• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,920 Views, 2,292 Comments

Necromancy For Foals - Queen Sanguine Dreams

Far from Canterlot and forced to work in gem mines for cruel Diamond Dogs, a young unicorn named Bone Marrow's pursuit of his cutiemark reveals a unique talent: raising the dead.

  • ...

Dead Bird

A comparatively large canine loomed in an opened doorway, their wide body blocking some of the light coming into the building and creating a menacing silhouette. Once well maintained and pleasant to live in, the small mining town's main hall had been stuffed with ponies that had been torn from their homes and thrown inside. The windows were boarded up, all light was blocked from within and the time of day was impossible to figure out.

Awoken from the light and squinting through the dusty air that drifted from the Diamond Dog's entry lay a small unicorn foal curled up against his parents; his father a baker and the mother a news crier. The canine bandit said nothing, swinging around a ball and chain mace while appearing bored and disinterested with the few dozen ponies cowering in front of him.

Not one of the ponies left in Scoria were fighters; Celestia's royal guard had completely withdrawn a mere two days ago after an attempted coup took place in the capitol, leaving the once guarded town completely exposed. Those who didn't flee with the guards remained behind; either too stubborn to leave or simply incapable of it due to ability or funding.

The lack of guards emboldened the nearby bandits. Griffons, ponies and canines fought each other in the streets of Scoria for two full days and nights before the Diamond Dogs claimed victory and ownership of the town. Burrowing underground to soon emerge and overwhelm any ground fighter combined with dishonorable tactics and sheer numbers proved too much for the careful griffons, and the pony bandits routed the moment their leader was slain in combat.

The ponies that had survived remained as slaves to the Diamond Dogs, forced to work until collapse on threat of injury should they refuse. The menacing canine standing in the doorway reminded the ponies of their new place in life, and it angered the unicorn foal to no end.

"Why don't you just go away!?" he shouted. His parents covered his mouth with dirty hooves as quickly as they could, fearing for their son's life. The Diamond Dog was unimpressed by the foal's outburst, venting air from his nostrils and snarling before steadily walking towards the small pile of concerned equines.

"What pony's name?" The canine growled, reaching down and swiftly picking up the foal in a paw that dwarfed his small body. "Why pony loud?"

The foal was too busy struggling to break the dog's grasp to answer, biting his paw as hard as he could and receiving a sharp nailed flick across his cheek for the effort. Raising the pony by the neck and facing it towards the group, he asked again. "What pony's name?"

Distressed, the foal's mother spoke up while resisting her husband's efforts to keep her away from the Diamond Dog. "His name is Bone Marrow! Please don't hurt him, I'll do anything!"

The brute nodded approvingly, licking his lips. Tossing the foal to his parents he added, "Bone marrow tasty. Good name."

With that thought on his mind, he soon turned around towards the slightly unhinged door leading to the sunny outside. Heavy steps and scratching nails kept the ponies on edge for what felt like hours before he finally slammed the door shut behind him only to have it creak open afterwards. The room was completely silent for a full minute to ensure that they were alone before speaking.

"What were you thinking, Bonehead?" The mayor scolded in a harsh whisper. "You could have been killed!"

"They're mean and they hurt ponies. I want them to go away." Bone Marrow explained. "No pony tried telling them to go away yet, so I thought that I should try it."

The mayor held her breath for quite a while, closing her eyes and doing her best to restrain her temper. Finally exhaling in a controlled rush, she calmed down enough to speak. "Bonehead, you're not going to get them to leave with words. They're not the kind of folk to listen to reason. They come and take what they want, and without the guard here we can't fight them."

"There's more of them than us as well, and they have weapons." Bone's father added. "We all saw what they did to the griffons. We're better off just doing what they tell us than fighting them."

"We shouldn't be pushed around by them!" Bone argued. "They're smelly, they hurt ponies, they're mean-"

"Bone Marrow, listen to me," His mother urged, "Just do what they say, and maybe we'll all live long enough to see what kind of cutie mark you get, okay? We can all have a big party after this when the guards get back from their training exercise and pretend this never happened."

