Leoman of the Flails was a captain in the Raraku Apocalypse[1] and bodyguard of Sha'ik. He was thirty years old and described as lean and dark-skinned, with startling light blue eyes.[2] He carried two one-handed morning stars thrust through his belt as well as a crossbow. He wore a colourless Telaba scarf over a peaked iron helm.[3]

Heboric and Sha'ik both described him as a pragmatist and not fanatical in his support of the Whirlwind.[4][5]

His lieutenant, Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas, was one of his closest friends and confidants during the Whirlwind.[6]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Awakening the Whirlwind

Toblakai, Sha'ik and Leoman of the Flails by Grimhilde

Leoman and Toblakai accompanied Sha'ik into the desert to receive the Book of Dryjhna from Mebra's agent, Kalam Mekhar. After the Bridgeburner assassin departed, Sha'ik prepared to open the book to unleash the Whirlwind, but was assassinated by a Red Blade crossbow. The two bodyguards drove off the attackers and remained with Sha'ik's body.[7]

They guarded the corpse and the book for weeks, gaunt and dazed from hunger, until the arrival of Felisin Paran and Heboric. Leoman named the girl Sha'ik Reborn and led her to the Whirlwind camp at the Raraku oasis.[8][9]

In House of Chains Edit

Preceding the events of Deadhouse Gates, Leoman was in a Malazan prison in Ehrlitan after being betrayed by an unidentified compatriot. He was placed in the same cell as Karsa Orlong and the two formed a pact to aid each other. When Torvald Nom broke into the prison to rescue Karsa, he freed Leoman as well. Leoman helped Karsa escape the city, but they were given up by the spy Mebra and followed by Malazan horsemen into the desert.[10]

Together, Leoman and Karsa headed to Raraku in search of Sha'ik. They found her and the two joined her army, Karsa spending most of his time in a glade building statues while Leoman spent most of his time ensconced in the fumes of Durhang.[11]

Later, after the Whirlwind's victory over Coltaine and Pormqual's forces at Aren, Sha'ik Reborn withdrew the Army of the Apocalypse back to Raraku. Leoman chafed at allowing Adjunct Tavore Paran's Malaz 14th Army to advance unmolested towards the Holy Desert. He convinced Sha'ik to allow him to lead 1,500 desert warriors on a scouting mission of the enemy's disposition. Leoman took Corabb with him and had no intentions of honouring his promise not to engage the Malazans.[12]

Leoman's Charge by Sam Burley

Leoman's Charge by Sam Burley (official artwork)

Leoman's forces executed a number of brutal and well planned guerrilla attacks on the advancing 14th Army. In one such attack, his warriors burned at least a dozen supply wagons to the ground using flaming oil bolas.[13] In another, he lured three hundred hot-blooded Seti cavalry into an ambush in a gorge where all were killed.[14]

Adjunct Tavore responded by planning an ambush of her own. Several squads of Malazan Marines camouflaged themselves under the desert sand in advance of the Malazan defensive positions. Once Leoman's warriors attacked, the Marines revealed themselves, attacking Leoman from behind with Moranth munitions.[15] By the time the 14th Army reached Raraku, Leoman only had 700 warriors left in his command.[16]

At the Battle of Raraku, Leoman fully expected to remain an observer with Mathok and his desert tribes while Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers fought the Malazans.[17] But Dom turned on Sha'ik, sending his assassins against her High Mages and allies. Sha'ik summoned Leoman to take command of the army from Korbolo Dom, but Leoman knew it was too late to greatly amend Dom's strategy.[18][19] Mathok fled the oasis to take the Book of Dryjhna to safety, leaving Leoman with command of his remaining nine thousand desert warriors.[20]

Overnight, Korbolo Dom's Dogslayers were slain by the ghosts of Raraku. Leoman remained confidant the Malazans could still be beaten, but not at that time and place. Before he could convince Sha'ik to withdrew, she challenged Adjunct Tavore to single combat and was slain. As Sha'ik fell, Leoman ordered his troops to scatter and flee for Y'Ghatan.[21]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Leoman of the Flails by Dejan Delic

Leoman by Dejan Delic

Leoman led the remaining four thousand warriors[22] of the Army of the Apocalypse to Y'Ghatan and Adjunct Tavore's 14th Army followed. He assured Corabb, his Second and "only friend left breathing", that the Malazans would bleed themselves to death besieging the city much as Dassem Ultor had before. The Army of the Apocalypse would make its stand and the city's name would forever be a curse upon their tongues. He said he had a secret plan and made Corabb promise to follow his commands no matter what madness seemed to drive them.[23]

Before Y'Ghatan's gates Leoman slew Vedor, the city's Holy Falah'd and named himself Falah'd in his place. Then he named the city's guard captain, Dunsparrow, his Third to cement control of the city's garrison and prepare for the Malazans.[24] Leoman and Dunsparrow quickly became lovers and Corabb felt displaced as his leader's confidante.[25]

In preparation for the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan, Leoman evacuated the civilian population to Lothal, built new walls to seal the city, and took control of its massive stockpiles of olive oil.[26] He also made a secretive visit to the Temple of the Queen of Dreams to speak to the Goddess herself.[27][28] Corabb suspected Leoman was hiding something from him, which was something that had never happened before.[29] Dunsparrow's smug hints that she was aware of the plan inflamed Corabb's hatred for her.[30]

