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The Master was the first major antagonist of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the original "Big Bad" - a word used by fans of the series to describe a villain who orchestrates events throughout a season and ultimately serves as the final battle in the storyarc. He is portrayed by Mark Metcalf.
The Master was portrayed as one of the most powerful of all surviving vampires and planned on escaping from his prison deep under Sunnydale - created when his original attempts to open the Hellmouth instead triggered an earthquake that buried him underground, the magic also forming a mystical force-field around the Master that prevented him from escaping.
He believed that he would eventually be free and lead an age of darkness across the world in which demons, vampires and other evil beings would dominate everything and as the self-proclaimed Master of vampires he saw himself as a natural leader who mercilessly planned to fulfil this dark prophecy with aid from many minions.
To aid him, he created a child-vampire dubbed the Anointed One and held him in high regards, second only to Darla - whom he viewed as a daughter despite her abandoning him to fulfil her own desires.
The Master eventually did manage to escape his imprisonment but was slain by Buffy shortly after, yet unlike most vampires the Master did not turn to dust - instead becoming a skeleton after being staked through the heart.
The Anointed One planned on bringing the Master back using this skeleton but had his hopes literally shattered when Buffy interupted the ritual and destroyed the skeleton - ending the Master's threat once and for all.