[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/94924/1/The_Price_of_the_Wish The Price of the Wish]] is a DarkerAndEdgier Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer PeggySue with strong [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] elements, and a [[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Watchers' Council]] that seems to think it's the [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles White Council]]. [[spoiler: And then there's the Board, which is essentially the [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Senior Council]].]]

Cordelia, realising she is on the Hellmouth, thinks a few seconds longer before wishing for vengeance, and comes up with ASimplePlan: go back to the day Buffy first arrived in Sunnydale with eighteen months foreknowledge. With that advantage, and her superb people skills, she could easily make Xander suffer as she had suffered while gaining herself a golden reputation into the bargain. She would be feted as the saviour of the world; Xander and Willow reduced to cringing wretches, held in utter contempt by all, even each other. It was just a passing fancy, but she gave it voice, and so sprang an age-old trap.

At first all seemed well. Admittedly, Buffy suffered nightmare visions Xander had never bothered to tell her about, and it was disappointing she had been unable to save Jesse, but those were minor niggles, mere teething troubles. When Amy lost her hand, and Amber was burned alive, Cordelia struggled to convince herself that only bad luck and carelessness were to blame, but she could not fool herself for long. Some great evil had taken advantage of her wish to plunge all the world into darkness.

Around the time she discovered what horrors lay festering under her cosy family home, a few days after several score undead demon lords descended upon Sunnydale, a few days before she saw severed heads piled high in the burning wreck of Jereseleum, Cordelia told Giles half the truth while Xander, by seeming chance, got the full story. When her mother was devoured, body and soul, despite Cordelia's best efforts to save her, she decided she had had enough. Setting aside all over concerns, she vowed to destroy the UltimateEvil that had warped her wish at any cost. Giving Xander and Willow what they deserved would just have to wait.

After that, things got worse, nor has the bottom been reached yet. All indications are that the long parade of horrors Cordelia has endured to date is but the first few rain drops of the coming storm. The night grows ever darker, and there can be no hope of dawn.

However, it's not all gloom and doom. A unicorn gallops through the streets of Sunnydale, a glimpse of transcendental beauty no shadow can dim, while for those mere mortals caught in the crossfire life goes on. Even in the face of impending apocalypse, there is still time for laughter, and the joys of youth.

