Friday 24 May 2024

Mordenkainen’s Spells


“The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”
John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education


Mordenkainen
What comes to my mind when I think of Mordenkainen is spells, and lots of them.
One wonders how such a busy bee as he could have found the time to create them all, what with all his other endeavours, like fighting foes, preserving the Balance, delving dungeons, exploring far reaches of the Flanaess and beyond, and writing a tome or two. But he did indeed do it; didn’t he?
When one thinks on it, though, it all seems a bit implausible, doesn’t it? One must be superhuman, to have done such a feat. Or perhaps engage in a bit of arcane shenanigans, a la Hermione’s Time-turner, to have done such a deed, one imagines. Me, anyway. I remain unapologetic in this regard. 
That’s neither here nor there here. What’s germane here is their focus. Despite Mordenkainen’s inaugural Sword noted in the Players Guide 1e – to which one would imagine a great many of his subsequent spells would stem from in theme – most of his spells that followed were defensive in nature, perchance presaged in his Faithful Hound. Indeed, protection would appear to trump offensive spells. There are quite a few Protection From… and Defense Against… spells. One imagines – I do anyway (I appear to imagine a lot in my blogposts) – that spell creation might have its root in Scientific method (magic being initially Vancian in nature), in that one discovery leads to another, lesser, and more basic spells, to greater, much like Bigby’s innumerable Hand spells. Thus, I kind-a wonder whether Mordenkainen actually created all those spells not akin to his Sword and Hound. I kind-a wonder if spells invariably get named by others who saw those spells cast by the eponymous wizard in question….
The Greatest Wizard....
Do you call foul to my suggesting such a thing? He’s Mordenkainen, you cry! He’s the greatest wizard the Oerth has ever seen, on par with other such luminaries as Elminster! That’s not in question (canonically, speaking); he is certainly the greatest “living” wizard; and perhaps the most powerful wizard possible in an ever-declining magical world.
During Smedger's time, magic was not a lost art, but, apparently, a fading one. [WoGG – 2]
If magic is fading, then there were magi far greater than Mordenkainen, prior, millennia ago. I quibble. That discussion is not germane here.
What is, is the presumed authorship of Mordenkainen’s stable of spells. I wonder, did he indeed write all the spells attributed to him? I’m not suggesting that he did not; I’m just questioning whether he did. Solely, anyway.  You, Gentle Reader, might say, You did not question the authorship of those other eponymous lists! This is true. I did not; but I did think it, though. Thus, I wonder whether he (and they) might have collaborated with others – sages and other members of the Circle, for instance – in the creation of all those spells, given all the other feats and accomplishments applied to him. (This should come as no surprise to long-time readers of this blog: I’m referring to my exploration of Leomund’s Spells.) This theory, then, can be applied just as stridently to any of the other “named” spells.
As I said: I quibble. I’ll consider this more thoroughly in a later post.
Now that I’ve got your ire stoked, let’s list his spells.

Level One
Mordenkainen’s Buzzing Bee [Miniatures Handbook – 37]
Mordenkainen’s Protection From Avians [GA – 56]
Level Two
Mordenkainen’s Encompassing Vision [GA – 56]
Level Three
Mordenkainen’s Defense Against Lycanthropes [GA – 56]
Mordenkainen’s Defense Against Nonmagical Reptiles and Amphibians [GA – 57]
Mordenkainen’s Protection From Insects and Arachnids [GA – 57]
Level Four
Mordenkainen’s Celebrity [Tome of Magic – 30]
Mordenkainen’s Electric Arc [GA – 57]
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Shield-Maidens [GA – 57]
Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles [Players Option: Spells and Magic]
Mordenkainen’s Protection From Slime [GA – 57]
Level Five
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound [PHB 1e – 81]
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Defenders [GA – 57]
Mordenkainen’s Involuntary Wizardry [Dragon #200 – 24]
Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum [GA – 58]
Level Six
Mordenkainen’s Ascent [Dragon #366 4e – 30]
Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Guardian [GA – 58]
Mordenkainen’s Joining [Dragon #366 4e – 30]
Mordenkainen’s Lubrication [Dragon #68 – 54/UA – 61]
Mordenkainen’s Trusted Bloodhound [Complete Mage – 111]
Level Seven
Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion [Dragon #68 – 55/UA – 62]
Mordenkainen’s Penultimate Cogitation [GA – 58]
Mordenkainen’s Sword [PHB 1e – 88]
Level Eight
Mordenkainen’s Capable Caravel [Stormwrack – 119]
Level Nine
Mordenkainen’s Disjunction [Dragon #68 – 59/UA – 65]
Mordenkainen’s Guardian Hound [Arcane Power 4e – 106]

