History: The oldest vampire on record, The Master was turned by the Demon Lord himself, Archaeus, more than 600 years ago. Appropriately enough, he led the Order Of Aurelius, a vampire cult that worshipped the Old Ones. His first visit to the New World resulted in his siring Darla, but he then lingered in Europe for the next few centuries, where he met Angelus. The Master returned to America in the ’30s to kick off the end of the world at the Hellmouth, but his plan was interrupted by an earthquake.
Despite his pedigree and powers that included sorcery and hypnosis, The Master was repeatedly foiled by Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies. He sank into a depression after losing his Vessel, his Zachary, and later, his Darla. He did manage to properly menace them in their dreams, though, and there was that whole prophecy thing, which predicted the Slayer would meet her end at his hands.
How’d they bite it? In “Prophecy Girl,” The Master briefly gets the better of Buffy: he kills her, becoming the only Big Bad to do so. Luckily, Xander’s there, crucifix in hand, to revive the Slayer. Buffy then kills the Master by impaling him on a piece of wood from a broken table.