When I wrote the story of my enslavement at the hands of the Crow-Wives, “A Life Barbaric and Brutal," I didn't expect anyone would read or care. It caught me quite off guard when I started receiving letters—and even visits—from scholars, historians, mages, and others of that sort. It seems that the tome I left with the Master of Incunabula at the Mages Guild in Wayrest had been requested frequently, and that several copies were created.
Apparently there is a shortage of information about the Reachmen and their practices. As you can imagine, most people they enslave aren't as resourceful (or lucky) as I was, and the clans aren't exactly keen on letting outsiders visit for a sip of tea and a little chat about their wicked magics or Daedra-worship. While I'm happy to help preserve knowledge and the like, I have to admit that I'm getting a little tired of all the intrusions, so let me clear the air on some of the silly speculations I've heard (as if my first book wasn't clear enough).
If you want to know about Reachmen, know that they most certainly are not a misunderstood and secretly noble people. They don't even want to be left alone—they want to attack, enslave, and conquer. Has everyone already forgotten the slaughter committed by Durcorach as he cut his way through High Rock, murdering and defiling as he went? Sometimes the history books do not lie, and I can assure you they don't exaggerate the cruelty of the Reachmen.
Many mages I've spoken to ask me about the magic of the Reachmen. I can't say I know much about it, but I can say with authority that it is not the “mostly benign form of nature magic" suggested by a few of these individuals. I tried to avoid the tribe's shamans as much as possible. They were constantly covered in spiders and other filthy creatures, muttering to themselves as they squatted over foul alchemical brews. And it's an obvious fact that the gravesingers are necromancers!
I don't know how typical the Crow-Wives were of Reachmen clans. I do know that they were deeply involved in Daedra-worship of the foulest kind. I was forced to witness horrible rituals, from live burnings and literal blood baths to raucous dismemberments, all in the presence of that horrible Ever-Oozing Altar. I'll never be able to forget the writhing masses of centipedes, roaches, and squirming horrors that formed a thick carpet on the ritual hut's floor when the tribe called out to Namira. The clan often ate these, still alive, right off the ground during worship.
Besides the evil magic and abominable Daedric rituals, the Crow-Wives engaged in plenty of run-of-the-mill barbarism. Kloavdra, the hagraven, seemed to think pranks (especially those that ended in someone getting hurt) were hilarious, and encouraged all sorts of bullying. She rewarded the clever and nasty and punished the meek. Children deemed too weak were sacrificed to Namira in addition to regular random sacrifices. And, of course, there were the raids. Whether they were on other tribes or small villages, they were always brutally violent affairs, sneak attacks designed to catch the targets off-guard and completely dominate them.
So, there, my second book, with as much as I can remember about their horrid practices. Now I'd appreciate it if you'd all let me continue with my life!