Forest of Torment
From Dragon Eye Atlas
In (TODO: year), the forces of Njombia went into the Forest of Oujda to conquer the southern part for the growing human population. On their way, they slaughtered two small elven tribes and marched towards Taghassif, cutting and burning a wide path through the forest in order to bring their siege engines and heavy weaponry.
They were ambushed along the way multiple times and suffered heavy losses, but had trained and prepared for such situations and stuck together in defensive formations. The strategy was to force the elves into open combat, where the heavy armoured troops would prevail. What elves stood in their way were quickly defeated and slaughtered. Their corpses were stuck on poles to line the path that the invading army cut.
In a dense part of the forest, the Njombian army was finally surrounded and bombarded with magic stronger than any they had encountered before. The drain on the life-force of the forest was so strong that the area around the army withered and died during the exchange. After the spells had taken their toll, the elven army that had gathered over the past days attacked in force. A fierce battle was fought, with heavy casualties on both sides, but ultimately elven magic and determination prevailed. Two thousand Njombian soldiers were captured alive, twice as many fled the forest, with hundreds being cut down on their escape by elven pursuers.
When the battle was done, the elves took retribution for the attack and the slaughter of their tribes and defenders. A thousand spikes were erected in the withered clearing and a thousand soldiers were put to a slow and excruciating death on them, with their comrades forced to watch. More magic was used to prolong their suffering and preserve the corpses for a thousand years. The mana for this was taken from both the dying and the survivors and witnesses, leaving them physically crippled and mentally broken. After watching and being drained of life-force for three days, they were sent on their way back to Njombia. Very few of them ever recovered.
It is said that those left in the forest died for a fortnight, kept alive by magic. Their bodies are said to be preserved to this day, constant magic feeding on the forest around and preventing it from growing back, and keeping the tortured bodies from rotting. Few have witnessed the Forest of Torment since that fateful day, and many of those who did lost their mind over it.