Memorandum for Second Legion High Command
Summary of Battle: As dictated by Optio Cornelia Midara
Sun's Dusk 26, 2E 577
With deepest regret, I must inform the Legate that our pursuit of the Icereach Coven has failed. Recent battles north and west of Falkreath resulted in major casualties, diminishing both fighting capacity and morale. In light of these developments, I have ordered an immediate withdrawal of all remaining legionaries to the Jerall crossing to await further orders. I strongly recommend that the Legate delay any additional deployments north of the Jeralls until the coven threat moves farther north.
Initial reports indicated that the Icereach Coven served the Reach-Emperor Leovic as advisors only. Their leader, a witch called Mother Ciannait, disproved that belief in horrific fashion.
During our first assault on the coven, we expected only modest resistance. We had harried them for over a week, across the highlands and into the Jerall Mountains in heavy snow. When we descended into Falkreath, we expected an exhausted enemy. What we found was a slaughter.
Mother Ciannait and her coterie of hags had taken refuge among the graves west of the town, summoning hordes of desiccated Nords and empowering them with vile enchantments. Amidst the howling winds and biting sleet we heard Ciannait's voice boom through the pines—oddly matronly, but also filled with arcane menace. Many legionaries fell under her influence and fled the field, shrieking and tearing at their armor, as if covered in a swarm of stinging insects. Others screamed in pain as the witches heated their metal cuirasses white-hot, like metal drawn from a forge.
I caught only a fleeting glimpse of her, lit by bursting flames and blasts of lightning. She wore a twisted wicker mask and the elements roared and danced around her like shrieking lunatics. I see her still when I close my eyes.
I pray the Legate will forgive these florid descriptions. I only mean to express the full effect of what we witnessed so we can exercise all due caution in the future. Should the Legate wish it, I will marshal my remaining legionaries and continue the chase. But I fear Mother Ciannait will make us pay an even higher price if we meet her again. I pray the Legate will allow us to return to Cyrodiil soon. This matter of the Icereach Coven is better left to the Nords.