26 spells. That would take a lot of time to research and test, I would imagine.
The most important consideration might be in their names: There are 3 Protection From… spells; 2 Defense Against… spells; and 4 Faithful… servant spells, 7 is we add his Hounds to this list, 8 if his Buzzing Bee can be considered a lesser – if effective – variant of these conjured defensive servants. That’s 13 of the 26 – fully half of them.
What are the remaining spells? A collection of this and that, some martial – as is his Sword – others altogether eclectic in application. Let’s detail the lot, shall we?

Mordenkainen’s Buzzing Bee Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Sor/Wiz 1 (4e)
Components: V, S, M
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None Spell
Effect: A phantom bee
Resistance: No
Explanation/Description: This spell causes a small but extremely loud bee to appear. It buzzes around the head of a creature you designate. (The creature must be within range, and you must be touching or be able to see the creature. Once you designate a creature, the bee stays with it; you cannot designate another creature.) The bee creates an unnerving noise that disrupts the subject’s concentration. The subject takes a –10 penalty on all Move Silently and Concentration checks. (Creatures that can’t hear don’t take the penalty on Concentration checks.) If the subject attempts to cast or maintain a spell, it must make a DC 10 Concentration check even if there are no other distractions. The bee has a fly speed of 180 feet (perfect). It remains near the subject in spite of darkness, invisibility, polymorphing, cover, concealment, or any other attempt at disguising or hiding. The bee remains until the spell’s duration expires or the subject moves out of range. The bee can’t be attacked, but it can be dispelled. Material Component: A dab of honey.
[MH – 37]

Mordenkainen’s Protection From Avians (Abjuration)
Level: 1
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 1 segment
Duration: 5 rounds/ level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: A creature protected by this spell receives a special benefit when in combat with avians totalling no more than 15 hit dice. If more hit dice attack, the spell is negated. Affected avians have a -2 penalty on rolls to hit the protected creature for the duration of the spell. The material component for the spell is a feather from any bird wrapped with a strip of tough leather.
[GA – 56]

Mordenkainen’s Encompassing Vision (Alteration)
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: 1 hr
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: This spell grants a creature a full 360 degrees of vision, so the creature can see sides and rear as well as it sees to the front. The creature cannot be surprised from the rear by any attacker the creature can see normally. The spell will work in combination with any sort of enhanced or magical vision, including infravision, ultravision, or x-ray vision. A creature with both detect invisibility and encompassing vision can see invisible, ethereal, or astral beings from the flank or rear as well. The person affected by this spell also has a -2 penalty on all saving throws vs. gas attacks. The material component is a crystal disc with eight eyes inscribed upon it, spaced at 45 degree intervals around the edge of the disc.
[GA – 56]

Mordenkainen’s Defense Against Lycanthropes (Abjuration)
Wererats
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: This spell will aid a creature in surviving attacks made by lycanthropes. Any attack made upon the creature by a lycanthrope has a - 2 penalty to hit. No matter how much damage is inflicted by a lycanthrope, the creature will not contract lycanthropy as long as the spell is in effect. The spell will not protect the creature from contracting lycanthropy if injuries occurred before the spell was cast or after it expired. The material component is crushed moonstone.
[GA – 56]

