To celebrate the US release of Acheron in mass market paperback, we’re running a week-long series of posts to get us up to speed on Dark-Hunter mythology and the characters that we should probably know about before reading Acheron. (Thanks to our resident guru on all things Dark-Hunter: Decadence.) These posts have no Acheron spoilers, but they do contain spoilers to previous books in the series. Acheron is out in mass market format on March 31.
Apollo created the Apollite race through traditional means of procreation (so they are all descended from him and have his blood in their veins), but he also gave them superior strength and psychic abilities. Zeus wasn’t happy about that last bit, so he banished the Apollites to Atlantis where they mixed with the race living there. Apollo wanted to take over as the supreme god, so he fathered children on an Atlantean and they married into the Atlantean royal family and Apollo kept reproducing with the royalty there, hoping to create someone powerful enough to enable Apollo to overthrow Zeus.
In one generation, he fathered Stryker on the Atlantean queen. Around the same time, the Atlantean Destroyer goddess Apollymi fell pregnant with Apostolos, the son who the Fates said would end the world. Apollymi’s husband, the Atlantean god Archon insisted Apollymi destroy her own son to prevent the world from ending.
Instead, she hid her son and gave Archon a stone baby. Archon knew Apollymi had disobeyed him and also realised that the Atlantean queen was pregnant, so he tried to cover his bases by killing her baby, who would have been Apollo’s son Stryker, if Apollo hadn’t already switched him out for another kid without telling Stryker’s mother, the Atlantean queen.
So Stryker’s safe and Apollo doesn’t need to have anything to do with the Atlantean queen anymore. She is understandably pissed about being dumped by her baby’s father once the baby is dead and has no idea that her son is still alive. She figures out that Apollo will father another son on someone else and waits for that opportunity to get her revenge.
The Greeks were losing to the Atlanteans because they were human, while the Atlanteans and Apollites were becoming more and more powerful, especially with Apollo’s continued genetic contributions. So because the Greeks wanted to get Apollo on side they gave him the beautiful Ryssa (who also happens to be Acheron’s elder sister), with whom he fell in love and fathered a child.
The Atlantean queen sent her army to kill Ryssa and the baby, but told them not to hold back on the brutality so that it looked more like a killing by a wild animal and wouldn’t be traced back to them.
Apollo found out anyway. It is believed that he destroyed Atlantis for this reason, but no one really knows for sure what happened to Atlantis. (Don’t forget the Destroyer is trapped in the Atlantean hell realm for a reason.) Artemis stopped him from destroying the Apollites because on Stryker’s wedding day, he said, “In your hands you hold my future. Your blood is mine, and it is through you and your future children that I live.” So he basically tied his own life force to the Apollites’, but he forgot about that when he cursed them all to die at the age of 27 (his beloved Ryssa’s age when she was murdered), and he forgot that he’d damned all of them, including Stryker (Stryker’s son Urian was the first Apollite to be born under the curse).
So when Stryker’s line dies out, so does Apollo. Apollo is the god of the sun, so when Apollo dies, so does the sun and the earth … and everyone on it.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2: Acheron, Artemis.