Around sixty years before the events of Halt's Peril, a river nearby flooded from heavy rainfall and the water flowed into the forest, unable to flow out of it due to the terrain. Rain continued to fall and the entire forest was flooded, drowning the trees and killing them. The flood eventually abated, leaving the trees to rot. They lost their leaves and sap and became dried-out husks, leaving thousands of dead, stiff trunks and branches to stand until some other force intervened.
Sixty years later, Tennyson and a group of criminals, along with the Genovesan Assassins Marisi and Bacari, passed through the forest, leaving a very clear trail as a trap for Halt, Will and Horace, who were trailing them, to follow. The Genovesans lay in wait in the forest as Halt and Will ventured into it; Halt trying to distract the assassins' attention away from Will.
Eventually, the two assassins had forced Halt to lay flat against the forest floor as the waited for him to make a move, knowing they would be able to shoot him as soon as he did so. Will crept around their flank, and was almost upon them when Halt jumped up. The Rangers both fired, hitting and killing Marisi and causing him to miss his shot. Bacari managed to fire off three more shots with separate crossbows; missing two and grazing Halt's arm with a poisoned bolt on the third, before he fled the forest on horseback.
The two Rangers left the forest, rejoining Horace, and skirted around its edge the next morning rather than going through it.