Necromancing the Stone
Check out our episode here! Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
It's been about a month and a half since Hold Me Closer, Necromancer ended with Sam the baby Necromancer kind of accidentally killing Douglas the non-baby Necromancer and absorbing all his powers then escaping his mansion with Brid, his new-then girlfriend with the help of Brid's family of hybrid werewolves and fey-hounds. Sam's friend Ramon was also there and also escaped but also maybe got turned into a werebear. Now all of these people mentioned, minus Douglas because he's dead, are at the pack house. Brid's brothers Sean and Bran are training Sam to fight because now that he's a part of the fantasy creature world, there are probably going to be people that want to kill him. After getting beat up a few times and getting a bloody forehead, Sam uses his blood to summon all the dead birds and wildlife around him and sic them on his attackers. The training ends with Sean running away after getting a squirrel out of his pants and Sam, Bran and Brannoc, their dad, laughing. Sam gets cleaned up for dinner, then makes out with Brid for a while in between her drawing hearts and mustaches on him. It's pretty cute.
You know what's not very cute? Being dead. Or ... mostly dead. That's Douglas right now. Yeah. Douglas is still alive. Kind of. Based on a fairytale he learned when he was younger, Douglas realized he could remove his own life spark from his body and hide it, so he did. And now he's hanging out in the mausoleum where he was buried, plotting a return. And murder. Lots of murder. He's going to kill Brannoc and Sam and probably anyone else who gets in his way. But he's got to have a body. Maybe his own, maybe not. He also needs information from his house. But he needs James to get that for him. James is a Pukis and was Douglas's assistant. He lives in Douglas's, well, now Sam's house and is now Sam's assistant. Sometimes he's a thin, butlery-looking man, sometimes he's a cat and sometimes he's a tiny dragon, but he's always an assistant.
After dinner at the pack house, Sam is threatened by Eric, one of the single male pack members, because it's obvious that Sam and Brid were furiously making out in a pile of markers. Most of the pack dislikes that Sam is an outsider and probably banging the next pack leader. Brannoc, current pack leader and Brid's father, is about as okay with their dating as any other protective father would be. Later that night, back in his house, Sam, Frank (his friend from Plumpy's who is now essentially his errand boy), Brooke (his formerly alive turned head in a bag turned ghost turned Necromancer guide), Sean (Brid's half fey half were brother) and James are talking about getting used to the house and living in it together. James is annoyed at all of them, but kind of in a loving way. He's going to buy them a new refrigerator since Ramon the werebear is coming home from the pack's hospital tomorrow.
Everyone goes to check out the basement which Sam hasn't been in since he was held prisoner there. James shows them tons of notebooks kept by Douglas that are full of grisly details of all the experiments he used to do on people. Yikes. Frank is interested in studying them but Sean gets angry that James assisted in these gruesome experiments. He is but a servant after all and must do as he his bid. Later, Sam explores a music room. He and Douglas had another thing in common it seems! As he's grabbing an album, he trips and falls into a table holding a duck statue which breaks open to reveal a jade egg. Not knowing what it is, Sam puts it into the pouch he always wears. Early the next morning, Sam gets a call from his sister Haley. She says someone put a knife in her door and asks him to drive her home from the library later. Well that can't be good, but of course he'll come when she needs him. Later, while Sam is training his spirit seeking abilities with a game of hide and seek, Ramon comes home! Yay! James helps him get settled in. How thoughtful!
Another thoughtful thing James has done? Brought a stygian coin to Douglas giving him a more corporeal form and the ability to leave the graveyard. Uh oh. Is James serving two masters? It certainly seems so. He didn't kill Sam's sister like Douglas asked him to do and he hasn't been able to find the jade egg that Douglas needs to fully return to form. Well, he'd better keep looking and he'd better not let Sam find it first. Meanwhile, Sam goes to a Council meeting and feels ridiculously out of place. He knows he's going to get someone hurt or killed and that surely there is someone better suited to the seat. Someone with more knowledge, who's been doing this for longer. Brannoc tells him yes, there was such a person. Douglas. But yikes! Surely Sam is better than him! Back with James and Douglas, Douglas has brought in a Minion to assist him since James is also working for Sam and might not always be able to sneak away. Minion is definitely Keanu Reeves who was killed in an accident while filming My Own Private Idaho and reanimated by Douglas, but he's never referred to by name. James doesn't really like Minion, but he understands.
