(A lot of this material is an extrapolation of the Tolkien canon, don’t get your beards in a twist please)
A Short Guide to Magic, Spirits and the Valar
Aetur: (S. Magic, also Power or Essence) That fluid portion of the substance of Ea (the universe) subject to the direct manipulation of the will. Generated by all “spirits” whether Ainur (Holy Spirits) or Incarnates such as Elves, Dwarves and Men. Magical workers of the Essence utilizes the power that exists in everything and everyone in Middle Earth. It represents a force and order which defines or helps define the World. It has its source in The Song (Ainulindale) which created Arda (the World) and the order of things. A magician taps this power, molds it, and diverts it into spells.
Ainulindale: (Q. Music of the Ainur) The first book in the Eldar cycle concerning the origin and history of Arda (the world). It is the story of the creation of Eä (the world and the heavens) according to the lore of the Eldar (Elves). Some refer to the work as “The Great Music or Great Song”, referring to the Music born from Eru’s (God’s) word and conceived by the choirs of the Ainur (Holy Spirits), the song that spawned existence.
Ainur: (Q. Holy Spirits, sing. Ainu) The divine servants of Eru, spirits, born of Eru’s thought. The Valar and the Maiar are Ainur who reside in Arda (the World). Though formless they have gender and can assume corporal form by taking up a Fana (physical body). Most exist in the Timeless halls outside Eä. Also called The Singers.
Eä: (Existence) Eä is all that is, the whole of Eru's Creation and includes Arda and Heaven (Menel). Born out of the Great Music (Ainulindalë) that defined the divine order of existence, it remains bound by the patterns (Essence) of the Song. Outside of Eä are the Timeless Halls of Eru (The One) most Ainur (Holy Spirits) and the Void (Nothingness).
Eru: (S. The One or He that is Alone; Q. Ilúvatar) The creator of Eä and all things within and without. In the beginning Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Ilúvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before him. In this Music the World was begun; for Ilúvatar made visible the song of the Ainur, and they beheld it as a light in the darkness. And many among them became enamoured of its beauty, and of its history which they saw beginning and unfolding as in a vision. Therefore Ilúvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eä.
Faerie: (W. Faerie, Fay) Lesser immortal spirits, ancient ones are lesser Maiar. Most magical creatures on middle earth are Fay. Many are creatures of legend like the Giant Eagles and the Ents. Some say Morgoth created foul versions to spite them such as Dragons and Trolls.
Maiar: (Q. sing. Maia) The lesser Ainur who entered Eä as servants of the Valar. They are also known as the People of the Valar, the Servants of Valinor, and the Servants of the Guardians. The ignorant (notably among Men) call them "Lesser Gods." Sauron was a fallen Maiar.
Sauron: The Dark Lord, A lesser Ainur or Maiar. He inherited the forces of evil Morgoth his master had controlled. He warred against the Free Peoples and deceived them many times till his destruction in Mordor at he end of the Second Age. But somehow he returned in the Third Age, and now threatens a war to destory the Free Peoples of Middle Earth.
Valar: (Q. sing. Vala; S. Belain; S. sing. Balan) The greater of the Ainur who entered Eä as guardians and executors of Eru's vision. There were originally fifteen Valar; however Melkor (Morgoth) fell from grace, leaving seven male and seven female Valar. Melkor's name was never again spoken by the Exalted and he was counted as the greatest of the Great Enemies, Morgoth. The Valar are also known as the Mighty, the Exalted, the Great Ones, the Lords of Arda, the Guardians, the Lords of Valinor, the Lords of the West, and (by the ignorant) the Gods. They are:
Aulë: The Smith. Lord of Crafts. Master of the Earth. Maker of Dwarves. Husband of Yavanna. Association: Earth; inanimate earth, crafting, materiality. Colour brown. His lordship is over all the solid earth of which Arda is made. In the beginning he wrought much in fellowship with Manwë and Ulmo; and the fashioning of all lands was his labour. He is a smith and a master of all crafts, and he delights in works of skill, however small, as much as in the mighty building of creation. His are the gems that lie deep in the Earth and the gold that is fair in the hand, no less than the walls of the mountains and the basins of the sea. The Noldor learned much from him, and he was ever their friend. He helped to build the island Andor (Land of the Gift) for the Edain to live on, it was called Númenórë in the High Eldarin tongue. Melkor (Morgoth) was jealous of him, for Aulë was most like himself in thought and in powers; and there was long strife between them, in which Melkor ever marred or undid the works of Aulë, and Aulë grew weary in repairing the tumults and disorders of Melkor. Both, also, desired to make things of their own that should be new and unthought-of by others, and delighted in the praise of their skill. But Aulë remained faithful to Eru and submitted all that he did to his will; and he did not envy the works of others, but sought and gave counsel. Whereas Melkor spent his spirit in envy and hate, until at last he could make nothing save in mockery of the thought of others, and all their works he destroyed if he could.
