Deep in the marshes the Tree of Cognizance feeds on whatever living creatures come near it, using very powerful illusions and brute strength. It’s fruits are prized by those that understand the powers they offer.
Evil gives birth to many foul creatures, of these creatures the Negasek have emerged from a womb of darkness and terror. These powerful insect-like creatures radiate the dark force that gave birth to them, born of sheer negative energy, nearly dripping with the foulness of their diabolic nature.
Mining in a certain area turns all exposed skin (maybe just parts that are actively disturbing the chemicals that cause the reaction) of the those doing the mining to a dark blue color. Will wear off taking as many years/days spent in the mine. ... meeting a party of blue-skinned humans armed with pick-axes etc. Strange disease? Demon offspring? Curse? If they meet only one ex-worker, they will very carefully listen to any stories he says, no matter if drunken or insane, or just makes up to get a beer.