• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,921 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.

  • ...

A Letter Most Unsettling

The caravan continued its steady march through the forest, sometimes being impeded by a river or hillside that was unfriendly to the travelling carts that some of the town's survivors dragged behind them. Bone Marrow's skeletons would drive off woodland predators and assist the ponies with retrieving anything that had fallen off of their carts, and the young necromancer himself was becoming relaxed. No pony had given him a suspicious look as they all knew exactly what he was, and for the most part the town had grown used to the idea of traveling with a necromancer.

Obscenely Rich had taken the lead of the caravan, guiding the group of thirty or so weary ponies to his manor on the outskirts of the Everfree Forest. He spun tales of how large the building was, how the walls were covered with golden sheets of enchanted metal that glowed during the night in a most pleasant shimmer. He bragged about his own guards; their training, their equipment that he himself purchased for them, practically everything he could think of was drummed up to the point of fable.

The younger ponies of the caravan were enthralled by this, having no time to consider if they should cry for food or throw things at Bone's skeletons to see if they reacted to the abuse. The distraction was welcomed by weary parents and ponies alike, offering them a chance to finally get some restful sleep after the days of tense marching as the group slowly became accustomed to another.

Things were going well for Bone Marrow and his friends... and that made him worry.

If there's anything I've learned from Galloping Glades, it's to expect the unexpected. Am I being paranoid? I would've thought so before, but now... now It might just be a safety precaution. I wonder if there's any dead things we've passed so far? Who knows, maybe there's a bear skeleton I could use, Bone mused to himself silently. Maybe I could wander off and find a bear to turn into a skeleton.

The young necromancer rested his head on the edge of a cart he walked alongside. I'm thinking too much, aren't I?

A bright blue colored muzzle poked itself over the side of the cart, soon raising to reveal Scenic's tired face. "Hey Bone," she greeted with a yawn, "What time is it?"

The hooded unicorn looked up to the sky, noting the position of the sun. "Uh... probably noon-ish?"

Scenic yawned loudly once more, covering her mouth with a hoof this time. Blinking the tiredness from her eyes she asked, "Can you go ask Rich how much longer it'll be till we get there?"

Bone nodded, walking ahead of the carts towards the front of the line and weaving around his skeletal guards. To his surprise, the skeletons hadn't begun to fall apart. They marched onward just as well as any royal guard would've, despite the distance. Blue glowing eyes stared back at Bone as he inspected the ones he passed, each nodding upon seeing the young necromancer.

Reaching the front of the group, Bone walked alongside Rich as he was explaining yet more fanciful things he had at his disposal. Enchanted spoons that could feed a family being the subject at hoof.

"Hey Rich," Bone interjected.

The pony was startled greatly by this, his limbs flailing for a moment as he grabbed hold of himself. "By Celestia, Bone Marrow," He huffed, "Please warn me when you're nearby; you're quiet as a ghost when you move."

"Are we there yet?" The necromancer asked from beneath his hood.

Rich's shoulders slumped at that. "Not you too..."

Bone was curious, "What do you mean? Are we close to your manor?"

The golden armored pony pointed to the young foals he had been entertaining during the journey. "These small demons have been pestering me day and night about how close we are to the manor, and I'll tell you the same thing I told them: We'll get there eventually."

The foals blew raspberries at Rich, causing him to pull away from them and pull out a hoof-kerchief with his magic. "Vile, dribbling monsters," he muttered under his breath as he wiped his armor clean.

"Do you live with anypony, Rich?" Bone inquired. He was concerned that he might have to leave the group if those at the manor had a chance of reporting him to the royal guard. After all, everypony in Equestria had most likely seen his wanted poster and he didn't want to place anypony in danger because they helped him.

"Oh yes," Rich replied, finishing the cleaning of his faceplate, "I have servants, butlers, pets and guards all about my Manor... as well as a few relatives I wish I could throw out."

"Have you told them about me?" Bone worriedly asked. "I don't want to start a riot or something when we get there."

Rich sighed. "I haven't had the chance to send a letter or anything, you know? I've been stuck in a similar mess as you with the town of Galloping Glades being burned to the ground. Not exactly a prime moment to be sending letters."

The necromancer's lips tightened. "So we're just hoping for the best?"

The golden pony shrugged. "Unless you come up with some fantastical means of delivering a letter, yes."

Bone Marrow thought for a bit before coming to a brilliant idea, "What if I made a messenger?"

Rich looked over his shoulder at the ponies behind him with concern, "You don't mean..."

