The Book of Lophael is a religious text that serves as the foundation for Phaelism. Believed to have been written by Lophael, the first records of its existence date to roughly 2 Reformed, when scribes in Vorell and Enrelisha independently mention studying the text. While there is no agreed-upon means for the books to have been distributed, the Enrelisha claim that it was found at the feet of the statue of Hadral when it appeared.
The text is split into three unequal major parts. The first is a biography of Lophael himself, with a heavy focus on the period in his 20s and 30s in which he was hunting Wandering across Khadaka. This section includes some of the most detailed observations on pre-Phaelist religious practices around the Hasberan, especially in terms of the monotheistic cults focused on gods later incorporated into the Phaelist pantheon. This section of the book is also useful for historians, as he accurately describes the geography and the civilizations he interacted with during his travels.
The second act of the book is split into two sections, each of which consists of him asking a question and receiving an answer. At the end of his travels, Lophael records being taken by Raeshi to encounter the gods, where he is given the chance to ask any two questions and receive a full and honest answer to each. He addresses both his questions to Denbora, the god of time, and asks how all things came to be and then how they will end. The second part of the Book of Lophael, then, serves as a creation narrative and a study on the relationships between the gods; the third and final part is an apocalyptic vision on the end of the world in which the dead across history rise and engage in one last massive battle to end the war between the gods and mankind and among the gods themselves.
While all branches of Phaelism believe that Lophael accurately recorded the information he was given, there are varying views on how to read the result. The most common debate is actually specific to Reformed Phaelism, which teaches that, according to the Epic of Hadral, the Trickster was granted access to the book before it was made available to the public. This has raised a number of questions about whether or not any of the text was altered before the book was delivered to the masses. While some point out that the Trickster promised that the world would be able to read the book after him, and that this implies they would be able to read the book as it actually was, others refuse to trust the Trickster that much and debate about what he may have changed, and why. Most reformed theologians hold that, if the Trickster changed anything, it would have been the final section on future events, ensuring that only he knew what was coming. Neophaelism, however, holds that all or most of the book may have been changed, and insists on viewing the book as largely, if not entirely, allegorical or outright misleading.
In Fatebound Edit
In the Fatebound webcomic, Excerpts from the Book of Lophael is a brief lore series. The first occurs during the Epic of Hadral, in which Lophael explains the Forsaken to Elyse and Hadral. These excerpts are heavily abridged and serve to simply inform the readers of in-world information relevant to the larger story. There have been no plans announced to fully explore the book.