As always, I try to temper my feelings. It does no credit to either the Alldrits or myself to build them into legendary figures. Some of the stories I've been told portray them as holding very different mindsets about the Craft than I do.

But still, this thought is ever-present in my mind. If Deryk hadn't brought his strand of Wicca from England. . . If Deryk hadn't come to St. Louis for his work. . . If they hadn't started Watersmeet. . .

In so many ways, I owe everything I am to these two strangers.

Who were they?

* * *

The only name I have for the mother coven—the one from which Watersmeet was born—is the Coven of the Rollright Stones. Which isn't much help, honestly. Like all the various megalithic structures in England, the Rollright Stones have been a magnet for modern Pagans since the movement began. I'm sure there have been a dozen covens of the Rollright Stones over the years. Searching there hasn't turned up much—nothing about Deryk or Carry, nothing about the mother coven, nothing about my greatest, unspoken hope—the idea that perhaps a sister coven to my own still exists, somewhere in Mercia, as ignorant of our shared lineage as are of them. Nothing turns up, except for pretty pictures of boulder formations with names like the King's Men and the Whispering Knights.

But oh, those pictures. I see the green grass and the white stone, and all my mind is given over to longing. I see the Rollright Stones and I see the ghosts of those who crafted me without ever knowing my name. I see those stones—stones I have never seen myself, but from where my life springs, like the ankh on Carry's tombstone—and my heart aches for home.