I spent the last week in the Fallow Mire The bog stretches forever, and it’s slow riding at night when the mists get thick. You can still travel along the old roads, and there’s enough good hunting to make the trip worthwhile. Fish, birds, even a few harts. There’s one thing to look out for, though. When anything dies in the water, the mire preserves it. I was stalking a magnificent buck when a corpse clawed out of the water at me. I’m not afraid to say I ran. No rack of antlers is worth fighting a demon. My cousin in Fisher’s End thought it was funny. Says he has to look out for undead every time he goes outside the village! I don’t know how he stands it. — Diary of a hunter from Denerim
“Now of old the name of that forest was Greenwood the Great, and its wide halls and aisles were the haunt of many beasts and of birds of bright song; and there was the realm of King Thranduil under the oak and the beech. But after many years, when well nigh a third of that age of the world had passed, a darkness crept slowly through the wood from the southward, and fear walked there in shadowy glades; fell beasts came hunting, and cruel and evil creatures laid there their snares.
Then the name of the forest was changed and Mirkwood it was called, for the nightshade lay deep there, and few dared to pass through, save only in the north where Thranduil’s people still held the evil at bay.”–The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age