I don't own anything. Buffy is not owned by me. It is owned by rich, talented people. I'm a nobody. Please don't sue me.

Awakening Evils

On a cliff overlooking the ocean, a great castle stood in ruins. Dun Bhaloir had once been the grand heart of an empire, but millennia of wind and rain had beaten down its battlements and reduced it to but a shadow of its former glory. Despite its pitiable state, a tension could still be felt in the air, as it had once been home to one of the greatest evils to ever walk the mortal world. An evil that, though dead, still lay in the dark, restlessly awaiting its return.

Into this ancient fort strode a monstrous lion, with feathered wings and a mane of green flame. Fearlessly it moved through darkened halls, until it arrived at last at the deepest, darkest depths of the castle's dungeons. Sitting in a room with shadows which hung as thick as cobwebs was a massive bier, on which an enormous figure lay still as death.

If the dead creature had been standing it would have towered more than three stories tall. Its skin was a mottled gray like stone, and as wrinkled and distorted as the wax of half burned candle. Its head was that of a mangy goat, with a single great eye in the middle of its forehead. On the left side of its body was its only arm, so long that it stretched past its foot as it lay on its back. It had only a single leg as well, this one on the right side of its body, as thick as an oak tree and corded with layers of bulging muscle.

"Balor," the lion creature called, revealing a long, forked tongue. "I would treat with thee, O King of the Fomori."

The dead giant took a single great breath, and then spoke with a rumble that shook the earth. "What business have you with me, spirit?"

"I have come to offer you aid," the lion replied. "I have the power to restore you and your people to life."

"You mean you come to seek a boon," Balor countered. "Do not seek to fool me, spirit. I may lay dead, but someday I will arise again to reclaim that which is mine. Why should I do so now. It is not yet my time?"

"I seek to bring about the end of this age, and the beginning of the next. Perhaps that age will be yours?"

"Then I see no cause to rise," Balor countered. "Bring about your new age. It may be one in which I would awake on my own. Then I wold not owe a favor to a nameless spirit."

"To bring about the end, I must seek your aid. The natural order of this world has been disrupted beyond all repair. With your power, I can ensure that the next age will not be an age of man."

"Pretty words. But it will still be an age created at your whim. Not at my whim."

"What do you want?" the lion asked, sounding annoyed for the first time. "For what would you be willing to awaken?"

"Before my grandson slew me, I ruled the Fomori, and all of the demons of Ireland. I would know what has become of the world since my defeat. Bring me the most evil demon to have arisen in Ireland since I fell. Then I will aid your cause."

The lion chuckled. "He languishes under a curse, forced to serve the Powers."

The Fomori King roared in outrage, its bellow shaking the castle and causing dust to fall from the ceiling. "That fate is not fit for the most evil of Irish demons. Awaken me, spirit. I will break this curse. I will call this demon to my court. Then I will aid you in your quest."

The green fire that made up the lion's mane flowed across the ancient stone, until it covered the giant's entire body, seeping into its wretched flesh. Slowly the King of the Fomori arose, standing on its one great leg as its only hand gripped the floor to help it balance.

"I am called Twilight," the lion boldly declaimed. "Together, we will bring about the end of this age, and the beginning of a new era!"

They paused for a moment, looking at each other awkwardly. "So... what is this curse?" the Fomori King asked impatiently.

"Right," Twilight said, clearing its throat. It had been waiting for this chance for far too long to delay further.

"Can't say I didn't warn you!" Buffy told the green, tentacle faced demon as she shot it through the heart with her crossbow. It screeched piteously, before inflating like a balloon. Buffy didn't even hesitate, simply leaping to the side, swinging from a branch to get behind one of the thick swamp trees.

The other Slayers weren't so on the ball, and were caught by surprise as the demon burst, spraying purple gunk everywhere. Smelly purple gunk.

Buffy jumped down from her perch and eyed her squad for a moment, smirking. The guts weren't dangerous, so she could afford to be amused at her subordinates expense. She had been covered with so much demon viscera over the years that it felt good to be the clean one for a change. "Mission accomplished," she said, touching her earbud.

"Roger that," Xander said through the device. "Any problems?"

"Nope," she said, smiling wearily. "Just a good lesson in paying attention to demon lectures."

"Covered in purple slime?" he asked.

"Head to toe," she agreed, leading the pack of grumbling Slayers back to their transport. She cracked her neck, suppressing a yawn. Ever since her disastrous mission to the future, she had been run ragged, fighting one demon after another. Part of it, she knew, was her own fault. She could have delegated more, but doing so would have meant having time to think about what had happened.

It wasn't every day you killed your best friend... even a creepy, evil future version of her.

Part of her exhaustion couldn't be helped, however. Things seemed to be picking up, and she couldn't ignore people in danger now anymore than she could have in Sunnydale. The world needed her, even more than she needed sleep. Although not quite as much as she needed a shower. She may have avoided being covered in slime, but she had been fighting in a swamp, which didn't lend itself to cleanliness.

"By the way," Xander said. "When you get back, I've got some reports you should see."

"Can it wait?"

"Not really. Lotta people disappearing, Buff."

She wanted her bed. She wanted it bad. "Where?"


Author's Notes

This story is based upon celtic mythology. I am not an expert on any form of mythology, and my sources are mostly found via the internet. I have, however, read numerous stories for research (the nice thing about Irish and Scottish myths is that many collections of them were printed in the eighteen hundreds, and so are in the public domain), not simply wikipedia entries. This story will primarily involve Irish myths, but I will be referencing a few Scottish as well, since they share much in common.

That was Balor of the Evil Eye, King of the Fomori. He has one huge leg, one arm, and one eye in center of his forehead, as well as an eye in the back of his head. Many fomori had goat heads or weird, wrinkly skin. I gave him those elements as well as the things that he was known for.

This story takes place at the middle point of Buffy Season 8. The story begins during the montage early in issue 20, and then quickly goes AU. Any information or story elements introduced after that point are not part of this story, although I may borrow a few things here or there. I will try to make this story comprehensible without having to read the comics, although I will be making heavy use of them.