When the word mage is uttered, it is in the vast majority of cases directed solely at Black Mages and none other; the most common of all mages, Black Mages are found in every culture and kingdom in the world, serving as the primary source of magical artillery in large or small-scale battles. Together with the less renowned Green Mages, they form the category of elemental mages, as together these two disciplines of magic govern all four elements, fire, air, earth and water. Black Magi specialize in the teachings of Fire and Water - the elements which are most commonly attributed to destruction; their desserved name as mages of destruction has made most commoners highly suspicious of them as a group - and most commoners are very likely to refuse to shelter a black mage; fearing that he or she might accidentally destroy something important.
Black Mages excel in battle, in fact - unlike the opposing art of Green Magic, which grants its followers access to some beneficial and utilitarian spells, black magic is all about destruction and unrelenting offense. Overwhelming their opposition with arcing bolts of lightning, crushing torrents of water or even assaulting adversares with blasts of frigid cold. Due to their focus on destructive magic, Black Mages are treated as somewhat overspecialized by other Magi, as while their powers can be used for something other than battle, doing so requires alot of training in order to forcibly reign in the power they conjure with a single spell.