Li-Wan’s Revenge: A Ghost Story

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Exorcism frontispiece(Originally written October 2011.)

Halloween is coming, so here’s a ghost story for you.

Actually, there’s a bit more to it than that.  See, I’m starting work on a book of folklore called Sa’adani Tales, a collection of folk tales from the Sa’adani Empire. This pastiche of origin stories, myth, fairy tales and more will give readers a unique feel for the culture and common sensibilities in the Empire and its birth-world, Àstareth. (If you’ve read my blog for a while, you may have noticed I have an ongoing fascination with folklore.  See Related Posts below for some discussions in this vein.)

Not incidentally, both Empire and Àstareth are rpg settings too (sf and fantasy, respectively), and the stories I’ve written previously actually came out of rpg encounters and gaming needs. You can read more about that in this post, which talks about the larger Sa’adani Tales book project. You’ll be hearing more about this from me in the coming weeks and month, I’m sure.

ANYway (as PeeWee used to say), I was going through my short stories lately and noticed a particular one that is not just folklore but also a ghost story. Since Halloween’s right around the corner, I thought this would be a  great time to share this with you. The story of Li-Wan’s Revenge also appears in Dragonsword, so if you’ve read my free fantasy novel, you may recognize it – but I guarantee the illustrations will be new to you. It’s worth downloading the story just to see Emily Vitori’s handiwork in illustrating the tale1.  (Hey, I think all folklore should be illustrated. It makes the story come so much more alive – especially when we’re talking about alien or foreign cultures.) If you have a black and white screen on your ereader, you might like to take a look at the color .pdf to get the full effect. Thanks for your great work with this story, Em!

If you’ve never met Li-Wan before, all the better. I hope you enjoy this ghost story and the little taste it gives you of the Sa’adani Tales book. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below. Thanks, and Happy Halloween!

UPDATE: As it turned out, for various reasons I did not, after all, include this story in the Sa’adani Tales book, but you can still read it here for free at the download links below. (And you can check out Sa’adani Tales here.)

Download Links for Li-Wan’s Revenge







1. Emily illustrated the pictures of people in the story. The peony flower is a detail from the 1861 work “Peony Branch” by Chosui Yabu.

 Originally posted 19 October 2011 06:43

Related Posts

Sa’adani Tales: Folklore in Short Stories

 The Fae: Fairy Folk, or the Sidhe By Any Other Name

Fairy Tales, Symbols, and Readers’ Expectations

The Disneyfication of Children’s Media

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It was a pleasure working with you! Love the story!

Thanks, Em! The story would not be the same without your contribution. 🙂

[…] continue, here’s a Halloween ghost story for you, beautifully illustrated by Emily Vitori.  (Click here to go to the original post with download links.) For the connection to world building, read […]

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