Necromancy For Foals

by Queen Sanguine Dreams

Massive Manor Most Magnificently Magnanimous

Obscenely Rich's place of residence was less a mansion and more like a castle. High walls were useless against pegasus of course, but the guards that dotted the walls kept watch with crossbows held in their magical grip. Large banners decorated the large front gate; One of the Equestrian flag and the other adorned with a green background with gold bits in each corner, a larger symbol of a coin purse in the center.

The golden pony lead the group to the stone archway, the drawbridge already lowered to allow passage when the guards recognized their employer. Standing in the way of the survivor's progress however was a large group of the Knights of the Sun. Mages wearing bright yellow robes, Knights and Ponies-at-arms filling out the ranks with a singular pony leading them.

Green eyes, a copper colored coat and blonde mane.

"Sir Rich," The pony called out, "You're quite late for a pony escaping a raided town. I would've thought you to have more urgency in your step."

Rich rolled his eyes, his face shielded by the plate of his helmet. "I won't leave a pony behind, even if it takes longer to get here. You should know that, and I have injured ponies that need rest and treatment."

The two ponies met halfway in the center of the drawbridge. The Knight's eyes narrowed with suspicion, "What happened to the Necromancer, noble?"

"When his raven returned he intercepted the letter your subordinate sent back," Rich explained with flawless poise, "He must have cast some kind of spell on us; The world went completely absent of light for moments and we were blinded. When our sight returned, the necromancer and his minions had gone."

The knight was doubtful of this. Looking past Rich towards the waiting caravan of ponies behind him he called out, "Move forward for inspection!"

Scenic shook her friend awake as carefully as she could; the young necromancer wincing with pain and immediately regretting the attempt to look around. His freshly cut eyes stung with every movement despite what treatment Countess Lulamoon could give him. Her recommendation was to stare directly forward at all times and forget that he had eyes; Any movement would cause the blood to flow again along with a great deal of pain the more his eyes flicked and twitched.

"Bone, do you hear that?" Scenic was looking ahead of her cart now that the caravan was moving towards the drawbridge. "The Knights are starting to scan ponies and bring them inside Rich's... manor-castle place."

Laying on his side and staring directly forward, Bone's bandaged eyes could of course see nothing. He worried if his cutie-mark had reverted back to its original raven skull or if the coat had worn off.

"Let me know when they're up. I want them to leave as soon as possible so I can see again and-" He winced with pain once again, forgetting that he wasn't supposed to look anywhere with what remained of his eyes, "-and I want to be myself, not this fake pony that doesn't exist."

Frosty's father pitched in to the conversation. "Wouldn't you want to stay hidden? You'd be safer then."

Bone shook his head reflexively only to immediately regret it. "I'd rather see and be hunted than be blind and safe, at least when I only myself to worry about."

Scenic held a hoof to the young necromancer's face, careful to not touch the bandages that wrapped around his head or protected his bloodied eye sockets. "We'll get through this, Bone. The Knights will do their magic, we'll get past them, and when they leave you can get your sight back."

The Knight of the Sun that was conducting the searches waved his hoof forward once again with a loud declaration to move the carts.

"Looks like that's finally us Bone," the pegasus filly muttered in Bone's ear. "Stay cool and-"

"What's this, then?" The Knight harrumphed. " another cart filled with injured?"

"Oh, by Celestia-" Another younger sounding guard pointed out, his hoof reaching over the sides. "Have you seen his eyes?"

The two members of Celestia's knights looked more closely at Bone Marrow, the older one humming with somber anger and the younger wincing at the sight.

"Did the bandits take his eyes, or the necromancer?" The younger knight shook his head, pitying the poor colt. "If only the Traitor Princess hadn't caused an uprising; none of this would've happened!"

"Steel yourself, Knight." The older of the two's command was steadfast, "We've a job to do and only so much time to help those in need. Scan the poor soul and let's get them through the gates."

A clank of metal sounded out as Bone Marrow heard the younger guard salute.

"Yes, sergeant."

It started at his hooves; a strange tingling sensation that made his limbs twitch and tense up. Moving from the very rear of the colt all the way towards the neck, the Knight paused.

"Even the eyes, sergeant?" The stallion asked nervously.

More shifting of armor, possibly a nod. "That's correct." There was a pause before the sergeant spoke again, "We'll keep this quick, not to worry."

