If you undertake your travels to the Underworld while you are yet a living being, you may wish to sew your mouth closed--black thread is best. It is the surest way to avoid the temptations and escape with your soul intact.
Ever since J. R. R. Tolkien put his imprint on the fantasy genre, maps have become a staple in helping speculative fiction authors share their imagined world with the audience. Yet even as they provide this crutch to the reader, the location of maps outside the narrative raises questions about their literary significance. How does the map contribute to the creation of the invented geography? Are thematic dimensions of the narrative present on the map? And what sort of perspective does a map's author represent?
icebird's sharp feather / firebird's charred talon