Mordenkainen’s Defense Against Nonmagical Reptiles and Amphibians (Abjuration)
Giant Frog
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 5 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/description: A creature protected by this spell gains an advantage in combat with nonmagical reptiles or amphibians, including snakes, dinosaurs, frogs, and giant-sized species of such animals. Dragons are excluded from the spell’s effect as well as other creatures with unnatural abilities. All such animals have a - 2 penalty to hit the protected creature, and the creature gains a +4 bonus to saving throws versus reptile or amphibian venom. The material components are a bit of snake skin and a dried frog‘s leg placed in a pouch of hardened leather.
[GA – 57]

Along Came a Spider...
Mordenkainen’s Protection From Insects and Arachnids
(Abjuration)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 5 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: This spell provides a measure of protection from insects, spiders, and scorpions, including giant-sized and unnatural species of such animals. All such animals attack the protected creature with a - 2 penalty to hit and all of the protected creature’s saving throws against insect or arachnid venom have a +4 bonus. The spell works on no more than 20 hit dice of bugs of all types. If more than 20 hit dice of insects attack, the spell dissipates. The material component is an insect trapped in amber.
[GA – 57]

Mordenkainen's Celerity (Alteration, Invocation)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 0
Casting Time: 4
Duration: 1 turn
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Mordenkainen's celerity affects spells of levels 1-3 which alter the movement of the wizard such as feather fall, jump, spider climb, levitate, fly, and haste. Spells to be affected must be cast with- in 1 turn of the casting of the celerity. Spells do not expire when the celerity expires. Spells cast following the celerity receive a 25 % bonus to duration. This effect may not be gained in conjunction with other means of magically extending a spell's duration. In addition, the caster's movement rate is increased by 25 %. Feather fall is an exception; the rate of descent may be reduced by 25% at the caster's option. The area of effect is always the caster, except in the case of the haste spell, for which the effects of the celerity will operate on 1d4 creatures in addition to the wizard. The celerity will not affect the other creatures in any other manner. The celerity gives the wizard a + 2 bonus to his saving throws against spells of levels 1-3 which directly affect his movement. This includes web, hold person, and slow. The wizard also gains a + 2 bonus on all saving throws against magical paralysis attacks. The material component is a small pouch or vessel containing centipede or millipede legs.
[Tome of Magic – 30]

Mordenkainen’s Electric Arc (Evocation)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 5 yds/level
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: half damage
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell causes one or more small flashes of lightning to erupt from the caster’s fingertips and strike one or more opponents. One arc of lightning will be evoked for every three levels of the caster. Each electric arc will inflict 1d6 damage plus one point per level of the caster. A save versus spell reduces damage by one-half. The spell is most effective when each electric arc is directed at a separate opponent. Only one arc may strike a target per combat round; others striking the same target have no effect. The material components for the spell are a bit of fur and a glass rod.
[GA – 57]

Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Shield-Maidens (Summoning)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 50 yds
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 3 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/description: This spell summons a pair of shimmering violet phantom beings that will stay on either side of the mage and protect him from all attackers. The shield-maidens are AC 4 (phantom chain mail and large shield); Move 12”; HD 3; hp 20; Dmg 1d6 (phantom spear); THACO 16; AL N. The shield-maidens stay close enough to the caster for their shields to help cover the mage. The shield of one maiden will provide the caster with a -1 armor class bonus. If both shield-maidens protect the same side of the caster with their shields, the armor class bonus is -2. While the shield-maidens can protect the caster from attacks from different directions, they will move no farther than 50 feet away from the caster, even if the mage orders them to move away. They follow magically wherever the caster goes. The material components are a pair of small crystal shields tied with string to a miniature wooden figure of the caster.
[GA – 57]

Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles (Invocation/Evocation, Force)
Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles
Level: 4
Range: 30 yds. + 10 yds./level
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: 1-7 targets
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 4
Saving Throw: Special
Explanation/description: This spell creates a brilliant globe of magical energy that streaks forth from the caster's hand to unerringly strike its target, much like a magic missile spell. The subject must be seen or otherwise detected in order to be targeted by this spell. The wizard creates one missile at 7th level and an additional missile at every third level after 7th—in other words, two missiles at 10th level, three at 13th, four at 16th, and so on, to a maximum of seven missiles at 25th level. Each missile inflicts 2d4 points of damage to the target and then bursts in a 3-foot radius concussive blast that inflicts 1 point of damage per level of the caster—for example, a 12th-level wizard could conjure two force missiles, each of which strikes for 2d4+12 points of damage. The victim may attempt a saving throw vs. spell to negate the concussion damage, but the impact of the missile itself allows no saving throw. Just like magic missile, the force spheres may be directed at as many or as few targets as the caster likes. The missiles can easily damage or destroy inanimate objects, especially fragile or delicate items.
[Players Option: Spells and Magic]

Grey Ooze
Mordenkainen’s Protection From Slime
(Abjuration)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: This spell helps protect a creature against attacks by all molds, slimes, puddings, oozes, and other formless, primordial beings. All attacks against the protected creature are made with a -2 penalty and the protected creature’s saving throw has a +2 bonus. In addition, the creature’s flesh is highly resistant to any corrosive attack by such monsters, and is treated as being solid stone for the purpose of withstanding a slime monster’s corrosive attack. The spell negates up to 10d4 points of damage from slime before it collapses. The material components are a bit of food mold pressed between two flat stones, and a pinch of diamond dust.
[GA – 57]

Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Defenders (Summoning)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell summons a set of phantom beings seen as shimmering outlines of violet light. The defenders do their best to keep between the mage and his adversaries, providing the caster with enough time and space to defend himself with spells. To most creatures, the phantom defenders are solid, seemingly real entities. To the mage, the defenders are completely transparent and noncorporeal, so any attack spell cast by the mage has no effect on the defenders. The mage’s spells can be cast through the defenders to strike enemy creatures. If the defenders are caught within the area of effect of a caster’s spell, the defenders suffer no harm. One of four different sets of phantom defenders can be summoned by the mage, but the caster must decide which set will be called forth when the spell is memorized. Each set is best suited for a particular environment. The four sets of defenders are described on the following page.
  • Three faithful phantom soldiers: AC 4 (phantom chain mail and shield); Move 9”; HD 4; hp 24; #AT 1; Dmg 1d8 (phantom long sword); THACO 15; AL N; SA able to hit creatures which are hit only by + 1 magical weapons.
  • Two faithful phantom centaurs: AC 5; Move 18” ; HD 4; hp 28; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6 (phantom light lance); THACO 15; AL N; SA able to hit creatures which are hit only by +2 weapons.
  • Eight faithful phantom giant bats: AC 8; Move 3”/18”; HD 2 +2; hp 12; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4; THACO 16; AL N; SA able to hit creatures which are hit only by + 3 weapons.
  • Five faithful phantom sharks: AC 6; Move 24”; HD 3; hp 15; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4 + 1; THACO 16; AL N; SA able to hit creatures which are hit only by + 1 weapons.

The material component is a small lead crystal figure depicting the type of defender to be summoned and a 1,000 g.p. emerald for each creature summoned. The emeralds vanish when the spell is cast.
[GA – 57,58]

Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound (Con juration/Summoning)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 1"
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw; None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description:
Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound
By means of this spell the magic-user summons up a phantom watchdog which only he or she can see. He or she may then command it to perform as guardian of a passage, room, door, or similar space or portal. The phantom watchdog will immediately commence a loud barking if any creature larger than a cat approaches the place it guards. As the Faithful Hound is able to detect invisible, astral, ethereal, out of phase, duo-dimensional, or similarly non-visible creatures, it is an excellent guardian. In addition, if the intruding creature or creatures allow their backs to be exposed to the phantom watchdog, it will deliver a vicious attack as if it were a 10 hit dice monster, striking for 3-18 hit points of damage, and being able to hit opponents of all sorts, even those normally subject only to magical weapons of +3 or greater. The Faithful Hound cannot be attacked, but it can be dispelled. Note, however, that the spell caster can never be more than 3" distant from the area that the phantom watchdog is guarding, or the magic is automatically dispelled. The material components of this spell ore a tiny silver whistle, a piece of bone, and a thread.
[PHB 1e – 81]

