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Hunting Sorrow
The Curse of Setp n Re Mery Amun
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-625-4
Genre: Supernatural/Horror/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 333 Pages
Published: November 2008

From inside the flap

"The Hunting Sorrow" opens in Cairo, 1992. The unearthing of the tomb of Alexander of Macedonia, who ruled Egypt as Setp n Re Mery Amun, unleashes a terrible curse, taking revenge not only on those who trespassed on this grave, but on all who have stolen from the ancient burial chambers and violated the Egyptian dead through all the years--or their descendants as the worst earthquake in Egyptís modern history destroys the city and all its surroundings.

When the mummified body of Alexander is reborn as a spirit of vengeance bent on wreaking havoc over all the world, it falls upon an investigator for the Supreme Council of Antiquities and a young high school boy to prevent this terror before it truly begins--a plight that will take them first to England, and then America as they follow in the wake of its path of revenge.

Rahibe Rajab is investigating the thefts of numerous ancient artifacts when the tomb of Setp n Mery Amun is violated and the earthquake strikes Cairo. After many years of working among the sands of Egypt, Rahibe has become accustomed to its supernatural aspects, and recognizes the magic behind the recent shuddering of the earth, as the mummy of Alexander awakens. Long years of research has familiarized him with the curse.

Akmad Imandi, barely 15 years old, finds himself suddenly alone when the earthquake kills his entire family. But when he sees a figure chasing him through the ruined city, Akmad as well recognizes its true nature... For he had heard of the tales of the curse of Sept n Mery Amun since he was very little. In fact, his family itself were said to be the keepers of Alexanderís tomb, and its secrets. Finding that the terrible spirit of vengeance and sorrow has been unleashed upon the world can only mean one thing to Akmad---and that is not only were the stories true, but also, someone in his family--most likely his father---had not only told of the secret, but also violated the tomb. Which means Akmad is the last of his line, and is destined to be killed himself, unless he can find a way to stop the mummyís rampage first.

While the spirit of Alexander is hunting down the stolen artifacts from its tomb in order to make itself whole again, Akmad and Rahibe team up, and begin to pursue a away to stop the Sorrow, even as it hunts them. They must travel to England to find the secret to bring the evil down, before it can become complete in its powers.

Reviews and Awards

The Hunting Sorrow by gifted íHORRORí writer Christopher Treagus is a unique horror story using a grotesque mummy and horrifying curse-- An engaging and suspenseful tale rising from the ashes. A story that will hold the reader under a spell from the first page to the lastÖ If you are a reader that is into mummy and curse tales then this is definately the book to read!

--Victoria Taylor Murray (author of ďTheif of HeartsĒ)

"Christopher Treagus effortlessly conjures the horror of ancient legends straight into our modern world. THE HUNTING SORROW is a vast adventure brimming with terror, pursuit and revenge. A pretty imposing stack of prose, but inside is a vast adventure of horror, suspense and vengeance ranging from Egypt to America. Slightly like the new film "The Mummy" if it was set in modern times. In this one, but heís got a great talent for historical horror fiction, able to drag the reader through time and space so that one feels like theyíre actually there. A writer to watch!

The Hunting Sorrow by Christopher Treagus
Review by Danielle Naibert, The Book Reviewer Site If you are a lover of mummy and curse tales, then this is the book for you. Treagus has created a unique story using a grotesque mummy and a horrifying curse that starts on page one and doesnít stop even after you close the book. Treagus totally captured me with his story. He took an old tale, rewrapped it completely and brought the story of the "Mummy" to a new level. I am a lover of the mummy stories, but rarely do I find one that I have found that spreads beyond the original story, so when I received The Hunting Sorrow, I had my fingers crossed hoping that I was going to be taken into a new world, and I was not disappointed. The characters in The Hunting Sorrow are intriguing and highly interesting. Even the "mummy" has an original taste to it--it thinks and is motivated beyond the typical revenge state. Treagusís curse is superior in its content. The settings: the settings are fantastic. I could hear, feel, taste and even smell the high deserts, the tombs and the cities of Egypt through his wonderful descriptions. He created a motion picture in my head that lingered into my dreams and my waken thoughts. I highly believe that this book would make a fantastic movie and would encourage the author to send his book to the entertainment world of Hollywood. (as long as I get tickets to his Hollywood premiere)

I like a book that shows me events as they are unraveling, without point blanking each and every second. Treagus does this with a passion. He is able to create scenes within scenes that leave the reader so into the story that they forget that they are involved with a book and not life. Treagus takes the reader into an adventure of passion, revenge, love, hate and fulfills each conflict with a higher conflict. The ending was a truly wonderful bang, I left wanting so much more and ended up starting the whole book over again.

