• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 16,863 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.

  • ...

Getting Lost and Found

"It is my charge to know all about the evils I face in my defense of Equestria, your existence is prime among them."

Remembering these words from the crusader in front of him, now turning his back after gesturing for him to walk ahead, gave Bone Marrow pause. The young necromancer didn't consider anything he had done to be evil. His special talent was giving ponies and griffons and even Diamond Dogs a second chance at life! What could possibly be evil about that?

Time seemed to slow as he thought quickly over what might happen to him, given his recent experience with death at the hooves of the Royal Guard. They considered all threats towards Equestria to be evil, and the most likely punishment for being evil was being frozen in stone or being killed outright, or an even worse experience of being jailed for who knew how long. Add to that the fact that Bone Marrow could supposedly not die if the crusader was to be believed, it presented the possibility that he would be forever jailed.

Bone Marrow's face scrunched in disgust at the thought of that, his eyes flicking to his left and right. One of these halls would allow him to run away from the guard. He had been lost in them just moments before, and he lived in the town. These guards didn't even seem to be the same ones that were originally stationed here in the town, considering they all jumped on him without a second's reservation.

"I don't have all day, necromancer." The Royal Guard captain grumbled. Bone doubted that the guard's name really was Deus Vult anyway. What kind of pony gets a name like that? It's just silly. "Are you even listening to me?"

"Uh, yeah!" Bone Marrow blurted out. "I'll be right there."

The guard's eyes became slits of annoyance, "Get in front of me, necromancer, or we'll drag you back to Canterlot."

Yes, this was definitely not a pony that Bone Marrow wanted to travel with. The threats and grumpyness of the Royal in general made Bone very uneasy, not to mention the whole death thing that happened. Instead of following, Bone decided the best thing to do for his immediate self preservation would be to run in the opposite direction. Hopping over the pit of ash that contained the remains of his friends and family, Bone Marrow continued down a winding passageway of dirt and wooden support beams, kicking up dust and displacing burnt out lanterns.

"After him!" Bone could hear the Royal shout in the growing distance behind him. "Don't let him escape!"

Thinking on his hooves, Bone did his best to come up with a plan. He would have to find some way out of the caves, but as far as he knew there was only a single entrance and exit. All the guards would have to do would be to wait for him at the entrance and the chase would be over. He wasn't certain if there had been a cave in previously, or if anypony had died in it, so that plan was gone as soon as it arrived in his head. He could always start digging, but that would get nowhere fast.

Bone grumbled to himself, breaths of exertion exiting his small muzzle as his hooves carried him around the tunnels of Scoria. He was probably lost by now, he admitted to himself. He didn't know his way around to begin with, and now it was just a worse case of before. On second thought, he realized he should have waited to escape from the guard after leaving the cave because he would've been outside at the very least.

Taking a moment to catch his breath and rest against a pillar of old wood, Bone realized something. He could see just fine in the dark, but he had no idea why. Bringing his hooves close to his face, he noticed a faint glow of blue on them. Clacking them together to dust them off, only to remember that he was trying to hide and that making noise is a terrible thing to do when one is hiding, Bone paused for several minutes to listen to anypony that might be trying to follow him. After hearing no clattering of plate armor or a shouting of orders, Bone went back to looking at his hooves.

After being dumbfounded for a solid seven minutes about why he could see in the dark now, he realized that the glowing blue wasn't some mystical force dancing around on his hooves, but it was actually coming from his eyes. Maybe dying had its advantages? Well, there was only one way to test if that theory was true and Bone Marrow wasn't enthusiastic about his chances of self impalement on a guard's spear being any fun.

Deciding it was far more sensible to avoid dying repeatedly, as dying is no fun at all, Bone Marrow got back to standing on his small hooves and checked both ways of the tunnel he was in. He then blinked, discovering that the rules of crossing a street might not apply in a tunnel, and chose to go along the path to his right.

Bone thought of his family, and the fact that they had been so suddenly taken away from him in the span of a few days. He also reminded himself that he was able to raise the dead, at least if they had a skeleton. Thinking more deeply on that fact, Bone Marrow came to the conclusion that if he could raise the dead, and the dead he raised needed a skeleton, then perhaps he could find some way to gather enough skeletons to raise his family and friends back from the dead.

No, he shook his head in thought, that wouldn't work at all. They wouldn't be the same, just like the bandits he had raised hadn't been very thieving or dastardly when he returned them to life. At best they would be scared and confused in a skeleton that wasn't even theirs to begin with. Besides, where would he find a bunch of skeletons just laying around, not being...

