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.
The Dark-Hunters, Alexion, Ash’s Army
“Let me give you the job description. Me, Dark-Hunter. You, Daimon. I hit, you bleed. I kill, you die.”
In the guise of helping Acheron fight the Daimons, Artemis bargained for the souls of newly dead soldiers, offering them an Act of Vengeance against whoever killed them if they would serve her for eternity. She hadn’t prepared them for not being able to return to their families, how to kill Daimons and that niggly little detail about sunlight killing them. She doesn’t care what happens to them because she can always create more. Anything the Dark-Hunters have, Acheron has to bargain with Artemis for, and that was why she created them in the first place.
One of the first Dark-Hunters ever created, Ias of Groesia, missed his wife, so Ash took pity on him and bartered with Artemis for Ias’s soul. He reunited Ias with Liora, drained and killed him, but when he gave her Ias’s soul, she dropped it and refused to save him. He appealed to Artemis, but she could not save Ias from becoming a Shade. Instead of leaving Ias to the eternal damnation of Shadedom, Ash brought Ias back as something between human and Shade and made him his Alexion, kind of like Acheron’s steward in Kalosis and his enforcer and executioner on the street. Unfortunately, Ash hadn’t been taught the full extent of his powers at the time, so Ias can never be completely human again, unlike others that Ash has saved since.
Every now and then, the Dark-Hunters become dissatisfied with their lives and blame Ash for everything they think was taken from them because he doesn’t make a song and dance about what he’s given them. His secrecy and the fact that he is the only one who has anything to do with the Dark-Hunters make him an easy target. They plot against Ash and rise up against him and one of the Alexion’s duties is to judge the Dark-Hunters who would turn on Ash and execute them.
Over the millennia since they were created, only a few Dark-Hunters were successfully released. Until now.
Acheron took an active role in releasing Kyrian Hunter, Talon Runningwolf, Zarek of Moesia and Valerius Magnus from Artemis’s service. Joined by Kyrian’s best friend, demigod and Oracle Julian Alexander, these men are all immortal and have been known to back Ash up when needed.
Simi and Katra
“She’s not my girlfriend, you asshole. She’s my daughter.”
Simi is Acheron’s adopted daughter, the Charonte demon who was given to him on his 21st birthday, whom he spoils totally rotten, probably because she is the closest thing to a child he expects to ever have. She has virtually no impulse control and can be destructive, but she has a good heart and endless capacity for love. Ash values her because she loved him without wanting anything (other than Diamonique, BBQ sauce, Travis Fimmel, etc.) from him. She’s happy to be his little girl who never betrays him and in return he protects her from the harshness of life and revels in her happy innocence. Enter Nick Gautier, but more on him later.
Katra Agrotera is the daughter he had with Artemis, but never knew existed until recently. (Acheron had been sterilised as a human, but this was reversed without his awareness when he came into his god powers.) She served as handmaiden to both her mother Artemis and her grandmother Apollymi until Artemis released Kat from her service. She shares her father’s good looks, height, colouring, powers and compassion.
Her recent activities include preventing Megeara Kafieri and her crew from discovering the ruins of Atlantis (and releasing Apollymi), protecting Apollite heiress Cassandra Tryggvason and battling the gallu in the hopes of preventing the Dimme from being released and destroying the world. She was bitten by a gallu, but was blood bonded to the Sumerian fertility god Sin, in a similar way to Acheron’s bond to Artemis.
Check back tomorrow for Part 4: Marissa Hunter, Styxx, Nick