Sam gets a call later from Brid. Her father has been killed and the pack needs his help. He, James, Ramon and Sean head to the scene of the crime. Everyone but Sam can get to the body quickly with their animal powers, but Sam can't, so, at James's suggestion, he reanimates an elk to ride. Upon arrival, Brid, now pack leader after her father's death, formally asks Sam into the pack's friendship and service and then he goes to the body. Sam summons Ashley, his harbinger guide, and tries to bring Brannoc back to find out what happened to him, but a woman covered in flowers resurrects instead. She says Brannoc's soul needs to rest and that she can't help him just yet. Apparently Sam went somewhere with this woman and when James asks him what happened, Ashley shakes her head slightly and zips her lips. Hmm... Unfortunately, Sam can't help right now and so the pack puts their former leader on a pyre. Then Sam throws up.
James, Ashley and Ramon take Sam, who vomits again, this time on James's shoes, to Sam's mother's house. If you will remember, Tia is a green witch. She gives Sam an herbal tea to help heal whatever has happened to him and then he goes to sleep. He wakes up to Mrs. W, his former neighbor/spy/witch protector telling him to get up and drink more tea. He vomits some more, and then she shows him to his sister's room. When Haley said someone put a knife in her door, she neglected to mention that it was her bedroom door, meaning that some sort of psychopath had been inside his mother and sister's house. This makes him angry, but there's nothing to be done now, so Mrs. W takes Sam and Ramon home. Where Sam finds that someone has slashed his tires and wet his bed. Oh no. This shit has got to stop. All the creatures that protected Douglas's house, the garden gnomes, the lawn statues, the minotaur, the shrubs, have been very upset since Sam moved in and took over and stopped paying them for protecting the house and now they're angry enough about it to pee in Sam's bed. He makes Frank head of human resources and gets him to smooth things over and begin paying the security. One problem down, but a million to go.
Sam's pretty tired after everything so Ramon forces him to take a nap even though he should be visiting with spirits and helping them contact their loved ones, which is something that he's been doing. He finally takes a nap for an hour, then Ramon wakes him to tell him that Brid has come by. Oh Brid, how Sam loves her. He'd do anything for her. But oh no. Brid breaks up with Sam. As pack leader, she has to put the pack first and what the pack needs, later for goodness sake!, is babies. Future babies, but babies. Bran stepped aside as leader because he's gay and therefore cannot produce babies and it probably wouldn't be good if the babies that Brid and Sam would possibly have turned out to be Necromancers. The pack doesn't like Necromancers, especially after what Douglas did to Brid. (One could argue though that Sam is a Necromancer and rescued her, but Sam's not thinking about that because he's sad because he just got dumped.) Brid leaves and Sam says he's going to fight for her and then his friends come out and cuddleshark him, aka attack him with hugs and love. They're good friends.
Douglas, meanwhile, recounts his murder of Brannoc while getting cozy in a little bungalow. With the stygian coin James gave him, Douglas has a body but no scent, making it easy for him to sneak up with his iron blade and kill the fey-hound unnoticed. Now he's burned all his clothes and Minion is curled up by the fire. Sam is not feeling as well as Douglas after what happened to him, his magic overload or whatever, but things are getting better around the house. Frank has a list of all the gnomes and minotaurs and gladiators and all the other guards and what they want and is working on appeasing them. The gnomes suggest that they investigate the guest bathroom and, under the sink, they find a chupacabra. They feed him, get him set up with a nice blanket and name him Taco von Precious of Svenenstein. Then Sam has to pick up Haley from the library. She suggests he call Ashley and get the Council to help figure out what happened to Brannoc, and also maybe he should call that detective that knows he's a Necromancer. Sure, this might make him look weak, but it will also make him look like he wants to help, and he really, really does. Ashley calls James and the meeting is set.
