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Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a multimedia franchise created by Josh Whedon. The series focuses on Buffy, a teenager Slayer destined to fight vampires. Luckily for her destiny, and unluckily for her, she lives in Sunnyvale California, a quiet SoCal city situated on top of a Hell Mouth.
Originally a movie (which Whedon lost almost complete creative control over) Buffy was later rebooted as a seven season television series. The series followed Buffy out of high school and then college as new greater evils appeared and friends came and died. The series ended with Buffy activating an entire army of Slayers and becoming a PMC dedicated to wiping out the supernatural. This was later continued in a comic series where Buffy choose to destroy all magic in the world.
The most substantial of the spinoffs of Buffy was Angel, a television series and then comic focusing on Buffy's vampiric boyfrind Angel as he starts up a detective agency in LA.
Part of Willow's initiation into being the proper goddess of earthly magic that she was required her to go on a spiritual quest. For most peopel this would entire backpacking through southeast Asia, but for Willow it entailed a journey through the spirit world. Here she stumbled upon a guide for the world: the half-snake Aluwyn. Aluwyn lead Willow through through the spirit world, assisting her on serveral "trials" before Willow finally wised up to what was actually happening. The trials were all fabricated, partially out of Aluwyn's trickery and partially out of Willow's romanticised ideal of a spirit journey. In truth Willow did not need to complete any trial and Aluwyn was only planning on syphoning off the goddess' magic to feed on her.
To that end Willow choose to keep Aluwyn as a mentor, something that came as quite a surprise to Aluwyn and the other goddesses. Willow's reasoning was that having a mentor who could actively be trying to kill her would keep her on her toes, and thus be a better teacher. Aluwyn did turn out to be a good mentor for Willow, and over time even became something of a lover as well.
Unfortunately when Buffy destroyed the source of magic at the end of Season 8 all magic on earth was wiped out, including Willow's connction to Aluwyn. Later, when Willow went on a quest to find a new source of magic, she was overjoyed to find Aluwyn living in a commune of magic users in the spirit world. She was almost willing to stay with her for an eternity, until she realised that Aluwyn was attempting to trick her again; this time trying to keep her from returning to earth and seperating them again. Reluctantly Willow left and continued on her quest to find a magic source.
Dawn is Buffy's adopted sister. Originaly "The Key", she was shapeless energy who took the form of a young girl. She implanted memories of herself in Buffy and Buffy's friends, and even believed the memories to be true herself. Even though they were fake Buffy eventually came to care for Dawn as if she were her real sister.
At the start of Season 8 Dawn had been cursed with a form changing spell, first stuck as a 20 foot tall giant and then later as a centaur. Thankfully Willow managed to break the curse shortly before everything at Slayer HQ went to pot.
After leaving Sunnydale Oz went searching for enlightenment, and control of his werewolf half, in Tibet. There he ran into a family of demons who pulled his ass out of a fire and were all around very helpful. One of them, Jinan, chose to travel with Oz. Oz soon found the werewolf monks he had been searching for, only to find them nearly slaughtered by another werefolf clan. Oz and Jinan gathered together who they could and successfuly wiped out the agressive clan. Afterwards Oz continued on his journey while Jinan stayed behind to help the monks rebuild.