• Published 14th Sep 2018
  • 15,616 Views, 1,389 Comments

Necromancy For Foals 2 - Queen Sanguine Dreams

Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash find themselves drawn by the call of the cutie map to a jungle in the middle of nowhere. Drawn further by the knowledge of an ancient temple, they are confronted with icy cold and a sense of dread.

  • ...

A Garden of Possibilities

Twilight Sparkle lead the way through Ponyville as Bone Marrow took in the sights. No guards, no tower or palisades, no moats or spike pits to fend off a charge...

His eyes narrowed. The ponies walking around weren't even wearing armor. Not even a cloak to shield themselves from the weather! No swords, no crossbows or cudgels... He shook his head. Either bandits were truly no longer a concern, or they didn't dare attack a town with an alicorn's castle in the middle of it.

It might've been crystalline and poorly designed, but the true threat was one of being blasted apart by an alicorn's magic. Celestia could control the power of the sun. She could call it down as a great beam to incinerate anypony who annoyed or angered her. Princess Luna, at least in the stories Bone Marrow had been read as a small foal, was able to invade the dreams of generals or leaders to kill them in their sleep. A mistress of dreams able to defeat specters of imagination and the most horrible of creations.

What, then, was Twilight capable of? She had said she was the Princess of Friendship... but should she decide to use her own powers against others, how would they manifest? Bone Marrow put the thought into the back of his mind as the town became more aware of him.

Ponies looked up from their daily tasks, their routines jostled by the appearance of a newcomer.

"Hey Twilight!" One of the ponies called out, "New friend of yours?"

The weary alicorn put on a friendly smile to offset the bags under her eyes. "Yep! Everypony, this is Bone Marrow. He'll be staying with me in the castle for a while."

A small crowd was gathering, making the necromancer colt nervous. He didn't like crowds and the threat they represented. His tail flicked and his fur bristled as he sorely wished for the small comfort of having a hood to shield his eyes. Time and again he had been ousted as a necromancer for the glowing skulls in his pupils. Now, without any protection and being weakened from the Elements of Harmony, he was put on edge.

A pony reached out a friendly hoof. "Nice to meet you, Bone Marrow! I like the eyes." The pony winked and smirked.

Alright, Bone Marrow admitted, that was not the reaction he had been expecting. He shook hooves with the pony and was startled as others joined to greet him with equal kindness.

Maybe this was Twilight's power? Forcing ponies to get along with one another...

"You look a little chilly there, Bone Marrow." Another pony, a mare this time, pointed towards one of the town's buildings in the distance. "Rarity should be able to fix you up something, being new and all."

"Hey, Applejack." Twilight smiled and stood next to the orange mare wearing a strange hat. "This is Bone Marrow. He was what the Cutie Map was worried about and he'll be staying with me for a while. I really need to get some sleep, though. We fought a hydra on the way back."

Bone Marrow briefly grimaced at the reminder of his miss-step.

"Ah, that's not a problem, Twi." She pat her friend on her side. "You go home and get some rest. I'll give your friend here a tour around the town."

"Do you have a minute, Applejack?" Twilight smiled and glanced at Bone Marrow. "Just a few things to keep in mind is all."

The colt grumbled. This was different than he had been expecting. He wasn't surprised that nopony knew who he was, given how reviled he had been a thousand years ago. Nopony would ever consider adding the name of a necromancer to a town or a town's history. Perhaps it was better that he was forgotten? More than anything else, Bone was relieved that ponies hadn't been fleeing in terror from seeing his eyes.

"How'd you get those, by the way?" Another pony asked. She was bright pink with a disheveled floofy mane. "The skulls in your eyes, I mean. They look familiar..."

Bone leaned away from the pink pony. There were enough ponies around him as it was, and it was getting to be more than overwhelming to him.

The pony's eyes widened with understanding and she put a comforting hoof around Bone's withers. "I know that look anywhere. Let's get you someplace quiet, okay?"