Bone gritted his teeth as the scan moved from his neck to his jaw, his teeth rattling and vibrating. It then moved through his cheekbones and through his eyesockets, causing him to shout with the surprising amount of pain. Bone's hooves shot to his eyes as his body curled, the vibration of the spell making the fresh wounds in his eyes shake and bleed once more, irritating the flesh inside and out.

Blood began to seep from the bandages of his eyes and before long, the scan had completed.

The subordinate shook his head. "They're all clean. Necromancer must've ran off when he got word of us."

"Be on your guard then." The older knight replied. He tapped the side of the cart twice before clearing it to move ahead. "The necromancer may still be nearby, so remember: Never speak the name of any knight aloud. The necromancer will use his foul magics to see through your eyes with a mere utterance of namesake. Honorific titles only."

The Knight nodded, his helmet somewhat oversize. "Yes, sergeant!"

Bone's interest was perked at that, and again his movement caused pain. I can see through a pony's eyes if I know their name? It that why Anvil didn't want to tell me, and why that pony in the mine gave a false name? He thought of testing this idea on Obscenely Rich but decided against it almost as quickly. He had no idea what would happen if he used the ability or even more so, how exactly he would go about it.

The cart lurched forward, carrying the last surviving ponies of Galloping Glades into the safety of Rich's mansion/castle. Scenic told Bone that ponies had already started setting up shelters within the walls when she spotted the golden pony moving to address all of them on the stone stairway leading up to the manor's front doors.

"Everypony, please!" Bone heard the voice of Obscenely Rich call out, "There is no need to sit out here among the dirt and debris. Come inside; I have more than enough rooms for you and your families, as well as the injured."

More gruff mutterings sounded from the Knights nearby, or at least Bone assumed they were. "He must have a lot of guards..."

Scenic ran a hoof on Bone's side to calm him. "He has about as many guards as the Knights sent here, Bone. Maybe..." She paused a moment, counting out the ponies she saw in armor with a hoof, "Maybe thirty or so on each side?"

Bone's ears folded back, the action tugging on his eyelids and causing him to wince. "Sixty guards here? Isn't that a lot for just a manor in the middle of nowhere?"

She shrugged, but Bone couldn't tell. "I guess our town was in the middle of nowhere, and we only had one guard. Makes sense to me to have an army just in case."

The cart finally came to a stop within the walls and the large gate clanked to a raised position as ponies pushed a large pulley system at the gatehouse, bringing the security of the castle to everypony's ears with an unexpectedly large metallic crash accented by the protests of aging wood.

"Gate secure!" A pony called out. Scenic let Bone know it looked like Rich's guard captain since he was wearing a tunic of the noble's flag. "Final check; begin!"

More shouts rang out declaring each side of the walls around Rich's manor to be secure and steady. When the reports stopped, the golden pony called out to those he was sheltering once more.

"Everypony, you're free to carry what you have with you into the manor but I have staff that would be just as happy to do it for you. There should be a meal prepared in an hour so you're free to get settled in and take a bath or whatever else you may need before then. Let the staff know if you need anything brought to you or if you'd like a word with me. For now, I will be indisposed with my good Knight friend here discussing what happened."

Scenic pulled on Bone's side, letting him know to stand up. The injured necromancer relied more on his ears now than his eyes, trying to keep staring directly forward at all times to avoid the pain that would come if his remaining eye muscles moved in his head.

"Come on Bone, just have to get you inside and cleaned up..." Scenic paused a moment as she hopped out of the cart and offered a hoof to Bone before realizing he had no way to see it. She tapped on his hoof and Bone grabbed hold, "Sorry about that, not used to the eyes yet."

Bone gave an amused huff. "Neither am I."

I can't wait for these Knights to be gone so I can get this pain over with.

Bone followed Scenic through a courtyard and finally to stone steps, each step being tediously slow. A hoof would raise forward and clumsily be pushed until it struck the next stone surface, repeated again and again in what seemed like an eternity to move Bone from the bottom of the steps towards the top.

Each step Bone took, he could hear the pitied mutterings of Guards and maybe even Knights around him.

"Poor colt, losin' his eyes like that so young."

"Never be the same again, I'd imagine."

"You think they have magic that could fix that kind of injury in Canterlot? How much would it cost?"

