Chade has fair skin, green eyes, and Farseer features, though his Farseer heritage is unknown to most. His face is heavily scarred from a past accident with an explosive. The pox-like marks often cause those who do not know him to believe he is the legendary Pocked Man, a harbinger of evil and death.
Chade's existence is unknown to most at Buckkeep Castle. For much of the time he serves as a Farseer assassin he only ventures out in public in disguise, frequently using the guise of the cantankerous Lady Thyme. Chade professes contentment with this lifestyle. During the Tawny Man Trilogy, however, he emerges as a public adviser of Queen Kettricken, and expresses his delight at being able to be in the public eye and interact with people.
Chade has the Farseer affinity for the Skill, but his illegitimate status made him ineligible to be tutored in it, causing the talent to dim and apparently die. Chade renews his efforts to learn the Skill in the Tawny Man Trilogy and eventually succeeds in developing the ability.
Chade can be quite sensitive about his status as an illegitimate Farseer, although he usually hides it well. He is particularly touchy about being prevented from learning the Skill as a child. Despite his firsthand knowledge of the challenges of being an illegitimate Farseer, Chade's promiscuous streak eventually leads him to father two illegitimate children.
Chade cares highly for his brother, great-nephew, and children, but remains aware at all times of his obligations to the Farseer throne. He prioritizes political stability and the good of the Six Duchies over his own and others' personal happiness.
Chade's mother was a soldier before being impregnated by King Bounty. He was born near Woolcot and hated his stepfather, a potter, who used to beat him. When Chade's mother died, his stepfather told him to go to his father.
Chade is instructed by King Shrewd to mentor FitzChivalry Farseer in an assassin's ways. Chade enters Fitz's room and leads him through the network of secret passageways within the castle to Chade's workroom. There, Chade begins instructing Fitz in various tools of an assassin's trade: various poisons and useful herbs, memory games, and practice in thievery.
Chade eventually asks Fitz to steal an item from Shrewd's own table, which troubles Fitz so much that he falls ill. Chade apologizes for the request, which is later revealed to have been Shrewd's idea.
Chade advises Fitz on his information-gathering duties in Neatbay, where he is to be sent as part of Verity's retinue. Unbeknownst to Fitz, Chade accompanies him on the visit in the guise of Lady Thyme, who is infamous among Buckkeep Castle residents for being reclusive, ill-mannered, and foul-smelling. Fitz acts as her serving-boy without realizing her true identity.
While in Neatbay, Chade receives word from a messenger that Red Ship Raiders have pillaged the settlement of Forge. Chade sends for Fitz and reveals himself. The two journey overnight to Forge, Chade having consumed a large quantity of carris seed to fortify himself. They discover the first Forged Ones and are forced to flee. When they encounter a group of escaping villagers, Chade is mistaken for the Pocked Man, and he and Fitz hide themselves. Chade's carris-seed strength then deserts him, and he spends the rest of his time in Neatbay recovering.
As the pillages continue and the number of Forged Ones increases, Chade becomes critical of King Shrewd's indecisive behavior regarding the Red Ship Raiders, as well as Shrewd's overindulgence of Regal. Chade also informs Fitz that he is to be trained in the Skill, following Lady Patience's request for it, as a potential member of a new coterie. He warns Fitz that he should be wary of the Skill-instructor Galen.
Chade unexpectedly visits Fitz in the isolated cabin where he resides. Although he first pretends that the visit is merely social, Chade soon reveals that his intention is to convince Fitz to return to life at Buckkeep, specifically to teach Prince Dutiful the Skill.
During Queen Kettricken's reign, Chade acts openly as her adviser and is quite popular among the ladies of the court. As long suspected by Fitz, he has some of the lesser magics such as scrying in water. He also has some aptitude for the Skill, although it has been damaged by his long use of elfbark as a stimulant, and after an agonized struggle to master it, he becomes part of Dutiful's coterie.
Chade takes on a number of new apprentices after Fitz. First is Rosemary, who had been used as a spy by Regal. He later takes his own two illegitimate children, Lant and Shine, as his apprentices, but finds them both unsuited to the work of an assassin. His most recent apprentice is Spark.