• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,869 Views, 2,291 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.

  • ...

Soul Jar

Celestia was suspicious of Bone Marrow's reply. He had blurted out something, his attention went elsewhere and the room had stopped freezing for just a moment. She knew that the young colt wasn't telling her the truth, but then again, honesty wasn't one of his elements.

The princess raised her head out of Bone's view and smirked to herself. Her sister had to be alive or his sight wouldn't have worked at all. She didn't know where her sister was, but knowing that she could still be saved was a gift of its own kind.

Her head lowered into Bone's icy gaze once more, "I should let you know what Scenic and I discussed, while you were here."

Bone's ears perked at the mentioning of his friend, though his temper continued its steady chilling of the room.

"I wanted to know the kind of pony you are; when the void inside of you isn't as strong." Celestia lowered herself onto the icy rug, her body melting away the chill and caused the floor to steam. "I wanted to see if it was already too late for you to turn back. I tested you with the Elements to ensure there was the tiniest shred of hope, and I was surprised to find the good in you."

The colt's eyes narrowed, emphasizing the skulls that rested within. "If you actually cared to know me, you'd just ask instead of having ponies hunt me. You just want things from me, and when I can't or won't give them to you, you'll kill me like all the other necromancers."

The solar princess rested her warm head on her forehooves in a display of patience. "I've come to a decision on that, thanks to your friend Scenic. I will remove the wanted posters, the call for your arrest, everything. You've had more than enough chances to kill ponies, to cause destruction and carnage... but instead you went for a banana split."

Bone shook his head, "I already told you that I don't want to hurt anypony. I just want to be left alone and live a normal life."

Celestia nodded, "I understand, Bone. The only problem with your argument is that I've heard it before from the other necromancers. They each said the same as you, and then they went on a rampage through Equestria."

"Maybe it was because you kept hunting them?" Bone snipped, "Why are you trying to be nice to me all of a sudden, anyway?"

She pointed a hoof at the small blanket wrapped colt. "Because you, Bone Marrow, may be the first necromancer I've come across that has a chance at preventing an even worse necromancer from replacing you."

Bone was unimpressed. "So you don't want to kill me because it would be annoying to deal with another necromancer? Why don't you just leave all of us alone in the first place?"

Celestia shook her head, "What were you planning to do with your skeletons in Scoria? You could've taken whatever you wanted then, had my Knights not been there."

The necromancer pulled his hood over his eyes, "Just leave me alone. You're not even trying to know me, you just want an excuse to kill me later."

The room's temperature began to rise along with Celestia's temper. "I'm not going to kill you."

Bone was frightened by the display of anger and power, shrinking further away from the princess underneath his bed.

Celestia took a deep breath and vented steam with a huff. "I apologize, Bone Marrow. I will leave you with your friend now; she's been waiting just around the corner for me to call her. Hopefully she can reach you better than I can."

The door was pulled open by the Princess' bright magic, the Alicorn sighing before closing the door behind her.

Moments later, the door opened once more. "Bone?"

The colt poked his head out from under the bed to find his friend looking for him. "Scenic!"

She spotted Bone immediately, her face confused before becoming worried. "What happened in here?"

"Celestia happened," Bone hissed. "She tried to apologize for how she treated me, then she wanted to know if Princess Luna was alive. She doesn't even care about her own ponies! She let me wander around Canterlot with you because she wanted to know if I would start killing everypony."

Scenic crawled underneath the bed next to her blanketed friend, pulling him close with a hoof. "She's... complicated."

Bone huffed and rolled his eyes, still upset with the princess.

"She just banished her sister a few months ago and doesn't even know if she's alive," Scenic explained, "She's worried about the Bright Moon raiding towns and she feels horrible about the towns that were lost from bandits."

"The loss of towns? Is that what she's calling the deaths of innocent ponies? The towns weren't lost, they were pillaged and burned. I can still see the ponies of Galloping Glades still floating in the lake with ash and blood in the water. Lost towns," Bone scoffed, "She probably hasn't been outside of Canterlot in years."

Scenic could see that trying to explain things to her friend wasn't working, so she instead went for her backup plan. "Hey Bone, guess what I snatched while Celestia was away?"

Bone looked over to notice Scenic's wing was bulkier than usual, hanging further away from her body. "Did you steal something from her?"

"Is it really stealing if it never leaves the palace?"

Her wing pulled back and she bit the corner of a book, resting it in front of Bone.

Necromancy for Necromancers, by Necromancers

Bone's eyes went wide with both excitement and worry. "Where did you get this!?"