For a one of a kind mummy story, I would highly recommend purchasing The Hunting Sorrow and get a taste of the creative world of Christopher Treagus.

When Cairo, Egypt is rocked by a monster earthquake, the city is torn asunder... something awakens... and legions of the dead may soon follow if it isnít stopped. In a classic yet very modern update of the mummy legend, this tale of vengeance and evil takes place in 1992, putting an entirely new spin on things. Youíll enjoy this fun and fast-paced novel.
--Jeanne Cocteau, Creature Feature

Two Americans bribe an Egyptian to take them into a burial site in order to steal treasures. They release the vengeful spirit of the mummy, who demands justice for the defiled dead. Once he has killed all the family members of the men who disturbed his rest, his full curse will be fulfilled. All the dead and damned will arise to exact revenge on all of humankind.

Treagus is very good at large set pieces. His descriptions of Egypt, particularly of the aftermath of an earthquake, are splendidly wrought... ...Treagus was only 18 years old when he wrote this book. When you take his age into account, this is a fine effort. The ambition of the novelís scope is very uncommon for so young a writer... I give him an "A" for effort.... I recommend this book to readers with a keen interest in Egyptology.
--Garrett Peck

Hunting Sorrow (Excerpt)

Chapter 1

The Shrine

Three men moved into the ancient mosque at the edge of Cairo. It was far past sunset, in the early summer of 1992 and the evening had turned cold. May nights could be quite chilly in Egypt, even though the day temperatures were known to reach baking beneath the desert sun. Yet, this night in particular, carried an even darker chill.

Following the small dark Egyptian that was their guide, Thomas Dussault and James Rutledge crept through the old temple. No one ever came here much, for the purpose of this particular mosque had long been forgotten by time. Yet the little Egyptian claimed to know the secret of the shrine. The two Americans, still clad in official Army desert fatigues, followed him closely. The shrineís halls were narrow, its ceilings low; Thomas Dussault and James Rutledge barely squeezed in their six foot frames. But the proportions of the inner structure seemed to fit the Egyptian perfectly.

Arman Imandi moved swiftly through the rooms of the shrine; down ancient halls dimly lit by the face of the moon as it shone through the few sparsely placed windows and reflected silver upon the limestone walls of the inner chambers. The two American soldiers didnít know exactly where it was they were going, but they moved on nevertheless. The Egyptian had promised it would be well worth the cost. íA treasure yet to be unearthed.í And they were intending to be the first to find it.

As they walked the halls, the path sloped ever downward in a gradual curve and they realized that the temple was much larger than it had appeared from the outside. It seemed they had been travelling for miles and had yet more miles to go. Only when they had passed through several doorways, and turned several corners before reaching a deep chamber did the Egyptian stop their rapid pace. They had come to a dead-end. A wall inscribed with ancient hieroglyphs blocked their path. Neither of the Americanís could read the dusty scribbling, so it was up to their guide to decipher.

Arman Imandi stood pondering the wall for a moment. Dussault and Rutledge waited, arms folded in the grey darkness that surrounded them. It looked like this was indeed the place where the Egyptian had intended to take them. But why had they stopped here? Was this the barrier to an ancient undiscovered tomb? They wondered. Were the promised riches waiting just behind? Surely there had to be more than just this chamber, both men thought, for this wasnít at all like they had expected. It was hardly worth all the legends of the curse they had been warned about.

Somewhere a wind blew through the passages, howling like the ghost of a long dead banshee; echoing mournful cries of sadness lost between worlds. The Egyptian shivered.

"The spirits of the dead are restless tonight," Arman Imandi said in English laced with a thick Arabian accent, for the old languages were no longer spoken among his people. "I do not think they approve of our presence in the shrine."

