• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,910 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.

  • ...

The Enemy of my Enemy is Also My Enemy

With the Knights of the Sun marching off towards Canterlot, everypony breathed a sigh of relief. The danger had passed for now, and things could assume some semblance of normality. Bone Marrow was the most excited by the Knight's departure with Scenic leading him by the hoof to the manor's larder, where meat was stored.

"Now, I imagine you'll need a bit of meat to restore your eyes," Rich idly mentioned, "Try not to eat the entire larder, would you? I have a griffon prince due to visit in the next few days and they love to arrive exactly when I'm not expecting them as some kind of a practical joke."

Bone nodded carefully, "I'll see what I can do, but I've never actually used my special talent to heal before."

Rich hummed with understanding. "First time for everything, I suppose."

With the noble's permission the two foals had access to the larder, though Bone Marrow suggested that everypony else stay outside just so he wouldn't consume them on accident.

The air was cold enough for the young necromancer's breath to be visible; enchanted designs lining the inner walls of the larder and emitting some kind of frost to all the items present in the room. Packed tightly together in the layer of cold, Bone reached out with his magic to get a sense of what he was able to work with.

Will consuming cold meat give me a brain freeze? The colt wondered with a momentary scrunching face of confusion. Eh, might as well try it anyway. A little bit, just in case I don't need more.

Sensing where the frozen flesh sat in the room with his magic, the blind necromancer smiled and willed the meat to be devoured. Flakes of frost struck his face as the meat turned to ash, now making Bone concerned for the clean-up afterwards.

Almost immediately he felt better, more refreshed. A slow tiredness had crept upon him that had gone unnoticed until now from the lack of meat.

"Well," The colt announced with uncertainty to the cold room, "Here goes nothing."

He focused on his own eyes thinking with all of his might...


Nothing happened at first, but soon he felt a cold soothing reach the back of his eyes where bloody cords of muscle still remained. It flowed outward towards his eyelids, growing in intensity as he felt the back of his eyes coming together. A slow and steady progression of vision, of his now greatly appreciated fleshy orbs known as eyeballs that allowed him to see and experience the world.

A smile grew across his face as more and more of his eyes returned, finally completing with his eyelids being a bit chilly. Reaching up with a hoof to tear his bandages off, he was relieved that there had been no pain. Opening his eyes, they stung intensely, as if looking for the first time. Technically, Bone realized, that was true. He just used his magic to create eyes!

Blinking rapidly, testing the fact that he could in fact see once more, he looked down to his hooves. He saw that his will to heal had not only fixed his eyes, but now his disguise was rapidly disintegrating. A muddy brown gave way to a pure white and fluffy coat, his eyes glowed to illuminate the darkness once more, and his cutie mark returned to its former glory of being a raven's skull. His mane was even back to its previous dark blue, which he spent a few moments batting a hoof at.

He then swiftly turned around in the locker, pressing against the door as it had no inside mechanism for opening and proudly looked around the room, first spotting Scenic and embracing her in a hug.

"I can see!"

Scenic returned a hug of her own, glad that her friend's torment was finally over as far as eyes went. "What happened to your disguise, Bone?"

The necromancer waved a hoof of scorn at the larder behind him. "My magic may have erased it accidentally. It's fine though, the Knights are gone!"

"Only for the moment, Bone Marrow," Rich replied with an emphasis on the necromancer's name. "I never thought I'd be happy to say the name of a necromancer, but it's a bit different when you know the kind of pony they are, isn't it?"

Bone was confused, "What do you mean by that?"

"Well," Rich explained while taking in a breath, "Pure Intent will be quick with his marching. I assume he'll send a letter in advance and have the warrant ready by the time he gets to Canterlot. After that, It will only be a short time before he returns, as Canterlot is a day's march away from my Manor."

Looking into his pocket, the noble produced a small golden pocket watch. "As for the pony you are, I thought to bring you a gift."

Bone's mind flashed to when he had lost his father's pocket watch, but quickly noticed the engraving on the case was different, almost runic.

"This, dear necromancer friend of mine, is no ordinary pocket watch," Rich explained. Opening the lid with a dexterous hoof, the clock was shown on the right side, yet the lid had opened to something akin to a mirror. "Whosoever holds this watch will be able to see the faces of those they remember." He demonstrated this by showing the face of a pony Bone had never seen before. "My departed wife of many years..."

