• Published 14th Sep 2018
  • 17,169 Views, 1,539 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.

  • ...

More Than Enough

Bone Marrow had been wandering through the halls of Twilight's Castle for some time now. Each hallway mirrored another, making the entire place seem like an endless maze. If not for the tapestries and different carpets, he would've sworn that he had passed the same hall at least a dozen times.

Wouldn't it make sense to put a sign outside each of the doors? 'Here is the kitchen, here is the bathroom,' things like that.

The colt's stomach rumbled. He had realized that his hunger wasn't one of magical need, but of physical. Did he really need to eat again? It had been so long. His time in the Mines of Scoria where a few months had passed, his time wandering the land and from when he was killed, twice, by a bandit. Then the other times he had been too busy to sit down and have a meal if it wasn't for the maddening demands of the void.

The void... it was still curiously silent. It was like Bone Marrow was missing something, not an old friend, but the familiar comfort of knowing where it was. The silent gnawing on his mind and the unending thumps of every heartbeat for miles around. Now there was only silence in his mind. Silence and the constant demand that he actually eat something for once.

"Maybe here?" Bone Marrow opened a crystalline doorway and found another empty bedroom. He slumped with a sigh, "This place is too big for it's own good. At least Celestia's castle had guards to tell you where to go."

He closed the door and continued onward through the castle. Doorway after doorway, hall after hall, painting after painting.

The colt paused. Getting a better look at the paintings, he noticed that something about them was wrong. The detail on them alone would've been enough to give somepony a medal! The colors, the lack of a single brush stroke... the texture?

"What in Tartarus?" Bone Marrow blinked at the painting on the wall as if it would answer him. When it didn't he shook his head. "This 'thousand years' thing is creepy..."

Finally, joyously, he found a room resembling a kitchen. It felt like he had been wandering for hours, but the unending demands of hunger made time pass far more slowly in his mind's eye. In reality, it had been little more than fifteen minutes since his encounter with the detailed paintings on the wall, and now he was staring at the glorious sight of a head of lettuce on the table.

Just sitting there, waiting to be sliced up or taken. Bone Marrow paused. Was this one of Twilight's tests? To see if he was a thief? He shook his head. Twilight had told Bone to make himself at home, so why did he feel like he was being watched all of a sudden?

Bone jumped when another door to the kitchen opened with a bang. Spike had wandered through, looking as casual as ever. Maybe he could ask the dragon for some help?

The necromancer cleared his throat. "Excuse me, Spike?"

"Aah!" The dragon yelped. "Whoa! Bone Marrow? You startled me there!"

Bone held up a hoof and smiled apologetically, "I didn't mean to! Sorry."

After Spike recovered, he walked over to Bone. "Do you need something?"

He nodded, "Yes... eh, I haven't eaten in a long while. Would you mind if I ate that head of lettuce over there?"

Spike's brow raised as he looked over to the vegetable. "You just wanna eat a whole lettuce? No bread or flowers or anything?"

"Eh..." Bone didn't really know how to reply to that. Was it strange of him to simply eat some lettuce?

"Tell you what. I'll make you something to eat, and you go relax over in one of the reading rooms. Deal?" Spike was smiling.

Bone's ears folded down. "Where would that be? I've been wandering through the castle completely lost for what feels like ages now."

"Second door on your left when you leave the kitchen."

The stallion-sized colt nodded and smiled. "Thank you, Spike."

Bone found a chair that was sized correctly for him, for once. Then again, everything in this strange 'future' was scaled down. It was all foal-sized! That meant that ponies mistook him for a stallion, which he didn't mind for now.

He rested his chin on his hoof. Would he keep growing? Probably, considering that ponies now a days were different than he was. Bone paused, did he really just think that? 'Ponies now a days'? He let out a huff of amusement. He was an old pony while still being twelve years old.

"Back in my day, the paintings on the wall didn't used to look so good!" Bone told himself in the mock-accent of an old pony. "An ponies didn't used to be so small!" He giggled. Maybe this was going to be better than he thought? Nopony had tried to kill him for days now, which was a welcome break from what he was used to. No bandits, no thieves, no guards every three steps...

Though, another thought crept into his mind. Starlight Glimmer. She had given him a look that he had seen far too often a thousand years ago. One of terror and an intense desire to run. He sighed and rested his head on the table in front of him. Maybe he could have a talk with her?

He could always see what Starlight was up to, but then she would know what he was doing. The skulls that were a part of his eyes would appear in Starlight's, and she would feel terribly cold until his sight returned to his own body. If she had been reading about the past, she would know the signs.

No, it would be a terrible idea. He had done it once before on a whim to Princess Celestia, and that resulted in him being frozen in a statue for a thousand years.

With all of these thoughts, Bone Marrow was becoming impatient. Was Spike preparing a feast or something? Bone had only wanted a snack, something small, but if it was taking this long it must be something big.

