• Published 14th Sep 2018
  • 15,631 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.

  • ...

Final Commitment

Bone Marrow had lingered in his room for half an hour before he made up his mind. In his dream he had done everything he planned previously. He'd gone to the graveyard, he'd visited the Everfree Forest and run into danger, but gotten nowhere.

Was this a sign from Princess Luna that he should go about things differently, or was he overthinking?

The young necromancer shook his head and groaned. Hunger was getting to him, gnawing on his mind with the insistence to eat something. In a way, it reminded him of the Void. A different diet but with wildly different motivations.

What should be done? Bone Marrow pulled the curtains away from the window and blinded himself with the light of the early morning sun. Squinting, he looked out on the town below. Ponies were already awake. Some of them were setting up their stores in the streets and others were simply chatting with their neighbors.

The colt bit his lower lip. It was like a bird's eye view of Scoria. A simpler time before he had to worry about so many things. Before Princesses invaded his sleep, before he was raising the dead. But then again, was the change so bad in the long run? From everything he'd read from the journals of the necromancers before him, he would continue to live on. Immortal, in a way. Well, so long as he stayed away from volcanoes and lava.

Bone let the curtains fall and cloak the room in darkness once again, his glowing eyes allowing him to see and think without distraction. He needed to bring Scenic Sights back. He needed his friend to talk with; the one pony in Equestria that could look past the skulls in his eyes.

Yes, Bone had to admit, the ponies here didn't seem to bat an eyelid at him or his appearance. They also had an alicorn here to protect them from any number of disaster, like the Hydra that lurked in the forests that surrounded the town. That didn't mean their tolerance of him was the same as acceptance. He couldn't risk opening himself up to those in the town. Certainly not with Twilight Sparkle and her followers. He needed to get away from this crystalline castle, to wrap his mind around what was exactly needed to bring his friend back from the dead.

The lonely necromancer lifted the pocket watch around his neck and opened the lid. His memories came to the surface of the reflective mirror inside. Memories of Scenic and himself leading an army of disguised skeletons through the town of Galloping Glades under the guise of a national holiday in the making. He smirked and shook his head. It felt like only a few weeks ago that he'd been sneaking around in graveyards and confronting bandits, yet in truth, it had been over a thousand years since then.

A knock came to Bone Marrow's door and the colt shut his pocket watch with a click to let it hang around his neck. "Yes?" Bone called out, "Who is it?"

"It's Spike! Do you want a sandwich? I've got a few of them ready in the kitchen."

Bone's stomach growled in response. "Yeah, I'll be out in a minute."

"Are you doing okay? You sound sad."

The necromancer's eyes narrowed. "I'm fine, Spike. Thanks for the concern."

"Well alright, see you soon."

Bone Marrow waited until he was certain that the young dragon was gone. He'd known Twilight and her friends for only a few days, and now was not the time for trust. Especially if his dream was anything to go by, as well as his encounter with the hydra. He felt weaker, somehow. First with the hydra being immune to his magic, and second with that... whatever it was in his dream. Sure, the abomination of animals combined together eventually died, but he had been in genuine danger from something so small.

When he was in Canterlot a thousand years ago, a concept that he was still wrapping his mind around, he had fought entire armies with the dead of the city. Without thought, he had commanded thousands to defeat thousands. Now, however? He was concerned that those rainbows had done more harm than he originally imagined. More than just sealing him away for a millennia.

What was the solution, then? When he had been in Scoria he had recognized his special talent with the help of Toothpick, his pet raven. He'd been able to control an army, and he was still 'alive' in every sense of the word. Though, a realization came to Bone Marrow. He had been killed in Scoria by the Royal Guard. Killed twice in the forests of what was now the Everfree by a bandit's crossbow bolt, and once again by his own magic.

Each time, he drifted further and further away from himself. It was true, Bone conceded, that each death had been traumatic. On the other hoof, each death had resulted in him becoming even more powerful than before.

Another knock came to his door. "Bone Marrow?" It was Twilight's voice now. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine!" Bone snapped. He was onto something and these distractions were getting to him.

There was a brief pause before Twilight asked, "Can I come in?"