With a swift click to shut the device, the noble presented the gift to Bone Marrow. "For you to keep. You spared my life when you caught me in the forest heckling bandits when you could've easily killed every last one of us with a thought and saved yourself the trouble. You saved the ponies you could from the town of Galloping Glades and they have you to thank for the rest of their lives. What's even more impressive to me, however, is your own willingness to have your eyes cut out for the safety of everypony in my estate. For that, I can offer you a priceless gift of which you'll find none else in existence."

Bone Marrow accepted the gift, lifting it over his neck. He inspected the pocket watch, opening the lid. "How does it work?"

"Simply think of a pony you know or care about and their face will appear," Rich instructed.

After a moment's pause, the mirror inside was filled with Scenic's smiling face, soon replaced by each of Bone's parents.

Looking up from the watch, Bone smiled. "Thanks, Obby."

The nobles lips pursed for a moment at that, but soon gave into a smile of his own. "Just this once you may call me that, I suppose."

"Won't it get damaged?" Scenic voiced with concern, "I mean... Bone doesn't have the most peaceful of a life."

Rich nodded. "It has more enchantments on it than Celestia's own armor, I imagine. Nothing will destroy that pocket watch, I guarantee it."

Bone was still slightly worried after Scenic's comment. "Not even... lava?"

The golden pony rested a hoof on Bone's side. "Nothing, will destroy it."

Bone nodded with a renewed smile. "Thank you!"

As the day progressed, Bone Marrow paid a visit to everypony in the manor while Obscenely Rich informed his own manor's guards about the Necromancer in the walls. They were understandably frightened, but Rich soon explained that Bone Marrow was a dear friend of his, and that he would be giving out a bonus to hazard pay so long as the necromancer stayed within the walls. That offer cowed most of them, with only a few giving voiced concerns about the safety of everypony in the manor.

Rich explained that without the necromancer's help, he would be dead along with everypony that had survived Galloping Glades. He also added that without the necromancer, they would all be unemployed at the moment. That was enough to silence any further doubts among the hired guards and they soon returned to their posts, although still nervous when Bone Marrow trotted cheerfully in their direction.

Survivors from Galloping Glades had offered gifts, clothing and Bone's old cloak back. It had been kept for safe keeping by Frosty's father, whom wished him well in his travels. Frosty herself had somehow managed to smuggle an Oatmeal Raisin cookie in her mane and offered it to Bone. Surprisingly, there was a lack of hair or other disgusting baby-filly germs on the treat and he graciously accepted. It didn't stop him from scrutinizing every centimeter of the cookie when he was out of sight, but he soon ate it anyway.

Scenic and her mother were the last ponies that Bone Marrow visited. He wouldn't be able to stay in the manor and he would have to keep on his hooves at all times lest the Knights of the Sun caught up with him. Nopony wanted to see him thrown into a volcano, after all.

"Hey Bone," Scenic greeted her happy friend, "feeling better?"

Bone's glowing hood lifted enough for his skull-pupil'd eyes to be revealed along with a gleeful smile. "I don't think I've ever been this happy to see anypony, let alone see!"

"Your eyes are fixed then?" Scenic's mother asked with a breath of thanks to Celestia, "I was getting frantic just imagining what it was like for you, dear."

"Yep," Bone replied, "Everything is fixed now as far as I can tell. Sight's back, body's back to normal along with my cutie mark, and I even have my cloak. Rich also gave me this great pocket watch!"

Scenic's mother patted Bone on his chest, "You take care of yourself now, you hear? I don't want to be flying over the Everfree and spot another circle of ash with you at the center!"

The colt gave a salute, "Will do!"

Scenic was a bit apprehensive in the situation, turning to face both Bone and her mother. "Hey, mom?"

"Yes dear?"

She bit her lip and looked at her friend. "Would you mind if I went with Bone Marrow?"

The pegasus was quick to protest that idea almost before the words had fully left her daughter's mouth. "Absolutely I mind! Do you realize the amount of danger he's going to be in? I can't put you anywhere near that sort of horror, not any more than you've been already!"

Scenic's ears folded down at that, retracting herself a few steps back from her mother.

"I don't think I can keep you safe, Scenic." Bone admitted, offering a hoof to his only friend. "At least here, I know you'll be safe. Maybe I could even visit?"

"But I want to go with you!" Scenic protested, "Despite the Knights, we've all been more safe with you around, Bone. Way safer than we were with only Bright Idea being our guard. You can just eat any bandits that bother us!"