Another anxious minute passed before Spike entered the reading area with a massive silver platter held on one claw above his head. There was an equally shiny silver dome over the top of the platter, but Bone Marrow could smell something that sent him back. A smell that reminded him of Canterlot and Obscenely Rich's manor.

The smell of cooked flesh.

His throat became tight as he remembered the mages that, in the panic of self preservation, had torched entire rows of their own ponies to get away from the silent charge of his many skeletal minotaur. Of the bat ponies that dropped flasks of lighted oil onto the battlements of Canterlot's walls. He remembered the Bright Moon running for their lives as a mage lost control of their own magic, exploding in a fireball that illuminated the night for the briefest of flashes and left ponies fused to their metal armor, their faces contorted and warped around the metal that was meant to protect them as scorched flesh melted from their bones.

Spike set the platter down in front of the necromancer and lifted the lid with an innocent smile. "I heard that you liked meat, so I tried to make something up for you. I spend a lot of time with griffons and other dragons lately, so I've picked up a few new skills here and there that I've been dying to try out."

There was a flower-leaf sandwich, an apple, a half-loaf of sourdough bread, and a steak that had been cooked to a bloody medium-rare.

Bone Marrow could only nod in thanks with a strained smile.

"Is something wrong?" Spike hopped up onto one of the chairs opposite Bone Marrow. "I could cook the steak more if you want."

He held up a hoof, "N-no, it's fine. Sorry." His hoof fell to the table with a clack. "Memories, is all."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Spike pulled his chair closer to the table, intending to sit down for the long haul. "I've got time."

Bone shook his head. "This isn't the kind of story you'd want to hear, Spike. I don't think anything like it happens anymore in Equestria, at least from what I've seen."

Spike looked from the food to Bone Marrow and made a connection. Bone was staring at the steak like it would come to life at any minute. "Eh... do you want me to take the steak away?"

"No!" Bone unintentionally shouted, his voice panicked. "I-I mean, no, sorry. The steak can stay, thank you." He closed his eyes and took a breath. "Better to just consume it and get rid of the smell."

The young dragon watched with wonder as the steak became ash under the icy-blue flame that dissolved it.

Bone Marrow felt slightly better now that the source of the scent of cooked flesh was gone, but his meal still sat in front of him. He was hungry as ever and rested a hoof on the top of his sandwich.

Spike patiently waited for Bone to collect himself, but he noticed that the necromancer had stopped moving. "Something wrong?"

"I'm... trying to remember the last time I ate something." He slightly shook his head at the insanity of it. "Before I was frozen in stone, I mean. Was it weeks? Months?"

The little dragon was concerned even moreso. "How are you not starving, then?"

"Maybe it was my magic, maybe it was the void?" Bone blinked and grabbed the sandwich between his hooves. "I don't know. The last thing I remember eating was an oatmeal raisin cookie before the attack on Rich's manor."

The same look of momentary confusion that was on Twilight's face had crossed Spikes. "You don't mean Filthy Rich, do you?"

"No, Obscenely Rich." He took a bite of the sandwich and had to pause. It tasted exquisite. He wanted to simply pass out and dream of a taste this good for a solid week.

"I'll give you a minute there, Bone Marrow." Spike hopped down from his chair and backpedaled out of the room. "Good luck with your sandwich!"

That pony was strange, thought Spike. He had never seen anypony react so... approvingly to a sandwich he had made.

For once in his life, Bone Marrow felt full. No hunger, no need to devour meat and bone, no endless need for more. He was sated. Stuffed, even. The horrid memories of a thousand year's past had left his mind for now, replaced with the ache of fullness that he didn't realize how much he had missed.

It was nice, Bone Marrow concluded. Nice to finally be able to have a break. To rest for once without the thought that a guard might walk through a doorway and spot him. To have a moment to himself without the threat of Celestia looming over his head like a sword held with string.

He decided it was time for another nap. Bone moved his silver platter back to the kitchen in search of a bucket to wash, but instead found some kind of... well. He didn't know what it was. It was like a bucket but it was built into the kitchen's table on the side. Where normally he would think to put ingredients or something for easy access, he found the crystal bucket. There was some kind of thin crystal pipe that jutted out from the wall and it moved on a swivel. There was a lever as well.

Having no better ideas, he pushed upwards on the lever. To his astonishment, water began rushing out of the pipe. Was it magical? It would have to be! He had never thought of using a spell to make water like this, but where did it all end up? He noticed that there was a drain beneath the water pipe but had no idea where it would lead. The cupboards below the buckets revealed that there were more crystalline pipes that lead further away from the device and out of sight.

"Having fun?"

Bone Marrow narrowly avoided banging his horn on the contraption to get a look at who had just spoken.

"It's called a sink." Starlight Glimmer explained. "You look like you've figured it out for the most part, but you should probably turn it off."