"Nah, don't think like that. You'd spend all your pay helping the injured and end up starving yourself. Can't help the poor colt now; just have to do our best to make sure it doesn't happen to anypony else."

"Who would do something like that, to a colt of all ponies?"

The voices became louder as Bone approached the top of the staircase. He could hear the scratching of metal plates sliding against chain-mail and assumed the sound was coming from Knights of the Sun.

"From what the noble said, the necromancer himself came upon their caravan. Intercepted the actual messenger bird that was meant for this castle and took its place. Took the return letter and figured out where the caravan was, found out he couldn't actually hurt the noble on account of being bit-less and blinded the poor colt before running off."

"The necromancer did that?" Bone heard a sharp jostling of plate and assumed that it was a hoof being pointed in his direction, "That's horrible!"

"Aye, it's horrendous. The reason I get out of bed in the morning is to stop atrocities like that from happening to others, 'specially my own foals. I can't imagine coming home to find that some horrible pony plucked their eyes out..."

There was a respectful pause in conversation as Bone Marrow made his way past the Knights, soon resuming after he passed them.

"I don't know what I'd do if I were that colt's parents. Swear revenge? It'd be pointless; Necromancers like that Bone Marrow fella can't be killed by normal means."

"Really? Why's that? We've killed plenty of other necromancers before; what makes him so special?"

The voices were easier to make out now and Scenic let Bone know they had reached the top of the steps. He whispered to pause for a moment, wanting to hear the end of the Knight's conversation.

"Well, the ones we killed were all practitioners. Bookish mages wanting to learn Necromancy. Bone Marrow, on the other hoof... Well, he's a natural."

"What do you mean, he's a natural at learning it?"

A jostling of plate armor, Bone assuming that the Knight was shaking his head. "No, I don't mean a natural learner. I mean he was born with the special talent of Necromancy in all its forms. If legends hold true, only one natural necromancer can be alive at any time. The past three times these monsters have popped up in history they've gone on a murderous rampage through Equestria burning everything in their wake on a direct path to Canterlot. Soon as that colt learns everything he can do, he'll be a nightmare to deal with."

The other Knight seemed shaken, his voice wavering. "What kind of things can they do? All we've ever fought was a few skeletons that fell apart easily enough from a sword strike or a fire bolt. He can't be that much worse, can he?"

The second Knight grumbled in thought for a moment. "Well, I'll give you a primer on what I assume is true from what I've heard. Naturals wrote the books on Necromancy; Everything they discovered how to do in their time when they weren't murdering. Any time a pony has tried to kill a Natural, they ended up getting turned to ash and resurrecting the necromancer with the flesh and bone from their body. They can turn your heart to shredded pulp; blind and deafen you for the rest of your days; raise an army of skeletons the likes of which hasn't been seen for a century; heal wounds with a thought; turn your body to ash and other things that I'm convinced are pure fantasy."

"T-then... how do we even kill them?" The first Knight stuttered. The clanking of plate was heard before metal rested on metal.

"Easy there, lad. It's not that difficult to manage a Necromancer if you know what you're doing... it just takes a lot of willing souls to sacrifice themselves in order to do it."

"W-what do you mean?"

"I mean you have to find ponies willing to stare death in the face and drive a blade through its heart every time the Necromancer comes back from the dead, moving their body closer and closer to the Dragon Lands until we can throw 'em into a volcano."


"The other way is harder, trust me. Hasn't been done before either, but the theory is that if you can get the Necromancer to be willing, they can be trapped in a Soul Jar. The problem with that is that necromancers are the only pony able to make one of 'em, and none have been very willing to trap themselves."

"There has to be an easier way to deal with them; So many ponies are going to get killed dealing with this monster!"

The Knights shared a moment of uncertain silence before they realized that the two foals had been listening in. "Oh, for Celestia's sake..."

Bone heard clanking approaching him from armored hooves impacting the stone steps. "Listen, you two. Everything will be fine. We'll find the necromancer and deal with 'em before he ever finds you and your parents again."

The injured necromancer turned his head to face the guard and did his best to not move his eyes. "Thanks... mister?"

He hesitated a bit, but seeing as the colt didn't have eyes for a necromancer to look through he considered the small courtesy of his name. "Sir Red Tape, young one. Knight of the Sun and second in command to our leader."

