The Master was the leader of the Order of Aurelius, an ancient vampire cult. We never learn when he was sired, but we do know that by 1609 he had lived “past the curse of human features,” looking much more demonic and terrifying than all of the other vampires. It was at this time when the Master went to the Virginia Colony and, in the guise of a priest, sired a prostitute who was dying of syphilis. We all know this new vamp of his as Darla.
Then in 1760, in a London sewer, the Master met Angelus, Darla’s progeny. Angelus, being the cocky vamp he was, mocked the Master’s looks and the Order’s crazy beliefs. The Master lost his temper and gave Angelus one bad ass-kicking. Although, even after the beating, Angelus showed the Master no respect and continued to give him hell. After this, Darla left the Master for Angelus, preferring his offer of pleasure and adventure. The Master did nothing to stop them from leaving, but estimated that the couple would last no more than a century before they parted ways.
After the run in with Darla and Angelus we don’t really hear much on the Master. But we do know that around 1801, The Master fought and sired a Japanese slayer named Yuki Makimura. Then later, around 1880, Darla goes back to the Master and the Order after a fight with Angelus. However, she eventually leaves the Master yet again to go return to Angelus. Now, as the leader of the Order of Aurelius, the Master was a brutal overlord who expected total devotion from his followers. Minions that failed him were punished in the most torturous and deadly of ways. But despite his evil nature, the Master was prone to favoritism. His most treasured disciple was Darla, whom he viewed as a daughter, which is why he never punished her for leaving and coming back and leaving and coming back.
Much later, in 1937, the Master goes to the New World. His plan was to open the Sunnydale Hellmouth, releasing the Old Ones and ending the world. But an earthquake hit the town in the middle of his ritual, swallowing half the town, including the church where the Master was performing the ritual. Since he had already started the ritual when the earthquake hit, the Master was trapped within a mystical prison. Magic that big is pretty tricky, and he screwed himself big time.
Fast forward to modern day Sunnydale! Darla is working for the Master again and together they make Buffy’s life hell. But Darla dies, and the Master becomes so upset that he nearly loses the will to carry out his plans of escaping his prison. But words of encouragement from the Anointed One strengthen his resolve to continue making preparations for his ascension.
Buffy eventually confronts the Master in his magical prison, but is quickly defeated due to the Master’s hypnosis (a power he has that very few other vampires have). Buffy is bitten by him and left to drown as the Master escapes. Luckily, Angel and Xander arrive in time to revive her, and Buffy faces the Master yet again. This time she defeats him by throwing him through the Sunnydale High skylight and impaling him on a large piece of wood. But unlike most vampires, who turn to dust upon their death, the Master left behind a skeleton. The Anointed One later tries to use these bones in a ritual to bring the Master back to life, but Buffy interrupts the ritual and destroys the skeleton with a sledgehammer, ending the Master forever.
Favorite Master Quotes!
[an earthquake has hit the town]
“Yes! Yes! Shake, earth! This is a sign. We are in the final days. My time is come. Glory! Glory!”
[the quake stops]
“What’d’ya think, 5.1?”
“So this is the Slayer. You’re prettier than the last one.”
[holds up a young girl] “Hungry? I’ve lost my appetite for this one. She keeps looking at me. I’m trying to eat and she looks at me!”
“Kids. They only visit when they need something.”