The Dark-Hunters are fictional immortal warriors in the Dark-Hunter series who sold their souls to the Greek goddess Artemis for one single act of vengeance after being killed. Afterwards they are bound to protect mankind from the Daimons who want to claim human souls. Daimons are Apollites, creatures cursed by the god Apollo for the murder of his mistress and son. Apollites cannot go in the sun, must feed off of each other to live and will die on their 27th birthday. To extend their lives, Apollites can become Daimons.
Becoming a Dark-Hunter
Whenever a person dies wrongfully, their soul screams out for vengeance. The strongest and angriest of the screams echo through the halls of Olympus
, Artemis then offers them a deal. Once the bargain is accepted, the new Dark-Hunter is branded with Artemis's double bow-and-arrow wherever she touches them. They then are allowed their Act of Vengeance.
In exchange for their souls, Artemis allows all new Dark-Hunters to have twenty-four hours to exact revenge on those who wronged them during their human life. Most notably the Dark-Hunters usually go after people who killed them. After the twenty-four-hour period, they belong to her and get sent to Acheron, the leader of the Dark-Hunters.
After the training with Acheron is over, the Dark-Hunters are assigned a location somewhere in the world. Then the Dark-Hunter spends the rest of eternity fighting with Daimons and other evil.
Artemis pays them well for their services and provides them with human helpers known as Squires.
Drink no blood.
Harm no human or Apollite.
Never touch a Squire.
Speak with no family or friends who knew you before you died.
Let no Daimon escape alive.
Never speak of what you are.
You walk alone.
Keep your bow mark hidden.
The only way for a Dark-Hunter to be freed from Artemis's service is to find the one true soul who loves him or her enough to pass Artemis's test. That person must take the medallion that contains the Dark-Hunter's soul and hold it to the double bow-and-arrow mark until Dark-Hunter's soul returns. However the task is more difficult than it sounds, as the medallion becomes as hot as lava during the process and permanently scars the holder's hand. If the holder can't maintain his or her grip and the medallion is dropped, the Dark-Hunter's soul is lost forever. This traps the Dark-Hunter into a very painful existence known as a Shade, the same as if the Dark Hunter died. However, if the lover succeeds, the Dark-Hunter is once again a mortal with a soul, restarting life at the age they were when they first died.
They can be killed by:
- Total dismemberment
- Piercing the double-bow-and-arrow mark, as revealed in Dance With The Devil, can also kill a Dark-Hunter, but Acheron keeps this a secret from them to protect them.
They also have a weakness to bright, halogen lights, which harm their sensitive eyes. Even Acheron succumbs to this weakness.
While still containing the looks they lived with as a human, the Dark-Hunters gained fangs and light-sensitive eyes like the Daimons which they kill. Each Dark-Hunter also has a double-bow-and-arrow mark. Artemis is notorious for mostly choosing tall, handsome men and tall, beautiful women to be Dark Hunters.
- [[Acheron (Dark-Hunter)|Acheron](Apostolos)]]- Is not a Dark Hunter. He is the final fate - cursed to be the one who ends the world. He was only branded with Atremis's bow and arrow mark to show the world that he is a Dark Hunter so as not to be treated differently. Once in love with Artemis, he is now bound to her by the events of the past, as she holds the food source which would prevent him from becoming a cold-blooded killer. Artemis uses this to control him and treats him as a possession instead of a person. The last of the Atlanteans, Acheron is the son of Apollymi, the Atlantean goddess of Destruction (who he is not allowed to see without dooming the world to chaos) and thus is a god in his own right. His powers make a mockery of all gods in the Greek pantheon - including his half-sisters (the three fates) He has a daughter with Artemis, Katra, who he did not know about for 11 thousand years until Artemis told him to save herself. He is much a slave to Artemis as any of her Dark-hunters as she tricked him back to life by feeding him her blood. She did this out of fear of his mother Apollymi (the great destroyer) who had sworn to kill her, Apollo and the three fates for their role in his human death. He is the protector of the Dark Hunters and suffers greatly for them, even though most of them resent him. He has to bargain with Artemis to gain the souls of Dark Hunters to set them free - often resulting in his torment at her hands. His 'true' form is to have blue skin , black horns and hair , red eyes ,with a marbled appearance. He also has two scars that only appear in this form, one being a hand print on his neck, the other a line from throat to navel. This is where his human "father" cut his throat and the god Apollo gutted him. This was done after Artemis had drugged him to so she could kill him as she thought he was a threat to her and the other Greek gods. Artemis was present at his death , despite reaching to her for help, she watched him die and was glad. The few that are able to see this form are warned not to look at the scars, apart from one small, waiflike female , Soteria.
