When this painting was about half-done, I became aware the tree was as much the subject as the Territarch reclined upon it. The tree represents the state of the wolf bestian society at the beginning of the book: the civility is crackled and peeling away to reveal the rotting ruin beneath. The Territarch is not a queen exactly; the mantle is exclusively bestowed upon albinos, who are treated as semi-divine. Their role is to manage territorial disputes between adjacent packs. Thus they recieve great respect, but wield little power. The problem with painting such a pale subject is that having any spot of bright colour instantly draws too much attention away, hence the drab colours on this piece. My only concession to colour here was the night sky, painted blue Barry Windsor-Smith style. I tried to be more adventurous than usual with my tree-shape, keeping in mind Charles Vess' "nature-as-hero" approach. Vess' trees are brilliant.