In the quiet town of Salem, a Coven of witches found solace—a haven amidst the New World's uncertainties. Blending in with the members of the Massachusets Bay Colony, the Coven found lasting peace there for several decades. However, by 1692, Salem was divided into two distinct parts: the Town and the Village.
Salem Town, a bustling hub of commerce, teemed with blacksmiths, carpenters, and innkeepers. In contrast, Salem Village was a modest rural community, home to impoverished Puritan farmers and a handful of powerful families like the Putnams.
Tensions simmered between the two, fueled by the farmers' envy and resentment toward Salem Town's prosperity and influence. The economic control the town held over the village only deepened these divides.
Within this tumultuous backdrop, the Salem witch trials unfolded, driven by suspicions, resentments, and fears of outsiders. Among those who rose to prominence during this dark period was a witch known as "Black" John.
While playing a double game during the Witch Trials, he clandestinely advocated for the Coven's relocation to a newly discovered island while fanning the flames of persecution behind the scenes. Once the hysteria ended, the Coven quietly picked up their servants and households and moved to the island, eventually named New Salem. In this new settlement, the Coven's presence was an open secret. Black John rose to power as the undisputed coven leader. However, some questions remained unanswered and suspicion about his behaviour began to take hold.
As new settlers arrived, the Witches of New Salem grappled with the need to protect their craft from outsiders, posing a challenge for Black John. His desire for control over these mundane settlers threatened the unity of the Coven.
Driven by the need to protect themselves, some members of the Coven embarked on a mission of secrecy. Their precious objects of power were shrouded in hidden recesses, protected by spells that cloaked their presence from all, including Black John himself. When he discovered their deception, the betrayed witch set sail to retrieve these artefacts, unaware of a tempest brewing on the horizon.
As if guided by unseen forces, the Accomack Storm descended upon New Salem with unrestrained fury, its wrath unleashed upon the island's shores. The gales roared, waves crashed with a deafening symphony, and the sky unleashed its wrath in torrents of rain. Amidst this tumultuous maelstrom, Black John's ill-fated vessel succumbed to the merciless might of the storm, vanishing into the ocean's depths, never to be seen again.
Haunted by the possibility of Black John's return, the circle remained vigilant, safeguarding the hidden tools of their trade. New instruments were fashioned, born of necessity, but they paled compared to the ancient power imbued within their predecessors.
Despite the loss of the Master Tools, the town prospered. The Coven remained an open secret, their practices accepted and sometimes embraced by their mundane neighbours. Some families blended in, while some came into their own power.
A hundred years before our story begins, some of the witches of New Salem attempted to leave their magical heritage behind. Their Book of Shadows and other ritualistic materials were quietly set aside. As a result, the parents of the present-day cast had limited access to their magical heritage.
However, a newcomer named John Blake arrived on Crowhaven Road, and moved into the abandoned house at number thirteen. Weaving his way into the parents' lives, he saw to the resurrection of the old ways. The parents all formed a grand coven, with John Blake as their charismatic leader. Through a series of orchestrated marriages during Ostara, he forever altered their lives. From those unions, a unique generation was born — infants who instinctively possessed the power to call upon the mystical forces. The coven was split, between those who felt that they had been manipulated and those who didn't and it led to a confrontation on the night that Hurricane Martha directly hit New Salem.
Hurricane Martha completely ravaged the island, claiming the lives of Blake and all those who confronted him. The surviving parents, traumatized by the events, locked away their painful memories of magic, fearful of acknowledging the circle's existence. Despite their attempts to steer their children away from the craft, the pure talent and natural-born connection to magic within the children could not be tampered. This is the backdrop for the Secret Circle.