"When are they getting back?" Bone questioned, looking between his parents and the mayor, noticing ponies in the back turning their heads away or towards the floor. "They've been gone forever!"

His father patted him on his head and pulled him into a hug. "Any day now, Bonehead. Any day."

The mayor's ear twitched and she turned to face the door. Focusing intensely for a moment, she warned what remained of the town that the Diamond Dog was coming back. Everypony rushed to their previous spots and tried to remain as still as possible when the door opened again.

"Time for work, pony!" The large dog shouted, banging the handle of his mace on the door-frame and bending the hinges out of shape until the door fell free onto the floor with a loud wooden crash. "Get gems for Diamond Dog. Now!"

Flinching as if whipped, the older ponies got to their hooves as quickly as they could and rushed out of the door. The large canine shoved and threw ponies out of the town hall so they would move faster as he grew more impatient with their careful progress. Bone's mother was the last pony out, giving him a wave and a forced smile before being thrown from the building into the dirt outside. As the Diamond Dog stomped out of the room to bark orders along with the rest of his band, Bone Marrow peeked from the now unbarred doorway to watch his parents join the mob marching towards the mines in a disorganized mess.

"This isn't fair." Bone Marrow complained aloud. "I could kick them all out of town if I had a fighting cutie mark. All the royal guard have cutie marks with swords or bows or even fireballs, and here I am with two whole white flanks full of nothing."

Deciding that staying near the open door would probably get him into trouble, Bone moved deeper into the town hall to find a comfortable place to wait for his parents' return. A torn circular rug dominated the center of the hall with overturned desks and tables dotting the area. Chairs were piled up on the staircases to make passage difficult for the mostly earth pony population and anything of comfort was taken by the Diamond Dogs when they seized control of the town. With his friends and family gone, Bone Marrow was now painfully aware of how lonely it was being the only foal that couldn't go with the royal guard on their training exercise. His mother had told him he was too small to go along and his father had told him they would train in their yard instead. The next morning however was when all of the fighting in the town had broken out.

Finding the reception desk had remained untouched, he hopped atop of it and laid down. A few days ago he had delivered a horn-written letter to his grandparents as the first milestone of growing up, and now he had trouble remembering it even happened.

Caught between nostalgia for happier times and anger at the Diamond Dogs, Bone Marrow almost didn't notice a small black shape dart its way into the room. Looking up and squinting he noticed a small black bird hopping around and pecking at the floor's rug.

"A raven?" he asked aloud.

The bird froze for a moment, staring at the foal on the desk with a black beady eye before turning its head and fluttering towards him.

"Aaah!" Bone shouted, scrambling to get away from the inbound raven and clumsily falling on his back to the floorboards below him. Above him was the perched raven, looking sideways with one eye and remaining silent. Brushing the dust from his coat, Bone stared back at the bird. "Don't look at me like that, it's rude."

The raven then crowed at him, causing Bone to flinch away in fear of the bird possibly landing on him. When that event did not come to pass, he slowly opened his eyes to stare at the bird once more. "What?"

The raven crowed again, moving its beak towards the door and hopping in the same direction. Seeing that Bone Marrow had no idea what it wanted, the raven crowed louder and fluttered its wings.

A look of cautious understanding crept over Bone's face. "You want me to follow you?"

The bird looked directly at Bone before crowing in a softer tone moving slowly towards the foal before hopping onto his head.

"Aah!" Bone yelped, trying to swat the bird from his head. "Get off!"

The raven decided enough was enough and flew towards the town hall's doorway, crowing distantly to Bone upon landing.

"I can't go outside, I'll get in trouble!" Bone protested from behind the reception desk with his head barely clearing the top.

This caused the raven to crow even louder in an attempt of persuasion that fell on deaf pony ears.

Looking around, the raven soon spotted a shiny looking object on the floor. Bone immediately recognized the object in the raven's grasp as his father's pocket watch. "Let that go you stupid bird!"

