The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG
Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure
Although the common perception is that practitioners of the dark arts are evil, this is a fallacy. Sure, there are some black mages and wizards that fall from grace, turning their back on heroism and instead simply working towards their own needs (lust, greed, survival). These sorcerers pervert their powers, thinking only of themselves where there's a world in need. But then, the same can happen for any powerful profession, from policemen to politicians -- power can corrupt us all.
Claude Jones is not one of the bad guys. While he has power over the dark magics (and may dabble, from time to time, in necromantic arts -- for science, of course) he's not a greedy, self-serving lout. He's in it for the greater good, helping people and all that, because that's what Black Mages are supposed to do. That's what he learned at the academy, and we all know mage academies are august establishments beyond reproach.
Having spent his formative years in school, Claude was sent out, degree in hand, to find wrongs to right and demons to fight (a popular cheer at the academy rugby matches). Not officially an apprentice or journeyman, Claude was free to do his own thing, exploring the world and finding trouble. And he did, almost immediately. While he may have had a small compliment of magic, Claude was sadly not ready for all the beasts that lurked in the forest just outside of town (imps, so how sad is that?).
Thankfully he ran into another newly graduated hero, Eric Smith, a warrior by trade (and a good power forward on the sporting field). Teaming up together, Claude and Eric bested the foes before them (which wasn't hard considering they were imps), and their partnership was almost immediately cemented.
While not much of a fighter -- mages are better at magic then hitting or stabbing -- Claude is a man of his craft. With his magic at full power, and the right spells under his belt (more literally in his spell-book), Claude is a force to be reckoned with. He can annihilate imps at 500 paces, eradicate sharks with one hand tied behind his back, and bake a potato with the snap of his fingers.
He still can't take a punch, though, a fact his friend Eric loves to tease him about. One good smack to the face and Claude is out like a light. Which is why it's good he has a meat shield (Eric) to protect him while he works his mojo.
But don't think Claude can't wield a weapon -- he does have a staff, and knows how to use it. Simply put he just feels like weapons are beneath him. Sure, he'll use one if he has to, but why hit some one when you can incinerate them with fire.
Admittedly it's hard to argue with that logic.