"Stop it with that horse shit," grunted Dussault, his voice twanging with the Southern interpretation of American English, the words drawn and lazy-though they didnít quite disguise his own growing anxiety. "All weíve seen is walls. Can we just get on with this? Rutledge and I need to be back in camp before roll call!"

Arman fixed the American with an icy stare, his brown eyes gazing like those of the dead. His jaw tightened, and his fingers curled into clenched fists. If his starving family hadnít needed the money so badly, he would have never offered to bring the two soldiers here. If he didnít need the money so bad, he would have broken the man. Nothing would have pleased Arman more than to crush the fool beneath his clenched fists-both of them, in fact. They had no respect for the ancients-none at all. It was a disgrace. And even worse was the fact that he had been forced so low himself to have actually brought them here.

"I said move!" Dussault commanded. He glared back at the little man to show he was serious, and not about to be intimidated.

Armand Imandi sighed, allowing the hatred and anger to wash out of him. It was no good to get upset. It would only cloud his judgment. Despite his dislike for the Americans, he had a commitment to fulfil. The last thing he wanted to do was back out on their deal. Especially not now that they had come this far.

The wind continued to howl in the distance; spirits beckoning to their lost loves from ages long ago, heard still as echoes in time. It seemed almost as though a bellowing spirit walked the halls, though it could only have been the wind. íStillí thought the Egyptian in the back of his mind, ícould you ever truly be sure of that in a place like this? Who knew what might have awakened over the ages?í But he shrugged away his bad feelings and directed his attention fully to the task at hand.

Dussault and Rutledge were looking at the ancient writings upon the stones; their faces contorted into scowls of confusion. Arman could tell just by watching them that they had only a superficial knowledge of such places. They were hungry for knowledge and wealth, but lacked much of the necessary understanding of the ancient forces with which they were dealing. For their benefit, he thought it best to familiarize them with the legacy to make sure they truly knew what they were about to do. Not to mention making sure that he truly knew as well.

"This has been a secret known to my family only for the last thirty centuries," he spoke slowly, enunciating carefully so that none of his words were missed. For they were all very important, and must be heeded. "It has been passed on from father to son for all the ages since before the fall of the last great Egyptian Dynasty. It is our last family tradition." His eyes searched the soldierís eager faces, hoping to find they understood-but he saw only the greed that lay beneath. They didnít care for this land, this temple, these traditions and ancient religion as did he. Arman doubted he could instil upon them even a vague conception of the knowledge it had taken a lifetime for him to acquire-knowledge that he himself didnít completely understand, or dare he say it, even believe-yet he had to try. It was a family legacy, meant to be revered. But was it true? For the first time, he was about to find out-at the very same moment that he betrayed it. He only wished the Americanís at least had some concept of the importance of it all-but then, this was really no surprise that they wouldnít. He had known when he had first met them what they wanted. They had never made that a secret-it was just that he was finding himself a bit reluctant to actually go through with this. He had to do it. There was really no other choice that he could see, if he wished his family to survive.

"The privacy of the dead, to us, has been a very sacred courtesy. Today, I am breaking that promise made long ago by my forbearing fathers."Arman continued as the wind cried longingly through the passages, seemingly trying to reach them with an outstretched and ghostly hand to prevent what was about to occur. But they were too deep in the belly of the lair. "Once we leave here, I hope you shall continue to honor this sanctity. No one else must ever know this place exists, do you understand, sirs?"

Thomas Dussault and James Rutledge slowly nodded their heads, almost in unison. Arman took a brief moment to gather his thoughts and his strength before translating the text upon the walls. A chill crept up his spine, and his heart beat in his throat. He needed the money, but then, there was the wrath of the legends with which he would have to deal with. Though he had never truly believed in it, the question lingered in his mind: What if?

"According to the custom of the time," he started again at great length. He had to take a moment to reconsider the ancient warnings inscribed upon the wall. His gut told him to take heed, for though he had been here many a time and all his family were well acquainted with these passages and the rumoured secrets kept within, he had never passed this point. And he approached the prospect now with some trepidation.

Arman swallowed hard, then continued.

"There is said to be a curse upon these grounds, in this temple," he said, his voice resounding rather hollow, as though not from him, but the ghost of the tomb itself. He had to swallow again as his throat cracked before he could read from the inscription. "Those who cross the barrier shall suffer generations of ill tidings. To disturb the shrine, the dead and the damned shall walk again. All those who have trespassed upon the hallowed grounds shall beware the hunting sorrow, for it has the strength to wake the dead and to command them at its will ..."

