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Willow: "There's a Slayer handbook?"
Buffy: "Wait. Handbook? What handbook? How come I don't have a handbook?"
Willow: "Is there a T-shirt, too? 'Cause that would be cool..."
Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg.[src]

The Slayer Handbook , also known as Vampyr, was a manual given to Slayers by their Watchers to instruct them on how to operate as the Slayer. The book contained the history and rules concerning magic and the supernatural world.

History

SlayerHandbookHistory
The original handbook was a large leather bound tome titled Vampyr. According to Giles and Dracula's recognition, the book was the very first and most complete attempt by man to record and codify the laws of magic. Initially a study of vampires — the most pressing threat — its scope grew over time, as did the book's power. It became, by common acceptance, the definitive guide to magic on Earth[1].

Giles had presented it to Buffy Summers when she first arrived in Sunnydale[2], but then decided she wasn't one to follow rules and put the book away. It was presumably kept at his apartment in Sunnydale. Sam Zabuto, Kendra Young's watcher, owned himself a copy. According to Kendra, the handbook insisted that Slayers study demonology, and had a great deal of footnotes[3].

After Giles' death, despite Faith Lehane was his main heiress, he left the book for Buffy. With this gesture, Faith said Giles meant that Buffy was the one true Slayer and he believed in her strength[4]. It was kept in the weapons chest in Buffy's bedroom in San Francisco[5].

The Slayer Handbook was sought after by Simone Doffler and Severin[6]. They believed it would help them to successfully turn Simone into a vampire instead of a zompire, after which she would be able to defeat Buffy. Among its contents, it had the secrets of the Deeper Well spring and how to access it, including the story of the old one Maloker[7].

New Rules of Magic

After the new Seed of Wonder was formed, Buffy and Willow Rosenberg discovered the Slayer Handbook's pages completely blank[8]. With the sudden return of magic to the Earth, the book was being gradually rewritten, similarly to Dawn's feelings and memories that suffered a "reset" and were returning over time.

Some time later, Giles noticed a handful of pages that were filled again. He described that it chronicled the same Slayer history the book once did, but with new additions: "No longer is but one chosen. The power itself becomes the chosen one... and the one who chooses," which implicated that the combined spiritual force of all past Slayers had then more agency than before. Men still couldn't be Slayers outright, as Billy Lane didn't share the Slayer strength or speed, but the essence of the Slayers accepted him as an ally[9] when he had a vision of Sineya[10].

Some rules never appeared again, such as the necessity to cast spells in dead languages[1]. But newly written pages kept appearing as new laws of magic were being established, automatically reproducing common beliefs. Newly sired vampires had the same abilities as the popular Dracula mythology[1] (shapeshifting, walking in the sun, superior strength) listed in the book directly as facts[9].

But the reverse process of creating rules would also work: writing into the book would cause the information to become true. Following Harmony Kendall's plan, Clem wrote that “unicorns are totally real,” which successfully became a reality[11]. However, similarly to vengeance demons' wishes, the book could interpret a writing into something undesirable, such as Dracula transforming into the most powerful vampire Maloker, instead of himself gaining the most power among vampires. Additions to the book could also be rejected, with the ink squirting from the page; it acted as such with retcons, cliches, and crossings[12].

With the Slayer Handbook under Dracula's power, he made Xander Harris transcribe that "Dracula's body was restored to its bloom of youth, vigor, and comeliness." Another transcription was "All beings alive and undead, natural and supernatural, recognized Dracula as lord of all vampires," which backfired as vampires attempted to kill in order to replace him as king. With the drastic consequences of then writing "Dracula become the most powerful vampire of all" (turning into Maloker), the book rejected Andrew Wells writing "suddenly Dracula's transformation was undone" and "then Dracula woke up. It had all been a dream"[12]. Xander found the solution writing that "Dracula's awesome willpower gave him strength to fight off Maloker, and give up the new powers he'd acquired," and added: "Everyone Dracula had power over also found themselves free"[13].

Andrew attempted to use the Vampyr book while resurrecting Tara Maclay, but Willow Rosenberg was able to stop him before anything was added. He intended to write: "The resurrection of Tara Maclay was completed successfully, without any negative consequences. Henceforth resurrection spells succeeded without the undesired side effects previously associated with them. The subject returned as they were before dying, but healthy if they'd been sick. They resumed a natural life, with no zombification, monkey's-paw-type unpleasantness, or anything bad whatsoever"[14].

As the book's owner and responsible, Buffy received lobbyists to discuss their interests in the rules of magic. Among them, Vicki and Harmony negotiated for the new vampires to maintain their new powers, allowing Buffy to limit it by removing their ability to shapeshift by the sunlight[11]. Such frequent diplomatic encounters in her apartment made Xander and Spike's the main location to safeguard the book.

Buffy and Giles used the Slayer Handbook to give the Magic Council members different powers to help with the battles against the Mistress, the Soul Glutton, and the Sculptor. D'Hoffryn was granted the power to detect and pinpoint the usage of concentrated mystic energy; Monarch was given the ability to drain the magic power of any being not native to Earth; Keiko became able to absorb and redirect kinetic energy of purely physical assaults; the Quiet Man gained the power to return any being to its native dimension; the Brahma was given the ability to sense any opponent's greatest weakness; while Matango was granted invulnerability to magical attacks[15]. Its subjection theta-seven said: "Should a Council member be rendered unable to discharge their duties, the rights and responsibilities of their office shall be equally divided among the remaining member of the council until a replacement be named"[16].

D'Hoffryn claimed from the very beginning that the Council had "the requisite power, experience, and wisdom to shape the laws of the new era"[13], interested in taking away the Vampyr book away from Buffy. He then took advantage of the subjection of dividing new abilities, assassinating all other Council members to gain their immense power, then being able to rob the book from the Slayer. He attempted to use the Slayer Handbook to eliminate vengeance demons' restrictions of acting only under humans' wishes; however, Buffy had contacted her allies to build the consensus that he wasn't able to make any change in the book, successfully preventing him from doing so[17].

The vampire Spike added to the book a sonnet about Dawn, as the Key, retaining her power to open portals even on Earth[18].

Behind the Scenes

Gallery

Appearances

Buffy Comics

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 New Rules, Part Three
  2. "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
  3. "What's My Line, Part Two"
  4. Last Gleaming, Part Five
  5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine
  6. The Watcher
  7. The Core, Part One
  8. The Core, Part Five
  9. 9.0 9.1 New Rules, Part Two
  10. Love vs. Life
  11. 11.0 11.1 Day Off (or Harmony in My Head)
  12. 12.0 12.1 New Rules, Part Four
  13. 13.0 13.1 New Rules, Part Five
  14. Return to Sunnydale, Part Two
  15. In Pieces on the Ground, Part Three
  16. Own It, Part One
  17. Own It, Part Four
  18. Own It, Part Five
  19. http://slayalive.com/showthread.php/888-SA24-Scott-Allie-Q-amp-A-for-40-January-11*
  20. http://slayalive.com/showthread.php/3846-*COMPLETE*-Q-amp-A-with-Christos-Gage-for-Buffy-Season-10-finale
  21. http://slayalive.com/showthread.php/3753

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