The graveyard. That's where a pony would find a bunch of skeletons just laying around. Of course! Bone Marrow was dumbfounded that he hadn't thought of that sooner, but at the same time he was more concerned with finding his family than finding skeletons. Scratching his fuzzy chin, Bone Marrow continued to ponder the new possibilities his special talent and cutie mark provided.

"What could I do with a bunch of skeletons?" Bone Marrow wondered aloud, his voice carrying through the tunnels. "I could have them pick apples..." He presented, before shooting down his own idea, "Nah, that would get boring really fast." The foal then took a deep breath and narrowed his eyes in concentration at the path ahead, turning around a corner. "Oh, I know, maybe I could open up a soup kitchen!" Bone Marrow thought on the idea for a moment, and then sighed with disappointment. "No, that wouldn't work at all..."

Wandering the tunnels of Scoria, pondering everything related to skeletons that he could, Bone Marrow got himself lost and re-lost probably a dozen times before he even realized he was walking in circles. Looking all around him and then to the floor, he noticed hoof prints that were the same size as his own in five separate lines leading in each direction. There was even a doodled carving of a smiley face on the wall from when he got bored of walking.

"Well," Bone Marrow grumbled to himself, "This is working out. At this rate I'm going to get hungry before I even find my way back to the pit, wherever that is."

Checking his mane, he then noticed that Toothpick was missing. Come to think of it, Bone Marrow realized, he probably disintegrated the bird when he was un-deadifying himself, however that worked. All the other bones and dead bodies were turned to ash, so why not Toothpick?

Sighing with renewed disappointment, Bone Marrow continued wandering onwards. His ears swiveled around searching for any kind of sound that he would be able to hear, now actively looking for a wandering Royal Guard just for the sake of getting out of the tunnels.

"Hello?" Bone called out into the empty tunnels. "I got lost!"

After waiting a moment, there was no reply but his own echoing voice. "Darn."

Bone Marrow had spent what felt like forever wandering the mines of Scoria, always seeming to retrace his steps and get perpetually lost. He had passed the time with singing in hopes that somepony might discover him and help him out, but he soon grew tired of his throat hurting from all the gibberish singing that he was doing and opted to remain silent. He tried finding something to tie to his hooves to make more noise when he walked instead, but grew tired of that as well when it was just more work with the same result. At first he was worried that he hadn't been hungry in a while, or thirsty for that matter, but he figure it was just part of his cutie mark doing cool things. After all, some ponies could do all kinds of things they couldn't do before after they got their cutie mark, so why not him?

Eventually, Bone Marrow decided that it would be easier to sit in one place since he was always getting lost. Maybe nopony was finding him because they were checking places he had just been? If the guard was searching for him and he stayed in one spot, then they'd find him eventually, right? It couldn't take that long if he just laid down and had a quick nap after all.

Some unknown amount of time later, Bone Marrow's ears twitched at the sound of an noise. Finally! Bone rejoiced internally, picking up his head with some effort to look at the newcomers. They were both covered in dirt and mud, which Bone found odd. There hadn't been any rain clouds the day before, so why were these two wet?

"This is certainly the place?" One whispered while looking around. The front part of their muzzle stood out from their hood and their lips were curled in annoyance. "This is a dreadful pile of ash, not the lair of an evil necromancer."

'Oh great,' thought Bone Marrow, 'More ponies that think I'm evil.'

"I can sense their presence. The air is colder than it was before, and our breath has become chilled." Replied the deeper toned voice of the second figure.

"You can't sense their presence. I don't believe that for a second." The first grumbled, turning away from the second. "You and your mumbo-jumbo about necromancers is getting me all worked up for nothing."

It wasn't until now that Bone Marrow noticed the gentle flickering flame of a lantern between the two sitting on the ground. There were also saddlebags filled with various things that were mostly uninteresting to the young foal. What was interesting, however, was the sealed jar of pears that was poking its head from the top of the second figure's bags.

Biting his lips and looking between the two quietly bickering ponies, Bone Marrow debated if his magic was strong enough to actually lift the filled jar of wonderful food to himself. Soon after debating that within his head, he realized that he would be stealing from the two. Bone Marrow decided that he wouldn't be a bad pony no matter how much he wanted food, though the thought was still tempting.

"Hey... what are those blue glowing lights over there?" The first figure asked, pointing directly at Bone Marrow.

Bone's first reaction was to panic and move quickly away from the corner so he could gain distance between himself and the two figures. His second reaction was the realization that he could no longer move his body. A field of yellow energy was encompassing Bone's body!

"I see you, whatever you are." The first figure continued, slowly standing up from his place and keeping his hoof leveled at Bone. "No running away for you now!"

