Jean-Claude is the current Master of The City of St. Louis and the head of the new vampire council in the United States. His Human Servant is Anita Blake and his wolf to call is Richard Zeeman. Together, they form Jean-Claude's triumvirate. He is also a sourdre de sang -- head of his own line -- due to the power increase Jean-Claude received from Anita and Richard when forming his triumvirate. He is also owner of several businesses around St. Louis.
Description & Personality
Jean-Claude has black hair and deep blue eyes so dark they resemble black at times. He has two sets of upper eyelashes which gives them the appearance of black lace. He is often described as having long pale fingers. Though his features are described as delicate, there would be no mistaking he was a man. He moves with the fluid grace of a dancer. He is around 5' 11", and has a cross-shaped burn on his chest.
Jean-Claude's personality is often times mysterious to those who don't know him well. He can appear cruel or indifferent at times, but he does tend to show more mercy than other Masters of The City. He has confessed that this is Anita's influence on him that has softened him somewhat in terms of behavior. He is still rather guarded on his true feelings about a great number of things since he lived for centuries with vampires who would use a person's emotions to their own advantages.
On occasion Jean-Claude will speak of his mortal life to his Human Servant, Anita Blake. He was born in France on a dirt floor to a rather poor French family. He was sold to an aristocratic family when he was quite young to be the whipping boy for the only son of the family, who was the same age as Jean-Claude. He was raised with the boy and treated the same as him by the boy's parents. He was given everything the son was given and received the same tutors and education. When the son misbehaved, however, it was Jean-Claude who was punished, so as not to risk the reputation of the son and his upper class family. Later he had a wife, but she died in childbirth along with their child.
Jean-Claude was made a vampire by Lissette when he was in his thirties. Immediately upon his creation he acquired the Ardeur -- a rare power amongst those in the line of Belle Morte. His first Master of the City was Julian, who would bring in people for Jean-Claude to feed his Ardeur upon, but people Jean-Claude would not have chosen for himself. In his desparation he took them, much to the amusement of Julian, who knew that Jean-Claude would take whatever he was offerred. When he'd been a vampire for five years, Lissette sent for Belle Morte at the Vampire Council to teach Jean-Claude control over his Ardeur. Belle Morte sent Asher to look Jean-Claude over and to report back to her. When Asher returned, he advised against bringing Jean-Claude to the Vampire Council because he was jealous of Jean-Claude's beauty. Ignoring Asher's advice, Belle Morte sent for both Jean-Claude and his creator, Lissette.
Life inside the Vampire Council Court
Despite Asher's initial reluctance to send for Jean-Claude, once he was inside the Council, Asher and Jean-Claude formed a friendship and were often paired together by Belle Morte to do services for her (whether this involved seducing someone or tending to her own needs). They quickly became her favorite pair of lovers. They were within her utmost "inner circle" of truly favoured.
Asher and Jean-Claude left the Vampire Council and Belle Morte for the safety of Asher's human servant, Julianna. For many years they travelled together, but when Jean-Claude left to visit his dying mother, Julianna and Asher were captured by the Church. Julianna was burned to death for witchcraft and Asher was disfigured by holy water. To save Asher, Jean-Claude returned to Belle Morte for aid. Giving away a hundred years of servitude to Belle if she saved Asher.
After he returned to the Council years later to save the life of Asher, he was no longer held in favor. He spent the first three years trapped in a coffin, after which Belle continued to punish him by giving him to other vampires to do as they pleased.
Life After Council
Once the hundred years passed, Jean-Claude left Belle Morte and went to the New World to start a new life. He was helped by Augustine with safe safe passage on a boat. Eventually, he ended up in St. Louis under Nikolaos, who was the Master of the City. He was sent to her because her child's body was not something Jean-Claude would willingly seduce. While in St. Louis he grew in strength and power despite Nikolaos' attempts to limit his "feeding" of his Ardeur. Eventually, Jean-Claude would meet Anita Blake and through her, he would be able to dispatch Nikolaos to become the new Master of the City.
