While the two Knights were battling the undead old woman, Aurei and Alis sat totally unaware of the struggle going on inside, nervously looking up and down the road and expecting at any moment to be advanced upon by a multitude of undead or blasted out of their saddles by the Sorceress.
"Where are they at?" Aurei asked finally breaking the silence. Though the magic ring kept her from bleeding, her wounds were hurting worse and worse the longer she sat in the saddle.
"I hope they are okay." Alis said looking worried, "We’ve got to get back to the others quickly and we’ve not really looked for the horses yet."
"If I were them, I’d go as far away from those undead as I could on this cursed mountain and hide there."
At that moment there was a rustle through the leaves of the trees nearest them, causing both girls to jump in alarm, but it was only Sir Aeric and Eleazar, carrying bottles.
"Look what we found." Aeric held the two bottles he carried up to the two women on the horses.
"Healing potions!" Aurei glanced down at Sir Aeric, his nose still trickling blood, and then over to Sir Eleazar who also looked as if he’d been in a fight, "What happened to you guys?"
"We ran into a table." Eleazar replied with a grin to Aeric.
"And a door." The half elf added.
"And several chairs." Eleazar handed his bottles up to Aurei, "Duchess, have you or lady Alis ever seen any of the witch lady’s potions before? We have four bottles labeled ‘healing’ but two are a deep reddish purple, one is almost a pinkish red color, and the other is a deep blue color. "
Aurei glanced at Alis, "I think they were a wine color; at least that is what I’ve heard."
"I’ve heard that too, I’m guessing it would be the dark red ones for sure."
"Maybe the lighter colored one is a diluted one?" Aurei suggested as the two knights mounted the horses.
"But what about the blue one; that one is the odd one out." Sir Eleazar took one of the burgundy colored potions from the Drow girl, leaving that very blue one in her hands.
"Well, only one way to find out." Aurei said, popping out the glass stopper.
"Aurei, wait a minute, you don’t –" Alis’ warning trailed off as the Drow girl had already downed the entire contents of the bottle.
"Duchess, that was NOT a smart thing to do – that potion could be some sort of decoy, maybe even poison!" Sir Eleazar was leaning around her in the saddle they shared, glancing nervously at her face.
"Well, I don’t feel anything; maybe it was a… wait a minute… oh boy… my stomach is burning!" Sir Eleazar quickly dismounted and was reaching up to help her from the saddle when she suddenly let out a gasp and was bowled over in a cramp.
"Oh no!" she gasped and suddenly was vomiting violently off the side of her horse, missing the half-Drow by inches.
"I can’t believe she did something so stupid!" Eleazar exclaimed in helplessness as the girl continued to throw up.
"What do we do to help her?" Alis asked in a panic, looking to the Knights for guidance.
"Get her off the horse." Aeric suggested and Eleazar was trying to figure out how to do this when suddenly the girl’s vomiting stopped and with several coughs and a mouth-clearing spit, she looked up grinning.
"It worked!" She illustrated by twisting her torso from side to side, "I don’t even feel any pain! She took a deep breath with a sigh, "Finally, I can breathe normally again."
Eleazar gave an exasperated sigh and angrily climbed back onto the horse, "Duchess Bugley, that was very unwise, using yourself as a pawn to test a potion!"
"What’s the big deal? Paladins are immune to poison, after all."
"We are?" Eleazar met her surprised look with a frown, "I think you are misinformed. Disease has no hold on a righteous paladin, but I can assure you that we have not been blessed with immunity to poison."
Aurei glanced around at her three companions, "I thought someone told me Paladins were immune to poison! I certainly wouldn’t have tried that if I’d known that!"
"Well, praise Yesh you seem to have found a potent potion, for you seem to have regained your health. Let’s just take the other three back to the others first to see if there is any way we can discern what they are, okay?"
"Okay, I'm sorry. " she smiled shyly at the half-Drow knight.
Eleazar just returned the smile somewhat nervously and quickly turned to the two half-Elves on the other horse, "Let’s make a quick sweep down the street to see if we can see the Cleric’s horse, then we’d better get back to the others."
Alis and Aeric nodded and so a moment later they were riding down the dirt road through the middle of the lifeless village. The further away from the pumpkin field they rode, the lighter the air felt and the more relaxed they grew, but by the time they had crossed the village, they had not seen any sign of the lost steeds and so they turned and with reluctance to admit failure, headed back to the others.