"You gamble with forces beyond your understanding." The second figure scolded, knocking the first figure's hoof to the floor. "Be still."

With the hoof pointing to the floor, Bone Marrow found that he was able to move again and quickly slinked further into the shadows.

"Thing is giving me the creeps. You sure there's a necromancer here?" The first figure asked, keeping an eye on Bone Marrow while sitting down again. "I don't want to stick around here longer than we have to."

The second figure then turned directly toward Bone, revealing the front of his striped black and white muzzle. After a long pause of staring between Bone Marrow and the second figure, the hooded one gave a smile.

"The floating eyes are not a thing, they are a somepony." He stated simply, standing on his hooves. "Somepony we are searching for, though unexpected in result."

The first's eyes narrowed. "What are you even talking about? You Zebras are all alike with your weird talking and metaphors and whatnot."

Bone was growing increasingly worried the closer the 'Zebra' walked towards him. He could now see the bottoms of the second figures hooves with stripes as well, leading up their legs. Their mane was a strange Mohawk that kept the top of his hood above his face along with the many rings of metal that decorated his frame.

"Get away from that thing, its probably gonna eat you." The first warned, standing up and bringing the lantern with him to join his Zebra ally.

"Bring the light, and we will see who is right." The zebra countered, a smug grin across his face as he stood a few paces away from Bone.

"Oh really?" The first challenged, now in sight and quickly revealing them-self to be a unicorn pony. "That sounds like a bet!"

Bone Marrow didn't really know why he hadn't run off already, yet something about this 'zebra' was comforting to him. Perhaps the calm tone of his voice or his non threatening movements? He couldn't decide, and it was already pointless to guess any longer when Bone realized he was being picked up by the unicorn's yellow magic.

"Well, if that ain't the most emaciated foal I've ever laid eyes on." The first mused with a low whistle. After a moment he turned to the zebra. "How come his eyes look like there's little blue skulls in them?"

"It is the mark of a Necromancer. To be so young and to have perished already..." The zebra explained with a pitying sigh. "Well, we had best feed the poor foal before it dies again, or we will die along with it."

"W-what!?" The unicorn blurted. "What's that mean?"

"Uh..." Bone Marrow wheezed. After his long period of not speaking, he found that his voice needed some warming up. "Can I be let-" He began to ask before coughing out a cloud of dust, "-let down?"

The unicorn looked to his zebra partner. "If I do, it's not gonna run off, is it?"

"I'm a he," Bone grumbled with a voice of sand paper, "And my name is Bone Marrow!"

The unicorn's left brow raised with surprise. "Bone Marrow? You're that necromancer? Killed their entire village single hoofed? Hoo-wee the bounty on you is gonna make this all worthwhile."

"I didn't kill anypony!" Bone wheezed before being placed on the ground next to the duo's bags. Lifting his head with some effort, he noticed that either his body had shrunken while he wandered, or bags were getting really big all of a sudden.

"How long have you been here, Bone Marrow?" The zebra asked. "How long have you wandered these tunnels?"

"Uh... I dunno?" Bone replied honestly. "I tried calling out to anypony to see if they'd find me, and then I tried singing..." he paused, rubbing his throat from the pain of speaking before continuing, "At least before you two came along."

"When did you get lost?" The unicorn asked, now suddenly interested in conversation after picking out a jar of beans from his bag, opening the lid and allowing the cold greasiness to plop into his mouth. Chewing with pockets of surviving beans tucked away in the sides of his mouth, the unicorn added, "Must-a been wandering a long time if we're the first two you've seen."

Bone was slightly revolted by the unicorn's behavior, turning his head away to look at the zebra instead. "Well, the Royal Guard showed up after I went into the caves. I found all my friends and my... my parents in a pit. Then the Royal Guard charged down and started attacking myself and my skeletons. I didn't want anypony else to get hurt so I told my skeletons to stop, and then they tried to kill me afterwards."

Bone could still hear the noisy mess of the unicorn chewing and opted to fold his ears downward to hopefully dampen the noise. A moment later, the jar of peaches that he had been eyeing was placed in front of his muzzle causing Bone to perk up with excitement. Looking up at who had given him the jar, he discovered the zebra giving him a knowing wink.

"Conserve your strength, young Bone Marrow. There is a long journey ahead of you." The zebra advised, opening the lid for him. "Many whom you encounter will not be so generous as us, and you must always remember that."

"Wait," The unicorn blurted with a bit of bean flying from his mouth, "We're not collectin' the bounty?"

The zebra's soft smile soon became twisted as he looked down on Bone Marrow. "I never said that."

Author's Note:

Another chapter! Yay!

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