The meeting goes surprisingly well. Before it begins though, there are a couple awkward moments. One is when the bartender/guardian sort of guy, Aengus, at the bar where they have their Council meetings gets on to Sam for stretching his powers to sense what sort of creatures are in the bar. Sam has no idea what Aengus is, but is shocked by his power. Then Brid arrives and sniffs Sam and rubs up against him like you'd expect a wolf to do. But they're still broken up and dealing with it. There's also a weird look on James's face when Sam asks him to check on the security at his mom's house, but then detective Dunaway arrives and it's time for the meeting to start, and, like we said, it goes surprisingly well. All the creatures on the Council are okay with letting a human help them solve Brannoc's murder.
After the meeting, Brid goes running on pack land, her brothers soon joining her. She's frustrated with Sam for not being able to speak to Brannoc after he died, for what is a Necromancer that can't speak to the dead? Other members of the pack think that Sam is responsible, and Brid is starting to believe them, but her brothers assure her that it is not Sam who killed their father. Maybe someone like Sam, but not him. She needs to be a better leader before the rest of the pack make her look like a fool. Douglas, meanwhile, is with Minion who definitely is a fool. They're searching the music room in Sam's house, not Douglas's house, for his jade egg. He really thought it was inside that duck, but Minion has now looked in it three times and it's still not there. Douglas sits then and remembers when he got the jade egg. He was young and with his Aunt who trained him to be a Necromancer. She bought a young girl who Douglas came to care for, but that was a bad idea because his aunt intended for him to kill her. Instead, they became friends. Douglas bought the egg for the girl as a gift. When his aunt brought them out into a field and told Douglas to kill the girl, he couldn't, so she did. Douglas sat with her as she died and cried. The last time he would ever cry, as it turns out. He called to the earth to swallow her up and he put the egg in his pocket. The next time he had to kill someone, he did it without hesitation. You had to have a spark for that and his was gone.
Sam takes the Council out to the clearing where Brannoc was murdered and they all use all their powers to try to figure out what happened to him. Sam also tries again. He uses Bran's blood, freely offered, to try to summon Brannoc but instead, he summons all the dead creatures around him, even wolves that had been burned at the pyre, like Brid's mom, which is rare. Those types have to WANT to show up and do it on their own. The flowery woman is there again, too, but still no Brannoc. Sam has all his summoned creatures sniffing around for clues, and Brid's mom comes up to chat with him. Then Eric comes up and bullies him again, even pokes him in the chest. On no. No thank you. Brid's mom tells Sam what to say to Eric, and Sam uses his reading-people and suggestion powers to show him just where he's weak and why he won't get anywhere in the pack while telling him everything the former pack leader's mate said, which freaks him out and makes him skulk off in anger. Ramon in bear form is always nearby though, just in case. Sam talks to the Council after sending his summoned creatures away and learns that the thing that killed Brannoc has something to do with necromancy and has no scent. Well, there's only a few Necromancers that aren't dead around, but they decide that it can't really be any of them. So what does that mean? Sam offers to the human detective all of Douglas's research, so that's probably where we're going to find out.
Speaking of Douglas, he has a dream in which he remembers talking with James about putting his spark inside the jade egg. James doesn't think it's a good idea, no one's done it successfully and it'll be obvious if anyone knows any fairytales. Well, Douglas has a lot of hubris, so he does it anyway. Sam dreams too, of searching his house for Easter eggs and releasing the zoo panda that Douglas resurrected. Then his chupacabra wakes him up and he goes downstairs. When he got home the night before, there was a gnome-Frank wrestling match going on and now, it seems that Frank is an honorary gnome. Ashley the harbinger shows up and talks to Sam about the jade egg he's pulled out of his pouch. She doesn't understand its power, but it's definitely something important, so she suggests that he keep it hidden in his medicine pouch until they can spend more time thinking about it. Then Kell the Vampire shows up and they summon Ed the Wepwawet and talk about what sort of creature could have killed Brannoc. James suggests Sam talk to the pack about any deities they might worship and then Kell requests Sam's help with some Council business.
