This cover is intriguing to me, especially since it ended up being the only time we actually saw “ralds,” the principal currency of Gastonia. (John realized, quite correctly, that ralds would need to be fairly flat like most Earth currencies if they were going to be at all convenient to carry in one’s pockets or bags for trading purposes.)

However, I think the symbolism is a little obscure. Re-reading it, the image seems at first to be about money and how it can outweigh the other things that make life worthwhile (like science, lawmaking or other writings, and the signs of one’s culture).

But I felt the chapter was about the act of measuring a person’s worth. Syr’Nj, Gravedust, Scipio, and Harky will all experience evaluations from some brutally unforgiving judges, and will deal with that in dramatically different ways. You could connect that to the scales here, with the left side measuring the totality of what Syr’Nj is (science, learning, wood elf regalia) and the right representing how the Heads of Houses measure things (will she make us money? How much?). But that reading is far from obvious.