• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,895 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.

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Toothpick returned a few hours later carrying a new letter in his beak. Rich stated that the pony he had contacted would arrive in the following day and that it would be a good idea to set up camp while they waited. Ponies happily moved to the sides of the road, setting up makeshift shelters from any possible rain and set up cooking fires to make soups from what little supplies they had left. Foals played with slightly burnt toys, adults chatted with another about what they would do when the group arrived at Rich's mansion, and Bright Idea informed Bone Marrow of the best places to position his skeletal guards.

The day passed slowly but thankfully without incident. The sun rose and fell, and only a few howls were heard in the distance as Bone Marrow stood guard. He had noticed that he rarely slept or felt tired compared to before he found his cutie mark, and that his appetite for most things was non-existent.

Bone wondered about the kind of pony that Rich would call upon; that not only would they accept his request, but they would come all the way out in the middle of a dangerous forest to meet him. He shook his head with the possible ways this could all go wrong in a moment. One omitted detail, one false presumption and the pony would turn tail and alert the guard.

In the early morning of the next day, Bone was surprised to see something fairly large flying overhead. It looked to be a chariot soaring though the air with a single pegasus pulling it from the front. Squinting his eyes, he realized that the contraption was dropping in altitude and moving to land in the center of the camp.

His voice raised to a shout, "Chariot!"

Ponies awoke from their fitful slumber on the hard ground, looking in every direction for the source of the disturbance.

"Above!" Bone soon clarified, pointing directly to the chariot as it began to kick up dust from the driver's flapping wings.

With a heavy wooden clunk, the chariot dropped to the ground. The pegasus that pulled the device was dripping with sweat and breathing heavily as if she had rushed the entire way there. From the seat, a unicorn in a gaudy dress hopped out.

"Obby, where are you?" The unicorn called out, her gaze sweeping through the camp as she turned around in search of somepony. "Rich, get your golden flank out here!"

The armored pony came from around a cart's wheel, brushing off dirt and quickly trotting towards the newcomer.

"Duchess Lulamoon, you've arrived!" Rich politely greeted. "I'm amazed with how quickly you found us."

"Never doubt the Duchess' talent, Obby. You know that." Lulamoon tutted, patting him on his helmeted head. "Now, where is the pony you said needed a disguise? The Great Lulamoon's time is precious and expensive, as you know."

Bone Marrow had been watching the exchange while hidden nearby, only his hooded head peeking out from underneath a cart.

"Bone Marrow!" Rich called out to the general area, "I have somepony here who'd like to help you!"

The duchess' eyes widened with concern, "Bone Marrow? You mean the necromancer? The Necromancer?"

Bone's rules called out to him, to never trust strangers, yet if he was going to stick with the group, he would at least have to see where this was going. With a deep breath the young unicorn pulled himself from underneath the cart and made steady progress towards the two noble ponies.

"Ah," Rich declared with a pointed hoof, "There he is."

Lulamoon slowly turned her head to face him, half of her expecting this to be an elaborate prank and the other praying to Celestia that her face wouldn't be melted off in an instant. She was confused for a moment, before a small white hoof beneath her waved. Looking down, she was greeted by a hooded unicorn colt.

"This?" The duchess scoffed, "This is your Bone Marrow?" She rolled her eyes and gave a snooty laugh. "Please, Obby. You could at least hire an adult for a prank of this scale. You do know that this stunt is going to cost you bits, don't you?"

Rich coughed into his helmet's grille, pointing again to the small necromancer. "Bone, if you don't mind, could you lower your hood?"

"Who is she?" Bone countered, his skeletal guards already making their steady advance towards the newcomer. "A friend of yours?"

The noble pony was now slightly more worried as she noticed armored guards approaching her from every side. She took a step back towards her chariot and asked, "Rich, this isn't funny. Stop this charade at once!"

The skeletons halted, Bone Marrow sighed, and pulled back his hood. "I'm going to regret this," he declared.

Her eyes went wide as they met with the glowing blue skulls that rested within Bone's iris'. "It is you, isn't it?" Looking away from the young necromancer to Obscenely Rich she asked, "What did you do to get in all of this mess anyhow?"

