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Witches were a rare breed in the United States, their ancestors learning that after the Salem Witch Trials that nowhere was safe. In desperation, they hid their Book of Shadows and let the secrets of their heritage hide with them.
They remained hidden until they were sought out by the entity known as John Blake. A witch child born during the trials in Salem, John was forcibly taken from his mother and given to a mundane childless couple to raise.
As he grew, so did his anger at being different. Railing against the constraints his adoptive parent’s culture placed on him and seeking to find his real parentage. After learning of his true lineage, he formed a coven of his own before dying at sea while attempting to find the Major Arcanum.
Fast forward several hundred years to the early ’80s and teenagers in New Hope, Pennsylvania were discovering their lineage hidden in the attics of their generational homes. Resurrecting the spirit of the last great coven leader, they took to him for guidance. They even created him a homunculus body, through the use of alchemy.
John manipulated them, tearing apart relationships to build new ones and encouraging them to wed only each other. Breeding them like cattle, to create the powerful coven. When the babies arrived, the shock of what their children could do opened their eyes. The coven turned on Blake, seeking answers. The result was horrific, leaving most of the coven dead and Blake horrifically scarred.
He moved to another city, this time with knowledge of what he could accomplish. In Chance Harbor, Washington, he had to rely on his descendants, changing his name to John Blackwell. Through careful research, he collected a new coven of witch descendants and began to play the matchmaking game again. The time left in his body was short, still gravely injured from the fire in New Hope, and he became reckless. Just like before, the witches of Chance Harbor resisted him once they learned of what he was doing, but instead of trying to take him out themselves they turned to witch hunters. The result was the same, most of the coven dead and Blackwell surviving another day.
Now desperate to see his plan come to fruition, and twice scorned, he changed tactics. John relocated to Sedona, Arizona and spread his gospel to the winds and collected a third coven of witch descendants, these ones openly willing to bring back the magic. He confided in them his plans, before succumbing to his injuries. The witches of Sedona placed his soul inside a carefully prepared crystal skull and buried it for him in New Hope.
History has a way of repeating itself, and the children born in New Hope, Chance Harbor and Sedona all grew up to create their own coven of witches. Some were fueled by wanting to know answers behind their parent’s mysterious deaths or wishing to understand the unique abilities they were born with.
The spirit of John Blake was eventually released through the discovery of the Crystal Skull, and this time he wanted a body that would last. He began to stalk Abraham Chatham, a powerful medium and twin brother to Phaedra Chatham. Twins were always a taboo subject among witches, due to their shared soul and proclivity for turning into a maleficar.
He manipulated events, so Phaedra died, her magickal power flowing into her twin and overwhelming him. Whispering, the spirit of John Blake offered the brother a deal: he would show him how to save his sister in exchange for his powerful body.
Brahm brought Phaedra back to life, taking her place in death. John Blake, now a powerful Maleficar, left New Hope and guided his teachings to the world, arranging marriages with the soul plan on bringing magic back to the world.