Este: The Healer. Mistress of the Fountains of Renewal. The Gentle. Wife of Irmo. Association: Renewal; healing, rest, peace. Colour grey. Healer of hurts and of weariness. She brings healing and rejuvenation to all, for by her mild and soothing touch all wounds fade and all sorrows are lifted. She walks not by day, but sleeps upon an island in the tree-shadowed lake of Lórellin in Aman. From the fountains of Irmo and Estë all those who dwell in Valinor draw refreshment; and often the Valar come themselves and find repose and easing of the burden of Guardianship of Arda.
Irmo: Dream Master. Lord of Visions. Spirit Master. Desirer. Master of the Fountain of Renewal. Husband of Este and younger brother of Namo and Nienna. Association: Spirits; dreams, desires, emotions, love, visions and peace. Colour deep blue. In Lórellin are his gardens in the land of the Valar, and they are the fairest of all places in the world, filled with many spirits. He does not work in the open, his power is unseen and his influence is subtle even to the Wise. Seek not Irmo in scenes of strife, or woe where conflict or physical power prevails. For he sends hope to men when the dark that Morgoth begat covers the earth. Seek him in Inspiration, in Desire, in Hope, and in the heart of the slumbering Hero before his day of great deeds.
Manwë: King of the Valar. Lord of the Breath of Arda. Husband of Varda, brother of Melkor. Association: Air; sky, wind, weather, empathy, wisdom. Colour blue. He was appointed to be, in the fullness of time, the first of all Kings: lord of the realm of Arda and ruler of all that dwell therein. He best understands the mind of Eru and is noble and wise. In Arda his delight is in the winds and the clouds, and in all the regions of the air, from the heights to the depths, from the utmost borders of the Veil of Arda to the breezes that blow in the grass. All swift birds, strong of wing, he loves, and they come and go at his bidding.
Melkor: (named Morgoth after his fall) The Mighty. The Unmaker. He who Arises in Might. Brother of Manwë. Later known as The Great Enemy, The Black Enemy. The Nameless. Association: Fire; heat, crafts, materiality, earth, now also cold/night/darkness. Colour now very dark red or black. The greatest of the Ainur, but even in the beginning he was not King, for he was never close enough to Eru’s thought. He shared power with the less powerful but more disciplined Manwë. He wanted to create his own theme, his own version of existence within The Song of Creation. This was the origin of Evil. He established a Lordship over Middle-Earth during the First Age and was only overthrown in a cataclysmic battle which sunk much of northern Middle-Earth and altered the World. Sauron, his chief Captain in the army of Darkness survived the Apocalypse. Melkor is the main source of Evil magic, he corrupted Arda (the world) with Morifaire (Q. Dark Essence), this Taint or Shadow (Q. Mordo) is the dark cultists source of power in Arda.
Namo: Spirit Master. Keeper of the Dead. Doomsmaster. Lord of the Halls of Awaiting. Husband of Vaire, older brother of Nienna and Irmo. Association: Spirits; death, passing. Colour black. Námo the elder dwells in Mandos, which is westward in Valinor. He is the keeper of the Houses of the Dead, and the summoner of the spirits of the slain. He forgets nothing; and he knows all things that shall be, save only those that lie still in the freedom of Ilúvatar (God). He is the Doomsman of the Valar, the pronouncer of doom and judgement.
Nessa: Mistress of Celebration. Dancer. Wife of Tulkas and younger sister of Orome. Association: Joy; celebration, happiness. Colour orange. Dancing is her specialty, bringing joy to all. Dancing has religious significance; connected with power somewhat as singing is, although more as a gift of joy and an expression of happiness. Lithe and fleet footed, she runs with the deer she loves, and they follow her train wherever she goes in the wild; but she can outrun them, swift as an arrow with the wind in her hair. In dancing she delights, and she dances in Valimar on lawns of never-fading green.
Nienna: The Weeper. The Loner. The Sufferer. Sister of older brother Namo and younger brother Irmo. Association: Conscience; grief, pity, suffering, healing after grief. Colour red. She dwells alone. She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring by Melkor. So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began. But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. Her halls are west of Aman, upon the borders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom. The windows of her house look outward from the walls of the world.
