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It became the prison of the Master since 1937, when an earthquake interrupted a ritual to open the Hellmouth, causing a portion of the Church and the Master to become trapped within by an invisible barrier. However, in the spring of 1997, the Master finally escaped only to be killed in combat by the current Slayer, Buffy Summers. The Anointed One and the rest of the Order then moved to an abandoned factory.
Several years later, in accordance with the Universal Recreation prophecy, an egg containing what was to be the new universe was "conceived" by Buffy and Angel within the church, only to be "aborted" when Buffy and Angel rejected their roles. In order to solve the current crisis, Buffy and Spike returned to the ruins of Sunnydale to find the egg.
The Church was very dilapidated, with various debris (bricks, woods beams, and torn pieces of paper) strewn around. It's most notable feature were three, tilted arches behind the altar where the Master's chair was located, though, it also housed a lectern with several rows of chairs at one point. It had several pools of water and one with blood where the Master rose from before the night of the Harvest. The whole liar was dimly lit with several candles scattered around, on candelabras or lying on the scenery.
The church was accessible from the tunnels of Sunnydale, located directly below Sunnydale High. The tunnels accessing it seemed to be relatively close since Buffy the Master traveled to and from the two locations in a short amount of time.
Behind the Scenes
- In the video game, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the church was one of the main maps and was titled the "Sunken Church". In the game, the church could also be accessed through the catacombs of a mausoleum in the Sunnydale Cemetery. It was also larger and home to many monsters as well as serving as the location for two of the game's boss battles, one with Matereani and the newly resurrected Master in the last level.
- The church was used as a background in many of the promotional images and episode stills for the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Confirmed into Season 8, the Church is one of few locations that are not completely destroyed along with the rest of Sunnydale following the Battle at the Hellmouth.
- "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
- "The Harvest"
- "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date"
- "Prophecy Girl"
- "Pangs" (Only mentioned)
- "Always Darkest"