Never Trust Strangers.

Bone shook his head and moved out of the pony's grasp. "No thanks. I'll find my own way out of this mess while Twilight and her friend talk with each other." He then grumbled, "I'm not exactly hard to find without my cloak."

"Pinkie Pie!" Twilight called out, ushering the pink pony closer. "Come over here, I want to have a talk really quick."

Pie? Bone's wariness shifted to realization. She was still a stranger, but his alarm was eased by the familiarity of her name.

"Okie dokie!" The pink pony cheerfully replied, leaping over the crowd of ponies to effortlessly land next to her alicorn friend.

Bone's eyebrow raised and his mouth hung open. Nopony else was batting an eyelid at what had just occurred, but to Bone Marrow, the mare had just performed something he was certain only pegasus or acrobats could pull off.

When he noticed ponies were staring, he closed his mouth. It was time to get out of here, to find someplace quieter without the hustle and bustle of pastel ponies everywhere. He was no longer small enough to weave through the legs of the ponies around him, so he opted to maneuver through the crowd whenever he found an opening.

If Twilight needed to find him, she had an entire map dedicated to tracking where he was. The concept was irritating to think of, along with the lack of privacy it implied, but it also gave him some measure of freedom to wander around without being directly watched at all times.

Finally, after roughly an hour's work, Bone Marrow had managed to find a place of peace and quiet. A small house built in a tree in the outskirts of Ponyville. The house seemed to be built for even smaller ponies than the foal-sized ponies of the current age, but he was able to fit inside well enough. His eyes caused the walls to glow a soft blue as he turned in place, attempting to find a suitable area to lay down and rest. He felt like a cat for a moment as he took everything into consideration.

He might not need to take breaks or rest like a normal pony, but his mind was still as weary as any muscle. It had been several days since he broke free of his stone prison and could do with a nap. An abandoned house in a tree seemed as good a place as any other that he'd used before.

Bone Marrow ended up laying down in the center of the house's floor, his head pointed towards the front door. He sorely missed his cloak at a time like this. It had been a blanket of safety to him in more ways than one.

One last time before resting his eyes, he checked to ensure his locket was still there. That the soul of his friend was still safe. He smiled, as it still was. Nopony had stolen it when he was in the large crowd. No pickpocket had come by to steal what he truly valued.

Bone Marrow was startled awake by the soft voice of a filly. "Hey mister, are you okay?"

He immediately jumped to his hooves, his horn lighting in alarm as he noticed three fillies backing away from him. At least he assumed they were fillies. They were roughly half his size and equally alarmed.

One of them, a yellowish pony with a red mane, seemed confused at Bone's behavior. "We ain't gonna hurt you. I'm just more worried now of what'd make a grown stallion like yourself so jittery."

Another filly, an orange pegasus with a purple mane, pointed at Bone's face. "Whoa! Those eyes are cool! Do they glow like that all the time?"

The third filly, cream colored with a curled purple and pink mane, looked at Bone's flank. "Are you here for a Cutie Mark problem?"

This was entirely not what Bone Marrow had been expecting to have been woken up to. Maybe a sword at his neck or a spell that was half a second away from immolating him. "Um..."

The first filly raised her eyebrow. "Are you homeless?"

Bone smiled nervously, "It's complicated?"

She then extended a hoof. "My name's Applebloom. These two are my friends, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle."

He shook Applebloom's hoof.

"What's your name?" Sweetie Belle asked innocently.

"I'm Bone Marrow." He waited a moment to see what happened, but only one showed a hint of recognition.

Applebloom squinted at Bone Marrow to study him further. "Bone Marrow, huh?"

"Yes?" The large colt replied. "Is that a problem?"

"What's wrong, Applebloom?" Scootaloo wondered aloud.

"See, I know I've heard that name somewhere. Maybe I've seen it?" Applebloom scratched her chin. "I think I know somepony who might wanna meet you, Mister Marrow."