Powers & Abilities
- Immortality - Jean-Claude is over six hundred years old and possesses the appearance of a beautiful young man in his thirties.
- Superhuman Strength - Jean-Claude possesses considerable strength considering his age and status. He becomes stronger when Anita, his human servant, is in his presence as he can physically draw strength from her.
- Superhuman Speed
- Heightened Senses
- Accelerated Healing
- Psychic Abilities - Jean-Claude's powers are mostly sexual in nature. He can also hypnotize using his voice, gaze, and aura to excite or calm humans, lycanthropes, and lesser vampires.
- Animal to Call - He can call wolves and werewolves, and his wolf to call is Richard.
- Ardeur - Allows him to gain power ("feed") from lust and sex. His first business, the strip club Guilty Pleasures, allows him to use the ardeur to his advantage.
- Empathic Voice Manipulation - Anita characterizes Jean-Claude's voice as having an almost physical sensation, and typically describes his voice as "silk against skin" or "fur against skin".
- Age Masking - He can "feel" younger or older, in the minds of those who sense such things, than he really is. It allowed him to travel though other vampire's territories relatively unharmed due to them thinking he was young and weak. Initially, Anita thought he was around 200 or a little more. In mid-series, she thought he was around 400. In Danse Macabre Jean-Claude let it slip that he had not dreamt in nearly 600 years, putting his age older still.
- Rise Early - Thanks to his marks with Anita, he also has enough power that he no longer has to sleep as long as other master vampires (who usually require 8 hours of sleep, which can put them awake in the afternoon hours at times). It's not unusual to find him awake and moving around in the morning hours, and if he falls asleep in Anita's arms, he does not 'die at dawn' at all.
- Sourdre de Sang - In Cerulean Sins, Jean-Claude becomes sourde de sang of his own line when Belle-Morte is no longer able to use her own ardeur to feed from him.
- Triumvirate - Because he formed a triumvirate, with Anita and Richard, with himself as the focus he can control their power. In Bullet, during Bella Morte and Padma's attack he learns from watching Padma how to better control both his triumvirate, with Anita and Richard, and Anita's with Damian and Nathaniel, merging the power of the two.
- Leadership - Jean-Claude is a gifted leader and politician. He was able to build a financial empire seemingly on his own and successfully led both the St. Louis Vampire community and then the vampire race as a whole.
- Swordsmanship - Jean-Claude is nigh-invincible with a rapier. In Affliction Anita notes that every time he was challenged to a duel, Jean-Claude made it a battle of rapiers and always won.
Jean-Claude is a very good business man and owns several businesses in St. Louis. He owns the following businesses:
- Guilty Pleasures -- Jean-Claude's first business. A strip club where male vampires and shape shifters dance for the masses. Jean-Claude has admitted to giving private dances, himself, to special guests.
- Circus of the Damned -- This is a circus for preternatural things which seems to be passed down from master of the city to master of the city as it also serves as the resting place for most of the vampires in the city as well as the current Master.
- The Laughing Corpse -- A comedy club.
- Danse Macabre -- A dance club where humans get to dance with vampires and shape shifters.
- JC Corporation -- It is unclear exactly what this company does specifically. Perhaps it is simply a 'management' firm for Jean-Claude's other companies similar to a 'central hub', although it was specified in earlier books that Jean-Claude likes to run each of his companies separately in regards to workers and managers swapping companies for a night, it does not mean that financially they are not all connected. JC Corporation has its own jet.
- "I feel like a child in the dark who knows the monsters are under the bed. I want to be told it will be alright, but I am far too old to believe such comforting lies." - Jean Claude
- "I do not drink... wine." - Jean Claude (Burnt Offerings)
Jean-Claude has either been in, made cameo's in, or been spoken of in all the books in the Anita Blake Series. His first appearance being in Guilty Pleasures (novel), the first book within the series.