Seeing the foal was agitated it soon hopped closer to the doorway, taunting the foal by swinging the chain that held the pocket watch back and forth.

"Get back here with that, bird!" Bone shouted, scrambling over the top of the table before rushing out of the door after the kleptomaniac raven.

With all of the Diamond Dogs managing the town ponies at the mine, there were surprisingly far fewer dogs to worry about than Bone Marrow had considered. Attempting to trot as quietly as he could on the dirt road, the white unicorn foal kept the raven with his father's watch in sight as well as he was able, following it through streets and alleyways.

Damp dirt, broken weapons and feathers were strewn around the town along with arrows that had embedded into the walls of nearby buildings. Piles of bodies were heaped at the main intersection of the town, but Bone Marrow was far too concerned with the raven to even notice them. Broken windows, torn doorways and splintered wood were a common sight in the remote town, as well as the odd pile of garbage or foul smelling sewage of the Diamond Dogs. Bone avoided as much of the muck as he could, but the bird's path took him through much of the things he would normally avoid.

Seeing the raven suddenly dive into an alleyway, Bone seized the moment and charged as fast as his small legs would carry him. Turning the corner and expecting to find a tired bird, he was caught off guard by the mangled body of the same raven.
The pocket watch was wrapped around the bird's neck that was bent at an unhealthy angle at best, causing Bone to look away in disgust. Shutting his eyes and trying to think of happy thoughts he was soon made aware of approaching paw-steps.

Without thinking, he threw himself behind the nearest cover. A sundered wagon proved to be his salvation when the two loudmouthed Diamond Dogs walked past, growling and grumbling to each other. Taking a sigh of relief he looked over to the now dead raven, his face scrunching with discomfort.

"I'm gonna have to get that watch, aren't I?" He asked himself quietly. Working up the courage to touch a dead animal by breathing deeply and inching closer to the bird with every step he soon found himself closer to the bird than he had hoped he would ever get.

"I can't just ask you to give it back to me, can I?" He begged the dead raven. "Please? I don't want to touch you... you're... icky and dead."

Earning no response from the obviously dead bird, Bone Marrow gulped down what remained of his courage in order to move the raven onto its back in order to slide the pocket watch off of its neck. Closing his eyes and looking away, he wished that the bird would simply give him the watch back instead of him having to touch it. Feeling a warmth in his horn, his eyes shot open as he noticed it was now alight with a soft blue glow. The same glow that he had noticed during his writing of the letter when he held his ink-pen.

"Of course! I'll use my magic to grab it! No more touching nasty dead things. Eww." Bone Marrow concluded, scraping off imaginary 'yuck' from his hoof into the dirt beneath him. With confidence, he focused his mental effort on the bird in order to lift the pocket watch from its body with a thin smile of determination on his face.

That smile slowly faded into horror when he noticed that the bird was falling apart. Caught in his magic, the raven's feathers soon fell from its body into a cloud of ash, causing Bone to drop the dead body in fright. Backing away into the broken wagon he witnessed the bird slowly disintegrate into a pile of ash with only the bones remaining. Pure white in coloration, no flesh remaining. A skeleton.

Shaking, staring at the bird skeleton and wishing it was all a dream, Bone Marrow was further horrified by the sight of the bird not only moving on its own, but soon slowly standing upright to stare at him once more. A bright flash of light was seen from the corner of Bone Marrow's eye, but his attention was far too focused on the explainable phenomenon in front of him. Taking deep breaths to calm himself down, he stood up and inched carefully away from the silent gaze of the skeleton raven until he noticed the pocket watch that he had come out here in the first place for. He couldn't leave without it, but that meant he would have to approach whatever the bird-thing was now.

"Um..." Bone Marrow called out quietly, his courage barely remaining with him at this point, "Are you going to hurt me?"

The raven simply stared back at Bone, nary a muscle to move.

"No pecking, promise?"

Seeing that the bird possibly wasn't going to reply any time soon, Bone used his magic to tug the pocket watch closer to him through the dust and dirt of the alley way. 'I wish you would just give me the watch and go away, crazy bone bird.' Bone Marrow lamented to himself.

