Saba was in love.

At fourteen summers, she was ready, and surely she was glad to be second daughter to the chief and not first. For her sister Cordaella, as chief's first daughter, was thereby Royal Woman of the tribe, whose husband would some day be king, and such things cannot be left to chance and mere liking.

Well, Cordaella was newly married and seemed pleased enough with the choice that the elders had made. But Saba, second daughter, could, in the way of things, choose for herself. And of all the young warriors, her eye had turned upon tall Brychan, he of the gray eyes and mouse-pale hair.

But Brychan was of the Cornovii.

Years before, there had been trouble, black trouble, between Saba's people and those to the North, but a peace had been made and hostages exchanged as a surety in the traditional way, and Brychan Chief's Son among them.

And surely his eye was turned upon her as well, and surely both of them knew that this could never be.

For there is no marriage outside of the tribe. This is the way of things, and everyone knows it; it is forbidden, beyond questioning, taboo.

And then it was Midsummer's Eve.

The Dobunni were that same people which in later days came to be known as the Hwicce. Some would say that from them and their ways come those we call witches and witchcraft.

And some would say otherwise.