Rich shook his head, "That isn't important, nor why I called you here. I need your help Lula."

"You," She challenged pointing to Rich, "You want the Great Lulamoon to disguise a necromancer!?"

He nodded.

"Do you have any idea how absurdly illegal that is? Do you know how many decades The Duchess would spend in prison for helping you?" Lulamoon was very clearly upset and Bone Marrow grew more unimpressed by the moment.

The unicorn mare considered her situation for the moment after a pause. She was surrounded by what would most likely be the necromancer's minions. He was capable of unspeakable horrors and he was also looking none too pleased with how their meeting was going. Judging all the factors, taking into account all that she could think of on such short notice, she came to a conclusion.

With a smirk the duchess replied, "Do you even know how much this is going to cost you, Obby?"

Obscenely Rich sighed loudly, "Would you please stop calling me that?"

With the duchess having agreed to assist, she gave a grand account of her own abilities. She was a master of Illusion, often assisting nobles of the Canterlot Court with their daily change in extravagant outfits and applying a few bits of magic here and there in order to make the rich look younger than they actually were. If they wanted to go out for a night on the town without drawing suspicion, they called on Lulamoon to alter how they appeared. Their coat, their cutie-mark, their mane, everything.

Lulamoon had been attempting much of the same things she typically employed on her clients, though one feature of the young necromancer refused her alterations. Every color the duchess tried, every shade, every combination of hue she could think of did nothing to hide one simple detail.

Bone's skull iris' refused to change. The color would shift, certainly; what never shifted to Lulamoon's magic was the skulls. Ever present, never yielding. It was driving her mad with stress. All of her masterwork abilities, her special talent, none of it would break through to alter the unicorn's appearance. Before long she sat down on her chariot's platform, head held in her hooves in focused contemplation. Bone Marrow took a break from the shape changing, using one of his skeletons to see how he had changed.

His coat was now a muddy brown, his mane a spicy red and his eyes... well. His eyes were a green and red striped plaid. She did mention that she had tried everything, after all.

"That's it." Lulamoon announced with a huff, "That's all there is left to do."

Rich, Bone and Scenic looked up towards her as she shuffled items around in her various bags. Standing up and moving closer to the Duchess, they were surprised by what she held.

"If even the Great Lulamoon can't change the eyes of a necromancer, then..." She paused, looking at the scalpel she now floated next to her. With a deep breath and following sigh, she set it aside. "Alright, Bone Marrow. You're going to need to hear the exact reason why the Duchess must do what she has to in order for this plan of Rich's to work."

Bone was now very suspicious, his eyes wide. "Hear what?"

"Hold out your hoof, the Duchess promises it's only for explanation."

Bone tentatively did as he was told, and Lulamoon held his hoof, placing her own over it. "Bone Marrow... I need to remove your eyes."

His hoof instantly retracted to the safety of his chest as he backed away. "You what!?"

The Duchess held up her hooves, "Just listen to Lulamoon for a moment, alright?"

Holding out her own hoof, Lulamoon blasted it with magic. Shifting from an icy blue into a hot red she explained, "When the Royal Guard and the Knights of the Sun scan you with their magic, any other Illusionist's craft would vanish in an instant." She projected a wave of magic against her hoof, and sure enough it returned to its previous icy blue. "The Great Lulamoon, however, is a master at her work."

She changed her hoof to a yellowish-red now, scanning it once again with her magic and received no reaction. "Sure enough, the ponies that you're going to encounter won't know the difference between my work and reality. The problem, however, is that your eyes refuse to conceal the skulls of your Iris'. No matter what I've tried, I cannot hide, blur or conceal them. I even made your eyes clouded once and you didn't even notice."

Bone was taken aback by that. "Really?"

The duchess nodded. "It might have something to do with your more unique nature, but the facts remain the same. The only thing the Great Lulamoon can do to conceal those skulls resting in your eyes is to remove them entirely. A scan cannot find an altered eye if there is no eye to find in the first place."

Bone shook his head, taking another step away from the mare. "There has to be something else we can do, like a blindfold or something?"