This Council business begins with them hiking through the Olympic forest. Pello the pantsless satyr, Ramon, Sam and Taco are on the trip. Sam gets snagged in a prickly plant that actually physically cowers in shame when Sam chastises it for snagging him. Wow, he didn't know he had inherited any green witch from his mother, but he apparently has, so he apologizes to the plant and tells it it's doing a good job. Then a giant crow arrives and they give it some of Taco's meat and continue on their hike to meet... a Bigfoot named Murray. Both Murray and Pello have charms that make them appear human and when Murray dangles his like a toy in front of Taco, Pello tells him to be careful. Chupacabra bites break magic spells. Murray needs help from the Council with making more charms because others of his kind are interested in blending in with humans. Sam and Pello agree and offer to take this to the Council for approval. Murray also asks for Sam to look into an area that another Bigfoot, Sexy Gary, said is putting off creepy vibes and also asks him to take a human friend back to the city. The human friend is Sam's uncle Nick. Ramon punches him in the face, but they agree to take him to the city. He just really deserved that punch.
When Douglas isn't wearing the stygian coin, it's difficult for him to not fall into dreams and memories. Another quick trip into Douglas's memories shows the time when Douglas purchased James. James looked about ten and didn't have a name yet. He liked licorice though. He seemed pleased with being purchased by Douglas and traveling with him to his new home. Nick asks to be taken to Sam's mom's house when he wakes up from his werebear punch. Sam is still pissed at him for sealing away his powers as a baby. If he and his mother hadn't done that, then Ramon wouldn't be a werebear. Brooke wouldn't have been decapitated and then turned into a ghost. Sam wouldn't have been kidnapped and held in a cage. But, he forgave his mom, so he should probably forgive his uncle, too. They call a truce and head to Tia's house. Later, at another Necromancer, Della's, suggestion, Sam asks James to show him where Douglas is buried. Sam has been having too many dreams about eggs and Douglas and worries that he's still alive somehow. James takes Sam to the mausoleum where they see Douglas's rotting corpse. Sam apologizes to James for making him come here, but James says not to worry, he's not here anymore.
After that lovely trip, when Sam is back at his own house, he opens the door to his bedroom and finds Brid there. They sleep together and find comfort in each other's arms, but that doesn't last long because the jade egg in his pouch is uncomfortable under Brid's arm. He takes the egg out and looks at it with his Necromancer vision and sees, of course, Douglas's aura colors. Well shit. Then his phone rings. It's Sexy Gary. He wants Sam to check out something that he found in the mountains. He's going to bring it to Sam's house. Sam calls Nick to get his assistance and then he and Haley pull up a short time later, followed by Sexy Gary. Sexy Gary pulls Minion out of the back of his van.
Minion is sitting, tied up in Sam's kitchen. Everyone else is there too. Sam, Ramon, Haley, Nick, Frank, Brid, Sean, Sexy Gary, James and Taco. They're all a little bewildered at the fact that Keanu Reeves is in the kitchen calling himself Minion. Nick suggests Sam take a good look at Minion and he sees that Minion is a corpse and is the same color as the jade egg, meaning the same color as Douglas. Oh great. So Douglas really is back. Minion assumes that everyone here is friends with Douglas because they have his egg and also James is here. Or... he was. He probably ran off back to his true master. Sam asks Brid for permission to be on pack land. He's going to lure Douglas there because one, the pack needs to see that Douglas killed Brannoc, not Sam, two, he doesn't want to take on Douglas on his turf where he's been hiding out and three, he doesn't want to take on Douglas here in his literal house with all the gnomes and minotaurs and gladiators that might choose to side with Douglas. Brid agrees. Douglas meanwhile is drifting again, remembering his mother, but then the phone rings. James has called to let Douglas know Sam found the egg.