Bone closed his eyes. He'd have to find someplace else to think. Somewhere secluded. For now, he'd speak with Twilight and hopefully dissuade her from prying into his business. He walked over to the crystalline door and opened it.

Twilight blinked and peered into the room, seeing the early morning glow behind Bone's curtains and the bright blue skulls of his eyes in the darkness. "Wow. Kinda dark in here, isn't it?"

"Just getting used to waking up in the morning is all. I tried opening the curtains earlier and it burned my eyes." Bone stood to the side to allow Twilight entry to the room.

"Are you sure you want to be in there? I could find a different room for you if you wanted." Her eyebrow was raised with concern. "Have you eaten yet?"

Bone shook his head. "I just woke up. Spike told me about breakfast already."

"Oh! Right. There's still some sandwiches out if you want them." Twilight turned to leave. "You can talk with us if you want to, you know that, right?"

The necromancer nodded. "I know. Just getting used to everything is all."

"Have you met Pinkie Pie yet?" Twilight was switching subjects now. "She's been asking around about you."

"Maybe later, Twilight."

The princess could see that she wasn't getting through to Bone Marrow. Maybe she needed a different approach? Or, maybe she just needed to give him his space. It was probably a nightmare to come back after a thousand year pause to a place that you used to know, and she could sympathize with the shock that Bone must be going through.

Twilight nodded. "Well, I'll see you around, alright? I'm free to talk with you at any time."

Bone nodded in return and closed the door. He pressed his ear against the crystal to wait for Twilight's hoof steps to echo down the hall before opening the door once again. He moved in the opposite direction of the kitchen. He needed to get out of this castle, to get away from being under watch constantly. It was like the palace in Canterlot, but instead of guards watching over him, it was a princess.

The fresh morning air greeted Bone Marrow as he closed the front door of the castle behind him. A gentle breeze that carried the lighthearted chatter of the ponies in Ponyville.

"Hi!" The bright voice of a mare bleated into his ear.

Bone Marrow cringed in pain and sidestepped away from the noise, only to discover the pinkest pony he'd ever seen. Well, Bone hesitated, probably not the pinkest. For some reason, the pony in front of him reminded him of Frosty Pie. A small earth pony filly that he'd met after the town of Galloping Glades had burned down. She had the same eyes, too.

"I'm Pinkie Pie! I heard that you were a super-scary necromancer from a thousand years ago and I've been wanting to give you a 'welcome to Ponyville' party for a while, but after looking through a bunch of libraries around Equestria I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea."

Bone Marrow blinked. "You looked through libraries around Equestria? I've been here for a day. How could you have--"

Pinkie Pie placed a hoof over Bone's mouth. "Ah-ah! A party planner never divulges her secrets!" She then lowered her hoof, prompting Bone Marrow to cough and wipe his face. "So, now that we know each other, do you wanna know anything about Ponyville?"

Bone shook his head. "I'll figure it out, thanks."

"Are you suuure?" She had leaned closer to Bone with her question before rubberbanding back to her initial place. "I know everypony in Ponyville and everything about them!"

That... sounded creepy, in a way. "I'll be fine, Pinkie Pie. Thanks again."

"Okie-dokie! Just let me know if you need anything, Bone Marrow!" She gave a final wave before bounding off into the town, apparently filled up to her eyeballs with cheer and sugar.

Bone felt like he'd just walked through a whirlwind and come out with a scratch. What in Tartarus was that? First there was Rainbow Dash, a pony that reminded him of Scenic Sights but with the wrong mane color. Now there was Pinkie Pie who reminded him of Frosty Pie... wait. Pie?

He pressed a hoof to his forehead. Were they related, by chance? They both had Pie as a last name, but as pony names went, that wasn't a very good indication. His family didn't have the name of 'Marrow' after all. Maybe it was just coincidence.

Bone had decided that he needed to get away from the town. He needed his space to think before he lost track of his thoughts.

He had eventually settled for what seemed to be a park next to the lakefront near the town. There was a park bench and a cobblestone path that ran alongside it, though he felt odd that the bench was sized for foals.

Bone paused. Well, in his time it was foal-sized. He was a foal that was the size of the regular ponies here, and that served as a constant distraction and oddity. He took a deep breath. He needed to focus instead of getting distracted by everything around him. The young colt closed his eyes to concentrate. What had he been thinking about before? Right, Scenic Sights.

