Born into a coven of Salem witches, Nathaniel Poe was blessed with a genetic gift for the use of magic. Praying to the Witch Goddess Hecate, the coven taught him to use his powers for the betterment of mankind and for the protection of his fellow witches.
At 13, Nathaniel was bullied at school for his Goth appearance. He was expelled after a fight that left five of his classmates unconscious. In truth, Nathaniel had used his magic to drop a beam onto the bullies.
When one of the teens woke up, he told his father (a pastor) about the supposed use of magic. The pastor held an emergency sermon, and gathered an angry mob to march to the boarding house where the coven lived.
While the witches slept, the angry mob set fire to the house. Nathaniel, who had stormed out after an argument with his mother, returned to see the mob fleeing the scene. Overcome with grief and anger, the young witch fled into the woods.
That night, Nathaniel was confronted by a gnarled old woman. The crone revealed herself to be the goddess Hecate. With a wave of her hand, the woman cast a green fog over the young witch. He emerged more muscled and shaking with raw arcane power. Hecate declared that Nathaniel would serve as her champion and right wrongs committed against both witches and non-witches.
For 13 years, Nathaniel, now dubbed Arcano, trained with the goddess. His magic powers increased beyond those of any other living sorcerer, and her gained the ability to fly. In addition, his physical strength and endurance grew to one hundred times that of mortal men.
Finally, Arcano was dubbed ready. He left the protection of Hecate and set out for revenge. During a hellfire and brimstone sermon, Arcano appeared in a flash of green light before the congregation that had murdered his parents. With his bare hands and blasts of magic energy, Arcano slaughtered the congregation, sparing only those whom his magic revealed to be tolerant and accepting believers.
From that day forth, Arcano spent his days and nights crusading around the world for those of any faith (or no faith) who are persecuted for their beliefs. He has also battled generic criminals in his new adopted city of Boston, often using methods far more brutal than other heroes.
When not fighting for justice, Arcano adopted the guise of Edgar Hawthorne and worked as a librarian in the Boston Public Library.