She sighed with sympathy, "Bone Marrow, what do you think the guards would do then? Simply lift your blindfold to check and you would be found out instantly. If you stayed away from the group it might work as well, but then you would be isolated. The guard would find you eventually, rendering all this effort pointless."

"There's nothing else we can do?" Bone shuddered, "Dying was bad enough; I don't want my eyes cut out of my head!"

Lulamoon leaned back into her chariot, a hoof rubbing her forehead. "Rich, The Duchess is never doing anything like this again for you. Ever. A colt of all ponies!"

Rich decided to contribute at this moment, his thoughts finally overpowering his own sickened stomach. "Bone Marrow..." he began, his words catching with indecision, "You can heal your eyes back later, right?"

"Just because I can recover doesn't mean that I want to consider being blinded! What if the guards figure out I'm a necromancer anyway!?" Bone protested, shielding his eyes from Lulamoon's sight. "I'd like to avoid pain!"

Reaching over, the Duchess pulled a large bottle from a cabinet within her chariot. The label read 'Workshaw Spirytus, 192 proof Alcohol'. "Lulamoon may have something that can help dull the pain. The eye removal will be as quick as possible."

Bone now latched onto a different subject, seeking to redirect the conversation away from his eyes being torn from his head. "Why do you constantly refer to yourself like you're somepony else!?"

Scenic reached out a hoof to her friend, wrapping it around his side. "Bone, would you want to leave the group instead? Maybe the guards will go away after a while and you can rejoin us?"

The young colt grimaced at that. "Then what? Where would I hide? The last time I wandered off into the forest I died twice from a crossbow bolt through my heart. I don't want to try my luck next to a manor filled with Knights!"

"Then..." Scenic replied gently, "What should we do? If you stay with us you'll be captured as you are. If we do what the Duchess is suggesting, then..."

Bone shut his eyes closed as hard as he could; his jaw clamped shut. What do I do!? Let them rip my eyes out for who knows how long on the gamble that I can be smuggled into the mansion? What if it doesn't work? I'll have gone through all of that pain for nothing and have to replace my eyes with meat that we'll get from who knows where.

"Bone?" Scenic asked, "I'll be with you the entire time, alright? I'm not going to leave your side until your eyes are back."

His eyes opened. Taking a shaky breath he looked up at the expectant Lulamoon and Obscenely Rich. Looking to Scenic he asked, "How much do you think losing eyes hurts? Is it a lot?"

She sucked air through her teeth with a hiss. "I... really have no idea. Still have my eyes in place, you know?"

A half hour passed. Bone Marrow asked every question he could think about for the procedure, including his distinct hatred of the fact that he would have to be awake for it to be completed. Lulamoon would hold his eyelids open with her magic and guide the scalpel she possessed around the edge of his eyeballs. Glossing over a few details, she stated that it shouldn't take longer than a few minutes in total.

The key to all of this, however, was the very strong alcohol she carried with her at all times.

"Alright Bone," Bright Idea inquired holding a shot glass filled with the horrible smelling liquid, "are you ready?"

Bone took hold of the glass with his magic, careful not to spill it on the ground for fear that it might explode as soon as it hit the dirt. "What is this exactly?"

"Liquid fire," Lulamoon explained nonchalantly. "Fairly popular in Workshaw but the Duchess always keeps a bottle stocked for special occasion." Looking over her shoulder she added, "The Great Lulamoon would say that this situation qualifies."

The young necromancer sniffed the liquid before instantly coughing and moving it away from his mouth. "It smells like Tartarus!"

Bright Idea shrugged, "You get used to it eventually."

Looking back at the shot glass and glancing at the scalpel in the distance, Bone grimaced. "How do I drink this without dying? I know I'd come back, but still."

Bright Idea explained step-by-step. "Take a deep breath away from the shot glass, exhale all of your air, bring the glass close, drink as much of it as you can, pull away from the glass, breathe in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth."

Bone gulped, looking at the drink like poison. "Here goes."