- Alexion- Helper of Acheron, was born Ias. One of the first Dark-Hunters, he was killed by his wife's lover and the true father of the three children he had raised. He was turned to a Shade when Acheron mistakenly thought his wife would hold the burning amulet to his bow and arrow mark, but instead she dropped it. Said wife is now a statue outside Alexion's room in Katoteros, where he resides with Dangereuse (Sins of the night). Acheron brought him out of Shadedom and now Alexion feeds from Acheron's blood every once in a while. As a helper of Ash, he goes to earth whenever they run into troubles with rogue Dark Hunters and 'Judges' them.
- Arien The daughter of a thief, Arien was born with second-sight and dedicated her life to helping others until an angry clansman blamed her for the death of his wife. Accused of sorcery, she and her father were trying to escape into the hills when they were betrayed by the man who swore he would love her forever. Her father was hanged and she was burned as a heretic. Since then she isn't overly fond of men and spends her time helping Zoe harass the other Dark Hunters. Assigned to Manhattan.
- Belle- Deceased. Murdered by Daimons.
- Blade- Born a Saxon peasant who rose to knighthood, he has little patience for anyone. As a mercenary for William the Conqueror, he lost his life in the Norman invasion of England when his lover assassinated him after he made the mistake of trying to get her safely through enemy lines. Assigned to Atlanta.
- Cael- Born of a village washerwoman and a noble lord. Cael and his family were sold to the Vikings as slaves by his father in an attempt to save his own life. Only the Vikings didn't want slaves and Cael had to watch as his family were killed in front of him. He is a Dark Hunter married to an Apollite (now Daimon) whom he has fed from, meaning that he would have had to watch his wife die at the age of 27. Assigned to Seattle.
- Corbin - Born a Greek princess, Corbin was married and widowed young. She fought to keep her husband's throne as her own and was loved by her people. Her reign was uncontested until her brother-in-law made a pact with a barbarian tribe to sack the city and burn it to the ground. She died trying to save her servants and their children. Assigned to the Twin cities.
- Dangereuse- A rare short female Dark Hunter that Artemis obviously took a liking to. Born of a french actress and a nobleman, she grew up on the stage. During the French revolution she tried to smuggle the noble side of her family away to England but was betrayed to the committee by her husband. She originally died at the hands of her husband while trying to escape France and the guillotine alongside her family. As a Dark-Huntress she was assigned to Tulepo but she died in a battle and became a Shade. She currently resides with Alexion in Katoteros.
- Diana - Diana, her husband and children, along with their entire wagon train, were led out into the Mojave by a corrupt guide and left there to die. She is one of the few Dark-Hunters who acts as a peace keeper between others. Assigned to Seattle.
- Diego - The spoiled son of a rich aristocrat, he grew up in the lap of luxury. At age sixteen, he decided he wanted to be a sailor and his father bought him a ship and hired the best captain to train his son on the ways of the sea. By age twenty, Diego's activities were less than legal. With the influx of gold from the New World and the stories of riches to be had, he turned his attention to the Aztec nation. He was reportedly on his way to El Dorado when his second in command decided to hand him over to a group of headhunters. Assigned to East LA.
