Just off of the main practice yard within Castle Draco's walls is a wooden building that connects to the stone of the castle proper. Within are held various exercise tools, such as weights and pulleys, along with padded weapons and standing targets for use in hand-to-hand combat training. One wall is stone, with a doorway leading into the castle that also connects to the Guard Wardroom.
Stationed at a piece of equipment near the back of the room, a black and white colored Sphynx uses an odd, weighted pulley contraption to exercise both her arms and wings together. Needless to say there's a good amount of space cleared around the Sphynx to prevent walloping anyone with her wings.
"Y'know, when someone tells another person to just 'wing it', I wonder if this is what they had in mind?" comes quip from a rather familiar voice from the darkened castle doorway. Alptraum's head pops out of the shadows and he grins. "Or did you mess up in spy training and they sent you to the torture chamber? That looks rather like a torture device to me… "
Tulani almost chuckles at the Eee's quip, but the sound comes as more of a grunt as the Sphynx exerts further force on the pulleys, lifting the weights and holding them elevated momentarily while attempting to reply. " Just… getting… some extra exercise… Alptraum… " she pants out before slowly settling the weights back down… "Whew!, you should try this sometime… But anyways. What brings you to 'the chamber of torture?'" Tulani jokes with a grin.
"Oh, not too much. Just hearing rumors from a strange white and black Eeee that tells me stuff now and then. Rumor has it that a certain Sphynx has been a bit moody and mopey lately in her training. Since I know you're in the same class as this mysterious Sphynx, I thought I would come and just ask you why she hasn't been too cheerful," Alptraum notes as he hops onto one one the nearby benches and crouches down; looking rather like a gargoyle. "Because I know if it were you feeling down, you would have come to talk to me about it, right?" The Eeee then gives Tulani a sidelong glance, adding, "Or more seriously, what's wrong? Are you mad at me?"
" Oh… well… " Tulani tilts her head at Alptraum, blinking as her brows knit together slightly. "Oh no! I'm certainly not mad at you Alptraum," the Sphynx says as she disentangles herself from the workout machine behind her to lean her elbows on her knees and rest her chin on her hands, looking a little down as she glances over at the Eee, "I've just been missing Arkold and Raven. And I miss hanging out with you; you seem really busy now. How are things going with the Countess by the way?"
"Lately it's been cheering up Phlagaea," Alptraum comments and can't help but grin a bit lopsidedly. "Because she was down that I went off with you and visited the gypsies. That turned out to be one of the oddest experiences in my life, er… " He waves his chitinous hand (since he rarely wears the glove when inside the castle). "But that's not the question you asked. The Countess has been fine the last time I spoke with her. She's really busy so I don't see her very often. I do really wish I could see her more."
"Well, hopefully you'll get to spend some time with the Countess again soon," Tulani says as she gets up and proceeds to hug the crouching Eeee warmly… before quirking her brow, getting a both humorous and curious look on her face. "And I thought it was always an odd experience with Phlagaea?" From the grin on her face it's obvious the Sphynx is teasing.
"She outdid herself this time. When I pledged myself to her and Gorphat for the day … let's just say that it turned out far different from what I expected," Alptraum admits with an embarrassed grin after Tulani hugs him. "So … I don't have anything I have to do right now … would you like to go do something?" he asks, "I mean, according to Mortimer I'm a monster and you're a monster. So … perhaps we should go revel in being monsters. You're the silver dragon and I'm … well, I think I'm turning into a Shadow Dragon. Which means some day I might be … a blob." For some reason, Alptraum looks like he's not too sure he likes that outcome.
Tulani looks Alptraum up and down for a moment before stating with a grin, "Well, you certainly don't look like a blob to me! And that sounds like a plan. Want to get a drink with me first, I feel like I need a drink… In honor of Arkold of course!"
Alptraum lifts his right hand. An oil-like shadow ripples and flows over it, before sinking back beneath the surface. "It's all just beneath the skin, you know," he says, then waggles his brow. "As for a drink, why, that sounds like a grand idea." Draping his arm around Tulani's shoulders, he leads her towards the door. "We can even make fun of him, just like old times… "
The Dead Inn
The Dead Inn is one of several inns that have grown up in the town surrounding Draco Castle. Like many things in Draco County, it seems to revel in the macabre and Gothic. The entrance is carved wood, shaped to look like skeletal Eeee holding up the top frame of the door. Inside everything is dim and shadowy, with proper dribbly candles everywhere. There's even a hunchback Skreek that scurries here and there straightening up the cobwebs and candles as needed. Behind the bar is a shelf that is lined with row after row of glowing bottles. Well, it's a faux glow … there's just a lineup of candles under the glass shelves. The chairs are all carved wood with velvet coverings and a Khatta in historic Sylvanian finery tends bar.
"They really go all out when they want to be spooky," Alptraum comments as he leads Tulani into the inn, his arm around hers (and his hands gloved now). "With a name like that, I couldn't resist coming here."
Tulani looks around, ears flicking with interest as she enters, arm in arm with Alptraum. The Sphynx gives the Eeee a nod and a smile. "I can see why; it seems to suit you, being the son of Death and all," she teases as she heads towards the bar, "But really, the atmosphere in here is quite good."
"Well, yes, I do take after my mother, as it were," Alptraum agrees and follows the Sphynx to the bar. The Khatta behind it looks to Tulani with grim expression and intones in a gravelly and deep voice, "Yessss? Is there something the young lady wishes from the caretaker? A nice moldy coffin, perhaps? Or maybe a wobbly Zombie?" Apparently, this inn also decided to give its drinks 'cute' names.
"Hmm… " The Sphynx stands there tapping her chin for a moment before waggling her hand in a noncommittal gesture, "Do you have something more in the ghost family? … Or maybe named after dragons?" Tulani replies, looking over at Alptraum playfully with her last comment.