He took a deep breath, exhaled, brought his muzzle close and drank. He hadn't been expecting the taste, nor the burning sensation as he attempted to drink as much as possible before his head began to shake. He coughed, sputtering some of the liquid out in front of him as the glass dropped to the ground. Holding his throat he moved further away from the drink and attempted to catch his breath.

In a gravelly colt voice he declared, "That is the most horrible thing I've ever tasted in my life!"

Coughing again, the nearby adults gave a pitied chuckle, knowing in the back of their minds what the point of the alcohol was for. If they were lucky, a few more shots would numb the colt enough that he might be able to withstand the pain.

"Remind me again why I have to be awake for this?" Bone rumbled with alcohol scorched vocal chords.

"The Duchess hadn't planned on surgery today." Lulamoon explained, "All the tools normally used are far away from here and if you don't arrive at Rich's manor soon, the Knights of the Sun will come looking for you all. It would be far more difficult to explain why a necromancer is being operated on in the middle of a forest than suggesting that you are an injured survivor of Galloping Glades. In the ideal situation you would be rendered unconscious by powerful mixtures, but I have none on hoof at the moment. Staying awake is the only way we can be certain that nothing is going wrong with the operation. If you pass out, we'll know to run away from you before we all become ash."

Rich nodded his head, "To be fair, it wouldn't be lying. We're all survivors of Galloping Glades, and with you missing your eyes you would be injured."

Rubbing his throat Bone croaked out a sarcastic, "Wonderful."

Bright Idea lifted the shot glass once more. "Ready?"

Bone's eyes went wide at the sight of more alcohol. "One wasn't enough!?"

By the time Bone Marrow was declared drunk enough to remove his eyeballs safely, he was hardly coherent.

"Issit over yet? I can't see-eeee." Bone stammered, his head rolling from side to side from his position on the ground. His back was to the floor and his hooves curled up close to his body, his eyes slowly blinking. "I think I'm gonna die."

"You'll be fine Bone," Scenic replied, brushing his mane away from his face. "At least I hope so."

"Hehe, Hopesso Espresso." Bone rambled, giggling at the words his mind made up and the noises they made when being spoken aloud. "Comin' down town a-brero with my-"

The colt nearly vomited at that, holding his mouth for a moment to let things settle. "Eugh."

"A few minutes is all we need, Bone Marrow." Lulamoon moved over Bone's prone body, her magic already peeling his eyelids back. Raising her head she shouted, "I need ponies to hold him down!"

Rich, Bright Idea, Scenic and the pegasus chariot puller each took up positions around Bone Marrow. Each held one of his hooves in place with Bright and Rich holding the colt's head down as well.

"Are my eyes supposed to feel like they're falling apart?" Bone asked. The scalpel was quick to move to his eyes, already beginning the incisions needed to remove the fleshy orbs.

Bone immediately shouted with pain as his brain finally understood what was happening. His eyelids fought to close themselves against the cold metallic intruder's sharp blade to no success, only getting cut to ribbons in the process. Try as he might, Bone squirmed and attempted to turn his head away from the sharp device, moving to spare his sight just a moment longer.

"Hold him steady!" Lulamoon commanded, forcing his head to hold still with more of her magic as she continued carving out his right eye.

"Make it stop!" Bone shouted, still trying to turn away as the alcohol quickly wore off. He could feel the pain, however much it was dulled. His face was numb along with most of his body, but he could feel the pressure, the steady movements of the blade along his eye. "Aaagh!"

He clenched his jaw hard, pained breath seething through his teeth as the other ponies struggled to hold him. His breathing quickened as his sight began to darken and his mind called out in a panic.

Darkness! Blind!

The slicing stopped, shouting came up from those around the young necromancer.

"Bone please!" he could hear Rich shout, "Stop using your magic; we're trying to help you!"

"I can't see!" Scenic cried out.

With half of his right eye still remaining in chunks on his face, Bone did what he could to calm down. Vision returned to his unharmed left eye, and the nearby ponies shakily resumed their stations.

"I'm so sorry, Bone." Rich pleaded, "We shouldn't have sent the messenger, I shouldn't have brought it up!"