Tavore's army surrounded the city and quickly launched a night assault against the walls using Moranth munitions. Corabb was confounded when Leoman made no efforts to defend the walls and instead allowed the enemy soldiers to enter the city. Once inside, the Malazans became bogged down by ambushes from hidden groups of archers and swordsmen. When enough Malazans were engaged in street fighting, Leoman sprung his trap. The city's olive oil-soaked buildings were set alight and the streets quickly became an inferno.[31]

While his fanatical troops died fighting, Leoman hurriedly led Dunsparrow and Corabb to the Temple of the Queen of Dreams. There, Corabb discovered Leoman had made a bargain with the Queen of Dreams that allowed them to escape to safety. When the astonished Corabb asked how he could abandon his soldiers and not fight on in the name of Dryjhan, Leoman responded, "Hood take Dryjhna!" Leoman was determined to live without having to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. The Army of the Apocalypse would die along with many of the hated Malazans, but all would think him dead. In so doing, betrayed Corabb's trust, ending their friendship. While High Mage L'oric opened the magic gate for their escape, Corabb chose to remain behind.[32]

Later, Cutter witnessed a vision of Leoman and Dunsparrow's arrival before the Queen of Dreams in her own realm. The goddess was disappointed that Corabb, Chosen of Oponn, had not come with them. Leoman was eager to hash out what service she required of him to fulfill their bargain. He offered to kill someone on her command, but refused to be anyone's protector. The goddess said she valued his skepticism, but for now she required nothing of him.[33] Leoman's plan was not as flawless as he believed. The Claw, Pearl, was fully aware of his escape into the warren of D'riss under the Queen of Dreams' protection.[34]

In Stonewielder Edit

Leoman reappeared under the assumed name of "Jheval", now with a long, black moustache and describing himself not so much "good at killing", but rather "good at surviving". His weapons of choice were two morningstars which he wore on each hip. An agent of the Queen of Dreams, he was tasked with accompanying Kiska on her search for Tayschrenn, who had disappeared through a Chaos rent during the Battle of the Plains.[35][36] The pair followed the trail into Shadow where they were hunted by Hounds of Shadow before being joined by Warran, a Shadow priest.

Their path took them to the site of a Chaos Whirl, where they discovered a Tiste Liosan encampment as well as Leoman's old acquaintance L'oric. The High Mage revealed Jheval's true identity to a stunned Kiska and ordered the trio imprisoned.[37] After Leoman and Kiska escaped they passed into the Whorl where they met Yathengar the insane Seven Cities mage who had created it. Leoman humoured the mage and his plans for a new rebellion against the Malazans long enough for he and Kiska to pass through the Whorl.[38]

They found themselves on a strange beach that Leoman coined the Shores of Creation. Tayschrenn was nowhere to be found, but Leoman was satisfied to be in a place out of reach of his enemies and finally free of fear.[39]

In Orb Sceptre Throne Edit

Leoman continued the search for Tayschrenn with Kiska, finding the High Mage in a different state than he was before (with the memories of his past life forgotten), on the Shores of Creation. After several adventures with daemon-like creatures and a powerful being called Korus,[40] who opposed their presence on the Shores, Kiska was finally able to bring back Tayschrenn's memories.

When Kiska and Tayschrenn decided to head back for the real world, Leoman opted to stay behind and spend some time in peace without the fear of being hunted by anyone.[41] He joined Maker on the Shores of Creation and spent his time telling anecdotes from his life, especially the women he had been with, something Maker enjoyed a lot. Kiska later returned to make sure Leoman was still content.[42]


Leoman had been a foundling of Y'Ghatan before the Malazan conquest and per Y'Ghanni custom was raised within the Temple of Scalissara. There he was taught the ways of the Cold Dream, a ritual celebrating a kind of divided spirit, and the war between desire and necessity within a mortal's spirit. After a few years of guidance under the temple's priestesses, his wild indulgences led to his expulsion into the streets. From there he left for the Odhans to live among the desert tribes. Only wine and durhang could induce Leoman to loosen his tongue and speak of his youth.[43]


Leoman's startlingly blue eyes may have hinted of a strong ancestry from remnants of the First Empire's original people. This characteristic was still known amongst a subjugated people still found to be living in the ancient cities of Guran, Halaf, Karashimesh, and Omari.[44]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Deadhouse Gates, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.19
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.206
  3. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.134
  4. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 15, US HC p.409
  5. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 18, US HC p.481
  6. House of Chains, Chapter 18
  7. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 5, US HC p.134-136
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 14, US HC p.383-385
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 18
  10. House of Chains, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.204-219
  11. House of Chains, Chapter 7
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 13, US SFBC p.479-480
  13. House of Chains, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.615
  14. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.621-622
  15. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.635-646
  16. House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.705
  17. House of Chains, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.706
  18. House of Chains, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.769
  19. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.804
  20. House of Chains, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.803-804
  21. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.819-820/827-829
  22. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.230
  23. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.132-136
  24. The Bonehunters, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.180-182
  25. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.222-223
  26. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.223/225/228
  27. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.230-231
  28. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.271
  29. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.224
  30. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.272-273
  31. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.301-303
  32. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.313-316
  33. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.561-564
  34. The Bonehunters, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.328
  35. Stonewielder, Chapter 2, UK TPB p.117
  36. Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 3 Chapter 3, UK PB p.657
  37. Stonewielder, Chapter 10, UK TPB p.522-523
  38. Stonewielder, Chapter 11, UK TPB p.546-549
  39. Stonewielder, Epilogue, UK TPB p.628
  40. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 4
  41. Orb Sceptre Throne, Chapter 16
  42. Orb Sceptre Throne, Epilogue
  43. The Bonehunters, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.224-225
  44. The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.663
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