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Aki (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness)

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Aki is a minor character in Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series (which takes place 6000 years ago in prehistoric Europe during the Stone Age). He makes his major appearance in Outcast, serving as a minor antagonist.

History

Aki is the son of the Boar Clan's chief, several years older than Torak. He's mentioned in Wolf Brother, but he doesn't appear until Outcast.

In the book's beginning he challenges Torak, accusing him of stealing red deer antlers he had discovered and marked as his discovery (Seshru had destroyed the mark previously). He still insists on fighting even as Torak is ready to give up the antlers. Not wanting to reveal the Soul Eaters' mark forcefully tattooed on him in Soul Eater, Torak escapes Aki and his friends, accidentally pouring hot pine pitch on Aki. Furious, Aki catches up on him later and during their fight he ends up accidentally discovering Torak's Soul Eater tattoo. He runs off to reveal his discovery. It leads to Torak being exiled from the Clans as an outcast who has to be killed on sight.

Aki readies himself to hunt down and kill Torak, swearing it to his father. He sets out immediately with his friends and dogs after Torak's respite is over. He's forced to cease the hunt as the clan meeting draws near.

During the clan meeting, a month after Torak's banishment, his (or Seshru's) position is given out by Saeunn. Aki is ready to continue the hunt. He paddles among rivers towards north where Torak is also heading. He's soon alone as his friends give up and turn back. Eventually Aki catches up on Torak and they end up fighting in his dugout as the stream takes it towards falls. Torak kicks the dugout and Aki over the falls. Aki hits himself on a boulder and Torak leaves him, not caring if Aki is alive or not due to his soul-sickness. Aki crawls into the shore's thicket and the Wolf Clan finds him barely alive several days later. He survives with a broken right arm and tries in vain to convince his entire clan to chase Torak.

Two months after Torak's banishment, the Raven, Boar and Wolf Clans have come to Lake Axehead to hunt Torak. After Torak warns Fin-Kedinn of the incoming flood and the Raven Clan Chief sends him towards the safety of hills, Aki finds Torak again and tries to kill him. As he tries to pull his ax from a tree and Torak climbs in another tree as the flood comes closer. Coming to his senses, Aki abandons the ax and tries to climb, but can't do that because of his broken arm. Torak jumps down and helps Aki (who's speechless out of shock) to the tree. Aki tries to reach his hand for Torak in vain and Torak is washed away.

Torak wakes up on the hills, surrounded by the Clans who still want to kill him, led by Aki's father. Aki actually stands up to his father, saying that killing Torak isn't fair after the outcast saved his life. He's joined in by Renn, Bale and Fin-Kedinn. After Seshru has been killed and Torak is accepted back to the Clans, it's noted that Aki has gained new self-respect and become more relaxed and kinder.

In Ghost Hunter, Aki is one of the victims of Eostra's shadow sickness. It's never revealed if he survives the sickness of not.

Appearance

Aki has a brown shoulder-length hair with bangs, a fluffy beard and a heavy build. He wears a stiff pelt cape and a fang necklace. After Torak pours pine pitch on him, he's forced to shorten his hair so that it resembles a boar's mane.

Personality

Aki is described to be a bully similar to Hord: unsure of his leadership position and always eager to prove his position with fists. His father, the Boar Clan Chief, is a harsh man and Aki is afraid to fail his expectations. While he taunts Torak, he doesn't hunt him so much out of hatred but because of his oath to his father and the fear of failure. However, after defending Torak against his father, Aki becomes much more relaxed with new self-respect.

Powers and abilities

Aki is an experienced hunter, paddler and fighter, favoring axes (including throwing ones). He can also use a bow and a spear.

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