Brid and Sean head back to pack territory and prepare to tell the others what is about to happen. Before that, though, Sean fights for Sam and tries to convince Brid to stay with him. Sam and everyone else then head to a clearing on pack territory. Even a few gnomes came. Sam asks Nick to break his bond, but it's already broken, probably when Douglas tried to do the ritual that would give him all of Sam's power but was reversed when Sam killed Douglas instead. But, since Douglas is still "alive" Sam didn't receive Douglas's power after all. It's been him all along. Well, that's something.
Sam casts a circle and summons Douglas. Douglas is a dick to Sam, of course, so Sam tries to fight him, but he can't. Can't make contact with him at all. But Douglas can certainly beat the shit out of Sam. Then Sam decides he needs to take Douglas's spark of life out of the egg by breaking it, but he can't. But you know who can and does? Taco. Douglas seems terrified to see Taco, and ah yes, we will all recall that chupacabras can break magic spells. Well well well. Sam tries to break the egg but drops it and Taco bites right through it. There's an explosion of magic inside Sam's circle and he's knocked out. While Sam is knocked out, Eric approaches Brid, puts his hands on her shoulders, telling her she needs to be with him instead of Sam because clearly Sam's not going to make it out of this circle. Oh no. No no. She breaks his wrist, telling him not to touch her, then she and her brothers begin to fight Eric's cronies who are not falling in line with her being the new pack leader.
Back in the circle, but kind of not, Sam is being pecked by his crow. He wakes up and is in the presence of the flowery lady, who, it turns out is Bridget, the goddess of the pack. She's a real deity and tells Sam that he needs to focus on what's happening in the circle and she's giving him a moment of quiet to do so. He thinks Douglas is going to kill him and everyone else he loves, so she suggests that he change the rules. The crow carries him back to reality and back to Douglas. Sam sees that Douglas is corporeal again and he could go kill him right now, but he doesn't want to kill anyone. Sam looks at James outside the circle and he's clearly suffering, torn between Douglas, pretty much the only family he's known, and Sam, his new family. Douglas picks Sam up by the throat and Sam uses his empathy powers to make Douglas understand what he's doing, not just to Sam, but to James. Sam makes him feel that pain. Douglas puts him down then, saying he doesn't understand Sam and asks why he didn't kill him. Sam couldn't do that to James. Douglas looks to James again, who is surrounded now by his new family, protecting him and comforting him. Douglas then asks Sam to kill him for real, but Sam won't, so Douglas uses Sam's hands to push a dagger into his heart. All Douglas's power truly does go into Sam now and it's huge and overwhelming. Sam calls Ed the Wepwawet to take Douglas away.
James is a wreck but everything and everyone else seems to be okay, even Minion, who is currently eating grass for some reason. Haley is the only one who can comfort James, who breaks down and cries into her shoulder. Sam goes back home after that, showers, and climbs into bed. He can't really sleep though. He feels awful for just about everything that's happened lately. Then, all of the sudden, Brannoc is there. He tells Sam that he did well and the reason why Bridget wouldn't let Sam summon him: if he kept doing that, Brid and the rest of his family would never learn how to survive on their own. He asks Sam to take care of them all and tells him to give Brid his, and Bridget's, blessing if she chooses to be with Sam. He sleeps well after that.
The next day, things are a little awkward with James and Haley in the kitchen, but Haley smooths things over and eventually, it seems things will be fine. Then Ashley and Ed arrive. Ed gives Sam Douglas's stygian coin which will allow him to use his magic without sacrificing anything, not even his own blood. Wow. Then they all sit and have breakfast together. Some time passes and Sam sends Minion back to Hollywood and then goes out with some Council members to give charms to the Bigfoots.
More time passes and they have a wake for Douglas, which might be weird, but wakes aren't for the dead, they're for those left behind, and those left behind after Douglas have now become a big weird family. Sam is still sad about Brid because he didn't tell her that her father and her goddess have given her permission to be with him. She'll have to decide that on her own. Things will get better though, eventually. Finally, at the very end, Sam gets a tattoo of Ling Tsu the panda on his chest, but a good, happy living version and an evil, snarling zombie version. It's a weird tattoo, but these pandas are a reminder for him to do good, and he likes it. He also likes it because he's kind of got a thing for zombies.