"Címon, man," Dussault growled suddenly. "Youíre not telling me you really believe in those curses and spirits and walking dead and all that hocus-pocus, are ya?" He erupted with a snotty laughter, and his partner chimed in weakly like the smallest of echoes. "Get real, man. This is the 90s!"

Again, Arman employed the icy stare. The Americans were becoming increasingly intolerable. He almost wished there really was a curse now-just so he could inflict it upon these two.

"Sirs," he returned coldly, doing his best to suppress the anger quickly welling up inside. If he didnít know better, he would have sworn the wind increased its haunting cries as if in response to the Americanís mocking laughter. In fact, the whole atmosphere in the passageway seemed to have become frostier, as if the temple itself was developing distaste for the two soldiers.

"My people consider curses to be serious matters-not something to be joked about." Armanís voice was as firm as he knew how to make it. "And no, I do not believe the ídead will rise,í or even can rise. I donít believe in the wrath of a vengeful spirit, if that is what you mean." He took a breath, secretly wishing he was as confident as he sounded. "But there are reasons, gentlemen, for why the curses were written in the legends and tombs of the ancients in the first place. This is in hope that it will scare off those who would raid the tombs, or those who do not respect the rights of the dead as they should. Those curses, friends, are more than mere words, and should not be taken lightly.

"What you believe about them is not my concern. But at least respect the words of the ancients."

Once finished, and having sensed heíd pushed the Americansí growing hostility and impatience as far as he could, Arman turned about to face the wall again. The sooner this was done with now, the better, he thought and began to read from the text once more.

"The ancient language here tells the secret to entering the chamber," he spoke aloud as he groped about in the darkness. In a moment, he found a stone slightly looser than the others, and pushed it inward. Part of the wall slid ajar-releasing a cloud of dust and smoke. The three men coughed in the haze, clearing the dust from their bodies as much as they could with their hands. Once settled, they found themselves staring into a chamber beyond the door--engulfed nearly completely in blackness. A strange breeze seemed to emanate from within, freezing them with its chill. Dussault and James Rutledge took a step back without quite realizing it.

"Shall we proceed?" The Egyptian offered, gesturing widely with his left hand and a courteous little bow. He tried to keep the corners of his mouth from twitching as he catalogued the apprehension evident upon the soldiersí faces. If indeed something was waiting for them in there, he thought, they deserved what they got.


"Did you bring a light?" asked the Egyptian as they stood at the threshold to the inner chamber. The barrier was about to be passed-the sacred crypt violated. Once they stepped beyond this door, the damage would be done and it would be too late to ever turn back. He shivered at the thought.

Thomas Dussault did not speak, but removed two flashlights from his belt. One he handed to the Egyptian, the other he kept for himself. They switched the bulbs on, casting the beams into the darkness. James Rutledge followed suit, flashing his own light beyond the door.

Gathering courage, they stepped into the chamber and found themselves in another long passageway. It was even narrower than the previous hall. Only one man fit in its width, and even Arman, the smallest among them, had to duck to make his way through. James found himself wondering if this hall was meant for people at all as they moved forward; their torches casting beams of artificial light into the darkness before them. There was no deviation this time. No markings on the wall. No limestone to reflect silver in the light. Just old, dusty, cobweb covered sandstone bricks. Just the same as any other ancient temple of the time. As they walked ever steadily onward, he began to wonder if they werenít being led astray. Already they had gone through enough of a maze to confuse any but the most wary. If he wanted to, the Egyptian could most likely leave them stranded at any point. With such thoughts, James made up his mind to watch their guide very closely from then on.

What they all noticed was the emanating stench. There was a rank smell in the hall; a mixture of cobwebs, dust, and ancient filth. It was almost like the scent of decay, thought James-yet he didnít know how this could be possible. Nothing once living should have been in this part of the temple. It was just the passage toward the crypt. Even then, any bodies would have surely been embalmed and thus preserved against that kind of rot. Or at least he figured, though he had to admit he didnít know much about such things-only what he had heard in movies and books, and that was superficial by nature. Still, the air was thick. James couldnít deny that. It had been shut up so long from the outside world there was barely any oxygen remaining. Though they could breathe all right for the time being, he was well aware that they really had no idea how long this would last. For all they knew, the air supply could run out anywhere between fifteen minutes, to three hours. He didnít like the odds.