He was alive now, as far as he could tell. He needed sleep, food, all of that. But when he had died before, none of that mattered to him. He'd gone weeks without sleep and the food that he needed had changed from leafy greens and bread to that of meat and flesh. Well, technically it was the Void's unending nagging that told him he needed meat, but as his stomach grumbled, it was like trading one mute voice of insistence to one that he could more clearly hear in his mind. Like a hunch instead of a dull pain.

What would he need to do to bring Scenic back from the dead? He didn't want to risk attempting it now, not when he wasn't absolutely certain that he had the power to do so. When he'd read the journals of the necromancers before him, they spoke many times of dying previously. He was in a different situation now. He'd been... healed? Pulled back? He wasn't sure what the rainbows had done to him or what to call it.

Bone Marrow paused to look out onto the lakefront. He needed a moment to process all of these thoughts. He saw the reflection of the trees in the water, the reflection of clouds and the pegasus that flew between them. In an instant, he was reminded of a different lake in a different time.

A lake that was coated by a thin film of ash along the surface. One filled with the bleeding bodies of Galloping Glades' residents. The fire that glowed next to the ash, the long tendrils of flame that flickered and roared as buildings cracked and crumbled to the ground around him. Screams of the dying and terrified as bandits chased the townsfolk through narrow streets and over the corpses of neighbors they knew well.

"Excuse me," a worried voice asked, "I couldn't help but notice that you were shivering, dear."

Bone Marrow coughed to clear his suddenly dry throat before looking towards the source of the voice, and he was greeted by a cream colored mare with a purple mane. She looked like she'd just come from Canterlot with all of the makeup she was wearing.

"I'm fine, thanks."

The mare raised a perfectly styled eyebrow. "You don't look fine, dear." She used the side of her hoof to wipe away a bit of wetness from Bone's face. "I'm Rarity, and you look like you've just woken up from a terrible nightmare."

Bone pursed his lips and slid away from Rarity. "I said I'm fine."

Her eyes narrowed in thought as she considered Bone Marrow. "I know you... you're Bone Marrow, aren't you? I heard Twilight speaking about you earlier yesterday. She said that you needed a cloak?"

He was about to decline her offer before a gust of wind sent shivers down his spine. Another reminder of his 'new life'.

Rarity let out a short hum of conformation. "Right. That settles it! You're in need of a cloak, and I, Rarity, will provide you with one!"

Bone was surprised at the power of Rarity when he found himself hoisted from his bench by Rarity's magic and placed onto the ground next to her.

"Come with me, darling. I'll make you the finest cloak in all of Equestria!" She seemed very sure of herself.

The necromancer would have declined, but all things considered... he had grown attached to having a cloak. Maybe he just liked wearing the hood it had, or maybe he liked staying concealed? In any case, he ended up following after Rarity. He'd spend more time thinking about what exactly he should do at a later point. After all, until he sorted out exactly what he needed to do, he'd have a lot of time to do so. Scenic had already spent a thousand years trapped in a soul jar, oblivious to the world around her. Though it pained him, there was little he could do to change that at the moment.

The last cloak that Bone Marrow 'owned' had been stolen from a general of the Bright Moon, named 'Anvil'. Bone learned that it wasn't the real name of the pony later, but his old cloak had given him memories. It was burned to a crisp now, and Rarity insisted on making a cloak specifically for the necromancer.

"What colors would you like, Bone Marrow?" Rarity was busy measuring the young colt as she talked.

"Black and purple?" It was the same coloration as the cloak that he'd had before. Black on the inside, purple on the outside.

"Ah, regal colors! I have to admit, I too enjoy the look of purple. The black should make it pop against your white coat, too!" More measurements, and Bone was surprised to see bundles of fabric floating through the air in combination with scissors, knitting needles and other clothing-related tools.

She worked fast in her snipping and stitching. Left and right, tools and fabrics spun and moved in a dizzying display of skill and focus. Bone figured Rarity's special talent must be at least somewhat related to the diamonds on her flank, and looking at the other clothing in the store, he soon made the connection.

"Aha!" She reoriented Bone Marrow to the mirror next to him. "What do you think?"