"Oh, we have several drinks named for the dragon's finest qualities," the barkeep rasps. "There is the 'Insufferable Ego', which is a strong red wine. "Unstoppable Pride', which is a sharp cider, and 'Unending Lust', which is a strong, dark and thick beer." Behind Tulani, Alptraum can't help but snicker. "Oh, if Kaira were here," he murmurs.
Tulani also can't help but chuckle behind her hand, noting to Alptraum, "Well, I do like beer, and it sounds like something Arkold would like doesn't it?" Turning back to the bartender, the Sphynx asks for the 'Unending Lust'.
"You're with an Eeee, how appropriate," the barkeep says drolly and steps away to fetch a clean stein. Alptraum raises his hand to say something about that, then just sighs. "Do you have anything lighter? Something to do with spirit or passing?" he ends up asking.
Tulani just about snorts at the bartender's comment, but manages to hold it in, though still grinning. Nudging Alptraum, she asks, "Us flyers have to stick together right?"
"Of course," the barkeep says, then pauses to look at Alptraum for a moment. "… sir. We have a white wine with a twist of death's root to add some spice; that would be 'Graverard Mist'. There is also 'The Mortician's Waste', which is a deep red wine with a hint of old blood; quite popular with those of the vampiric line." He goes to a cask in the nearby wall and starts filling the stein. Even in the low light, the liquid flowing from it looks really, really thick.
"Uh, well," Alptraum says to Tulani with a sheepish grin. "It depends on how you stick together is what your friend is thinking, I'm sure," the bartender quips. Alptraum covers his eyes and says, "I'll try the 'Mortician's Waste'."
Tulani looks quite amused by all this, and her ears flick as she watches with interest as the barkeep fills her stein, thinking, Well, this is sure to be an interesting experience!
"A good choice, sir," the barkeep says approvingly. He heads back to Tulani and offers her the stein, then says to her in a lower voice and with a glance towards Alptraum, "Mortician's Waste also helps keep the vampires from biting their dates out of claimed hunger."
"Hey, I heard that!" Alptraum complains.
The Sphynx accepts the stein gratefully, and is just about to take a sip when she hears the bartender's comment to her, and cant help but chuckle at Alptraum's reaction. "Well, thank you sir, but I assure you it's not something to worry about," she replies to the barkeep with a polite smile.
"Ah, then he has already bitten you," the barkeep says with a knowing nod. He tends to Alptraum's drink next and hands off a delicate wine glass to the Eeee in a minute or two. Its content is a very deep red. "Thank you," Alptraum says to the barkeep as he tries to keep his polite smile on. To Tulani, he asks, "So, sit at a table or stay at the bar?"
Blinking at the bartender's rather blunt comment, Tulani turns to the Eeee next to her to suggest, "Let's… find a table and sit, alright?" She then takes a long sip of her thick drink.
It's almost like drinking a warm pudding. A very bitter warm pudding. It also apparently has a rather high alcohol content because the Sphynx can already start to feel a bit of a relaxing effect from it. Alptraum and Tulani locate a nearby table and settle down. It has a single candle at its center, stuck atop a faux-skull. "I hope it wasn't anyone we knew?" Alptraum quips, nudges Tulani, and nods toward the skull.
"Vould the young Mathter and Mithtreth care for anything to eath?" rasps the strange Skreek 'waiter' as he sidles over to the table with a limping gait.
"Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" Alptraum asks the strange rat. "Your name isn't Igor, is it?"
The Sphynx chuckles heartily at this, "Well, they certainly got the decor down very well," she says with a smile, leaning her elbow on the table and taking another long sip of her drink and licking her whiskers afterward. "This stuff really is good, Alptraum." Turning to the Skreek Tulani immediately asks with interest, "Do you serve anything with fish in it?"
"I am Igor, Mathter," the Skreek tells Alptraum. To Tulani, he smiles with crooked teeth and answers, "Oh, many things, Youngth Lady. Thoday'th thpethial is a muthroom thtuffed fith cooked over aged woodth."
"Oh, right 'You are all Igor'. Just like the weird one in the castle. And the one that serves Bunny Pike," Alptraum comments. "As for food, I'm good," he answers and taps a chitinous claw against his glass, then takes a slow drink.
"Hehnhehnhehn," goes Igor, "I feelth thorry for the Igor thath servths de good Doctor. I hear that the is scareth of spidthers."
Tulani looks thoughtfully at the 'Igor' for a moment before replying, "Do have anything like whole grilled fish?" Looking over at Alptraum, she takes another sip of her drink and asks the Eeee, "How's your drink by the way, Alptraum?"
"Ve altho hafth fith grown in stone coffinths that are grilled to perfection on a spith. Thath is the 'Impalerths Delighth'," Igor informs Tulani.
"That sounds perfect," the Sphynx replies to the Igor with a smile, taking another thick drink from her glass. She's clearly enjoying it from the way she sighs as she takes a breath.
"I don't know how you drink that stuff. It looks like pudding," Alptraum comments as the rat slinks off to tend to the request. When the Skreek reaches the kitchen door, he shouts back, "One dead fish on a stick, crispy!" So much for the atmosphere and accent…
"Actually, it is a bit like pudding… but still, it's really tasty!" Tulani replies, grinning, and demonstrates by taking another stiff drink.
The conversation from there tends to go on about reminiscing on their travels. Right when they get to the point where the great fish storm after the battle at the Twisted Keep … Tulani's meal arrives. Pleasantly buzzed, Tulani finds that even if it is a dead fish on a tick, it's rather tasty. It's probably a good thing too, because 'Monster's Night Out' has yet to begin…