- Dragon - Dragon is the illegitimate son of a Western merchant and what will later be called a Japanese Geisha. He was trained as a Ninja by his uncle and was betrayed by his Samurai overlord into the hands of his arch-rival. He still walks the path of the Ninja and keeps himself apart from most other Dark Hunters. When he does interact, it is usually with Talon or Blade. His real name is unknown and the nickname Dragon was given to him because of the red dragon tattoo that marks his left arm. Assigned to Seattle.
- Hawke- Hawke was born the son of an English gambler and a Powhatan mother. Reared with a deep respect for nature and the delicate cycle of life, he took to the sea at age eleven to see what the rest of the world looked like. Like his father, he was a risk-taker and like his mother, fiercely loyal. He won his own ship at age nineteen in a game of chance. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he became a blockade runner to aid his fellow Americans. He died during the fighting when the woman he loved turned out to be a British spy. Assigned to Yorktown.
- Kassim- Kassim was a Saracen Prince who fought against the European Crusaders. He was betrayed by one of his own into the hands of Simon's father who wanted revenge for the death of Simon. Assigned to Jackson.
- Kell - Kell was a Visigoth warrior whose entire tribe was destroyed by a Roman army. He was sold into slavery where he was trained as a gladiator. One of the most feared and successful gladiators of his time, he was executed when he attempted to murder the Roman Emperor Valens. He plays well with Kyrian, but has sworn to kill Valerius should they ever cross paths. He interacts more with humans than most of his DH brethren and actually plays drums in a local Houston band called War Child.
- Kyrian- His story is told in Night Pleasures. Kyrian was a prince of Macedonia before he was betrayed by his wife Theone and killed by the Romans. Kyrian is one of the few Dark Hunters to regain their soul. He is married to Amanda.
- Nick- Friend to Acheron during his life, Nick unintentionally slept with Simi, Acheron's demonic 'daughter' and companion. Enraged upon finding out, Acheron damned Nick with his words. Later that same night, Nick's mother was murdered and Nick killed himself in order to claim vengeance. Due to the circumstance of his death, Artemis, whom he had summoned seconds beforehand, was unable to grant him revenge, but she did make him a Dark Hunter. He now harbors a deep hatred and resentment for Acheron for what he did to him. It is alluded to that he will play a crucial part in Acheron's potential future downfall and the plot against him.? whether Acheron actually cursed Nick at the end of the book Dream-Hunter rather than in Seize the Night
- PhobosPhobos who is often referred to as Achilles is the grandson of the great Achilles of Trojan War fame. He was the son of Neoptolemus (Achilles's son who also fought in the Trojan War) and Hector's wife Andromache who was Neoptolemus's concubine after he took her as a prize from Troy. His name in Greek means "fear" and he was every bit as frightening on the battlefield as his father and grandfather before him. It was said no man could ever slay Phobos and so it wasn't a man. It was a woman bent on revenge. Using Phobos, she gained access to his brother's palace and when Phobos tried to stop her, she stabbed him through his heart, then killed every living member of his family. As a result, he has vowed to never trust another woman again. Assigned to Nashville.
- Ravyn- A rare Were-Hunter/Dark Hunter, Ravyn is a Arcadian, a human that can take animal form. His story is told in The Dark Side of the Moon, where he falls in love with Susan, a woman who is allergic to cats, which happens to be Ravyn's Arcadian side. His family dis-owned him, because his mate turned and let in enemies, while the males were out hunting, to kill the woman and children and in turn killed all the male Were-Hunters bonded to the females.
- Renegade- Born AD 961, Renegade was a Anasazi warrior or shaman (no one knows for sure and he's not telling). He is quiet and keeps to himself. When he strikes, it's fast and lethal. Very little is known about him and his past. All we know for sure is that he is an ancestor for Shadow who is a Zuni warrior. Assigned to El Paso.