A rat scuttled across their path just then, and James bathed it in his light as it scampered against the wall. It was a rather large thing, with thick black greasy fur and startling large teeth for its size. Its black eyes reflected silver-even though they were stone blind. James quickly moved his light away; an uneasy feeling beginning to twist in his stomach.

God!" He gasped aloud. "That was the biggest rat Iíve ever seen!"

"Oh, thereíre plenty of those in here. You should be on the watch, they bite," said Arman Imandi in a mischievous voice from somewhere distant. Dussault chuckled softly. James forced a lump down his throat. The thought of those things crawling about at his feet was quite unpleasant. Even though he wore sturdy combat boots, he carefully walked so as not to risk a bite. Who knew what kind of diseases those little beasts might carry?

Through the dark corridor, the three moved on-James Rutledge continually watching for the rats that scurried along the way. There were quite a few of them, he discovered much to his discontent-but at least they were ignoring him, just as he was them.

Up ahead, Arman Imandi swung his light back and forth, illuminating the narrow passage before them. The shadows danced all about as they moved, rising and falling in the glow. It gave the cavern the feeling as if more than just the three were inside. In fact, as the wind groaned behind-just barely audible now that they were so deep in the secret passageways of the tomb-Rutledge began to feel as though pursued by someone or something. He was in back of the party, and the creeping sensation on his flesh suggested that someone may be following unnoticed. He couldnít help but pull his arms a little closer to his chest as the muscles of his back tensed up.

But this was crazy, wasnít it? He scolded himself. Who would be following them? No one had seen them enter by cover of night, and everyone else in this tomb would surely have been dead long ago. Wouldnít they?

Despite these facts, on occasion James dared to look back-but only shadows and darkness followed them. Casting his light in that direction just to be sure, the beam reflected only upon the blind, beady silver eyes of the rats, searching endlessly in the dust for food. Only once did he think he saw something else, but then it was gone; as if it had been a shadow itself that was following them. Nothing to be concerned about.

Rutledge noticed the rats accumulating more and more as though organizing an army. What did they live on in this barren hallway? What in here could possibly fatten them up so much? There couldnít be any fresh food. Other than the rats themselves, James was sure only the dead inhabited these halls.

These thoughts brought an even colder chill shivering through his body. It didnít matter, he told himself. They would be out of here soon anyway, and he wouldnít have to think about it ever again. Let the rats have their domain.

As they moved deeper into the tunnel, the passage continued to narrow. Rutledge began to wonder if it would not be soon closing in upon them, leaving them all trapped. The Egyptian travelled forward at a swift pace, wanting to get this all over with. Of course he was smaller, but still-if the walls closed in any further, he, too, risked the possibility of becoming stuck.

After going a little farther, Arman Imandi stopped. The Egyptian crouched down before a black barrier. Their flashlight beams rested on a painted wall. At the bottom, there was an opening. Yet something seemed to be trapped in it. Something that the Egyptian was now trying to remove.

Just what could it be? James Rutledge wondered with some trepidation, not sure he actually wanted to know.

When Thomas Dussault shined his light upon the object, however, James was able to see that it was a rather large bundle of old, raggedy clothes. And something dark was moving upon it-or in it, rather. The Egyptian recoiled, moving his hand away in sudden surprise. A trickle of blood ran along the skin. James turned his own light toward the bundle, and noticed it was covered with rats. They were crawling everywhere, moving hungrily over its surface. The one that had bitten Arman stared blindly at the light, as if trying to figure out what it was. A bit of fresh flesh dangled from its mouth.

Dussault moved forward, eclipsing Rutledgeís light. He kicked at the rat, and it scampered away. His boot clipped the bundle and it tumbled from the shaft. When James re-focused his light upon it, he realized with a shiver that it was not a bundle at all-but an old, rotting body. The rats crawling over it were feeding as best they could on its corroded flesh and what was left of the muscle-the soft, interior organs apparently having long been devoured. And James now had his answer. This was what had kept them so plump.

