Progress Update: the Bereghin Feast

I spent the second week of pre-production figuring out how a Bereghin feast works. That was a lot of research, and also a lot of just trying to put things together. But I’m finally starting to feel like I know what I’m doing here.

Disclaimer: I’m NOT saying everything described below will be shown on page. That’s several hours of feasting and we don’t need to witness every single toast, obviously.

I’m not even saying this is how the feast will actually go behind the scenes. Because hey, who knows what might go wrong, right?

But this is how this feast is intended to go by the people who organized it.

Table of Contents

The Floor Plan

The feast is being held in the “table hall” (Bereghin: stolova istuba). 

It’s a structure slightly separate from the main building of the Midday Hall. The feast chamber itself is on the second floor and has windows on three sides. The kitchens and the storage rooms are on the first floor and in the cellar below. The kitchen stoves also provide heating.

The second floor has three rooms: the large feast chamber, the entryway, and the “stand-chamber” where food is brought from the kitchens and arranged for serving.

Table Hall floor plan

(Look, I was going to draw a vector floor plan like a sane person. But then I figured I might as well start blocking in Blender, and then I just had to start making things pretty.)

That being said – I solemnly swear I will only be designing the feast chamber for this scene. Because no plot happens in the other two rooms. That I’m aware of at this point, anyway.


The feast chamber, like the rest of the Shelisk citadel, is old and hasn’t been very well maintained over the last fifty years. So there will be cracks and peeling paint and rust.

But. There has been a mad scramble over the last couple of days to prepare the place for a royal feast. So.

  • There will be carpets, lots of carpets, both on the floors and on the walls.
  • There will be tablecloth and ornate bench coverings.
  • There will be some movable decor, like sculptures and precious tableware. Not a lot of it though, just whatever the royal retinue brought with them – and they’re here for a fiscal inspection, not for a feast, so they didn’t bring all that much.
  • So a lot of the movable decor will also be local – brass, bronze, copper and wood.

The royal feast chamber would’ve had a special dais for the king to sit on, but, again, this is the ward town of Shelisk, so we’ll be settling for a separate table.  Or even a semi-separate table. 



People sitting at the tables were probably the hardest to figure out.

Other than the royal family and the dyv guests, there are…

  • The King’s Companions – the knights of the Royal Company. They are the feudal nobility serving the crown in exchange for land. In theory, they are the backbone of the crown’s military might, and have an advisory role at court. Of course, the king does rely on his regular hussars and gunners way more nowadays, so the Companions are there mostly as a symbol, but still, there’s at least a dozen or so of them, and they get seats at the table. 12 people.
  • Speaking of hussars, there are the hussars. The King’s hussars, and the Tregoríe hussars. They are technically accompanying the king and the prince  as guards, but it’s the gunners and the haubreks who handle day to day security, so actual hussars get seats as well. I’d say 30 people or so for the crown, and 10 for Tregoríe. 
  • Then there are Meled’s descriers. Who are mostly blending in with the hussars and so get a seat. That’s another 10 people.
  • Then there are some high-ranking court officials like the Keeper of the Seals, her clerks (3), the Court Sorcerer with an apprentice, the Court Seer, the off-duty royal secretaries (4), and the gunner captains. 12 people.
  • And then, on a whole different note, there are the locals. The steward of Shelisk, the bailiff, the head mage, and probably the more prominent local nobles. Let’s say 15 people.

Ok, those were rough numbers and they changed a tiny bit when I started figuring out the seating plan. Results look roughly like this:

Feast hall seating plan

Glad I started blocking, because now I can get a sense of how things will look in perspective, too:

The crowd isn’t as huge as the Halcian crowd, but it’s still a crowd. Besides, there’s also staff.


Court Officers

  • the First Courtier (in charge of organizing the feast overall and making any announcements as needed)
  • the Great Cup-Bearer (in charge of serving the king specifically, and testing his food for poison)
  • the Watcher of the Stands (in charge of the pantlers, the stand-chamber, and of food being served in correct order) – I think the local head mage was actually entrusted with that, so hey, minus one guest!


These are the people actually serving food and drink to the guests. This is considered to be an honourable service, and to be a royal pantler is to hold a high rank. Most of the pantlers are junior relatives of the dining guests. 


Music is an important part of Bereghin culture in general, and highly respected. At a royal feast the musicians, like pantlers, are nobles. The designated junior ones play while the guests eat. However, in the second half of the feast, after the courses are served, the senior guests themselves may join in music playing, singing, or dancing. 


Normally, the security of a royal feast would be in the hands of the King’s Gunner Company. In this case, because the feast is being technically held by Prince Meled or at least on his behalf, some of the guards will be Tregoríe gunners as well. There are also two ceremonial Throne Guards from the King’s Company. 

Cooks and servants

They exist and I’d like to acknowledge them here. They are the ones cooking and getting food from the kitchens to the stand-chamber. But they don’t appear in this scene, so I’m not going to worry about them right now. 

Food and Schedule

First half

When the guests first arrive, the tables are already laid with tableware:

  • plates (one per two guests) 
  • goblets (one per guest) 
  • cruet sets (one per four guests)
  • dishes with cut bread (one per four guests)

Once the king and all the high guests arrive, the pantlers fill the goblets. The first toast is drunk, and the guests ritually taste the bread.

After that, everyone sits, and the pantlers bring out the food. They serve it in several courses. First they bring out the whole dishes and parade them around the feast chamber, then return it to the stand-chamber to be cut and portioned, and then they serve the portions to the guests according to hierarchy.

The drinks are brought out in several courses as well, in huge bowls from which the pantlers scoop and pour them for the guests. 

After several courses are served, a whole lot of dishes are brought out and set on the tables so the diners can pick and choose what they want. At that point, the more formal part of the feast is over. The guests turn to singing, music-making, and dancing. 


There’s a special genre of feast songs, meant to be sung all together, and one of the more common dances is a ring dance, where the participants dance all together in a circle. These are meant to reinforce the sense of camaraderie and unity. But this is also the part of the feast where particularly skilled musicians and singers among the higher nobility may perform solo for the pleasure of the king and his guests. Even the king himself may occasionally sing or play music in that context. There are also solo and pair dances, for showing off or for declaring alliances. 


After a while, the king signals for the pantlers to bring out the dessert, also in several courses. These are accompanied by sweet low-alcohol meads, or even by non-alcoholic medle (a type of honey-based hot drink). At the end, the king raises the final toast and leaves, and the guests disperse. 

(Highlighted stuff is what I’m planning to make appear on the page)

  • Initial set-up: bread 
  • Course 1: Roasted poultry & fish
  • Course 2: Soup, porridge, and sourie (a type of fermented porridge)
  • Course 2: Red meats with various vegetables
  • Course 3: Pies and pickled foods
  • Course 4 (full table): more pies, pickled/salted fish, caviar, pickled vegetables and mushrooms 
  • Course 5 (dessert): sweet pies, spice-bread, honeyed fruits and nuts

Drinks: wine, mead, beer, medle.


Phew! I think I finally have a decent enough plan to start on the actual art.

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