"Keep it down, she might be lingering around somewhere," Scenic reminded her friend. "Celestia wanted to speak with me in private because she was worried you might have some weird magical influence over me. So, she brought me to a library at the far end of the palace. When she went to go speak with you, I had a few moments to look around and spotted this book! I don't think she even knows I took it; most of her books were coated with dust when I glanced over them."

"Won't she know you took it?"

Scenic batted a hoof at the concern, "She's busy doing princess stuff. Besides, if she was so interested in reading books then why would they all be dusty? Nopony uses things that are dusty."

Bone was uncomfortable with this, but equally interested. "Let's see what it says!"

The two foals pulled the book's cover open to eagerly read the first few lines of the old tome before quickly realizing something.

"What kind of language is this?"

Letters were jumbled together in an incoherent garble. Paragraphs ended where sentences began, some being upside down or scrambled together and some pages were entirely covered in ink.

"Is it supposed to be like this?" Bone wondered, lighting his horn to get a better view of the mess in front of him.

As he stared at the letters, the soft blue glow of his magic began to transform the pages. Colors shifted, lines formed and designs sprung from the page. Bone's ears folded back in surprise as the paragraphs rearranged themselves into proper order; words unscrambling themselves with things begginning to make sense.

Welcome, Necromancer. If you are reading this, then either I have suffered a horrible case of amnesia and stumbled upon this book, or I have died. In any case, I pass the knowledge of my years on to you- or myself once again.

In this tome you, and only you, will find a list of abilities that I have personally discovered over the centuries of my life. You may already be aware of the basics, such as Consuming your foes or other forms of life, but it was only later that I discovered the most important spell innately known to a born necromancer.

The Soul Jar.

It sounds ominous, I know. In practical use however, any object with a lid may be turned into a soul containment device. As an absurd example, a cook pot with a lid could be a soul jar, should you will it.

How do you make a soul jar, you may ask? The answer is surprisingly simple. You state the name of a pony or other being you know the name of and point your hoof at the object in question.

Yes, I know. I was startled to learn it was that easy myself. Then again, most things involving death are simple for us to learn, aren't they? It's our special talent after all, and it wouldn't be acceptable if just anypony could wield the powers we do with a degree in magical studies and gratuitous amounts of patience.

"Can you make any of this out?" Scenic asked, "It looks like gibberish to me."

Bone pointed to the page he was reading, "What, you can't read that?"

Scenic leaned over and shrugged. "Uh... Rotacove a-targ is ut coh eregel..." She shook her head, "It looks like complete gibberish."

"It's the first line, the pony that wrote this is saying hello to me, I guess."

Scenic raised an eyebrow, "Hey, maybe its better if only you can read this stuff, right?"

Bone looked down to the page once more, picking up where he left off.

Now is the understandable point that you would be asking yourself, 'Book, why in Equestria would I need whatever a Soul Jar is? Why is it so important?'

Well, the purpose of this book is to tell you why, of course. You can contain or protect the soul of anypony, excepting an Alicorn of course; a most infuriating discovery that has killed me more than once.

Why would you, an immortal necromancer, need a soul jar? Well, the answer is straightforward. You might not be able to die, but those you care about will die. It is guaranteed fact that they will die.

We both know better than the Princesses when it comes to how necromancers really are, after all. We know that nopony is an island to themself; our own will is not the weight that keeps us from fluttering away in the breeze of insanity.

By protecting the souls of those you care about, or by containing an annoying adversary that you'd rather not bother confronting personally, we Necromancers are able to manipulate the flow of life and death in a less obvious manner than any other pony.

Now, I must provide some clear distinction between protecting and containing a soul. If you intend to protect a soul, then you must not feel anger when you cast this spell. Anger and the biting cold that accompany it will twist your intentions into containing the soul, killing the pony and trapping them within the Soul Jar until its destruction.

If your mind is clear and you are at ease with the world, however fleeting a moment that may be in our dangerous lives, then your Soul Jar will protect that pony, preventing them from dying in an almost similar manner to your own. They will not receive a mark of death in their eyes as we do, and they cannot resurrect themselves like we Necromancers can, but you, dear reader, will be able to bring them back.

Should your beloved die at the hooves of another- and you've protected their soul- fear not. You will be able to return them to life, physically unharmed. They will be terrified, of course, at having experienced the death of their body. It will be up to you to explain to them what has happened, and that they are safe.

How do you bring back a pony? It is simple. You speak their name aloud with the Soul Jar nearby, and they will return to life if you've enough magic within you to spare. Be warned that the process will take up to a full minute to complete.

Another important thing to explain about Soul Jars, is that they are completely pointless for you, dear necromancer, to employ for your own soul. How would you speak your own name if you are dead?

Bone's head drooped onto the page for a moment. "Guh."

Scenic lifted her friend's chin. "Are you okay? Your eyes went weird there for a second."