With the release of the body from the smaller passageway, the odour of death rose to their senses, and Rutledge felt sick. Yet he didnít dare step away from the party now-not with those rats lurking about at the edges of the shadows, eagerly awaiting a fresh meal.

"My God, who is he?" exclaimed Dussault, as he stared down at the skull of the gnawed body, now lolled back on the stick of its neck. The eyes had long since eroded, but the blank sockets stared into darkness. Amazingly enough, upon bathing the skeleton with all three lights, they found there were still a few clumps of flesh and hair clinging to the yellow of the bone. Otherwise, its surface had been nearly completely licked clean by the rats.

"Who knows who this poor soul was," Arman said in response to the Americanís question, though it was so low under his breath that it almost seemed he was talking to himself. "Certainly the gods have not been generous with his remains. He was probably attempting to raid the tomb."

"Well I suppose youíre going to tell me this is the result of some kind of curse now, eh?" Dussault sneered as he moved his light over the corpse. "But you can save your breath. Itíll take more than just one dead body to scare me off. This donít prove nothiní."

"No, sir, of course not." replied the Egyptian, a smile trembling slightly upon his lips. "This is not the result of the curse. He just got stuck in a hole!"

James found his own lips cracking upward, but Dussault was not so amused.

"Letís just get on with this," he growled. "Where do we go from here?"

"Why, through the hole, of course," Arman said, casting his light upon the little tunnel at the bottom of the wall. Inside, the two Americans could see a few of the smaller blind rats crawling about; searching haplessly for their lost feast. "That is the only passage to the burial chamber."

"Through there?" Rutledge exclaimed, nearly choking as he swallowed his heart again. He stared wide-eyed at the hole. "But if that guy got stuck, what will happen to us? How the hell will we make it through?" he gulped. "Besides, there are rats in there!"

"Are you afraid of a few mere rodents, Mr. Soldier?" the Egyptian asked, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. It was clear that he was enjoying this. Rutledge shook his head awkwardly, forcing the welling fear back down to the bottomless abyss of his stomach. If he had been safely at home, he would have been fine. But the idea of crawling through a cramped tunnel with the little critters right in front of his face made the difference. That was what he was afraid of.

"Heís not afraid, and neither am I," Dussault jumped in quickly. "Listen, itís getting late. If weíre going to get through with this before dawn, we have to get moving. If we come out of this place in the morniní when everyone can see us, thatís not going to really do any of us a lot of good, now is it?" There were no objections from the others, so with that decided, he considered the tunnel entrance. "Are you sure we can fit through here, without getting stuck like he did?" He pointed to the corpse.

"I am certain of it," was Arman Imandiís reply-though neither soldier particularly believed him. "My family has known the secrets to this temple for ages," he added. Still, Rutledge was sceptical.

"Maybe you would fit," he said. "But we are somewhat larger than you are. Itís still possible that we would get stuck. "

"True," the Egyptian agreed.

"Then how can you be sure we wonít?" James wanted to know.

"I cannot," was the response heíd been hoping not to hear. Armanís dark eyes stared from one, then to the other of the soldiers. "It is a risk. If you want to go through with this, I will not stop you. But keep in mind, it is just as much a risk for me, as it is for you. If either of you get stuck, I have no other exit out of this place. It is very likely that we all could be doomed!"

James Rutledge and Thomas Dussault thought about this for a moment, while Arman stood patiently by.

"Weíll do it," Thomas Dussault announced after a moment. The Egyptian bowed his head slightly, and Rutledge began to feel a bit queasy in his stomach again. Just those words aloud made him feel light-headed. He could hardly believe they were actually going to go through with it. For it could easily mean their deaths.

Dussault and Arman knelt down beside the ancient body, then pushed it completely out of the way-being somewhat watchful for the rodents so that neither were bitten again. Once the corpse was moved to the side of the narrow hallway, discarded into the darkness of the shadows, the American flashed his light into the cramped tunnel to flush out the rats. Upon being bathed in the beam, they instantly scuttled away farther down into the hole.

With all this taken care of, the three prepared to enter the hole. Arman went first, knowing the path. Dussault squeezed in next, leaving James to again trail behind; a position he didnít care for at all-for he still hadnít overcome the feeling that they were being followed. If it was indeed true, he didnít want to be the one to find out. As the wind continued to howl through distant passageways, he shivered and followed swiftly behind the others.