When Eru created the universe, beings called Valar and Maiar sprang from his thought and were given 'the Flame Imperishable', taken to mean Free Will. These beings were given the knowledge of creating music and themes. It was this music and the themes created that brought the world, and all that was in it, into existence. When Eru showed them what they had created, the mighty among the Valar, and many of the Maiar, entered into this world and became bound to it. It was for them to prepare for Eru’s coming children – Elves and Men.
The Maiar are lesser beings than the Valar, divided and bound to particular Vala or Valar. Being in servitude, but not slaves, they are extensions of their Vala’s thoughts and will in the world. These 'angels' reflect particular spirits and thoughts of the world: earth and creation (Aulë), rivers and waters (Ulmo), winds and sky (Manwë), etc.
Once the Children of Eru had ‘awoken’, the Valar and Maiar appeared less often in bodily form in Middle-earth, doing so only once in the records of the world after the beginning of the Second Age, when the five Istari appeared at the Grey Havens (c. 1,000 TA). Those that arrived at the haven did so in the guise of old men, not their true form, diminished but not wholly without power. Their task was to rally the Free Peoples against the might of the Dark Lord Sauron, but not to seek governance over them, reveal their true natures, nor set themselves openly against the power of Sauron.
|Speech||Westron, Sindarin, Quenya|
|Names||These depend on the realms in which they sojourn, but they are generally known by either Westron or Sindarin names.|
|Maiar of Renown||
Olorin, known as Gandalf to Men and Mithrandir to Elves, a Maia in service to Manwë, was asked to return to Middleearth to accompany the other Maiar on a mission to aid the Children of Eru in their defiance of the Shadow. Reluctantly he went, and through the years he cultivated alliances and emboldened the hearts of all through his words and deeds until the fateful day where he was lost in epic combat against another of his kind, a Balrog. Balrogs themselves were once beings like Olorin, but the darkness of Melkor Morgoth transformed them into terrible demons of evil and fire. Due to his selfless act of sacrifice, he was sent back, more powerful in stature, to replace his fallen comrade, Saruman. In the end, the One Ring was destroyed and the power of Sauron failed, completing the task that was set for him so long ago, he was finally allowed to return in peace to Valinor in the company of Galadriel, Elrond, and the Ringbearers.
Curunir, also known as Saruman, was another of the five Istari ('The Wise') to come to Middle-earth to aid the Free Peoples and for a time he did. Like Alatar and Pallando, he traveled into the East and came to the know the hearts and minds of Men there, but his travels and his study got him in trouble for he who studies to closely the arts of the Enemy can become the Enemy. Through the Palantir of Orthanc, a seeing-stone created by Feanor ages ago, Curunir was ensnared by Sauron and finally came under his thrall. He captured Gandalf when he came to seek guidance and help about the One Ring and then attempted to retrieve the Ring by sending out a force of orcs of his own to harry the Fellowship after they left Lórien. To the fortune of Men, Isengard was raised by the Ents and upon Gandalf's coming again, he was cast from the Order, losing his staff and greater power and forced to live the rest of his days as a Man. His end came when he had left Orthanc with his servant Grima and went to take charge of his men in the Shire. Grima rose up against his torturer and stabbed him in the back -- his immortal essence lost to winds, denied passage back to the Uttermost West.
Restrictions: Cannot be Barbarian or Rogue
|Adjustments||+3 to any ONE attribute, +2 to any TWO attributes (not chosen previously), +1 to any THREE attributes (not chosen previously).|
* Maiar reflect all aspects of the world at large and therefore have the ability to have and acquire any skills and traits, but must do so within the bounds of the Vala that they are bound to.
Agelessness, Avatar**, Unwavering**
Avatar: When the Istari came to Middle-earth, landing at the Grey Havens, they were in the guise of elderly Men. Since the removal of all Undying Lands from the circles of the world, the Valar and Maiar are only able to interact within it in either indirect ways or in a form with greatly reduced powers called avatars. In the avatar form, a Maia has and feels the same wants and desires of a being of that form be it Elf, Man, Dwarf, or other. They can be corrupted and even killed, where upon their immortal essence will then leave the 'body' and seek to return to the West.
When in avatar form, the racial bonus to the attribute with the +3 bonus is reduced to +2 and one attribute (must choose) with the +2 bonus is reduced to +1. All other bonuses are negated while in avatar form. This reduction also affects the Maia's Native Skills, reducing the number of picks it has while in this form equal to its natural form's Wits score.
Unwavering: Maia are imbued with the power and light of life directly from Eru. Like the Valar, they fear little of the world or for their life. When making Willpower tests against Fear effects from fallen Maiar or Valar, such as Balrogs, the TN is reduced to half the original, rounded up. Maia are also not required to spend Courage at any time to face an encounter lest they are facing against a Vala. This ability is in effect in either their natural or avatar forms.
** These abilities are of my own interpretation and are not included in Decipher's publications due the fact that they cannot use such information from licensing restrictions.
Maia of Aulë - Craft +1, Lore +1, Smithcraft +2, Stonecraft +2
Maia of Estë - Craft +1, Healing +2, Inspire +2, Lore +1
Maia of Lórien - Craft: Gardening +2, Lore +1, Perform +1, Weather-sense +2
Maia of Manwë - Insight +1, Inspire +1, Lore +2, Weather-sense +2
Maia of Melkor - Intimidate +1, Lore +2, Perform +2, Smithcraft +1
Maia of Ulmo - Lore +1, Perform +1, Sea-craft +2, Weather-sense +2
Maia of Varda - Craft +1, Insight +1, Lore +2, Perform +2