Work in Progress
Ember is one of my favorite My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic OCs. She strays a little bit from canon, as you can see, since she's the hybrid of a black cobra, a pegasus and a little bit of dragon. There might be a few spellings mistakes in this article, so feel free to point those out. Also, I would like critique on her concept, but not as much as I do on my alicorn character, Pale Heart.
Magical Constructs do not naturally occur in nature. As their name suggests, they are always made from black magic, illegally, commonly by necromancers (since the process of creating a Magical Construct involves reserrecting the dead.) They are created from a maximum of three spirits, the base spirit always being a sentient Equestrian being, most commonly ponies. What a Magical Construct will be depends on the spirits they are made of, and how well they combine, since the deceased takes on the traits of the spirits it has been filled with. The base spirit must always be a deceased sentient creature (which will be referred to as "ponies" to make things simpler), and the other spirit(s) must be stolen from living animals of either low self awareness or of no sentience. Since the death of a pony leaves holes in it's spirit, the introduction of the living spirits fill up the holes and brings the subject back to life. Upon recieving the other two souls, the deceased's Cutie Mark (if they had one) disappears, since non-sentient creatures and other creatures like dragons can not earn Cuite Marks. But they do not forget their special talent just because they lost their Cutie Marks.
The base spirit must always be sentient, and there can not be another self aware spirit in the Magical Construct's soul. This would cause a battle for dominence between the two spirits, with the Magical Construct eventually dying or becoming mentally handicapped from the stress and confusion.
Very rarely are Magical Constructs only composed of two spirits. The ideal animals to catch to create a Magical Construct are usually creatures small and/or easier to deal with than something large, like a bear. The smaller the animal, the smaller the spirit. So most of the time, two spirits are required to patch up the empty spots in the subject's soul. But, there is a limit. Trying to force three spirits into the deceased's soul would overcomplicate the form of the new Magical Construct, and lead to many health problems. Magical Constructs consisting of four spirits usually never live long and die of genetic defects soon after they've been ressurrected.
But only inserting one soul into the corpse's soul would leave empty spots, so most necromancers use two spirits. But, in rare instances, a necromancer is able to capture the spirit of a large and/or dangerous creature that is able to fill up all of the empty parts. Many necromancers don't try this, as it's often impracticle and Constructs with only two souls are often very simple, but sometimes they can be very powerful.
But sometimes there are creature so large that taking all of their soul would be almost impossible, and even if you did get their spirit, the sheer size of it would take up too much space in the corpse's soul. So if a necromancer really wanted a trait from a powerful creature in his/her Magical Construct, they would only take a piece of the creature's soul that would be limited to the fur, or scales, exc. Now, for smaller animals, you would take all of the soul, but for larger ones, it could be practical to only take a certain trait from their spirits. Now, you cannot do this for smaller sentient creatures, but for larger ones like dragons, you can do partial soul stealing by taking a single trait from their soul, like the scales. Partial soul stealing requires skill, concentration and aim. If you aim at the wrong part of the victim's soul, you'll end up taking the wrong trait.
The process of soul stealing is painful for the victim. Total theft of the animal's soul leaves their body lifeless, and they're only alive in the Magical Constructs body. Partial soul theft leaves the victim weaker in a certain trait. For example, a dragon who had a necromancer successfully steal their scale trait, their scales will be weaker, softer. This may also cause trauma for the victim, and sickness.
There are certain spirits and souls who do not combine well. Combinations are more successful when each spirit has something in common with each other. For example, a parrot and a pegasus combination would have great compatability, since both creatures have wings, feathers and the ability to fly. Now, if this parrot/pegasus Construct was introduced to a to a dolphin spirit, things wouldn't mix as well. Though pegasi and dolphins both are mammals, pegasi and parrots have a little bit more in common in the sense of spirit binding, and having two spirits used to flying introduced to a creature who swims isn't very smart. It might work, but it would be awkward, imperfect and might even cause defects in the Magical Construct. Having a water bird, pegasus and dolphin combination would be slightly better.
On the subject of combinations, there has to be a "glue" to seal the souls together, to prevent them from seperating. This "glue" is usually a soul object of some sort, usually placed at the forehead or on the chest, where the heart is. The more durable this object, the most unlikely it is that the "glue" will break and the souls will seperate. This "glue" is called Soul Binders, and they're usually carved into fancy shapes and enchanted with magic, for beauty and protection respectively. If the Soul Binder was ever removed, as you might have guessed, the base spirit would become lifeless again and the two living souls would escape and wander the world as ghosts. It may be possible to reunite the spirits, but only if the Soul Binder is in one piece.
