The Exaltations image shows Peter Refton, a very widely travelled biographer, and several of his allies: a knight/martial artist from a parallel Europe, a bureaucrat from a parallel China, and a muse, a frustrated and bored personification of Contemplation from an island outside of time and space.
The mosaic is an important plot element, as are the coins above.
This is an egg tempera painting. I made my own paints for it. Advance preparation and drawings took several weeks, but I painted the image itself in three very intense days.