathered the used dishes in order to clean them later. Sten was sitting a little ways away, obsessively sharpening Asala and keeping an eye on Zevran. Ever since the cookie incident, the Qunari became paranoid about the Antivan stealing his cookies again. Oghren was drinking…again and surprisingly, so was Wynne.

"I say that we tell another 'first time' story," Leliana suggested, hoping that would get people to wake up from their food comas. She then pointedly stared at the dark haired apostate. "You have anything to tell us? I'm sure that you have some fascinating stories, Morrigan."

Morrigan glanced around the group and sighed. "So be it. I'll tell you the first time I tasted the most succulent treat." When she noticed that she had everyone's attention, she began in earnest.

"What I had eaten 'twas not something that I would have thought would be delicious," she began. "The meal you all ate had the same meat as that meal I first tasted so many years ago."

Alistair put his plate down with the other dirty dishes and sat close to the campfire. Gwen did the same, leaning into the other's warmth. He smiled at the tiny elf and made sure that he was listening to the tale. However, he did not notice a mischievous gleam enter the witch's eyes.

"I was a young girl of no more than eleven years old. I had been practicing some of the spells Mother told me to master while she was out. We were low on food and Mother decided to go get some fresh meat."

Sten stopped sharpening his blade and turned to face the witch and listen to her tale. Zevran leaned forward, wanting to hear what was being said.

"'Twas the afternoon when Mother finally came home, dragging a burlap sack behind her. I wanted to see what she had brought home, but she told me to stay outside while she prepared the meal. As I watched her open the door to our hut, the sack moved. Whatever was inside of it was still alive."

Leliana's eyes went wide as she covered her mouth with her hand. Gwen tilted her head to one side, obviously captivated by Morrigan's words. Alistair, however, was starting to fidget as his mind began to wander about what was inside the sack the witch mentioned.

"I asked mother what was inside of the sack. She said, 'Never you mind, girl.' Growing up with Flemeth as a mother one tended to obey her without question. Still, it was only natural that I was still curious as to what was inside that bag. The thing that was still inside appeared to put on a struggle. Mother kicked it and it made a mournful sound that meant it was in pain."

Alistair's eyes widened. His skin started to take on a pale appearance while Leliana seemed to look a little green. Even Gwen appeared to look a little nauseated. Wynne took out a bottle of something and took a long drink from it. Both Zevran and Sten just listened intently on the tale. Oghren already passed out.

"Before I could even ask Mother what it was, she managed to fling the sack inside the hut and slammed the door. She had even closed the curtains in the windows so I could not see what was going on. I do believe that she wanted this to be a surprise. I was puzzled that Mother went through all that trouble for food that was still in the land of the living. Usually, the meat she would bring home was already dead."

The former Templar's eyes started to water as he covered his mouth. He definitely felt like he was going to be sick. Morrigan caught his attention and smiled deviously at him and then at the others. She noticed that the elven mage was not looking so good as well as the bard. She saw Wynne had taken another long sip from her bottle. Sten looked as though he finally realized what the witch was talking about and a look of bewilderment was showing on his face. The only one who did not seem to be fazed was the assassin. He actually looked like he was truly interested in the story.

"The next thing I knew, I heard loud cries and screaming coming from the hut and what sounded like a small scuffle. And then silence. 'Twas quite disconcerting to hear nothing but silence, but I kept to Mother's instructions and practiced my spells. Two hours had gone by and Mother bade me to return inside the hut for our dinner. The aroma that filled the place was heavenly and it made my mouth water."

Alistair grabbed his stomach with one hand and kept the other hand over his mouth. Everyone around the campfire was starting to look green, even Sten and Zevran were starting to look sick. Wynne seemed to just give up and drank the rest of whatever alcoholic beverage she was drinking.

"Mother had actually set the table and on top was a roast of some type. 'This is something that I do not eat very often anymore,' Mother replied. 'It is not often that I am able to catch such a delectable creature for dinner without getting caught taking it. It was a young thing…it's best to get them young because the meat is so much more tender and tasty this way.' I had no idea what she was talking about, of course, but I still listened to her. I sliced a piece of the roast and imagine my surprise. Mother was right. The meat was tender and so very mild in flavor. Not gamy like the rest of the meat Mother usually caught. I vowed then and there that I would have this meat again. And so I have, in this very meal I prepared tonight. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have."

At that, Alistair got up and ran out of the camp, heading for the bushes. A few moments later, the sounds of him retching could be heard. Gwen was very green by this time and just went inside her tent, groaning loudly. "I think I'm going to be sick," was heard from inside. The elderly mage tossed her empty bottle towards the fire and glared at Morrigan before going inside her own tent.

"Vashedan," Sten muttered as he glared at the remains of the dinner that they ate.

Leliana gasped and shakily pointed a finger at Morrigan. "You…you are evil!" she shouted as she ran to her tent, not noticing Zevran following her. A scream was heard from her tent and the assassin came back out, a red handprint on his tattooed cheek.

Morrigan looked around and chuckled, garnering glares from both the Antivan and the Qunari. "What? 'Twas the first time I ate a roast lamb. What did you think I was talking about?"

AN: Can anyone guess what kind of meat everyone thought Morrigan was talking about? LOL. Anyway, a special thanks to LadyMimzy for the campfire stories idea and to Suilven for helping me with what Morrigan's story would be about. Big 'thank you's' go to Lady Epicness, Suilven, and Ventisquear for your reviews. You are awesome…^_^ And a thank you goes to Sylanc and Imperator Valentine for putting this story on your alerts/favs.

If anyone has any ideas for a one-word prompt for this, please PM me…^_^