"This book has a whole lot of information in it," Bone muttered tiredly, his thoughts fighting to remain coherent, "Way, way too much writing..."

"You've only been staring at that page for a few moments since we talked, Bone. You can't read that fast, can you?"

The young necromancer rubbed his head, resting the side of his face on the pages of the book. "I feel like somepony hit me over the horn with a library..."

Scenic ran her hoof through Bone's scraggly mane. "When was the last time you slept, Bone?"

He thought for a long moment, recalling the previous days as well as he could. "Uh..." Bone paused for a long while, his eyes fading in and out of focus. "When did your mom find me in the forest? Does death count as sleep?"

The filly's eyes went wide. "You haven't slept in weeks!?"

Bone shrugged, "I guess? I haven't really felt tired until I read this book..."

Scenic pulled the sides of Bone's blankets closer to his muzzle. "You, young mister, need to get some sleep."

He blinked tiredly, using the book as a pillow. "I don't even know if you're older than I am..."

She placed a lighthearted hoof on her chest, "I, am just old enough to be older than you, so that makes me the older friend, and I'm saying you need to get some sleep!"

Bone's argument died down at the same moment he took a sleepy breath, "But what about the princess?"

"I'll make sure you're safe, okay Bone? Nothing will get past me, not even Celestia!"

"Scenic..." Bone mumbled, "You're the best...I'm gonna put you inna... jar..."

As her friend passed out, Scenic's ears folded down a bit. Put her in a jar? That didn't sound too great... though maybe he wasn't making sense because he was tired?

Her thoughts were distracted as she heard a large clanging noise from outside. Peeking her head from underneath the bed, she noticed that Bone's skeletons were having trouble standing upright.

"Uh oh..."

One after the other, the four skeletons that guarded Bone's room collapsed onto the floor. Their bones were still intact and a dull glow emanated from their eyes, though their bodies had come to pieces.

"Sure hope you wake up soon, Bone..."

The morning came and went with Bone Marrow still sleeping atop his book underneath the bed when Scenic awoke. Celestia hadn't bothered either of the two foals, but the door had opened for a Royal Guard to nervously push the skeletons that fell apart outside to join the rest of the heap.

Scenic tapped her friend on the muzzle, hoping he would stir. "Hey Bone, are you okay?"

The colt mumbled, his face turning away and burying itself in the crease of the book.

She sighed, at ease that her friend was sleeping peacefully but still concerned about the both of them being discovered. She decided to leave a note for Bone that told him where she was going if he woke up while she was gone. She didn't want him to worry that Celestia had taken her away somewhere in the night.

Pulling carefully away from her friend, Scenic made her way towards the room's door and exited into the hallway. She was going to talk with Celestia again, to ask her what had happened last night between the two.

Her tiny hooves clacked against the marble tile of the palace's halls, guards nodding as she passed by. They weren't scared of her like they were of Bone, she noticed. The corner of her mouth curled in sympathy, recognizing what it must be like for everypony to be one glance away from screaming in terror.

The pegasus passed by the first room Celestia had taken the two of them, noting that the door was cracked open. Peeking her head through she noticed the Princess of the Sun herself standing at the far end, staring at the Elements of Harmony.

She did her best to sneak in, her hooves doing her no favors in stealth. Celestia turned her head quickly, noting that it was Scenic instead of somepony else.

"Come in, Scenic," Celestia offered. "I noticed that Bone Marrow fell asleep last night; his minions were passed out on the floor."

The filly cautiously approached, "He hasn't slept in weeks; since the last time he died."

Celestia sighed, "I should have guessed."

"What are you doing?" Scenic asked as she stood next to the more casually dressed Princess of the Sun.

"I feared that I was losing myself after banishing my sister. That I wouldn't be able to use the Elements without her if I needed to."

She looked up to the faintly glowing gems that rested on their pedestals. "Do they still work?"

Celestia slowly shook her head, "Barely. I may be able to use them only a single time before they turn to stone."

Scenic reached her hoof out to the Elements, curious as to how they would respond to her. Loyalty was the first to glow, brighter than any of the others that followed. Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, Honesty... all but magic.

Celestia smiled warmly, "I had assumed as much about you, Scenic Sights. The youngest ponies are often the ones that resonate most with the Elements. I was surprised when your necromancer friend came here."

"Has anypony had all of them glow before?"

Celestia nodded. "My sister and I, once upon a time... Now I fear that our time has passed. That the Elements have found ponies more worthy."

Scenic squinted, "What do you mean? You might be mean to my friend, but I haven't seen you act that way to anypony else... that doesn't mean the gems don't like you anymore, I think."

"Is your friend awake?" The princess asked in an effort to change the subject, "I would like to speak with him."

"I don't think he'll want to talk."