Bone smirked, testing his luck. "Does the commander have a cool name too?"

"Maybe one day you'll get to meet him," The knight replied, patting his head and regretting the decision as soon as Bone winced. "Sorry 'bout that; It's a habit of mine. You two should run along. Get yourselves cleaned up and those bandages changed, and get some food in your bellies too. We'll stand watch for any bad Necromancers around."

The colt nodded, "Thanks Mister Red Tape."

"You're more than welcome."

"Hey," The other Knight asked, "What's your name?"

His eyes would've shot wide if he had any left, instead yelping in pain from his shredded eyelids opening fresh wounds.

"Ah, by the seven layers of Tartarus, Don't badger the poor colt!" Red Tape scolded his partner, "He's had a rough enough day as it is."

Scenic tugged on the heavy wooden door leading into the manor with some strain, attempting to calmly bring Bone Marrow away from the inquisitive Knights.

"Let me get that for ya, dear." Red Tape offered, his armored hoof clanking against the door before pulling it open. "Get some rest, you both look like you could use it."

The foals stated their thanks and wished them well, moving into the manor as the doors slowly shut behind them.

"Whew," Bone blurted out, "that was close."

Scenic lifted her friend's chin carefully, "Are you alright?"

Bone nodded, "I'm fine. I could use new bandages though; I can feel blood on my face."

The pegasus grimaced at that, noting the spread of red among the bandages wrapped around Bone's eyes. "Let's find somepony with medical stuff."

The mansion itself was extravagant beyond Scenic's ability to describe. Golden walls with silver trim; banners of Rich's noble house hung from the tall ceiling and decorative statues and art lined the hallways. She didn't know what any of them meant, but she did her best to inform Bone of what they were and what they showed.

Paintings of the ideal homestead, of happy ponies living together peacefully. Some of royalty, some of the Princesses; A bust for each of the two sisters as well, facing directly opposite each other in the hallway. The room with Celestia's likeness housed the dining hall where most of the survivors had moved to, each thankfully accepting the food placed in front of them after surviving on empty stomachs and grass for the past few days. The room opposite with Luna's statue housed an expansive library filled wall to wall with more books than any one pony could read in a lifetime.

The halls expanded downwards with more doors and lead to another staircase to what Scenic could only guess was even more rooms, but her concern for now was with her friend. "Are you hungry? It looks like they made some kind of soup for everypony."

Bone shook his head slowly. "Haven't felt hungry in a long while. Thanks, though."

Scenic checked around her to make sure nopony was within earshot before whispering, "Is it because of your necromancy stuff?"

The colt hissed for her to be quiet, "Please don't talk about that stuff while the Knights are still here! One of them could hear us and then everypony would be in trouble."

"There's no guards or knights around." Scenic whispered in reply, "but we can wait 'till later to talk about it."

"Ah!" The cultured voice of a pony rang out melodically, "I see the injured colt has arrived."

Bone turned to face the source of the voice and approaching hoofsteps, soon becoming irritated with his inability to put a face to the voice.

"Worry not, young one. We will take care of your bandages for you."

"Who are you?" Scenic asked with only a hint of suspicion.

"Why, I am Sir Rich's butler. You may call me by another name if you choose, but my given name is Buttoned Up. You may call upon me for council or service and I am contractually bound to reveal nothing you say to another living soul, so long as I remain in the service of Sir Rich."

Bone considered the offer for a moment but then decided against it. Never Trust Strangers. "Thanks, Buttoned Up." the injured necromancer politely replied, "I think I just need new bandages for now. I'm not all that hungry."

"As you wish. What would I call you, Master Unicorn?"

The name again, Bone mentally grumbled, I don't even know what my cutie mark looks like now.

"His name is Weathered Storm." Scenic replied for her friend.

"Ah," the butler hummed approvingly, "A fitting name for a pony that's gone through so much. I will return shortly with new bandages for you, Master Storm and Miss Sight."

Scenic was amused that the butler had bowed before leaving, giggling to Bone about the occurrence, "I think he's pretty neat; I've never seen a butler before."

Bone was less convinced. "I don't trust him."

"Well that's what you have your friends for, Bone." Scenic reminded him with a light hug. "We'll be here for you when nopony else is."

He smiled at that, only slightly wincing as his cheeks raised and brushed against his bandages. "Thanks, Scenic."