He could see the reflection of his face and the blue skulls that hid in his eyes. Did she really not care about them?

"Hmm... maybe a bit longer on the ends. Bigger hood?"

Bone blinked and looked at Rarity. "Um, sure. Thanks for all of this, by the way. You really didn't--"

"Oh nonsense! I couldn't stand by and watch you shiver in the cold, Bone Marrow." Rarity took off Bone's cloak and went to work in making an entirely new one. Apparently she liked everything to have a uniform cohesiveness, or she said as much at least.

"So, how are you liking your time in Ponyville?" Rarity continued to chat as she worked.

"It's... interesting." Bone was doing his best to avoid revealing too much about what he thought. "Very different."

"Well I'd imagine so. A whole town filled with ponies that you don't know, in a time where things are so new!" Her work occupied much of her focus, and Bone guessed that she was only half listening.

"Yep. Very different."

Rarity bit her lip as she focused on a different section of the cloak. A bit of fabric around the neck area.

Bone took the opportunity to continue thinking. He'd experienced Princess Luna's dreamwalking first hoof, and though he liked Luna far better than the other princesses, she was still a princess. It was a rule to never trust strangers, but after Celestia betrayed him? He'd add onto that rule: Never Trust Strangers or Princesses.

"There!" Rarity backed away with a proud smile on her face. "What do you think?"

Bone was surprised when he looked in the mirror. The hood was raised over his head and it concealed much. With only his muzzle and glowing eyes visible from beneath the darkness of his hood, he grinned.

"I see that you like it! I added a bit of magic to your cloak to make it darker when the hood is up. Also, there should be a protective spot near your neckline for that watch of yours to keep it safe."

The pocket watch was indestructible as far as Bone Marrow was aware. Obscenely Rich had told him as much, saying that the watch had runes and enchantments to the Nth degree. Not even lava would destroy it.

"I was worried about that thin chain keeping the pocket watch around your neck. I have a locket of my own that's similar to yours, though I always end up misplacing it somewhere or another. With that bit of fabric, you should be able to know where it is at all times."

Bone's eyes narrowed with sudden realization. "What do I owe you? I don't have any bits on me."

Rarity held up a hood and shook her head with a smile. "No charge, dear. Think of this as a gift from me."

Bone's eyebrow raised, though it was concealed by the darkness of his new hood. "Really? No charge, no hidden fee or task that you want me to do?"

She shook her head again. "Absolutely free. I wouldn't think to offer you something and charge you for it afterwards."

The necromancer stepped down from the display surrounded by mirrors. "Well, um, thank you." He scratched the side of his neck. "I'm not used to ponies giving me things."

"Come by anytime to visit, Bone Marrow. I'd love to hear you talk about how things used to be, or to just share tea with you."

That was odd. First Twilight, then Spike, then Pinkie Pie and now Rarity? Why in Tartarus were ponies being nice to him? Why were they being so accommodating? Something was clearly wrong, but Bone couldn't place his hoof on it.

"R-right." He now had even more on his mind. "Is it alright if I leave?"

Rarity nodded. "Come by anytime, dear."

Several hours later, Bone Marrow was once again alone. He'd gone for a walk on the outskirts of Ponyville to get away from all of the ponies asking if he was alright and trying to pry into his business. Were ponies just nosy now? A thousand years ago, he would've been astonished to find that anypony gave him the time of day, let alone if anypony didn't scream and run in terror when they saw the skulls in his eyes.

Maybe Twilight had something to do with this. She was the Princess of Friendship, after all. It felt forced. Hurried. Was she trying to keep him in Ponyville? Keep him close to Canterlot?

He heard a shuffling of claws against dirt and turned around to find Spike coming towards him in a sprint, holding what looked like a bag of some kind.

"There-- there you are!" Spike was out of breath and came to a halt next to Bone Marrow. "Twilight said to give this to you," He panted, "Said it was urgent?"

Right. Princess Luna had said that there was a gift waiting for him, but in his haste, he'd forgotten. He took the offered bag from Spike with his blue magic and opened it.

"What the?" He couldn't believe what he was looking at, and dumped out the contents of the bag onto the ground.

"Eugh!" Spike recoiled in horror from the dead raven that had fallen out. "Why!?"