The two shared a moment of silence. Celestia lost in thought and Scenic worrying for her friend.

"I should go back to Bone..."

The princess nodded. "If you wish, Scenic Sights."

She moved away from the princess while looking over her shoulder, wondering what Celestia might be thinking about. If she was considering letting Bone Marrow leave in peace.

When the filly had left and closed the door behind her, Celestia placed her hoof close to the Element of Magic. All six elements barely glowed as the princess searched them for answers.

"What do you want from me?"

Scenic returned to Bone's room, pulling the handle slowly before pushing the door open. Bone was still underneath the bed, though he was staring at the tome about Necromancy more intently than he had been the night previous.

"Hey Bone," Scenic announced as she closed the door behind her. She noticed the skeletons were back on their hooves, though they mostly faced the door rather than remain out in the hallway.

The colt looked up with a smile, "Scenic!"

"Read anything interesting?"

He nodded eagerly, pointing to his pocket watch around his neck. "I had the best idea ever!"

Ducking down in order to climb underneath the bed, Scenic pulled herself next to her friend on the soft rug. "What idea is that?"

"I'm going to put your soul inside of my pocket watch!"

Scenic blinked, "You're what?"

Bone pointed to the book in front of him, a jumbled mess of gibberish to Scenic's eyes. "It says right here that if I'm happy and I say your name out loud, I can protect your soul in a soul jar. The book says a jar is basically anything with a lid, and..." He clacked the pocket watch open and closed repeatedly, a smile growing on his face. "This has a lid!"

The filly wasn't so sure about the idea. "Uh, wouldn't my soul fall out or something if you opened it?"

Bone quickly shook his head, "No, that's what's wonderful about it! Rich said this pocket watch is indestructible, right? I decided to test it, and see if it was really true. Look," He focused his glowing eyes on the pocket watch as small bubbles formed along the outer layer of metal. "Nothing!"

Her eyebrow raised, "What did you do, exactly?"

"I tried to consume it! I also tried to kill it too, but that didn't really work either. It doesn't have anything to kill, you know?"

She smiled, "You seem a lot happier this morning."

His eyes sparkled, a growing warmth to them just behind the skulls of his Iris'. "If I cast this, then I don't have to worry about you getting hurt anymore! If I die, it doesn't matter so long as I stay away from Celestia or a volcano. If you die... nevermind, it doesn't matter!"

Her ears folded a bit with uncertainty, "You're sure you know how to do this spell thing?" She nodded towards the book, "It looks like a bunch of nonsense to me..."

Bone nodded enthusiastically. "It'll be fine, all I have to do is say your name and point to the pocket watch!"

She hesitated a bit, looking to the jewelry around Bone's neck for a moment. "Does it hurt?"

He turned to the book, "Uh... it doesn't say?"

The promise of never dying, Scenic wondered. What does it feel like to have your soul in a pocket watch?

She shrugged, shaking her head incredulously at her own decision. "Go for it, I guess."

The room chilled as Bone smiled, his eyes suddenly glowing brightly, "Scenic Sights, tu ni airdyh!

The filly clutched her chest as she felt something being pulled away, her eyes widening with shock. She looked down and saw a wisp of energy coming from her and blinked. Before three seconds had passed, it was over. The pocket watch glowed a bright gold now and she was a bit chilled.

"Are you okay?" Bone asked, placing a hoof on his friend's side. "It didn't hurt, did it?"

Scenic checked herself over, feeling the place where the wisp had come from. "I... I don't know. I'm a bit cold?"

Bone pulled himself closer to her, closing the lid of the soul jar.

She warmed soon after, pressing her hoof against the pocket watch around Bone's neck. "That's so weird."

"Feeling better?"

"Can you open it again?"

Bone did as asked, and the chill returned. Scenic shivered, "Ooh, please close it; that feels so strange!"

It clicked shut, the young necromancer resting his muzzle on Scenic's hooves. After a moment's pause, she rested her head on Bone.

"Now we're both safe," Bone voiced happily, "We could leave Canterlot while Celestia isn't watching us; we wouldn't have to worry about either of us dying, and we could take this book with us!"

Scenic shook her head a bit, ruffling Bone's mane. "I don't think that's a good idea, Bone. She's really trying to do better, I just think that she's not used to it."

"Used to what," the necromancer scoffed, "Being nice for a change?"

"Would you give her a chance, Bone? If she's still mean to you, then we'll both know we're wasting our time."

He didn't reply for a while, mulling over the request in his head.

"For you I will," Bone replied quietly, "But if she thinks she can win me over with a few words of apology, we're leaving."

Scenic nodded, nuzzling into her friend's mane. "Good enough for me."

Author's Note:

Another chapter!

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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