Magical Constructs aren't always made perfect. Actually, they usually aren't. The most common affliction Magical Constructs have is amnesia of some kind. A Construct with a complete memory is incredibly rare, and in worse cases some Constructs may have no memory of their previous lives at all. Many end up with sickness, either genetic ones or catching many illnesses, because of a low immunity system. Mental disorders and instability is not uncommon, often caused by amnesia and confusion.
Since black magic is illegal and highly looked down upon, necromancers and Magical Constructs do not reside in Equestria's cities and towns, and have instead mostly fled to a particular forest, dubbed the "Necromancer Woods", to hide themselves and practice in piece. This particular area is borders with a company of Changelings, and Necromancers and Changelings have become enemies. The Changelings target the Magical Constructs and drain their love and magic, causing the Construcs to weaken and sometimes die. Other times, the Changelings drag the Constructs off to be placed in coccoons to see if they could convert them into a type of Changeling, with every attempt resulting the Constructs death.
Because of this, Necromancers have to do a lot to protect their Magical Constructs. Many Magical Constructs were deceased family members of these Necromancers, and other Constructs are just "objects" to hide. Either way, necromancers are usually very possessive of their Constructs and tend to hide them away in places like their homes or caves, and keep them completely isolated. Others can't deal with the effort it takes to protect a Construct, and abandon them. Because of this, Magical Constructs tend to band together into groups to protect themselves from Changelings and other teams of Constructs. Often, teams of Construct compete with each other for resources and fight often. This can cause damage to the forest, due to the magic abilities of some Constructs, and thus, deplete resources even further, causing competition to become even fiercer.
Necromancers and teams of Constructs alike both struggle to obtain medical supplies of any kind, since most Constructs are sickly. Many conditions a Construct can earn can be fatal if left untreated, and this means getting medication is vital, but there's very few medical supplies around in this forest. Besides the herbs that grow naturally in the forest, rarely are any supplies shipped to this area, so it's a constant battle for survival over there.
Ember, full name Ember Spell, was the daughter of an elderly Necromancer. Her mother, Blaze Blight, died after a group of disgruntled ponies, angered at her family's black magic practices, executed her. In life, Blaze Blight was a rather mischevious unicorn mare who loved playing with black magic fire spells, which got her into a lot of problems, but got Ember's father's attention. His name was Platinum Spell, another unicorn who shared Blaze's interest in dark magic, though his forte was more colder than Blaze's heat spells. They were both lonely, since they had to stay reserved to keep others from finding out their black magic practices, and dedicated to the practice of dark arts, so they bonded and eventually became mates.
Thus came Ember, a throw back to Platinum's grandfather, who was a pegasus. She definitely inherited a lot of Platinum's side of the family, but her coat colors were originally more similar to Blaze's more bright color scheme, instead of Platinum's darker colors. By the time Ember became seven, Blaze had died from the attack, leaving Platinum to take care of Ember alone. Platinum lived in the isolated areas of the Everfree Forest, for most of Ember's childhood. Since moving to the forest meant resources were going to be scarce, Platinum keep Ember safe and hidden from other ponies, while still able to walk into Ponyville to grab goods. Ember herself could not proform black magic, but Platinum still educated her about the arts, as well as taught her everything else she needed to know. Platinum continued his dark magic practices and eventually, he was found out one day as he walked into the dead of night to gather supplies.
Platinum ran back into the Everfree Forest, thinking nopony would follow him into there, but they did with torches a light with flame. They surrounded Ember and Platinum, and attempted to kill both of them. They succesfully murdered Ember, but Platinum fended them off with black magic and managed to limp away and hide.
Up until that point, Platinum had never made a Magical Construct before, but studied dilegently how. He took Ember's burn corpse, and stole the spirit of a black cobra slithering through the Everfree swamp. After that, he found a dragon, sleeping in a cave, and stole part of it's soul. The dragon gave him a nasty burn, leaving him even more weakened. He combined the souls of Ember, the cobra and the dragon's fire proof scales to make her a Magical Construct. This combination was specifcally done to make sure Ember would never be harmed by fire again. Ember awoke with little memory or her past, with only the knowledge that Platinum was her father. Before Platinum passed, he managed to walk deep enough into the Everfree Fores to reach the Necromancer Woods, as it's called and hide her in a cave. After Platinum died, Ember was forced to come out of hiding and form a team with other Constructs.
Ember Spell is a pegasus mare of average height and build. She is mostly covered in black, smooth, scales that protect her from fire. Even her feathers have a fire proof quality too them, as they're very thick and solid, a mix of both scales and feathers. Because of this, Ember's wings are heavier than most pegasi, and she can only fly to certain hights with a moderate pace, but she doesn't use them for flying, most of the time. Instead, Ember uses her wings to shield herself, to kick up dust and to use them to hit opponets with them at close range. She can also use them to dodge in various ways, including using them to help her jump higher. Since Ember's fighting techniques consists of dodging and attacking at a fast pace, she uses her wings to help her balance, and to slow her falls.