Soon after this thought, the bird hopped forward and took the watch in its beak. "Not again!" Bone protested, but was soon made silent by the dead raven bringing the pocketwatch directly to his hooves before backing away. Soon after a look of confusion from Bone, the bird somehow took flight without its feathers and disappeared from sight.

Looking up to where the bird had gone and then to the floor, Bone's priorities shifted to the very real possibility that the Diamond Dogs might come back to the town hall to find him missing, and that would get everypony in trouble. Taking the watch in his mouth, not without complaint of course, Bone Marrow sneaked, darted, dashed and sprinted his way back to the town hall without catching a single hair on the back of a Diamond dog.

His tiny hooves felt heavy as he trotted into the main hall, the weight of avoiding pain from the Diamond Dogs and from his father being angry about his pocket watch being taken melted from his mind as he found a comfortable place to rest. Celestia's sun was lowering in the distance and it was almost time for Bone's parents to return along with the rest of the ponies in town. He hadn't remembered all of their names yet due to spending more time with his parents than wandering around Scoria, but he still liked most of them. The meaner ones had already left with the guards to go train as far as he knew, so Bone wasn't very concerned about them.

His ears shifted as if they had heard a noise, causing Bone to raise his head and investigate. Looking around, nopony had managed to sneak in without his notice, so he assumed the noise came from the front of the town hall. Expecting to find a clever pony, he was instead greeted by the sigh of the skeleton bird once more. It was staring silently at him from the entrance, a hollow shadow stretched across the length of the floor making it appear far more menacing than it truly was.

"You again!" Bone whisper shouted at the skeleton.

Spreading its bony wings and giving a single flap, the raven coasted through the air silently to land on Bone's side. Not moving for fear of being pecked, Bone soon witnessed what remained of the bird apparently curl up and tuck its head in the nook of its rib cage and nesting on him. His ears folded downward in worry, unsure if he should move to swipe the bird off and risk it attacking him or to simply let it sit there for the time being. He would have to explain to everypony why there was a skeleton bird on his flank, but he reasoned it would be better to do that than have it fly in and annoy the Diamond Dog when he eventually came back.

"Wait a minute..." Bone gasped aloud. Brushing the skeleton bird off of his flank, he was allowed a closer look. "My cutie mark!"

Standing up quickly and giving himself a head rush, Bone took a moment to regain his balance before resuming his joyous circular dance. "I've got a cutie mark!" He cheered, looking at each of his flanks in kind to assure himself that it had indeed finally happened. It was a shield, or maybe a sword and a shield together! It was...

"Huh?" Bone blurted, stopping his festivities completely and coming to a dead stop. Upon closer inspection, and the skeleton's likeness, Bone Marrow soon realized that his cutie mark was that of a raven's skull. His lips scrunching in frustration along with the rest of his face, Bone sat down aggressively on his behind and folded his front hooves.

"My special talent is skeleton bird making." He stated in a manner of fact tone. "Dead birds... alive again, but not."

Looking over to the bird, Bone found that it too was staring back at him. He could have sworn that the bird shrugged.

"At least its not knitting."

Author's Note:

I currently have Writers Block (tm) for my other stories, that being I Am A Pet Changeling and Star Wars: Harmony of the Force, So I've decided to take a little break from writing those two stories to instead pursue a side-story of mine about a Necromancer Foal.

I hope to expand further on this story and to develop my ability to describe scenery and world building to a higher level, as well as a different method of story telling in general. I'm attempting to stay focused on a single viewpoint instead of my usual way of leaping between a bunch of different perspectives and potentially confusing the reader.

Let me know what you think about the story's idea, the character(s), the story so far, how things are described, etc etc.

If you like what you see and you'd like to donate a tip, I have both a Patreon and a Paypal available. It helps me pay for things i need, as I'm unemployed currently.


Thank you for reading, and let me know if you want to read more!

If this gets enough views, I'll add a cover-art via Commission to the story.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!