Fictional Character
Appearance(s): Into the Darkness
Out of the Darkness
Type of Appearance: Direct (POV in Jaws of Darkness and OotD)
Nationality: Kuusamo
Cause of Death: Crushed to death by "Special Magecraft"
Occupation: Mage, educator
Spouse: Pekka
Children: Uto
Professional Affiliations: Kaajani City College

Leino was a Kuusaman mage during the Derlavaian War. He was married to fellow mage Pekka, and both taught at Kaajani City College.

His wife was a theoretical mage, involved in innovative research into the fundamental principles of magic, while Leino was a practical mage concerned with applying well-known magical methods to achieve practical results. Both of them had academic jobs and had a harmonious marriage which produced one son, Uto.

With the entry of his country into the war, Leino became involved mainly in military-related research. While still officially a civilian expert in his normal university job, he helped develop a better armor for the behemoths used by the Kuusaman army.

The intensification of Kuusamo's part in the war had the side effect of drawing Leino and Pekka apart and undermining their marriage. Pekka's research unexpectedly led to results with enormous practical military implications, eventually leading to development of the most devastating weapon which the world had seen. Leino had no part in this and Pekka was eventually separated from him when she transferred to a secret research installation, where she worked feverishly on developing the new weapon. While at the installation, Pekka later started an affair with her fellow researcher, the Lagoan mage Fernao.

At the same time, Leino was drafted into the army and participated in another secret project - working in the Land of the Ice People on turning an iceberg into a giant ship called Habakkuk. This vessel, a dragon carrier, greatly increased the strength of the bombing campaign against Algarvian-held territory, since Kuusaman dragons could strike from offshore and no longer needed to make long flights over the sea before reaching their targets. Later on, Leino was among the mages assisting the massive Kuusaman and Lagoan landings in Jelgava and driving the Algarvians back into their homeland. 

At this time, Leino also started an extra-marital affair with a Lagoan fellow-mage. Xavega at first treated Leino with haughty disdain, but they were brought together by having been both insulted by the odious King Donalitu of Jelgava, whom Habakkuk was transporting to his restoration to the Jelgavan throne. Unlike Pekka and Fernao, Leino and Xavega had no emotional hang-ups, never used the word "love" to each other, and did not plan on staying together after the war - but for the time being they enjoyed the sex and worked together as a good magical team.

The two grew overconfident as the war neared its end, trusting in the superiority of "The New Magic" and fighting the Algarvian mages in between bouts of stormy love-making. Underestimating the enemy proved fatal: the Algarvians - with their more crude murder-magic - used one sacrifice to make the mages reveal their location, then used a second set of Kaunians to counter-attack. The earth opened beneath Leino and Xavega, crushing them to death.

Later Ilmarinen, Pekka's fellow researcher and friend, found out about Leino's infidelity but decided that Pekka was better off remaining ignorant of her husband's affair.

Leino's death had an indirect and fearsome impact on the entire world, as grief and anger at his death, mixed with her guilt at her own unfaithfulness, instilled in the otherwise-gentle Pekka the ruthlessness needed for her to magically destroy the Gyongyosian capital Gyorvar and launch the world into a new age, changing the most basic military and political terms of reference.

Literary comment[]

In Finnish, the language from which most Kuusaman names are drawn, Leino is a surname more often than a personal one.