Mordenkainen’s Involuntary Wizardry (Enchantment/Charm, Necromancy)
Mordenkainen
Level: 5
Components: V, S
Range: 60 yds. + 10 yds./level
Save: Special
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: One spell-casting creature
Explanation/Description: This spell forces a single, randomly chosen spell from the mind of a single spell-casting being. Without the target doing any casting (or the use of any material components), the spell takes full normal effect on the target being; if this is impossible due to the nature of the spell, the target being takes one point of damage per spell level (for instance, warp wood, a second-level spell, does two points of damage), and the spell is lost. The target gets a saving throw vs. spell with a -3 penalty to avoid all effects; if this succeeds, the involuntary wizardry has no effect, and is wasted. It is also wasted if cast on a being that can’t cast spells. Mordenkainen’s involuntary wizardry can’t trigger the use of a magical item.
[Dragon #200 – 24]

Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum (Alteration-Abjuration)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 0
Casting Time: 2 turns
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: One room
Explanation/Description:
Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum
This spell is used to insure privacy in a room of up to 1,600 square feet in area, or 40 feet by 40 feet in dimension. All windows in the room become dark and misty as seen from the outside, preventing creatures with normal vision, infravision, or other special vision from looking into the room. Those inside can still look out normally. X-ray vision will not be able to penetrate into the room, as if the room were completely enclosed in a lead shield. No sounds, no matter how loud, can escape the room, so a thief cannot eavesdrop from outside. Scrying attempts, such as ESP, clairaudience, clairvoyance, or crystal balls, cannot penetrate the protected room, and a wizard eye cannot get inside. The mage can freely leave the room without the protection being dispelled. The material components are a thin sheet of lead, a piece of opaque glass, a wad of cotton or cloth, and powdered chrysolite.
[GA – 58]

Mordenkainen’s Ascent (Exploration) [4e]
You create a magic golden ladder or rope, which allows you access to the highest heights.
Level: 6
Time: 10 minutes
Duration: 1 hour
Explanation/Description: You create a ladder that is firmly attached to a wall within 5 squares of you, or a knotted rope tied to something within 20 squares of you. Climbing the ladder is a DC 0 check, and climbing the rope is a DC 10 check; other factors, such as rain, high winds, or slippery oil, never make the task more difficult. The ladder reaches a maximum height of 4 squares, plus 1 for every 5 points on your Arcana check result. The rope has a maximum length of 10 squares, plus 1 for every 5 points on your Arcana check result.
[Dragon #366 – 30]

Mordenkainen’s Joining (Creation) [4e]
You join two blocks of stone as though they had been cut and dragged that way from the mountain. With your help, the wall should have no gaps whatsoever.
Level: 6
Time: 10 minutes
Duration: Instantaneous
Explanation/Description: Two nonliving objects join together permanently. The boundary between them becomes as smooth and unnoticeable as possible—for objects that could fit together naturally, such as two blocks of stone, two planks of wood, or two pieces of a weapon, the ritual makes them completely seamless.
[Dragon #366 – 30]

Mordenkainen’s Lucubration (Alteration)
Level: 6
Components: V, S
Range: 0
Casting Time: 1 segment
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: The magic-user
Explanation/Description: By use of this spell, the magic-user is able to instantly recall any spell he or she has used and otherwise forgotten during the past 24 hours. The spell must have been memorized and actually used during the stated time period, and it cannot be of greater power than fifth level. Mordenkainen’s lucubration enables the spell caster to recall any first through fifth level spell precisely as if it had never been cast. Only one such spell can be so recalled by use of the lucubration dweomer. The spell recalled can thereafter be cast normally on the following or successive round. Additional spell components of a material nature must be available if the spell recalled requires such, or else the remembered spell is fruitless until the material components are available.
[Dragon #68 – 54/UA – 61]

Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Guardian (Summoning)
Components: V, S, M
Range: Special
Casting Time: 3 turns
Duration: Special
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell summons a faithful phantom being to watch over and protect the mage for one day. The guardian will remain an undetectable observer, watching the caster from the ethereal plane. The guardian can see what is happening within 60 feet of the caster, and can spot invisible, out-of-phase, duo-dimensional, ethereal, or astral creatures within the area around the mage. If the guardian spies any creature about to launch a surprise attack on the caster, the guardian will instantly materialize to intercept the attacker and defend the mage. The faithful phantom guardian: AC 2; Move 15”; HD 6; hp 36; #AT 1; Dmg 1d10 (two-handed sword); THACO 13; AL N; SA able to hit creatures which are hit only by +2 magical weapons. The guardian will fight for up to one round per level of the caster or until it is destroyed. The mage also has the option of summoning the guardian to his side at any time. The guardian will appear in one round and fight under the same time limit. Once the guardian has spent its time on the prime material plane, it has completed its mission and will no longer watch over the caster.
The guardian appears as a shimmering outline of violet light. The phantom guardian cannot speak, so it cannot shout a warning to the mage if he or she is attacked. The material component is a 1,000 g.p. diamond, which is sent to the guardian when the spell is cast as a payment for its service.
[GA – 58]

Mordenkainen’s Trusted Bloodhound Conjuration (Creation) [4e]
Level: Assassin 4, sorcerer/wizard 6
Effect: Phantom bloodhound
Explanation/Description: You conjure a phantom hound, that can track and bring down your prey. This spell functions like Mordenkainen's faithful hound, except that the phantom bloodhound created can also track a creature as if it had the Track feat. Its Survival modifier is equal to your caster level for this purpose, but it can't use the Survival skill for any other tasks. A trusted bloodhound has a land speed equal to yours, and can move at full speed without taking a penalty on Survival checks to track. A trusted bloodhound can't attack, provide a flank, or have any other effect on combat. However, as a standard action, you can instruct a trusted bloodhound to serve as a watchdog; in this role it functions identically to Mordenkainen's faithful hound, except that its attack bonus equals your caster level. You can command a trusted bloodhound to resume its tracking again as a standard action.
[Complete Mage – 111]

Mordenkainen’s Penultimate Cogitation (Alteration)
Level: 7
Components: V, S
Range: 0
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Spellcaster
Explanation/Description: This permits the mage to call to mind one spell from one of the caster’s personal spell books, provided the appropriate spell book is within one mile of the mage. The spell must be one that the caster knows, as explained in the Players Handbook. The spell cannot be called from a scroll or another mage’s spell book. The called spell can be any of the 1st to 6th level. Only one spell can be called per casting of the penultimate cogitation. The called spell can be cast on any succeeding round. There is always a 10% chance that the called spell will be magically erased from the mage’s spell book.
[GA – 58]

Mordenkainen's Sword (Evocation)
Level: 7
Range: 3"
Duration: 1 round/level
Area of Effect: Special
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 7 segments
Saving Throw: None
Explanation/Description:
Mordenkainen's Sword
Upon casting this spell, the magic-user brings into being a shimmering sword-like plane of force. The spell caster is able to mentally wield this weapon (to the exclusion of activities other than movement), causing it to move and strike as if it were being used by a fighter. The basic chance for Mordenkainen's Sword to hit is the same as the chance for a sword wielded by a fighter of one-half the level of the spell caster, i.e. if cast by a 14th level magic-user, the weapon has the same hit probability as a sword wielded by o 7th level fighter. The sword has no magical "to hit" bonuses, but it can hit any sort of opponent, even those normally struck only by +3 weapons or astral, ethereal or out of phase; and it will hit any armor class on a roll of 19 or 20. It inflicts 5-20 hit points on opponents of man-size or smaller, and 5-30 on opponents larger than man-sized. It can be used to subdue. It lasts until the spell duration expires, a dispel magic is used successfully upon it, or its caster no longer desires it. The material component is a miniature platinum sword with a grip and pommel of copper and zinc which costs 500 g.p. to construct, and which disappears after the spell's completion.
[PHB 1e – 88]

Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion (Alteration/Conjuration)
Level: 7
Components: V, S, M
Range: 1”
Casting Time: 7 rounds
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 300 sq. ft./level
Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion
Explanation/Description: By means of this spell, the magic-user conjures up an extra-dimensional dwelling, entrance to which can be gained only at a single point of space on the plane from which the spell was cast. From the entry point, those creatures observing the area will see only a faint shimmering in the air, an area of some 4’ in width and 8’ in height. Once observers have passed beyond the entrance, they will behold a magnificent foyer and numerous chambers beyond. The place will be furnished and contain sufficient foodstuffs to serve a nine-course banquet to as many dozens of people as the spell caster has levels of experience. There will be a staff of near-transparent servants, liveried and obedient, there to wait upon all who enter. The atmosphere and temperature will be clean, fresh, and warm.
Since the place can be entered only through its special portal, outside conditions do not affect the Mansion, nor do conditions inside it pass to the plane beyond. Rest and relaxation within the place is normal, but the food is not. It will seem excellent and be quite filling as long as one is within the place. Once outside, however, its effects disappear immediately, and ravenous hunger will strike unless the individuals actually ate normal food. For each meal eaten inside the Mansion, the individual leaving must spend 1 hour sitting and eating normal fare. Failure to do so means that he or she has lost as many points of strength as he or she ate meals when in the mansion-like space. Such strength loss is restorable upon eating as noted, but this must be done within 6 hours or the loss of strength will be permanent. The components for this spell are a miniature portal carved from ivory, a small piece of polished marble, and a tiny silver spoon. These are utterly destroyed when the spell is cast.
(It is worth mentioning that this spell has been used in conjunction with a normal portal, as well as with illusion magic. There is evidence that the design and interior of the space created can be altered to suit the caster’s wishes. It is also noteworthy that elves have some version of this spell which is castable at a lower level.
[Dragon #68 – 55/UA – 62]
At the caster’s option, the mansion can be filled with water, or the membrane can prevent the influx of water, leaving the mansion’s interior tidy and dry.
[UA – 82]

Mordenkainen’s Capable Caravel Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Sorcerer/wizard 8
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: Ship plus extradimensional space, up to three 10-ft. cubes/level (S)
Duration: 1 day/2 levels (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
Mordenkainen’s Capable Caravel
Explanation/Description: You conjure into existence a fine, seaworthy ship to carry you and your companions safely and comfortably. A caravel is a fairly small, double-decked sailing ship [.] It holds a generous amount of cargo and offers cramped quarters for crew and passengers. The ship produced by this spell has even more room for cargo and passengers, contained within an extradimensional space.
The entry point to this space is a hatch on the aft upper deck. Lifting the hatch reveals a set of wooden stairs, which descend about 6 feet to a horizontal shimmering in the air about 4 feet wide. Only those you designate can enter this space, and the extradimensional portal is shut and made invisible behind you when you enter. Those without authorization to enter instead continue descending the steps to an ordinary cargo hold. You can open the portal again from your own side at will.
Those who pass beyond the portal’s entrance find themselves in a magnificent foyer with many staterooms whose doors open from this space. The atmosphere is clean, fresh, and warm.
You can create any deck plan you desire within the limit of the spell’s effect. The cabins are furnished, and the galley contains sufficient foodstuffs and preparation equipment to serve three full meals per day per person per caster level. A staff of near-transparent pursers (up to two per caster level), liveried and obedient, wait upon all who enter. They function as unseen servant spells except that they are visible and can go anywhere within the extra-dimensional space.
Since the place can be entered only through its special portal, outside conditions do not affect the passenger space, nor do conditions inside it pass to the plane beyond. Bad weather or other marine hazards can still threaten the vessel, but even if it sinks, the passenger space remains safe and isolated (though exiting it might prove difficult).
The ship is crewed by a minimum complement of spectral deckhands, which perform the basic tasks of maintenance. These, like the cabin servants, behave as unseen servants but can travel anywhere on board ship and can enter the extradimensional space if you so direct. The spectral deckhands respond to the direction of the helmsman, reducing the number of crew necessary to control the caravel to 1. If you do not provide a real helmsman, the ship will steer itself on the last course a living helmsman provided but will not be able to avoid collisions or hazards or adjust to changing conditions.
Focus: A miniature ship carved from mahogany, rigged with silk sails and gold thread, with a total value of 500 gp.
[Stormwrack – 119]

