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.
“I’m her godfather, with a heavy emphasis on the god part.”
Marissa is ex-Dark-Hunter Kyrian and sorceress Amanda Hunter’s infant daughter, who despite her youth is showing signs of incredible power. Apollymi believes that Marissa will help her to resurrect her son Apostolos. Stryker is out to get her as well, but I think that may be just to hinder Apollymi.
“You don’t have a brother. We only shared a womb for a very short time.”
Styxx was the real son of the Greek king and queen, and has always felt superior to Acheron, secure in the knowledge that he was the first born and the legitimate heir. When we meet him, he is tired of living, but since his life force is tied to Ash’s, he is essentially immortal. He joined forces with Camulus and Dionysus in a plot to free Apollymi , not because he cared about the goddess, but because they would need to sacrifice Ash, ending Styxx’s life as well.
He played on Ash’s secrecy while impersonating Ash to the Dark-Hunters and insinuated that they would hate Ash if they knew who he really was.
As punishment for his involvement in the plot, he was sent to Tartarus and forced to relive his human life… this time from Ash’s side. He learns that he wasn’t the first born after all and that the brother he’d hated for millennia had been denied every comfort that he himself had taken for granted.
Three years later, Ash took mercy on him and released him from Tartarus. Styxx refused Ash’s offer of removing his memories from Styxx and asked to stay in Katoteros with Ash so they can finally have a real relationship. Even though he’d wanted for so long to hear Styxx say that, Ash doesn’t yet trust him. Styxx is transferred to Katoteros alone.
“I condemned my best friend to death for taking the innocence of the only daughter I’ve ever known.”
Nick Gautier is a sarcastic smartass who entered the Dark-Hunter world as Kyrian’s Squire, but whose other notable qualities include his unswerving loyalty and the way he treats everyone (except Valerius – see loyalty – and Zarek because he’s just scary) like they’re normal. This might not sound like much unless you’re a loner misfit who wants to belong or simply not to feel like a freak for five minutes.
He was Acheron’s best friend for this reason… until Nick had sex with Simi without knowing who she was to Ash. In a fit of rage, Ash cursed Nick and set into motion a series of events that led to the death of Nick’s beloved mother Cherise and Nick’s own suicide and resurrection as a Dark-Hunter.
Nick hasn’t been able to forgive Ash for letting Cherise die while raising Kyrian and Amanda from the dead and blames Ash for Hurricane Katrina. Unlike everyone else who forgets almost instantly that Ash is a god, Nick is aware of what Ash can do.
Stryker’s sister Satara fooled Nick into joining forces with Stryker in return for revenge on Acheron. By drinking Stryker’s blood and turning Daimon, Nick’s own powers have increased along with the powers he has from being a special kind of Dark-Hunter. He is potentially a useful weapon against Acheron as Ash promised Cherise not to let anything bad happen to her boy, which means that Nick can hurt Ash, but Ash can’t hurt Nick, even in defense. Also, because Ash cares for Nick, he cannot see Nick’s fate, so would be completely unaware that the newest Dark-Hunter has turned Daimon.
Although Nick has been told that the price for access to Stryker’s powers must be paid by bringing Kyrian and Amanda’s daughter Marissa into Kalosis, he has yet to make any progress.