|“||Akhenaton's curse runs in my family. Kind of a genetic disease. Not every generation, not every person, but when it strikes, it's bad.||”|
As punishment for attempting to outlaw worship of the Egyptian gods in favor of the sun disk Aten, Akhenaton's descendants were cursed by priests of Amun-Ra. The pharaoh's own son, Tutankhamen, was the first to die from the curse at the age of nineteen.
While not every individual of Akhenaton's bloodline suffered from the curse, those who did died around the ages of twelve or thirteen. Walt Stone's father lived to eighteen before succumbing to the curse. Walt himself died at sixteen but was resurrected as the permanent host of the god Anubis. Hosting Anubis was able to heal Walt of the curse's effects and keep him alive, but if Anubis ever leaves Walt, the curse will return and kill him once again.
Through the book, the curse's effects on Walt grow more severe and he admits to Carter that he will die of the curse soon but has been working on a possible solution with the god of the dead, Anubis. However, Walt is reluctant to take this option until he talks to Sadie about it and tries a few times to tell her, but gets interrupted. At the end of the Quest for Bes' Sheut, the curse consumes Walt, killing him after he uses the last of his strength to bind Bes' sheut to a shabti so that Sadie can save Bes. Moments after dying, Walt is unexpectedly resurrected, having implemented his and Anubis' plan which was for Walt to become Anubis' permanent host. With Walt as Anubis' host, he is now shielded from the curse's effects with the downside that if Anubis ever leaves him, Walt will die once again from the curse. However, Anubis and Walt had come to the agreement for Walt to permanently host the god so that they could both be with Sadie whom they loved.
Known victims of Akhenaton's curse
- Modern doctors believe the curse to be related to sickle cell anemia, though they still haven't identified the exact cause to be the curse itself.