The white colored scales are softer, and more similar to pony skin. These white scales are used to absorb heat, so her body can produce the flames on her tail. However, Ember is not completely fire proof, after all, there is more pony in her than dragon. This is why the fire absorbing scales are white, so they can absorb warmth, but not so much heat that would burn her softer scales. When in cooler areas where sunbathing would not give her enough heat, Ember has to be very careful. Not only is she more sluggish in colder weather, but Ember's flame can go out. If the flame is out for too long, it can never replenished again. Her Soul Binder was not filled with a permanent supply of fire magic, so the fire must be sparked again somehow. The best way to do this is for Ember to dip the tip of her tail directly into flames, as sunbathing to regain her fire would be a slow process.
Besides being less powerful and loosing her main protection, there are other side effects for Ember when she looses her fire. She'll feel constantly cold, depressed, and she'll lose some immunity to sicknesses. Ember will also experience a lack of energy, and she may speed more time sleeping than replacing the flames she lost. Luckily, her body mostly automatically produces the flame, and only exposure to too much water, freezing weather and lots of wind can deplete or completely put our her flame.
Although the Necromancer Woods tends to have reasonably warm weather, the amount of shade provided by the trees can cool Ember done a little too much. But, on the flip side, when it's raining, the trees can protect her from it. Water can weaker even her thick, black scales and her wings can become even heavier from absorbing it, and it's absolutely painful for Ember when her flaming tail meets cool water. As long as she keeps her tail away from the water, Ember can bathe in hot water safely, but she does not do this often. Fortunately, her body mostly cleans itself. Dirty feathers shed and replace quickly, along with scales. Instead of like cobras, Ember sheds like dragons do, where they lose little pieces over time, almost like loosing baby teeth. Since dragons live longer than ponies do, her body thinks she's a baby dragons and replaces her shed scales with ones similar to juvenile dragons.
Ember's flames mostly remain intangible, like a piece of energy you could run your hands through without any harm. This is to save fire energy, and to prevent accidental fires. Though the fire is intangible, it can still be harmed by cold and water. While the fire is mostly intangible, it's still slightly warm, but dim and unable to provide a lot of light.
The only times her flames will burn is if Ember wills them too, or through emotions like anger or fear. Ember uses her flames as her main protection. Since she can't flee very fast from enemies because of her heavy wings, Ember may cover up her tracks with fire and steam, so no one can follow her, but she's more likely to want to stay for the whole fight. Truth is, Ember loves fighting. She loves barging into the fight covered in flames. However, she doesn't take into account her weak spots, the softer white scales of hers and her limits when it comes to fire, so Ember often only gets herself hurt.
Ember Spell is a curious pony trying to figure out a world she no longer understands. Since she had to learn to provide for herself quick, Ember has developed a pack rat habit. She collects everything she can find, and stores them all in a hiding place that's not as secret as she thinks. Truth is, most of the things Ember finds is junk, practically unusable, so no one would steal from her little stash. Nevertheless, Ember is good at digging things up, though she needs to concentrate on finding things that will help her. While the useful stuff she uncovers gets used up, the junk gets thrown into a pile. Ember insists on keeping every single little piece of her stash, since she believes it will be useful somehow. It's better not to argue with her about it, considering you'll get nowhere trying to reason with her.
While Ember is good at finding things, she's no good at taking care of them. She treats the most durable objects the same as the most fragile ones, tossing them into her pile carelessly. Never trust her with your stuff, Ember doesn't quite understand how to properly respect other ponies' property. This doesn't mean she doesn't like someone, it's a bad habit of hers that she's having a hard time breaking. If you leave her alone with your items, something's either going to be missing, or everything will be exactly where it was!... Except, in pieces.
Another thing she doesn't understand: Keeping secrets. Ember won't go out of her way to blurt out whatever detail you tell her, but if the subject comes up, she'll probably bring it up without any clue as to why Ember had to keep it a secret in the first place. She doesn't really understand the values of other ponies very well, and doesn't see the harm in talking about someone else's secrets if it fits the current subject.
On the other hand, Ember never keeps anything to herself. She never sees the point in hiding anything, because Ember never feels embarassment at all, unless she does a poor job in battle. In fact, Ember's rather blunt. If she doesn't like your cooking, she'll tell you why, in short to the punch detail. No sugar coating, no dressing up her words, just in the simplest, bluntest terms. While this can come off as rude to other ponies, this habit means Ember doesn't do any messing around. If there's something she wants to say, it'll be said. She can bring a lot of important subjects to the table if Ember thinks everyone else is ignoring it because they don't want to deal with it.