He already didn't like where this was going. "I'm sorry about sleeping in your house, okay? I didn't know it was occupied still and the door wasn't locked, so..."

Sweetie Belle giggled into her hoof. "Silly, this is our clubhouse! Well, technically this is where we help ponies that have cutie mark problems."

"Do you have a cutie mark problem?" Scootaloo pointed to Bone's flank. "The last cutie mark we saw that had a skull on it turned out okay."

"The archaeologist one, right?" Applebloom nodded, "Yeah, her parents were worried she was gonna be a pirate or somethin'."

Bone Marrow laughed. He had been worried for a moment, but the thought of a pirate filly caught him by surprise.

The three fillies raised eyebrows of concern at the necromancer in front of them.

He held up a hoof, "Sorry, I just wasn't expecting that answer." Bone had to admit, the fillies didn't seem as big of a threat as he had thought a few moments ago. Still, it paid to be vigilant. "Really, though, I think I should be going. The Princess of Friendship is probably sending out her guards to drag me to her castle right now."

Now the fillies were laughing.

"What? Was it something I said?"

Sweetie Belle shook her head, "Twilight doesn't have guards to drag anypony anyplace! If she wants to talk with you, she's more likely to just teleport in front of you."

Scootaloo deepened her voice to mimic an imagined gruff guard. "I am Sir Diligence and I'm here to drag you away to the dungeons of Friendship! Raah!"

In Bone Marrow's experience, the guards he had encountered behaved nothing like that. He stayed silent, however. That was over a thousand years ago and he didn't want to ruin any foalhoods. He settled for an uneasy smile as the fillies continued to play-act.

Eventually, when the fillies had settled down, Bone Marrow told them that he would be heading off to Twilight's castle. They offered to guide him there, but he smiled and said that it was very hard to miss a building that towers over the whole town.

The fillies conceded and wished him well.

Bone Marrow then headed in the opposite direction of the castle. He wasn't ready to go there, not yet. He had been told of a cottage on the outskirts of town. A place where he could find meat and bone to consume with his magic. Fuel to give himself some semblance of safety.

Of all the things that the necromancer had been expecting, a butterscotch colored pegasus with a pink mane wrestling with a grizzly bear was the last thing on his mind. Or... was it wrestling? The pegasus didn't seem to be in any trouble, though the bear was certainly not having a good time, judging from the roars.

Bone Marrow cautiously approached, his horn alight with the dark blue of his magic, just in case the worst were to happen. He didn't know if his magic was powerful enough to kill a bear from how weak he imagined himself to have become, but there was always the chance that things could work in his favor for once.

When he galloped to the scene of the noise, the pegasus had clearly won her battle with the grizzly. The bear was groaning and growling as the pegasus kneaded its back and coo'd happy noises into its ear.

"Eh... excuse me?" Bone Marrow called out. "Are you Fluttershy?"

The pony's ears perked up and her eyes were wide.

"I didn't mean to startle you!" Bone quickly added.

She leaned down and whispered something into the bear's ear before launching from its back towards Bone. With bird-like grace, she landed a few feet in front of the white colt.

"Yes, I'm Fluttershy. Do you need help with something?" Her voice was soft, like the wind whispering through the trees, and it caught Bone Marrow off guard.

"U-um... not really? I mean yes!" He coughed into his hoof, getting a hold of himself. "I was told that you might have some meat available, but I don't have any bits to pay you. Maybe I could do something in exchange?"

She pointed to the top of Bone's head with a kind smile. "Your horn is still charged."

"Oh!" The magic went out in an instant like a fire doused in water. "Sorry, I just didn't expect to see somepony wrestling with a grizzly bear."

"Mister Bear? Don't worry about him, he's a sweetheart." She looked behind herself and waved to the bear in the distance, who returned the gesture with a wave of his own. Fluttershy then spoke to Bone Marrow. "Do you have an animal that needs to eat? I know most ponies don't like the sight of blood or cut meat, but some of the animals I care for aren't able to take care of themselves."

