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.
Apollymi, Godhood and Savitar
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
Apollymi wanted a child so badly that when her husband Archon ordered her to destroy her baby to prevent him from ending the world, she refused. For this she was imprisoned in the Atlantean hell realm Kalosis until her son Apostolos died. She then escaped and went on a killing spree until she was reincarcerated, this time by the Greek gods. This imprisonment is what saved her when Atlantis was destroyed. As she is not able to have any direct contact with the world, she uses the Daimons as her agents and keeps Charontes and ceredons for protection. Apostolos can never set foot in Kalosis without releasing his mother to end the world, so Ash visits her without a corporeal form. Apollymi loves her son and granddaughter, but thinks they’re both sentimental wimps.
Because Ash was born as a human, he has a certain compassion that the other gods lack, particularly his mother, the Destroyer. It is this compassion for humanity that keeps him going back to Artemis despite his hatred towards her, because if he doesn’t feed from her regularly, he would lose his compassion and start following in his mother’s footsteps.
His motto is, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”, which doesn’t even begin to cover his struggle not to interfere when he sees someone making the wrong choice. The Fates always get their way in the end, but with interest so you end up worse off than if your life had followed its proscribed course. Acheron hates free will for this reason. He has seen first hand that sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to do nothing. People grow from pain, so saving them isn’t always the right thing to do.
Savitar, on the other hand, doesn’t have this struggle. He doesn’t love anyone and never plans to. All that matters to him is catching the next wave, he finds the ocean soothing. More powerful and mysterious than Ash, very little is known about his origins, but not even the gods say his name aloud for fear of drawing his attention. No one knows how he got the job, but Savitar oversees the Omegrion (ruling council for the Were-Hunters) and wiped out the entire Arcadian jaguar race for offending him. He is rumoured to have taught Ash how to be a Dark-Hunter and how to use his god powers.
The future: Jaden
We met Jaden in Dream Chaser when Xypher and his brother Kaiaphas were competing for his help. He is ruthless and impatient, but seems to have a code of honour because he makes deals with those he feels are worthy after weighing up their approach, what they want from him and their overall character. He seems to trade in favours, but his services do not come cheap. He cannot directly make things happen, but he can provide the means.
The personification of first power that predates any god or demon, Jaden is the go between for demons and the higher powers. He can be summoned by a mixed demon/human blood sacrifice at a living tree, which may help to explain his heterochromic brown and green eyes. Or they may be completely unrelated.
Jaden has an as yet unknown master, which raises the question of how much of Jaden’s power is actually his and how much is borrowed. While he appears not to have many scruples about the deals he makes, he was compassionate enough to give Simone’s soul to Xypher so that she would be bound to him rather than live a human lifespan, for which Jaden was severely punished by his master. What favour could possibly be worth that?
Acheron comes out in mass market paperback tomorrow. We’ll be posting a round-up of Acheron posts here at Book Thingo.