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.
Stryker, Satara, Kessar and the Dimme
Stryker was among the first Apollites to be cursed to live only 27 years, for which he passionately hates his father Apollo. Apollymi adopted him as her son and taught him to feed off human souls, making him the first Daimon and leader of the Spathi and Illuminati, with his eldest son Urian as his second in command. In return he loyally serves Apollymi. She places only two restrictions on him: he is not allowed to hurt either the Elekti (Acheron) or the Abadonna (Katra), no matter how much they interfere with his plans.
He tried to kill Cassandra Peters Tryggvason (either in the hopes of ending the Apollite curse or more likely because he and Apollymi both want to destroy Apollo), but was thwarted by Urian, who took Cassandra to an Apollite camp to live with his wife, who also happened to be Cassandra’s sister Phoebe, whom Urian had also been ordered to kill. Apollymi told him what Urian was up to and Stryker slit his son’s throat to appease her as well as his own feeling of betrayal.
Afterwards, his relationship with Apollymi went sour. He was still forbidden at all costs to kill either Ash or Kat and suspects that Apollymi protects Ash because he is really Apostolos and he hates Apollymi because she clearly loves Ash more than Stryker, who sacrificed his son to her. Apollymi was aware that Stryker was the one who poisoned Ash with ypnsi, but chose to kill off a bunch of his Daimons in retaliation instead. They are in a state of cold war, neither one directly attacking the other or acknowledging their hatred for each other because they can still be useful to each other.
He also hates Acheron for the same reason and is hell bent on destroying everything Ash loves. Recently he tried to kill off the Dark-Hunters in Mississippi by using lies to turn them against Acheron, before gathering them together long enough for them to weaken each other, making them easy pickings for his Daimons. Unfortunately for him, the Alexion was able to open their eyes to his deceit in time. Even worse, Alexion summoned Urian (whom Ash had secretly saved), who now hates Stryker for killing him and Phoebe, and is loyal to Acheron instead.
He tried again to wipe out Seattle’s Dark-Hunters by joining forces with the chief of police and create a Daimon stronghold, but the attempt failed when the Dark-Hunters figured out his game.
Stryker turned Ash’s former best friend and new Dark-Hunter Nick Gautier into a Daimon, knowing Ash would be unable to see the betrayal until the killing blow.
He strangely has a moral code, values the etiquette of warfare and appreciates strength in his enemies.
A daughter of Apollo and handmaiden to Artemis, Satara also hates Acheron, but her reasons are not yet clear. She discovered Nick Gautier and suggested the conversion to her Daimon half-brother Stryker. She later lied to Nick by promising him that a skotos masquerading as a Dream-Hunter would resurrect Cherise if Nick kidnapped Marissa Hunter for them.
Although as a demigod she is powerful, Satara likes to take a small army with her as backup, or simply gets someone else to do her dirty work for her.
The gallu demons, led by Kessar, were created by the Sumerian pantheon to eradicate the Charontes, but were imprisoned after the fall of Atlantis and extinction of the Charontes. In the absence of their natural enemies, the gallu like to feed on human flesh, so they’re basically the Sumerian answer to the Daimon. The Sumerians also created the Dimme and locked them in a cell with a time delay, so that if the Sumerians have been wiped out, the lock (which can only be reset by Sumerian blood) will release the Dimme to destroy whichever pantheon is in charge. With the Sumerians all but extinct, the gallu wanted to free the Dimme in the hopes of gaining powerful and loyal allies.
Kessar buried the Dimme’s lock in Sumerian god Zakar’s chest, so that Zakar had to die to keep the Dimme imprisoned. In the battle for control over the items that would contain the Dimme, Ash resurrected Zakar and took the Tablet of Destiny (which allows a god to drain another god) from Kessar while bleeding. Somehow, this combination of events on Ash’s part caused the early release of the Dimme, just as Kessar had planned. The lock was resealed, but not before one of the seven Dimme escaped.
After escaping Acheron, Kessar remembered that the enemy of his enemy is his friend and summoned Stryker.
The escaped Dimme Kerryna is later discovered in hiding from the gallu with the Charontes as she is in love with Simi and Xirena’s brother Xedrix. She argues that the Dimme had been imprisoned because it was assumed that they were all indiscriminate killers. The Sumerian goddess Ishtar had taught them compassion, but at least two are not especially compassionate.
Satara tried and failed to capture Kerryna, intending for the Dimme to destroy Apollymi.
Check back tomorrow for Part 6: Apollymi, Jaden