The colt closed the cupboards beneath the sink and turned off the crystalline spigot. His eyes narrowed at Starlight.

"Weren't you scared of me a few moments ago? You bolted away from me like I was going to eat you."

Starlight held out a hoof that wavered from side to side. "Eh... yeah. I've been talking with one of my friends and they convinced me that I was probably over reacting." Her hoof then was held out to be shaken. "Starlight Glimmer. I figured I should properly introduce myself."

Bone cautiously approached and shook her hoof. "Bone Marrow, though I think you already knew that."

She smiled nervously, "Yeah, just a habit of mine is all. I think I picked it up from Twilight, to be honest. I saw how the cutie map was acting and decided to get a better insight to what was going on, and... well." Her hoof dropped and she bit her lip.

"Death, destruction, carnage..." Bone sighed, "At least I'm guessing that's what the records said?"

"Not... entirely?" Starlight got a better look at Bone Marrow. "Though you look pretty tired. Do you remember where your room is? It took me months to figure out my way around this place."

The necromancer shook his head. "I have no idea where I am in this maze of a castle."

"Well come on then, we can walk and talk." She opened the door to the kitchen with her magic, gesturing for Bone to go first.

"So, a Necromancer, huh?" Starlight was more cordial now that the niceties were out of the way. "What's that like?"

Bone's voice was weary. "I've already told Twilight that I'm not going to teach her anything to do with Necromancy. The same goes for anypony, dragon, griffon, or whoever else asks me."

"Okay, okay," Starlight relented, "Just curious is all. You don't have to explain the spells, but maybe the... experience of it?"

"All of that happened a thousand years ago. You've already read some records and books. Maybe some were even written by Celestia. Isn't that enough?"

Starlight rose an eyebrow at that comment. "Not a fan of the princess, huh?"

Bone's expression was deadpan. "She blasted me with rainbows and sealed me in a statue for a thousand years after betraying me. What do you think?"

"I can understand that, I think." Starlight looked ahead as the two conversed on their journey through the halls. "I used to be a 'villain' too, you know."

"A villain?" Bone chuckled, "I was trying to be a hero when I was frozen."

"Well from what I saw, Canterlot wouldn't even exist if you didn't defeat Equestria's army by yourself. The Bright Moon, right? I read that they went around to other countries that bordered Equestria to raze them all to the ground so they couldn't fight us. You, however, fought an army of veterans and the combined armies of all the nations that survived the Bright Moon's attacks. In one night."

"I would've let them go if they didn't attack, but..." He held a hoof to the pocket watch around his neck. "After one point... I didn't have much mercy left in me. I think of all the Bright Moon I encountered during that night, I let one bat pony escape. One."

"Hey, I'm not here to judge you, Bone Marrow." Starlight gestured with her horn to the necromancer's room. "I'm just trying to say that I'm not your enemy or anything. I can sympathize with what you went through, even if I don't really understand all of it. If you want to talk about it, or if you just want somepony to vent to, I'm here."

Bone Marrow's eyes narrowed. "Why the sudden kindness?"

"Well, after what I did in my village... let's just say I'm trying to work out a few of my own problems. I figured it would help if you had someone to help you with yours?" Starlight smiled nervously, hoping that Bone would agree.

The necromancer colt grumbled. He had a policy about trusting strangers. Too many sweetened words and intentions that had come back to bite him, or in one case, trap him in stone.

"I'll think about it, Starlight." Bone pushed the door to his room open. "I think I need some sleep. It's been a long day or three."

"Of course!" Starlight backed away a few steps. "Have a nice rest, okay? We can talk more if you want in the morning."

Bone nodded. "Maybe. See you then."

The door closed behind Bone Marrow and he was once again alone in the room of pure extravagance. A soft bed, softer sheets and blankets. A pillow made from pegasus down that had been donated to Celes-- to Twilight.

Bone sighed and lifted the corner of the bed's sheets with his magic. It was too much. He crawled underneath the bed's frame and pulled the sheets with him. Better to sleep on the floor with a feeling that he knew well rather than give in to too much comfort. It didn't feel right. He had slept on a bed of straw as a... well, he was still a colt. Why did it feel like a different lifetime ago? Technically it was, Bone conceded.

All of this would take a lot of getting used to. One step at a time, though. For now, he would sleep underneath the bed in the comfort of darkness. Just as he had in done Celestia's castle. Just as he had done with Scenic Sights...

Author's Note:

Another day, another chapter!

A thousand likes and ten thousand thanks to the wonderful readers of this story! I never imagined the good reception that Necromancy for Foals 2 would get, but I'm floored!

As ever, another chapter should be out tomorrow. Enjoy this one and let me know what you think in the comments!

Help Support me on Patreon and Paypal, and join the discussion on Discord!

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

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!