“I can feel the weakness spreading through my body,” the Qunari said, his tone as calm as if he were making an observation about the weather. “I do not have much longer before it renders me incapable. Give me my sword and let me die on my feet, as a warrior.”
Wynne let out an explosive, exasperated sigh. “You aren't going to die, Sten,” she said, adding herbs to the steaming kettle in the corner. “You've caught a chill, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. I will draw it out of your body -”
“I have caught the plague, and it will kill me,” he insisted, his voice wheezing. He paused for a moment to cough weakly. “There is no need to soothe me with kind lies. If you have any compassion in your soul, let me go to find my death in battle.” He began to flail weakly at the blankets, trying to unwrap himself and stand, despite his dizziness and inability to catch his breath.
“Oh, Maker's mercy!” Wynne exclaimed. She picked up her staff, sketched a gesture in the air, and pointed it at the Qunari, who promptly fell back into the pile of blankets, unconscious. “How did they get such a reputation as fearsome warriors when they're such – such infants about catching a minor chill?”
“Likely, he has never been ill before in his life,” Morrigan said, meticulously shredding the leaves from another plant she'd gathered to help tend the sick giant. “What you or I would take as a small inconvenience must be terrifying to him. Far worse than any injury, he cannot fight the weakness in his head. And I am sure he feels miserable, as well.” The witch hid a smirk, her tone halfway between sympathy and mockery.
“It seems to me that all men will fuss like babies when they get a cold,” Wynne grumbled as she carefully brewed her medicinal tea. “They're fine enough in battle, but let them catch a sniffle and they crumble into damp piles of self-pity.”
With his usual uncanny sense of timing, Alistair chose that moment to poke his head into the tent. “Wynne, I feel a bit light-headed, and my throat hurts,” he said, the edge of a whine in his voice. “I heard that Sten caught a sickness, is it dangerous?” He turned to glare at Morrigan when she snickered, then flinched as the older mage nearly splashed a cup of steaming tea into his face.
“It's just a chill, drink this and you'll be fine, now go away!” Wynne snapped.
“Um... yes, Wynne,” Alistair said meekly, taking the cup and backing out of the tent with a mildly alarmed expression. Turning around, he nearly ran into Oghren, who was approaching the tent, none too steady on his feet.
“Augh, I think that brandy I found yesterday was Blight-tainted,” the dwarf said, rubbing his head. “I haven't felt this ill in the morning since Branka told me she thought she might be pregnant. Turned out she just had a stomach illness, but for a week she was throwin' up every morning, and I wasn't much better off.”
“Too much information, as usual,” Alistair muttered, trying to shuffle around the dwarf without spilling his tea. Behind him, he could just make out Wynne's aggravated ranting that continued inside the tent, punctuated with Morrigan's brief contributions.
“Anyway, so this mornin' I feel like I've fallen off a bronto, and then it stepped on me a few times, then maybe crapped on me,” Oghren said, either oblivious to or ignoring Alistair's grimace. “And I don't have any of the good stuff left to drink to take the edge off. D'you know if the healer has somethin' in her tent that'll get me through the next couple of hours?”
If he'd been more alert, Oghren probably would have noticed the mischievous expression that flashed across Alistair's face, before being replaced by a look of almost sincere sympathy. “Yes, I remember her saying something about that just last night, in fact. You should head in there straight away and let her know exactly how you're feeling.”
“Thank ya kindly, lad,” the dwarf rumbled, stumbling forward to reach for the tent flap. Alistair nearly sprinted across the campsite and into Natalia's tent, keeping the cup steady with one hand while trying to stifle his laughter with the other.
The other Warden looked up from the blankets and sniffled, then blinked as a storm of furious shouting exploded across the clearing. Catching his expression, she raised her eyebrows. “Alistair, I just sent you to tell Wynne I have a mild chill. What did you do?” she asked, her voice slightly hoarse.
“I brought you some medicinal tea,” he said, handing her the cup with a cheerful grin. “Best drink up, I heard there's a plague of being yelled at going around the camp.”