The necromancer waved a hoof to bat away the metaphorical implications of what Rich was suggesting, "No, not them. A bird! The first thing I ever brought back to life was a raven that had stolen my father's pocket watch. If we find another one, then perhaps we could have it deliver a letter?"

Rich's eyes narrowed a bit at that. "You have a very odd life, Bone Marrow."

Bone shrugged. "I've also died three times, but making a skeleton bird is what weirds you out?"

Rich shook his helmeted head. "Never mind that. If the guards don't immediately attempt to destroy your messenger, then it should be a sound enough plan. I'll just have to make the stamp extra large for the servants to see it and prepare in advance."

Bone smiled widely, turning away from Rich without another word to run back to Scenic.

"Hey!" The unicorn whisper shouted over the edge of the cart, "I got an idea!"

Scenic's head once again propped itself up so she could see her friend. "How close are we?"

Bone shook his head, "We're close, but we need to send a letter to the manor first so they don't freak out about me being there. Can you find me a raven?"

The pegasus was suspicious. "What for?"

"I'm going to turn it into a messenger raven," Bone replied excitedly. "A skeletal messenger raven!"

Scenic mulled over the idea for a moment before replying. "Yep, that sounds super cool. I'm in!"

For the next day Scenic flew over the Everfree Forest, attempting many times to capture a bird with little success. Scenic suggested that Bone use his magic to pluck one out of the sky, but the birds flew too far away for his magic to reach them no matter how much he willed it. Eventually, fate and fortune decided to smile upon the two young ponies in the early morning of the following day.

"Eugh, put that down, Frosty!"

Bone looked up from the ground with hope, turning around and moving to the back of the caravan to spot the filly in question playing with a dead bird.

"It has diseases on it!" Frosty's father warned. The filly cared little, flexing the bird's dead wings and giggling.

Bone plucked the bird from Frosty's hooved clutches, causing her to immediately cry about her toy being taken away. The young necromancer couldn't care less, however. Now he finally had a bird!

Should I call you Toothpick as well? Bone mused, Guess we'll have to wait and see how smart you turn out.

Focusing his magic and melting the flesh and bone from the bird with sheer force of will, he held the skeleton of the bird in a telekinetic grip as he brought it back to life. First the body, then with a second pulse of magic, the mind.

The skeletal bird squirmed in Bone's grip, releasing silent cries of alarm.

"Hey," Bone softly announced, "calm down."

The raven went limp, its glowing eyes staring back at the young necromancer.

"Toothpick?" Bone asked tentatively.

The unicorn's blue magic rested the raven on his head, and he stared up at the bird expectantly, a smile wide on his face with anticipation.


"Toothpick!" Bone cheered, causing other ponies to stare with curiosity about why a necromancer would be so excited about a tooth cleaning device before reeling back in surprise at Bone's newfound companion.

"Come on, Toothpick. I've got a job for you!"

Rich stared at the skeletal bird that preened feathers that no longer existed, nested on top of the necromancer's hooded head.

"I see you've finally found our messenger," Rich asked hopefully.

Bone nodded, jostling Toothpick a bit and earning a peck on the head as payback. "Yep! Now we just need the letter and a location, and I'm pretty sure he'll be able to find it."

The golden pony was skeptical. "How do you know the skeleton will know where to go, and for it to find us again?"

Bone looked up in an attempt to see Toothpick, but his movement only caused the bird to begin rolling off of his head. With a flutter of bones, the skeletal bird righted itself and hopped onto his horn.

"I don't know, actually..." Bone admitted. "Maybe I could just tell it to come back?"

The bird looked curiously at Bone, its head tilting sideways. After a second's pause, the bird pecked Bone's eyelid.

"Agh!" Bone yelped, holding his eye, "What was that for!?"

His eyes watered from the pain and they slammed shut. Before long, the young necromancer noticed something odd in his vision. He could swear that his eyes remained closed, but he saw through them.

Opening his eyes and looking behind himself, he realized something was wrong. He closed his eyelids once more, and saw the world through a different set of eyes. Judging from how it moved... it was one of his skeletal guards. One near the middle of the formation on the other side.

"What the..." Bone muttered, his bird shuffling its body happily atop his horn.

Bone focused his attention on Toothpick now, and his vision shifted as if through murky waters to refocus. He was now staring at Rich, though he was taller than he remembered being. He moved his head up and down, and noticed that it felt off.