Bone grinned. This was a gift indeed!

"Why would Princess Luna send you a dead bird? Does she not like you or something?"

The necromancer shook his head and wrapped the dead raven in his magic. "Nope." A wave of magic pulsed out from Bone Marrow's horn, followed by a second pulse that shifted the dirt loose.

Flesh and feathers burned away from the raven's body, leaving behind only bones. Those bones assembled together quite rapidly, and when the second pulse of magic hit, the bird's eyes were illuminated by a cold blue glow.

"Toothpick?" Bone asked the skeletal raven.

In response, the bird pecked his teeth.

"Hey, it worked!" Just as it had before, when he'd originally lost his first skeleton in the Mines of Scoria, after his first death. Again, he'd lost Toothpick when his eyes had been cut out to avoid detection from the Knights of the Sun. "How've you been, Toothpick?"

The raven hopped to the side and soon stared at Spike.

The baby dragon couldn't believe what he was seeing, his face frozen in disbelief and terror. "Z-zombie bird?"

Bone lifted Toothpick onto his head. "Not a zombie, a skeleton."

"S-so it's dead?" Spike took a step back.

The necromancer nodded. "Just think of him like a silent observer, Spike. He's not going to peck your eyes out or anything."

He shook his head. "L-look, I think I hear Twilight calling my name, so I've gotta go. See you later!"

Bone Marrow sighed with disappointment as he witnessed Spike sprinting back to town. Should he be surprised? Most ponies didn't cope well with seeing dead things. It had taken a long while for he himself to get used to the idea as well.

Toothpick pecked Bone's horn, jolting him from his thoughts. "Ouch!"

The raven's skull and vertebrae hung from the lip of Bone's hood to stare at him. The glowing blue lights in his sockets seemed to wink out for a second, as if it were blinking at him.


Bone Marrow had one leg of his experiments completed. Toothpick was back from the dead... or back to being dead? It was hard to tell with skeletons. If you bring a skeleton back from being a pile of bones, does that mean its a live again, or did you make it dead a second time? Can skeletons die?

He shook his head. Now wasn't the time for questions like that. He still needed to figure out what to do about Scenic, the one friend he could rely on understanding him. The one friend who could stare him and his skeletons in the face with a mischievous smirk.

What would he have to do?

Toothpick pecked Bone Marrow on the horn once again and hopped down to the ground. The skeletal raven motioned its head towards a nearby bush.

"Really?" Bone knew that Toothpick had a strange way of communicating, but the bird was usually right. He followed the instruction of his undead friend and stumbled upon a curious sight. Another corpse.

The raven hopped onto the body of a dead rabbit, its body covered in teeth and claw marks.

"Okay, what about it?"

Toothpick started picking away at the flesh of the rabbit.

"You want me to consume it?" Bone knew that he hadn't eaten that day, but this was a different kind of eating.

Toothpick shook its head and pecked the dead body before flying over to Bone and pecking him as well.

"You... want the rabbit to eat me?" He knew that what he was saying was probably stupid, and he earned a peck as confirmation. "Ow! Okay, what do you want from me?"

The skeletal raven ruffled its bony wings and looked around before finding a stick. Then, to Bone Marrow's amazement, it started to draw in the dirt.

"Since when could you write?" Bone paused for a moment. "Oh, right. The book said that skeletons could mimic whatever I knew, so uh... I guess you being smart makes sense in hindsight."

When the necromancer looked down, there was a very crudely drawn word in the dirt.


Author's Note:

Hello everyone! It's been a long time, but I'm finally moved into my new home with everything settled in.

I've got a surgery coming up on March 27th, though I don't think it will limit me all that much in writing. I apologize for the extremely long wait between chapters, but I thoroughly burned myself out writing so darned fast.

I'll have to take it a bit slower with these later chapters, but I really want to focus on giving out quality writing to everyone here rather than blurting out chapters as soon as I write them.

I'll also do my best to not leave all of you on a cliffhanger for too long, but I have a dentist appointment today as well. Fingers crossed for a chapter tomorrow?

Let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know if I've forgotten things! It's quite a leap to come back to writing after a 4 month Hiatus, and I've gotta get back into the swing of things.

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

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