Bone smirked, he had seen a lot worse than that in his time. "No, it's not for an animal. I need it for my magic."

Fluttershy's ears folded down. "Y-your magic? I'm sorry, did I hear that right?"

"Eh... yes?" This looked like it was going bad, Bone thought.

The pegasus sighed and shook her head. "It's not for anything bad, is it?"

Maybe not everypony had forgotten about necromancers? "Well... I can use the meat for a whole bunch of things. I can heal wounds, for example."

That got Fluttershy's attention. "You can heal injuries? You mean like a fairy tale?" She was more curious than suspicious. "How much do you need?"

"How... much are you willing to give?" Bone replied with an uneasy smile.

"Wait here for a moment, please." Fluttershy then moved away from Bone and went around the back of her cottage, presumably to a cellar.

Bone tapped his hoof to the ground. Why was he on edge? Why was he looking over his shoulder so often? All he had to do was wait for Fluttershy to return. Time and again he had seen evidence of no bandits, of no thieves or double-crossers. No knights that were hunting for him, no shrieks of horror when a pony saw his eyes. If anything, ponies seemed to think that he was a little bit strange, but nothing menacing.

Then why, he thought, do I always expect the worst?

When Fluttershy returned, she was carrying a basket that looked to be filled with a few choice cuts of meat. Some with ribs, some with bone, but all of it was uncooked. She moved over, casual and calm, to Bone Marrow. The various animals she tended to looked at the meat as if it was their feeding time, but she explained to them in some strange manner of speaking that everything was fine and that their meals weren't ready yet.

"Is this enough?" Fluttershy wondered. "I'm very curious about your healing magic."

Bone looked over the meat in front of him. It looked to be about... He stopped himself. Was he really comparing amounts of meat to the size of ponies? A stallion or a mare? The Battle of Canterlot had changed him in ways that he didn't fully understand, but if this was a symptom of it, then he worried what else had warped his mind.

He nodded with a weary smile. "This should be more than enough, thank you, Fluttershy."

Bone's horn was set alight with magic once again, and with a single word, the meat in the basket began burning away to ash with an icy blue flame.


Fluttershy's eyes widened in fascination as the meat vanished before her eyes. It was like a silent flame. No heat, no crackling or snapping, just... an eerie whisper as meat turned to dust.

Bone Marrow closed his eyes and breathed a long sigh of relief. He felt different. More powerful, yet at the same time... empty. Not the same emptiness that the void had given him, not the hunger for blood and flesh and bone, but something else. Was it closer to actual hunger? He barely remembered what that had felt like. He didn't really need to eat, after all, not physical things like sandwiches or salads. Meat, however, had remained a constant. A thousand years and probably more to come.

"Hello?" Fluttershy calmly asked. "Are you okay?"

His eyes opened and glowed brightly. "I'm more than okay, Fluttershy," Bone smiled, "Thank you."

Fluttershy hadn't seen anything like this before in her life, but she was also wary of Bone Marrow not coming through with his part of the deal. She wasn't one to be a doormat to other ponies. Not anymore, at least.

"You said that you were going to use your magic to heal, remember?" She attempted to be as assertive as possible while not scaring Bone Marrow.

The necromancer nodded. "What do you need me to heal?"

Fluttershy and Bone Marrow shared a smile of understanding. Bone Marrow had found a pony he could trust, even if it was only for a supply of meat in exchange for services rendered.

Author's Note:

Another day, another chapter!

I took yesterday off to let my body have a break, seeing as I felt like sludge.

In the future, however, there should be a continuing pace of chapters! Never more than a day or two without a new chapter to read, at least until this novel is finished.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and I've noticed those Paypal donations! I thousand thanks to you and a blessing on your families for your generosity!

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