The young necromancer grimaced at that. "I don't like doing that, Scenic. I'd rather be able to just live my life without having to kill ponies every day of it. The stories already paint me as a monster enough as it is; I don't need to add another chapter to the tale unless they come after me."

The filly's eyes watered at that, her hopes of joining Bone Marrow on his life's adventures evaporating in a miserable smoke right in front of her. She turned to leave, to save herself the embarrassment of breaking down in front of the ponies nearby when she was interrupted by the chest-plate of a guard running into her muzzle.

"The Knights have returned!"

Ponies rushed out of the manor to see what was going on. In the distance they could barely make out a few shining gold blurs through the treeline headed straight for the drawbridge.

"Well," Rich mumbled haughtily, "They seem to be in a bit of trouble. Karmic justice?"

Faint shouting could be heard as the Knights looked behind themselves in a panic as they galloped towards the Manor's walls.

"Sir Rich, should we open the gates?" A nearby guard asked, his hooves readied on the mechanical crank that would lower the drawbridge.

Rich looked down at his friend noting that if he allowed the Knights to enter the manor now, they would find their Necromancer immediately. "Let's see what they have to say first, shall we?"

Bone peeked his hooded head over the wall, his glowing eyes peeking from the darkness as the sun set behind him. "They're back?"

He was joined by Scenic in a flurry of feathers as she landed atop the wall next to Rich. "Is it Pure Intent?"

The noble didn't answer, simply waiting for the armored ponies to approach. A few moments later the Knights had finally arrived at the manor's moat gasping for breath.

"Let us in! They're coming!" A knight desperately yelled, looking over his shoulder.

"Who is coming?" Rich yelled back in challenge.

"The Bright Moon!"

The noble moved away from the wall, motioning to the guard to lower the bridge. "That was quite the unexpected reply."

"What are you doing!? They're going to see me!" Bone protested, ducking behind a stone segment of wall that protected from stray crossbow bolts.

"I imagine the Knights are far more concerned with an approaching army than they are a necromancer, Bone Marrow." Rich replied while motioning for the colt to follow, "If anything, they'll beg for your help."

"What makes you think they have an army?" Scenic questioned, flying alongside her friends as they descended the steps of the wall.

"Well, purely the fact that if one plans to assail a castle, they'll need a minimum of ten times the defenders to ensure victory," Rich replied matter-of-factly. "Judging at last census of the Night Guard's numbers before they fell to the influence of the Nightmare, They should be numbered in at least twenty thousand."

Bone's glowing eyes went wide with worry. "They can't be sending that many ponies here, can they?"

Rich chuckled as he leaped from the final step to the dirty ground, adjusting his expensive outfit. "Certainly not, but knowing that my typical guard numbers around thirty individuals, and with the numbers they have to spare, I can imagine they'll at least send a thousand to be absolutely certain they take my manor."

The final clank of the drawbridge sounded and the Knights scurried across, only to find themselves face to face with the necromancer they had been hunting after sliding to a stop.

"Th-the necromancer!"

"Oh Celestia, have mercy!"

Bone rolled his glowing eyes, partially for the sake of being able to complete the task painlessly once again and for the Knight's reaction to his existence.

"Hold, Knights of the Sun. Where is your leader?" Rich demanded, an authoritative hoof extended in a halting gesture.

Then, Bone Marrow spotted him; seething and filled with self-righteous rage. Pure Intent.

"You!" He shouted while pointing his own armored yet bloodied hoof at Rich, "You were harboring the necromancer all along! Where did you hide him!?"

Bone pulled at one of his eyelids and stuck out his tongue. "Open your eyes Captain, I had mine cut out."

Rich placed a hoof in front of Bone Marrow to separate the two rivals. "Now, hold just a moment. We don't have the time for a righteous crusade of Necromancer hunting with an army approaching my doorstep."

Intent's eyes flickered from Bone- who was now standing patiently rather than agitating the captain further- and the wealthiest pony in Equestria. "Speak."

The noble sighed with relief, "Good. Bone Marrow, the poor soul, is a dear friend of mine-"

Intent scoffed at that, "Friend."

"And, if you'd let me finish without rudely interrupting," Rich continued with a bit of irritation, "He'll help us save everypony in this manor that he can, so long as he doesn't have to worry about you stabbing him in the back and killing us all."

