|Region||The Shattered Plains|
|Featured In||Stormlight Archive|
”The world itself seemed close to ending, and the Alethi threw a party.— Dalinar
Location and Appearance
The feasting basin is located at the foot of the hill holding the Pinnacle, Elhokar's palace on the Plains. It's open-air, shaped like a shallow bowl with five circular platforms rising up from it; the platforms were created through Soulcasting. The platforms are connected to each other by bridges, with railings done in fine scrollwork that has to be stowed away when not in use to protect it from moisture.
For most parties, the basin is flooded by diverting the water from a nearby stream, turning it into a small lake. The raised platforms then function as islands, and are generally referred to as such. The amount of water that fills the lake depends on the amount of water flowing in the stream, which varies depending on the weather and the time of year. On some occasions, numerous spheres infused with Stormlight are thrown into the water to make it glow for ambience.
There are braziers set up on the sides of each island to keep the participants warm; the braziers are replaced with heating fabrials after Navani arrives at the Plains. The islands are filled with tables of food and drink for the participants, as well as chairs for people to sit and enjoy the feast. The king has his own feasting island, on which he entertains his family and guests of honor.
Mirroring most Vorin ballrooms, four of the basin's islands are segregated by gender—two for men, two for women. One of the islands holds a sparring ring for young brightlords who wish to show off their swordsmanship. Elsewhere, there are easels and drawing tools for women to display their skills. The king's island, by contrast, is open to people of any gender, allowing various powerful nobles equal access to the king.
The feasting basin was the premier spot for parties for the high-born occupants of the warcamps, giving lighteyes the opportunity to see and interact with the king. They presented opportunities for people to not only mingle with other members of their social class, but also to play politics, both international and domestic. Highprinces rarely missed attending any feasts held at the basin. The high-profile setting of the feasts led to some notable incidents of political maneuvering between the highprinces, often incited by Torol Sadeas.
For younger lighteyes, the feasts were a chance to show off their fashion and catch up on rumors. The sparring ring in the basin was generally used for friendly duels, although it could also be used for hostile duels for honor if needed. The parties were also a chance to observe the general mood of Alethi high society, as well as a chance to have some good food; while most of the food in the camps contained bland Soulcast meat and grain, the dishes at the feasts were always heavily spiced. The King's Wit took to sitting by the entrance to one of the islands so that he could insult everyone who came in.
Early in Elhokar's reign, there were few guards on the islands; however, as the tensions between the highprinces began to rise and the fear of the Assassin in White spread, more and more brightlords brought bodyguards with them. After the party, they were sometimes allowed to have the remaining food for themselves.