Oromë: The Huntsman. Tamer of Beasts. Master of the Wild. Forest Lord. Horn Sounder. Husband of Vana and older brother of Nessa. Association: Nature; beasts, the wilds, forests. Colour silver. Oromë is a mighty lord. If he is less strong than Tulkas, he is more dreadful in anger. Oromë loved the lands of Middle-earth, and he left them unwillingly and came last to Valinor; and often of old he passed back east over the mountains and returned with his host to the hills and the plains. He is a hunter of monsters and fell beasts, and he delights in horses and in hounds; and all trees he loves. Nahar is the name of his horse, white in the sun, and shining silver at night. The Valaróma is the name of his great horn, the sound of which is like the rising of the Sun in scarlet, or sheer lightning cleaving the clouds. Above all the horns of his host it was heard in the woods that Yavanna brought forth in Valinor; for there Oromë would train his folk and his beasts for the pursuit of the evil creatures of Melkor.
Tulkas: Champion of the Valar. The Valiant. Husband of Nessa. Association: Valor; friendship, loyalty, laughter, hardiness, delight. Colour red-gold. Greatest in strength and deeds of prowess is Tulkas. Tulkas laughs ever, in sport or in war, and even in the face of Melkor (Morgoth) he laughed in battles before the Elves were born. He came last to Arda, to aid the Valar in the first battles with Melkor. He delights in wrestling and in contests of strength; and rides no steed, for he can outrun all things that go on feet, and he is tireless. His hair and beard are golden, and his flesh ruddy; his weapons are his hands. He has little heed for either the past or the future, and is of no avail as a counsellor, but is a hardy friend.
Ulmo: King of the Sea. Lord of Waters. Spirit of the Veins of the Earth. Association: Water; sea, rain, springs, lakes. Colour: sea green. He is alone. He dwells nowhere long, but moves, as he will in all the deep waters about the Earth or under the Earth. He is next in might to Manwë, and before Valinor was made he was closest to him in friendship; but thereafter he went seldom to the councils of the Valar, unless great matters were in debate. For he kept all Arda in thought, and he has no need of any resting-place. At times he will come unseen to the shores of Middle-earth, or pass far inland up firths of the sea, and there make music upon his great horns, the Ulumúri, that are wrought of white shell; and those to whom that music comes, hear it ever after in their hearts, and longing for the sea never leaves them again. But mostly Ulmo speaks to those who dwell in Middle-earth with voices that are heard only as the music of water. For all seas, lakes, rivers, fountains and springs are in his government; so that the Elves say that the spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world.
Vaire: The Weaver. Mistress of the Loom of fate. Wife of Namo. Association: Time; fate, tales and memory. Colour purple. In the Place of Souls she weaves all things that have ever been in Time into her storied webs, and the halls of Mandos that ever widen as the ages pass are clothed with them. Namo uses her chronicle to judge the doom of spirits. Quiet and serious her patience is boundless.
Vana: The Ever Young. Mistress of Flowers and Song. Wife of Oromë and younger sister of Yavanna. Association: Youth; birth, renewal, fire, the wilds, flowers and song. Colour spring green. Utterly youthful and untamed, she was the embodiment of the Spring of Life. Her fiery nature and passionate songs stir hearts to kindle memories of their younger years. All flowers spring as she passes and open if she glances upon them; all birds sing at her coming.
Varda: Queen of the Valar, wife of Manwë. The Star-kindler. Queen of Light. Association: Light; stars, the sun and moon, vision, hearing and insight. Colour white. Compassionate and wise she is as bright as the light she embodies. She is the epitome of noble strength and beauty. Her strong and active support of Elves and Men is well known. Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy. Of all the Great Ones who dwell in this world the Elves hold Varda most in reverence and love. Elbereth they name her, and they call upon her name out of the shadows of Middle-earth, and uplift it in song at the rising of the stars.
Yavanna: Mistress of the Earth. Giver of Fruits. Keeper of Plants. Wife of Aule and older sister of Vana. Association: Earth; animate earth, plants and agriculture. She is the lover of all things that grow in the earth, and all their countless forms she holds in her mind, from the trees like towers in forests long ago to the moss upon stones or the small and secret things in the mould. In reverence Yavanna is next to Varda among the Queens of the Valar. In the form of a woman she is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves. Kementári, Queen of the Earth, she is surnamed in the Eldarin tongue.
A Short Guide to Languages
Adunaic (Ad): Dunedain, Black Numenoreans, Corsairs.
“Black Speech”: (S. Morbeth) Some Orcs and Trolls mostly Dark priests
Duneal (Dn.): Dunlendings
Eothrick: Eothraim who become Rohirrim
“Hillman” (Hi): Hillman, a Dunnish dialect
Khuzdul (Kh.): Dwarves
Logathig: Dorwindrim, Easterlings
Nahaiduk: Woodman and Beornings
Quenya (Q.): Noldo
Sindarin (S.): Sindar
Westron (W.): Common speech