The colt reached out blindly with his hoof until the golden pony caught it. "H-hey," Bone stammered. He could feel the pain but his mind was still sluggish. "It's either this or bliss, right?"

The noble shook his head in confusion, "What?"

Bone blinked and immediately regretted it. He could feel part of his eye colliding roughly with his shredded eyelid and nearly panicked. "I-I mean that if I don't get blinded, you all get in trouble! I can't think good with all this fog in my head..."

"You're doing great," Scenic replied encouragingly. She was doing her best to keep a stoic face but her eyes spoke only of the horror she was witnessing. "You'll get through this, o-okay?"

Bone opened what was left of his eyes wide once again as they were taken hold of in Lulamoon's magic. "I hope so, cause if I die, we have to do this all over again..."

The other five ponies shared a grim look with each other, uncertain if they would be able to look themselves in the mirror after this ordeal let alone attempt it again. Bone held his hooves close to his body as well as he could, his body shaking and the right side of his face feeling wet with tears and blood. He took a trembling breath and nodded, the bit of his right eye still hanging loose from his face.

The blade descended once more, moving faster this time albeit more sloppily. Lulamoon decided that the perfection of the operation didn't matter, only that the necromancer's skull cursed eyes no longer gave him away. A hasty cut removed what remained of the right eye turning it into a fleshy bleeding crater in the colt's face. Her breathing became rapid as her own conscience caught up with her, asking what choices she made in life that brought her to cutting out somepony's eyes in the middle of a forest.

Redoubling her efforts, the Duchess moved on to the left eye. Making similar incisions and fighting against the kicks and screams of the poor colt under her knife she operated as fast as she could, trying to keep to her promise of only a few minutes' pain. Her worries about infection and cleanliness died at the wayside when she realized that Bone was capable of returning from the dead. To him, she imagined, a surgical infection was an inconvenience at most.

The flyer of the chariot, meanwhile, was seriously considering her paygrade's ability to keep her sleeping peacefully at night.

When all was finished and Bone's eyes had been removed, the camp was silent. Everypony had heard what was going on. How could they not? They witnessed a young colt have their eyes gouged out surgically on a dirt road in the middle of a forest. A necromancer's eyes. The kind of ponies that were supposed to be the most horrid of monsters that ever were, and here was Bone Marrow allowing others to slice out his very eyes all for the sake of those around him being able to live peacefully without the Knights of the Sun or the Royal Guard breathing down their necks with the threat of imprisonment or worse.

The few ponies that had their doubts about Bone Marrow's true motives were replaced by the screams that would be seared into their minds for the rest of their lives.

During the surgery each of Bone Marrow's minions had crumbled into dust. Each giving back the magic they had received in order to dull the pain of their master. It hadn't helped. Even with what little numbing the alcohol could provide, Bone Marrow shook with pain. Each movement of his eyes brought only more suffering and he was barely able to speak.

Lulamoon wrapped a bandage around Bone's head. Rich muttered appreciation for her help, and soon the mare parted ways from the group. Scenic lead her now sightless friend to a cart, each pony offering to take him aboard. She walked him along the entire stretch to the very end and helped him climb aboard.

Frosty's father looked with horror at the colt he had been so terrified of the entire trip, so worried had he been that Bone would suddenly turn on them all and devour the souls of everypony present. No more, however, was he concerned about that. He could only stare as the colt was lowered to rest on his side, disguised with magic that had changed his coat colors, mane and cutie mark to become a completely different pony.

The filly named Frosty stumbled over to Bone Marrow, taking a seat next to him. Reaching out slowly with her hoof and resting it on Bone's muzzle, she startled him.

"Still pretty."

Author's Note:

Another chapter out, let me know what you think.

Man, was this hard for me to write. I could only watch so much of an eye surgery video before I had to shut it off, so I hope any eye surgeons out there reading don't scold me for lack of proper explanation of all this.

Anyway, if you'd like to help support me, you can follow the links over to my Patreon or Paypal and maybe join my Discord channel for discussions. Thanks for reading!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SannyWriting
Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/Brianpasquali
Discord: https://discord.gg/nDXd3AB

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