Opening his eyes, he was lower to the ground. "Okay, this is really weird."

Rich was confused. "What, did the bird try to take more than your eye with its beak?"

Bone closed his eyes once more for the sake of confirmation and focused on Toothpick. Sure enough, his vision was elevated. Looking down, he saw himself. He was now standing on his own horn in the body of Toothpick. Looking up, he saw Rich's very perplexed face as they walked along the road.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Rich asked with a greater amount of concern.

Bone opened his eyes with a wide grin. "I'm doing fantastic."

After Bone explained that he was now aware of his ability to take direct control of his skeletal minions, he was confident that Toothpick would be able to make the delivery. He then questioned why a pegasus from the town wouldn't be able to perform the same task, and Rich explained that the manor was still far enough away that a pony would become too tired to travel the distance in time with their frequent stops. By comparison, an undead raven was lightning fast since it needed no rest or food to keep going.

The message was off in Toothpick's skeletal beak as it soared high into the air with respectable speed, soon vanishing over the treetops.

"I'll check in on Toothpick from time to time, just to make sure he's still headed the right direction." Bone explained with a smile at his avian companion. "Just when I think that being a necromancer is all doom and gloom, I discover something that's just absurdly cool about my special talent."

With a flapping of wings and a heavy landing, Scenic appeared behind Bone Marrow suddenly, wrapping her hooves around his chest and pulling him to the bottom of the cart with her.

"Gotcha!" Scenic announced with a smile before pointing up to the sky. "Was that the raven you found earlier?"

Bone adjusted his hood in order to see his friend better, "Yes! You won't believe what I just found out!"

Scenic was interested. "Oh, what's that?"

The necromancer closed his eyes, and for a moment nothing happened.

"Uh, Bone? Have you discovered nap-time again?"

From the corner of her eye she spotted something moving, and was startled to find a skeleton reaching over the edge of the cart towards her.

"Ahh! Bone, your skeletons have gone nuts!" Scenic shouted, moving away from the skeleton.

Bone giggled, and the skeleton made a similar yet silent copy of the action.

"I can control my skeletons and see through their eyes!" Bone announced proudly, "How cool is that?"

The necromancer's eyes opened to a shining blue, the skulls in his iris' seeming to sparkle. Scenic looked down at her amused friend and smiled as well.

"That's pretty awesome actually," Scenic enthusiastically replied,"Can you make them do anything else?"

A voice of protest came from the cart ahead of the two young ponies, "Hey, can you at least have some respect for the dead?"

The ponies sighed. From behind them, the small filly Frosty declared with a sad inflection, "Party pooper."

The group traveled onward, the young growing with excitement alongside their parents and elders as the necromancer's messenger returned with a new letter.

"We're getting closer!" A colt shouted loudly and was accompanied by cheers from the ponies nearby.

Rich was quickly opening the letter with a sharp part of his armor, climbing into a cart despite the grumblings of the pony pulling it to get a better look at the scroll.

To Sir Obscenely Rich of the Rich Family,

I regret to inform you that due to the arrival of this skeletal messenger, your home will be investigated by The Knights of the Sun for collusion with a necromancer.

The survivors are free to stay at your manor, should you wish it, but they too will be investigated and questioned by the Knights of the Sun. If you are cleared of charges and this is is somehow explained to our investigator's satisfaction, you will be free to continue on with your life as you see fit. Within the realm of law, of course.

Sir Red Tape, Knight of the Sun

Rich gulped as he finished the letter, folding it and placing it into his armor.

"So," Bone suddenly inquired, "What did the letter say?"

Rich's heart almost leaped out of his throat with fright at Bone's habit of stealthy conversation starting, holding a hoof to his chest with an armored clank.

"Bone Marrow, would you please refrain from scaring me half to death? I'd like to wait a bit longer before becoming a part of your skeletal army, if you wouldn't mind."

Rich thought of all the ways this could go terribly wrong, what with all he had seen in Galloping Glades. He was certain that if the Knights of the Sun knew about Bone Marrow's arrival that they would turn his manor into a fortress and that it would be an absolute bloodbath for both sides.

Looking to the expectant necromancer at his side, he knew what to do. "Would you mind if I sent another letter, Bone Marrow?"

Bone nodded without hesitation. "Sure, same place?"

Rich shook his head. "No, I have to call in a favor..."

Author's Note:

Another chapter! Wheee!

No chapter yesterday because I was giving an update to I Am A Pet Changeling!

Let me know what you think Rich might be planning!

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