- Retta- Wife of Velkan Danesti and the daughter of Vlad Tepes, she followed her husband into being a Dark Hunter. The daughter of Dracula, Esperetta grew up isolated in a nunnery in the Caucasus. From the moment of her birth, it was decided that she would be a gift to the Church to atone for her father's sins and Retta had no desire for anything else, until the day Velkan saved her from a fate worse than death. She fell instantly in love with the handsome warrior prince. There was nothing she wanted more than to spend eternity with her husband, until she got to know him better. Unfortunately, then it was too late. She learned that his reputation for sorcery and treachery was well-earned. He was brutal to everyone around him, except her. She couldn't stand his heathen ways and his failure to show compassion and mercy to his enemies. Worst of all, he tricked her into becoming a Dark-Hunter with him and she learned that there was more to their marriage vows than simple words. She hates him to this day and has vowed to never again lay eyes on him. She now runs a law firm and specializes in prenuptial agreements. Assigned to Chicago.
- Samia The last of her Amazon Tribe, she died opposing Rome's oppression. She only has one use for men--target practice (although she is fond of her DH brothers). She also loves to taunt Acheron. Assigned to Detroit.
- Sin- Aka Nana. Once a god, his powers were taken from him by Katra Agrotera, Artemis's and Acheron's daughter. He doesn't hunt Daimons like other Dark-Hunters; He hunts Gallu Demons instead. He has an extreme dislike for Artemis, because he believes she took his power. He falls in love with Katra in 'Devil May Cry', but soon finds out she took his power. He tries to forget her, but soon she is attacked and the only way to save her is to blood-bond himself to her. At the end of 'Devil May Cry', they get back together and it is hinted that Katra now bears Sin's child.
- Spawn- Very little is known about him, only that he the only Apollite to become a Dark-Hunter. He makes a very brief appearance in Zarek's story.
- Talon- A Celt warrior that angered a god, Talon was forced to watch his sister die in an attempt to appease the god, as well as suffer his own death to the same end. Nevertheless, Talon became a Dark-Hunter and spent his days in solitude and torment over his sister's death and his wife's death in childbirth. He has a unique ability to take other's wounds into himself, a form of healing due to the Dark-Hunter's tolerance to wounds. His story is told in Night Embrace.
- Valerius- A Roman Dark-Hunter, he is unusual because Artemis is a Greek goddess. He is also hated by the other Dark-Hunters due to his birthright as a Roman and the prejudice that comes with it. His grandfather murdered Kyrian and Valerius' resemblance to him is torment for the other Dark-Hunter, fueling his hatred. Valerius is also the half brother of Zarek, who likewise hates him for the way he was treated and would torment Valerius when he was a Dark-Hunter and Zarek had the powers of a god. Due to the way he is seen, Valerius adopted a cold and aloof personality as would be befitting his Roman heritage. His story is told in Seize the Night where he falls in love with Tabitha, twin sister to Kyrian's wife Amanda.
- Velkan- Husband of Retta, was born of a king and a witch and magically combined their souls at their marrige not long before he was killed and became a Dark Hunter, bringing her into immortality with him.
- Sundown- American Dark Hunter, once an outlaw.
- Wulf- Wulf is a Viking warrior whose recklessness brought him into contact with Morginne, a powerful Dark-Huntress. She tricked him into trading souls with her, bringing him into Artemis's service while she was freed. He is the only Dark-Hunter who was never granted an Act of Vengeance. In Kiss of the Night, he falls in love with Cassandra, a direct descendant of Apollo.
- Zarek- Once a Roman slave, Zarek became a ferocious and feral Dark-Hunter who spurned all kindness and civil contact. Barely controllable, Artemis long wished for his destruction, and it was only Acheron's intervention that kept that from coming about. He is a half brother to Valerius and mistakenly blames him for many things that he suffered in his past as a slave. His story is told in Dance with the Devil, where Astrid is sent down to judge if Zarek is worth saving. She soon falls in love with him, because she sees who he really is within. Zarek becomes a Demi-God and is fond of throwing lightning bolts at Valerius.They have a small son, Astrid calls Menoceus and Zarek calls Bob.
- Zoe- An Amazon Dark Hunter. She hates men.
- Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Dark Hunter Companion by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon