This is not a friendly place.
The canopy high above is so thick it blocks out the sun, leaving the forest floor below dark and gloomy. Despite this, the forest floor is a deep thicket of thorny bushes and prickly plants, allowing vines and roots to go unnoticed underfoot. Any man-made path that once cut through the foliage is long gone, overgrown years ago, leaving only thin, stone-specked trails frequented the animals that dwell within - and any sane human would avoid those, in this place.
Even avoiding the trails, any human who strayed into these dark woods would soon be chased out by the eyes in the darkness, if they were ever seen again at all. The animals are unnaturally fierce there, those survivors say, telling of how they faced attacks from everything from bears to songbirds, seemingly driven mad by the aura of the place. It's so silent there, say those who escape, shuddering at the reminder. Even the trees turn against you, they say.
The ones who escape with their minds and souls intact, that is.
There is only one reason anyone would brave the dark heart of the forest: deep inside the ancient, cursed forest, it is said, lie the ruins of an ancient, cursed temple, where dwells an ancient, cursed spirit, so evil its very presence has warped the wood around it. Some of those who enter the forest and return, it is said, made terrible deals with this spirit, trading their very humanity for great strength, power, beauty, or vengeance. Thus, the locals rightly treat any survivors with wariness, and speak of the forest only in warnings to stay far, far away.