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Rise of the Blade

Rise of the Blade is a fantasy novel written by Charles Moffat in Winter 1997/1998 and was meant for the Harpers Series of Forgotten Realms. It was originally intended to be the middle book of a trilogy of 3 books, with a prequel and a sequel to follow.

The first book tells of the various adventures of Pierce O'Hiram and Marque Draque, including fighting the Tarrasque and Pierce becoming a slave gladiator in the jungles of Chult. The second book, "Rise of the Blade", concerns Pierce's retirement from the Harpers and being called back to duty to help deal with a warrior who was trapped in stone and once released goes on a killing rampage. The third book would have continued the story of the drow bard Valeska Ko'Ragur.

However all of this became moot when TSR, the owners of the Forgotten Realms setting and the Harpers series, was bought by rival company Wizards of the Coast. The Harpers series was cancelled around the same time and the book "Rise of the Blade" was never published.

During the mid-2000s Moffat made HTML copies of "Rise of the Blade" chapters available online, which resulted in free bootleg copies of the novel circulating the internet. He has since decided this act of making the book available for free was a mistake, as the copies he made available were unfinished and rife with spelling errors, grammatical errors and other problems. In his own words "the book is an abomination".

Wizards of the Coast contacted Charles Moffat in 2011, but there has been no agreement with respect to the publishing of "Rise of the Blade" and thus the novel remains in publishing limbo. Moffat has made zero effort to get the book published in any format since then and has expressed his desire to have the unauthorized versions removed from the internet entirely.

The cover art for the unauthorized version was painted in 1917 by American illustrator Frank Schoonover (1877 - 1972). Schoonover painted art for fantasy / pulp classics of the early 20th century. Thanks to its age the image has surpassed the age requirements of becoming public domain.

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