Mordenkainen’s Disjunction (Alteration-Enchantment)
Mordenkainen
Level: 9
Range: 0
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: 3” radius
Components: V
Casting Time: 9 segments
Saving Throw: Special
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, all magic and/or magic items within the radius of the spell, except those on the person of or being touched by the spell caster, are disjoined. That is, spells being cast are separated into their individual components (and so are spoiled), types of magic are separated (usually spoiling the effect as does a dispel magic), and permanent and magicked items must likewise save (versus spell if actually cast on a creature, or versus a dispel magic otherwise) or be turned into normal items.
Even artifacts and relics are subject to Mordenkainen’s Disjunction, although there is only a 1% chance per level of the spell caster of actually affecting such powerful items. Thus, all potions, scrolls, rings, rods et al, miscellaneous magic items, artifacts and relics, arms and armor, swords, and miscellaneous weapons within 3” of the spell caster can possibly lose all their magical properties when Mordenkainen’s Disjunction is cast.
Note: Destroying artifacts is a dangerous business, and 95% likely to attract the attention of some powerful being who has an interest or connection with the device. Additionally, if an artifact is destroyed, the casting magic-user must save versus spell at -4 or permanently lose all spell casting abilities.
[Dragon #68 – 55/UA – 65]

Mordenkainen’s Wizard (Arcane, Conjuration, Implement) [4e]
Attack 9
Guardian Hound: The ghostly form of a snarling wolfhound appears before you and leaps into the fray. Standard Action
Ranged 10
Effect: You conjure a Medium guardian hound that occupies 1 square within range, and the hound makes the following melee attack. Once per round as a minor action, you can have the hound repeat its attack. As a minor action, you can move the hound 6 squares. The hound lasts until the end of the encounter or until you dismiss it with a free action.
Target: One creature adjacent to the hound
Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d4 + Intelligence modifier damage. The target takes a –2 penalty to its next attack roll that targets you.
[Arcane Power – 106]


So, did Mordenkainen create all those spells? Canon dictates he did. Indeed, his name is on them. Who can possibly argue with that?
As noted, I do wonder how he found the time, given how all-encompassing his pursuit of Balance appears to be in his narrative. He may indeed have – he has been around for decades, after all. But he does not seem the type to sit still for the long hours I imagine would be required to tinker at such things, what with Iuz and Tharizdun and a whole host of other evil-doers impacting his every thought.
But that’s just me.


“What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.”
― Julius Caesar


One must always give credit where credit is due. This History is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.


The Art:
Mordenkainen, by Vance Kelly, from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, 2018
Mordenkainen, by William O'Conner, from Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Wererats, by David A. Trampier, from Monster Manual 1e, 1978
Frogfrom Monster Manual 1e, 1978
Spiderby David A. Trampier, from Monster Manual 1e, 1978
Mordenkainen, by Greg Staples, from Living Greyhawk Journal #9, 2002
Grey Oozefrom Monster Manual 1e, 1978
Mordenkainen and Bigby, by James Ryman, from Dungeon #112, 2004
Mordenkainen, by Todd Lockwood, from TSR Jam, 1999

Sources:
2010 Players Handbook 1e, 1978
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2011 Unearthed Arcana, 1985
2023 Greyhawk Adventures, 1988
2121 Tome of Magic, 1991
Players Option: Spells and Magic, 1996
Complete Mage, 2006
Miniatures Handbook, 2003
Shipwrack, 2005
Arcane Power, 2009
Dragon Magazine 68, 200, 366