!!This Work Contains Examples Of:
* AlienGeometries: An incident in the morgue leaves it bigger on the inside, and filled with corridors meeting at impossible angles.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: of the Watchers. Some are just as depicted in canon, but this is shown to be just one facet of a much more complex organisation. Specifically, the White Council from Literature/TheDresdenFiles
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: the De la Poer family, despite being 100% human. When one of them was fostered out, she flayed her new family's dog alive, raised its corpse as a zombie, then performed unnatural acts with it - and she was only four. The older members were worse.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Both Death and Fate make a non-speaking appearance.
* BadassBoast: As a bluff, Cordelia tells Darla, ""I have faced vampires before, by the score. I've fought William the Bloody, terrified Lyle Gorch and killed an assassin of the order of Taraka. I've fought demons, zombies and werewolves." This is all technically true, but the bluff fails.
* BadassCreed
** The watcher's oath: I will remember the fallen, the heroes and the innocent alike. To their memory I dedicate my life. I will strive to live as the heroes lived. I will fight as they fought, in the service of mankind, not for wealth or glory but to protect the innocent, that their slaughter may end, nor shall I lay down my arms while life endures. Without regard to race or creed this I will do, though it cost me my life. (Some watcher factions take this rather more seriously than others.)
** Wolfram & Hart's mission statement: We are the canker on the rose, the worm in the apple, the slow rot in the hearts of men. From within we shall tear down all they have built, and rule over the ruins until the stars grow cold.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Advice Cordelia might have benefited from.
** With the additional {{irony}} that Cordelia was ''more'' careful than with her canon wish to far, far worse results.
* BatmanGambit: The overarching plot, aimed at the entire human race. If Cordelia hadn't made her wish, someone else would have, perhaps days later, perhaps centuries, and the trap would still have closed upon humanity.
* BlackSpeech. The Midnight Tongue. Anyone who hears this sees everything twisted to evil.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: A weapon capable of smashing planets is used against Pkhrxng Fshlfn Dhlkbch, at full power, with no more effect than a slap on the hand. It's said that abomination will be back for another go within a year; by its standards, practically instantaneously.
* BodyHorror: Cordelia's hand becomes "leprous; riddled with decay, pus oozing from the many ulcers pockmarking the rotted ruin of her flesh, and in places she could see the dull white of bone," then it gets worse.
* CannotTellALie: Dame Margo, a senior watcher, can neither lie nor be lied to, though you may need to parse her words rather finely to find the truth.
* CrypticConversation:
** The prophecies, naturally. The day of the sea-foam's daughter is obvious enough, 'When the old man first dances before the great mother' somewhat less so.
** Everyone who tries to explain what the laughter of the bells means come over like this, since plain talk on that topic is considered insanely hazardous.
* DoomedMoralVictor: the ethos of one watcher faction. They have no hope of ultimate victory, but putting off inevitable defeat, one day at a time, is what life does.
* DrivenToSuicide: The malign aura of the Hellmouth has this affect on many newcomers to Sunnydale, including those born there. At least four of Cordelia's classmates committed suicide before she was seven, all of them in full view of their entire class..
* EldritchAbomination: Several, ranging from an undead shoggoth to the Abomination Beyond the Wall.
* ElementalPowers: Played with. Four of the Five Great Weapons, sometimes known as the treasures of Ireland, give power over the four ''phases'' of matter - solid, liquid, gas, and plasma instead of earth, water, air and fire.
* EvilVersusEvil: Faced with the prospect of a demon necromancer laying waste his town, the mayor uses a spell powered by human sacrifice to contain it.
* GoesMadFromTheRevelation: Many instances, starting with most of the world's {{seer}}s.
* HeroicSacrifice: Used and subverted. Dame Margo unmakes her own soul to seal a portal, a few days after a demon sorcerer has made the exact same sacrifice for a different portal.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Creator/HPLovecraft, with two differences. He lived a few decades longer, but he spent those extra years in an asylum, after glimpsing the true nature of the universe, which didn't stop him becoming a famed author.
* HopeSpot: Many of the villains like to offer these, then reveal it was just a cruel trick.
** Subverted: When Xander knows that he can't ACTUALLY escape, he TakesAThirdOption and PRETENDS to escape, then uses the opportunity to screw up the ritual magic circle, thus thwarting the demon. Lesson to cosmic horrors everywhere: Don't underestimate a GenreSavvy opponent and play with them by giving them a HopeSpot which they might be able to use to defeat you. [[NoNonsenseNemesis You would be better off to just shoot him]].[[note]]Unless the defeat of a disposable avatar is [[ThePlan part of a greater plan]]. Sometimes, there's no sure way of knowing who really won, itself [[ParanoiaFuel an incitement to paranoia]].[[/note]]
* InfantImmortality: Averted. The Mayor sacrifices a baby, and subjects its soul to eternal torture, as part of a spell, while Cordelia watches helplessly.
* LongRunner: This fic [[DeadFic received regular updates]] for a decade, 2000 to 2010.
* MindRape: Experienced, at length, by one point of view character.
* OmnicidalManiac:
** Pkhrxng Fshlfn Dhlkbch seeks to devour all things. Having a mouth large enough to swallow a blue whale whole on its palm might help with this.
** Omega has the same ambition, on a considerably larger scale. Pkhrxng Fshlfn Dhlkbch looks at the stars and hungers, but Omega has already consumed entire multiverses.
* PokeInTheThirdEye: Now Cordelia has changed the future, {{seer}}s mostly GoMadFromTheRevelation. Fortunately, every single prophetic device disintegrated, reducing the casualty rate.
* PublicDomainArtifact: One of the Four Great Treasures of Ireland, and a copy of Excalibur's sheath.
* SarcasticConfession: Since she cannot lie, when she needs to disguise herself Dame Margo wears a badge truthfully saying she is wearing a disguise, which no one believes.
* SealedEvilInACan: The altars to Pkhrxng Fshlfn Dhlkbch, sealed directly under Cordelia's house by the Mayor a century ago.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Explained as the intended purpose of the Crucimentum, for both watcher and invigilator. If either of them fail to object, they get KickedUpstairs, without ever learning its true purpose. Giles is not pleased to discover this.
* ShoutOut: Several. The references to LordOfTheRings and Series/DoctorWho are pretty obvious, but some of the others are rather more obscure.
* SpeakOfTheDevil: Using the true name of the Abomination Beyond the Wall in any way is an invitation to possession.
* TarotMotifs: Both major and minor arcana are used. Giles explains that everyone is connected with one card or another, just as they are with the Zodiac signs, but this only really matters for those exposed to immense occult forces. Unfortunately, by that point all the main characters qualify.
* TransformationTrauma: A mind-raped teenager is slowly transformed into a mindless demon, screaming all the way.
* UltimateEvil: Omega, the last word in Evil. The First lied, unsurprisingly.
** Ironically, not actually evil, though most of its pawns are. It just believes very strongly that the universe would be a better place if it didn't exist except as part of Omega's body.
*** In other words, it's a paperclipper-type UnFriendly Artificial Intelligence. Something there's reason enough to worry about in real life, though not so much "discovering" as "making".
* TheUnpronounceable:
** Pkhrxng Fshlfn Dhlkbch, the EldritchAbomination worshipped by the De la Poers, called Fein Dahlk by most, for obvious reasons.
** The true name of the Maiden: "a Name that sounded like the laughter of children playing on a golden beach, like birds singing to greet the dawn, yet sweeter than either. It was the sound of new beginnings, of hope rekindled, of an end to all despair."
* XanatosGambit: Used repeatedly by the heralds of the Abomination Beyond the Wall. If any of their plots succeed in full, the world perishes, but while the heroes are stopping the obvious threat, the heralds are busily setting many other plots into motion, all of which are ultimately a red herring.
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