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Rambling Writer

Our job is not to give readers what they want; our job is to show them things they never imagined. --Walt Williams


This story is a sequel to Urban Wilds

Amanita. Quiet. Awkwardly self-conscious. Necromancer. Reformed. Newly hired by the Royal Guard and the apple of its eye. How could she not be? She’s a peerless expert when it comes to necromancy. But only because she’s the only pony with any knowledge of necromancy beyond the basics, she tells herself. She needs to be more than just a static source of knowledge; she also needs to apply that knowledge, to expand her mind. She can’t live her whole life in a lab. She needs experience out in the field.

Which is how she finds herself assigned to a ley purification team. There’s something wrong with a ley line. It’s not immediately dangerous, but if left alone, it could corrupt the land, killing crops and creating monsters. Amanita is part of a small crew that will head to the line’s source, the small mining town of Tratonmane, to identify and correct the problem. Fortunately, ley purification is a well-known science. It’ll be easy.

At least, that’s the idea. Far to the north, swathed in frost and snow, walled in by vertiginous mountains, Tratonmane is as isolated as can be. Miners and subsistence farmers eke out a living in what little land they have. Ravenous wolves stalk the forest at its border. Whispers abound at the team’s arrival. Tratonmane has existed outside the Crown’s influence for centuries and many of the townsfolk don’t appreciate it sticking its nose in now. Especially since no town lasts for that long without getting a few skeletons in its closets. Amanita and her team will have to navigate hostile environments — personal and terrestrial alike — if they want to get to the bottom of this.

For if they don’t, heads will roll. Perhaps literally.

Nothing a necromancer can’t fix.

Updates TuThS. Reading earlier stories will provide some context for this, but isn't required. Other entries in this series:

Chapters (5)

Lives are controlled. Communication is monitored. Anything deemed improper is censored. If you want to send messages in private, you need to do it physically, with couriers known as Runners.

Rainbow Dash is a Runner. It's not the greatest job, but it's for a good cause.

The government is hunting Runners. If they think you're carrying information they don't want you carrying, they'll come after you with everything they've got. They have nigh-limitless resources at their disposal: enforcers, vehicles, surveillance. Your life will be on the line until you submit. They will find you and they will hunt you down, and your only defense will be your wits and your ability to run.

Now it's the greatest job.

An experiment in atmosphere, entered in the Science Fiction Contest II because it inspired me to finish it. A thematic crossover with Mirror's Edge; no non-pony knowledge required.

Chapters (1)

Trains are the fastest way to move something across Equestria, no matter how big. A heavy stone sarcophagus, for instance, one brimming with dark magic. The Royal Guard just launched a raid to retrieve it from the hooves of sinister cultists.

Now, the survivors of that raid are stuffed in a train crossing the wilderness. Just them, the skeleton crew, and the sarcophagus. Guarding it until they can get reinforcements at the next station ought to be easy. After all, there’s nothing else alive for miles. Right?

Wrong. There’s something on board with them. Something after the sarcophagus. Something that doesn’t care what stands in its way.

Chapters (1)

Jasper was not in the Crystal Empire when it vanished. His wife Agate was. Separated from his family across time, he writes letters in the hopes that she may eventually read them someday, however far away that may be.

Written for Bicyclette's Twilight Files contest.

Chapters (1)

Five years ago, a disaster left low-Equus orbits swamped with orbital debris. The husks of dead ships careened through the aether, threatening any that might try to leave the planet. But now, it’s under control. Debris trawlers roam the skies, picking up those husks and carefully gathering smaller shards. Thanks to their efforts, bit by bit, space is becoming usable again.

Mesonox is a newbie on one of those trawling crews, recently hired to fly on DT Heavenly View. She’s aced the sims. She knows her ships. She knows her tools. She knows her techniques. And her crew just got assigned to grab a typical wreck. It’s a straightforward job: clean up the small debris, get the large debris under control to haul back to the scrapyard. The perfect task for a rookie like her.

Time to get to work.

Chapters (7)

Fluttershy finds birdsong wonderful. Regardless of what that birdsong is about.

Written for Bicyclette's A Thousand Words contest. Has a Chinese translation done by hehelover.

Chapters (1)

Once upon a time, Shining Armor approached an unoccupied Rarity with the possibility of trying out an RPG the kirin had sent to him for testing. In response, Rarity threw him out of his own castle. And Shining has no idea why.

Chapters (1)

This story is a sequel to Hinterlands

Two years ago, bounty hunter Bitterroot turned a lich and her necromancer apprentice over to the authorities. Now, that apprentice, Amanita, has been released on good behavior. She has no more interest in necromancy. In fact, she asked Bitterroot to turn her in all those moons ago and helped capture her master. With nowhere for Amanita to go, Bitterroot takes her in until she can get her hooves under herself.

But all isn’t well in Canterlot. A killer is stalking the streets, striking with impunity and leaving no trace. The Royal Guard is befuddled. Bitterroot’s investigations have yielded nothing. And night is turning into a time of dread. Something needs to be done. If only the dead could speak. If only there was a moral necromancer around.

Amanita doesn’t want to admit it, but the part of her past she hates the most might be the most useful part right now. Just because ponies are dying doesn’t mean they need to stay that way. What she buried needs to be dug up again.

Her demons are rearing their ugly heads. It’s time to face them.

Reading the preceding story will provide some context for this, but isn't required. Cover art is modified from this image. Other entries in this series:

Chapters (16)

Inky Quill has a doctorate in history and an idea. The Summer Sun Celebration turns 1000 soon, and it’s the perfect time to write a book. What better way to commemorate such a nice, round number than by comparing Equestria in the first days of the Celebration to Equestria now? It’ll get ponies involved in history, be a nice tie-in, maybe teach them about the long-lost Princess Luna. (Ponies, Quill knows, have disappointingly short memories.) Besides, Celestia’s ruled for a millennium. It’s not like anything’s going to change anytime soon.

In other news, Twilight is about to move to Ponyville.

Cover art is edited from Marshall Chipped’s May You Live in Interesting Times. Not originally conceived for the My Little Pony Renaissance Contest, but since it inspired me to finish it, I'm entering it anyway.

Chapters (1)

The stars will soon be right, releasing an ancient horror from its cage.

Twilight has something to say about that.

Has a reading done by StraightToThePointStudio.

Chapters (1)