"It is amazing to me how this one little stretch of water has changed the course of history," History of The New Country by Collen D’Madden Blue Diamond Press
As the officer strides into the thick and oppresive pitch-black gloom of the jungle, he silently signals to his men to fan out in a classic Quarsooth battle-formation with a nervous hand-gesture. He is very tense, almost afraid. The soothing, omnipresent presence in his mind tells him that he has no reason to worry, assuring him that victory will belong to those noble warriors that carry the standard of the invincible race of Zor-Tanis.
But there is something else cutting through the easy promises offered by that pleasant, gently commanding entity in his mind, as if determined to seize all his attention and use it to torment his imagination until it begins to scream for mercy. This something he cannot define and put words to, but it makes his skin crawl nevertheless. Despite the heat of the jungle, his blazing gold body-armor had suddenly become a chill prison that raises uncomfortable goosebumps along his chest.
Woried muttering from the rear tell him that his men like him, are unsettled. Turning aound in irritation, he begins to hiss at them to remain silent, afraid of alerting the very band of murdering monstrosities they have finally tracked into this eerie wilderness. It would be a rather embarassing matter for their commander if the very quarry they had been relentlessly pursuing for the past week or so, were to suddenly turn around and massacre all of them.
Too late he feels a something slithering around his neck. Fearful that it might be a pyhton, he reackes for his massive ‘‘fire-bow’‘, determined to incinerate the scaled menace before it can crush his larynx. But before his fingers even have a chance to close around the handle of the weapon hanging from his belt, another coil slithers out of the darkness and out of the darkness and pinions his arm, holding it in a painful crushing crip. As agony swamps him, he can vaguely hear a grim sound of cracking bones through the pain-filled haze that now holds him. His arm is being crushed. And then so quickly that his stunned mind has no time to register this new fact, there is no time left for more thought. The coil looped around his throat begins to squeeze, suffocating him. As the officer’s head begins to swim in the final moments of his life, he finally gains an excellent look at the thing that is stealing his life.
It is not a snake, but a vine. As if in response to this discovery, a now terrifyingly familiar roar of bestial fury rings through the gloom of the jungle..
In the Vrynenwood, the leaves are not what they seem.
After an age of war against the enchanted Fay a dark demi realm of chaos was created, Inhabited by twisted insane denizens with the increasingly rare bastion of sanity, A place to truly frighten an bewilder any unwary adventurer
Real World: some Indians in the Amazon treat their eyes with a traditional potion applied with palm leaves. Brutally painful, the drug alters vision, giving the jungle's dense green walls greater texture and dimension. You could adapt this to desert or swamps, or other hard to navigate regions.