The magic of this spell is similar to that of the vacancy spell, only more powerful and elaborate. The spell enables the caster to make an area appear to be something other than it is—a setting he has personally seen. The spell remains as long as the caster maintains a minimal concentration upon it. Even after this, the spell persists for a total of one hour plus one additional turn for each experience level of the caster. (Note: Minimal concentration can be maintained during normal conversation but not while spellcasting, in melee, or if harmed by an attack.) If the caster actually uses a small bit of anything connected with the place to create this spell, it takes on a quasi reality.
In its basic form, forceful contact is necessary to have any hope of discovering the magic, short of a detection device or spell. In its more complex form, where a material component is used, detection is possible only by some magical means, whether device, item, or spell. Either form of mirage arcana is subject to the dispel magic spell.
As with all powerful illusions, the mind of the believer urges appropriate effects upon the viewer's body. Under the influence of the spell, the viewer could possibly walk across a bed of hot coals thinking it was a shallow stream of water that was cooling his feet (and thus suffer no damage), dine upon imaginary food and actually be satisfied, or rest comfortably upon a bed of sharp stones, thinking it a featherbed. Gravity is not affected by the spell, however, so an envisioned bridge spanning a deep chasm does not support the believer. Those who witness the event see it as a sudden disappearance of the individual. They do not connect it with an illusion unless they are otherwise aware of some magic at work.