Bone nodded. "I've helped ponies before against bandits in Galloping Glades. I've also met the Bright Moon, and I'm not a big fan of them or their raiding of towns."

"I'll only accept this if you swear to be taken to Canterlot," Pure Intent demanded.

Bone giggled at that. "Or, I could just eat you here and now and not have to worry about anything anymore, right?"

The captain gulped nervously at that, taking a step back. "You wouldn't. You said yourself you allegedly like to help ponies."

He smiled wide at that, his eyes glowing brightly from beneath his hood. "I dunno, I've eaten bandits before; I'm all for trying new things."

Scenic smacked the back of Bone's head, "Bone, stop being creepy."

Rubbing a hoof on his head from the injury, Bone complained, "Aww, but it's fun to make him the scared pony for once!"

The captain gave a nervous chuckle, "So... you won't threaten to eat me and you'll come to Canterlot?"

Bone shook his head with a frown, "Nah, I'll still eat you if you try to hurt me again."

Rich, Bone, Bright Idea and a very nervous Pure Intent were stationed around a table with a map of the Manor in the center, held down against the wind by literal bars of gold.

"Alright," Rich asked with steely resolve, "How many would you say are on the way, Captain?"

Pure removed his bloodied hoof gauntlet, revealing a hastily bandaged hoof behind it. "They should be around here, where my ponies were ambushed by their assassins. Around..." He paused, shaking his head a bit, "eight to nine hundred?"

Bone's eyes glowed a bit brighter at that.

"And how many of your Knights are capable of magic or flight, and ready for battle?" Rich further inquired, moving miniature states of ponies that resembled different forces. They were gold as well, of course.

"Three unicorns, A pegasus, and seven earth ponies. The unicorns are trained in scanning for necromancers- which they're apparently terrible at- and basic healing spells." The captain glowered at Bone Marrow for a moment before refocusing on the task at hoof. "The pegasus are best at hit and run, though I imagine they're going to be occupied with defending the sky above the manor."

Bone raised a hoof. "I could command the flyers to die," He offered nonchalantly.

The captain inched further away from the all-too-excited colt that sat next to him on a stool in order to see the map.

"I... suppose that might work." Rich conceded, "Are you certain you're up for the task?"

Bone nodded. "These ponies aren't the kind that will stop from what I've seen. They wanted me to raise armies of the dead and terrorize towns just so they could swoop in and save the day. I'm not a monster, but I can at least use my special talent to save the regular ponies who just want to live in peace." He then made it a point to stare directly at Pure Intent, "just like I want to live in peace, without being harassed."

Pure Intent sighed with aggravation.

"Focus, everypony." Rich reminded all those gathered, "Bright, are any of the ponies from Galloping Glades willing to lend a hoof?"

The guard nodded, "A few of them know how to use crossbows and others are retired guards. It's fairly simple to teach the others as well."

Rich mulled the idea over for a moment before replying. "We'll station them on the inner wall where the cover is better. They don't have the armor to take even a grazing bolt of magic from the Bright Moon's mages."

"What if the necromancer dies during the battle?" Pure Intent mentioned, staring at Bone Marrow's skull eyes.

"Then we're all dead," Rich replied succinctly. "Except for Bone Marrow, of course. He'll be physically fine."

Bone shook his head. "I won't get hurt."

"That brings up another point," Rich interjected, "Skeletons."

Bone nodded, "How many do we need?"

The noble thought for a moment. "I would say the answer is more. Anypony that falls in battle, and you're certain is dead, should be made into a skeleton. Heal our own ponies if you can, but if you can't... we'll need all the help we can get."

Bone gave a worried look, "I'll do my best to try fixing anypony I come across first."

"Not the Bright Moon of course," Rich countered.

Bone's head wavered side to side. "Maybe if I help them, they won't want to fight anymore?"

Pure Intent shook his head. "We can't take the risk that your vile magics might empower one of our enemies. Killing them is for the best."

The necromancer grumbled at the Captain's reply, but conceded anyway.

The golden pony stamped his hoof onto the center of the map. "Then it's decided? We're allies until the end of this fight, and then Bone Marrow and Pure Intent will go their separate ways."

Bone was the first to nod, The Knight captain following with some hesitation afterward.

Rich removed his hoof and placed his armored helmet on his head. With a click of the helmet's grille securing in place he announced, "Everypony to your stations; we don't have much time before they arrive!"

Author's Note:

Another day, another chapter! Let me know what you think in the comments!

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