Hitchhiker's Guide to the Planes
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion
Oh it was absolutely dreadful! The mattresses, if you deign to call them that, were straw-filled, STRAW, I might has well have been sleeping in the barn for all those savages cared. We had to eat in a. . . a COMMON room, when I asked for an Arborian Red I had to tell them that meant wine, and it was served from the left, the left I tell you! Tasteless barbarians, the whole lot of them. How do people live like this?
-Lady Poncello, Mother-in-Law of a Disgruntled Wizard Staying at an Inn
Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion
The need for a private quarters away from the prying ears of colleagues, servants and diplomats is reason enough for Mordenkainen to have developed one of his most signatory spells, though he did take a personal interest in Architecture and some scholars believe the spell was created as much for practical as for personal tinkering. Nevertheless, its use as a private sanctuary for diplomatic meetings cannot be understated, it’s quite easy to make a foreigner feel at home when you can craft their living quarters to reflect their nation of origin. People are far more diplomatic when they get a taste of home.
Mages completely inexperienced with inter-dimensional travel and the construction of portals often find themselves at a complete loss when attempting to create their own mansion. Those unprepared and without the necessary experience will oft find themselves forever lost between planes or forever stuck in the mansion of their dreams, it could be worse. The exact build of the mansion tends to become more intricate over time, though the most curmudgeonly of old wizards will often design nothing more than a brightly lit cube to fulfill their need for quiet and privacy. The architecture tends to reflect the culture of the caster simply due to familiarity but that doesn’t limit their attempts at interior design, to varying results. The exact components tend to vary between cultures as well, carvings of jade, ivory, jet, amber and more seem equally effective.
Notes and History
Countless travelling merchants, diplomats and other wealthy persons have employed the usage of mages to furnish their travels in a way fitting their stature. Veshanya the Gilded was found to have enslaved over a hundred powerful mages in order to construct a massive palace that was grander than any building in existence. She had the entrance portals obscured to appear as normal gates and a massive illusion maintained to appear as the palace. Her empire was severely in debt and the appearance of grandeur was held to stave off potential attackers, however, the enslaved mages eventually freed themselves of their bindings during a riot and cast the palace, occupants and all, into an unknown plane bringing about the collapse of an empire.
Though most scholars discredit this story as common bar-talk, there is some merit to the claim of Syldan, a Bard who gained fame by performing in multiple cities simultaneously and hosting a non-stop drunken revel in his magical mansion. The details are fuzzy and every drunkard will tell you something different, he sold his soul to a devil, he was the founder of The Order of Vesha (the practitioners are silent, how can a bard be silent?) and even crazier tales, but they all include the magical party mansion that was always fully stocked with the highest quality drinks and was staffed by. . . well, phantom prostitutes seems the best way to put it. If he existed, this Syldan must have perfected the casting of his mansion(s) to not only replenish at will but also make the servants corporeal and. . . engaging.
As with all uses of planar travel, one must be exceedingly careful in using this spell near sites where lingering magic is potent. Latent energies can interfere with the precise measurements needed to properly align the portal to the desired plane producing chaotic results. In rare cases portals to undiscovered planes have been opened, little information exists on such matters as a holy organization generally secures the portal and it’s never to be heard of again. More commonly the portal will fail to open, leaving the mage (and their disgruntled friends) to sleep in the elements, hopefully not literally.