|Before the Regiment:||
|First Appearance:||First and Only|
|Last Appearance:||Salvation's Reach|
Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt is the commanding officer of the Tanith 1st Regiment . He holds a dual role as field commander and senior agent of the Commissariat. He is one of the few serving Commisars in the Imperial Guard to hold a command role.
He has a son, Felyx Chass, born to him by Merity Chass.
Gaunt is described as being very tall, about two metres (making him over 6' 7"), with a lean but muscular physique, and a face that matches his name, with high and strong cheekbones. He is described as having ice blue eyes, and straw blonde hair. He has a number of scars and marks from previous encounters, including a prominent slash on his stomach. On a number of occasions he has had a beard.
Author Dan Abnett has likened his appearance to Croatian actor Goran Visnjic.
Following grievous wounds taken at the hands of Blood Pact torturers on Jago, his eyes have been replaced by augmetics.
Gaunt's command approach and general manner are often commented on as being very unconventional and new-age, especially in regards to his Commissarial duties. He rarely invokes the use of summary execution where he can avoid it, only using it when shooting bandit medical staff at Aexe Cardinal, which he puts down to fatigue and a foul mood generated by the hell of trench warfare, and also when executing a cowardly area commander at Vervunhive, because his command indesicion cost many lives, including those in his own regiment. He chooses to bring full charges rather than execute Noches Sturm after he deserts, a decision he later learns to regret.This manner earns him friends within the regiment, particularly Tolin Dorden, though it often makes his position tenuos within the Imperial high command. He rates the Tanith under his command above all else and regularly goes out of his way to insure they are kept out of unnceccesary danger.Prior to the events at Hagia, Gaunt drinks with his men, such as Colm Corbec, and is seen as 'one of the guys', able to hold down command while also having a personal rapport with the rank and file. However, after the sorcerous destruction of the Doctrinopolis, he fell into a deep depression and drinks heavily. He recovers, barely, and is able to save the world from falling after the events at the Shrinehold. He vows never to drink again, and a distance grows between himself and some of his men as a result, although they never doubt his leadership.
Gaunt uses a firm but fair approach, rarely punishing his own men. At Cirenholm he exhausts his resources insuring that Caffran is spared execution for a crime he did not commit. In personal time, he has a farely broad sense of humour and is well mannered, if not afraid to make blunt observations. This boldness makes many wary, who are not sure whether or not he is joking.
Gaunt is feverently faithful to the Emperor and in particular the Saint, due to the teachings of Slaydo and Oktar that he has received. He often cites these things while explaining his method of command or motivation for actions. As a result, he also bears a startling hatred for the forces of Chaos.
Often Gaunt seems to switch sides in the Man of Science vs Man of Faith argument, particularly during his talks and debates with Zweil. While he never questions his duty to the Saint, and has at no point doubted His rule, he often displays an impatience towards the divine, as evidenced when his first encounter with 'the Saint' on Herodor turns out to be false.
Command Style Edit
Gaunt's style as a commander has always remained consistent, and undoubtedly comes about as a result of his teachings from Delane Oktar. In this regard, he values every life in his command, ensuing that although victory must be had, unneccesary loss of life to his own forces will not be accepted and also that their skills, both as a unit and as individuals, must not be spurned or wasted. This was refined further when Gaunt took command of the Tanith, a regiment boasting some of the most stealthy and lightfooted men in the Crusade force. He has endeavoured to ensure these talents are used as often as possible, and that the regiment avoids the meatgrinder of front line attrition as seen at Fortis Binary and Aexe Cardinale.
His prime duty in his mind is to lead from the front, a virtue instilled in him by his mentors, which has a result has meant he has on occasion turned down or refused to consider options to take promotion to a higher place in command. His loyalty to his men above all else, revered and scorned in equal measure by others, has meant that with his place seemingly permament he has accepted the notion that he will almost inevitably die for his causes.
Prior to the Tanith Edit
Early Life & Background Edit
Gaunt was orphaned very early in life, when he was around four years standard, after his father died, ostensibly killed by Orks on the planet Kentaur. His mother had died at birth. He was brought up by family servants such as his cook, Oric, in the family home on the summit of Mount Resyde on Manzipor untill he was old enough to enroll at the Schola Progenium Prime of Ignatius when he was about twelve, where he met Vaynom Blenner. When his father died, he was visited by 'Uncle' Dercius who delivered the news. He was educated and eventually moved onto the Commissariat. At no point during this time were the events regarding the death of his father revealed, and they were marked as classified. (First and Only, 1999)
Hyrkan Posting & Revenge on Dercius Edit
As a Cadet Commissar, Gaunt served with the Hyrkans, under the wing of Commissar-General Delane Oktar. During this time he fought on Balhaut, gaining something of a reputation during the war.
On Darendara, Gaunt led a strike force into the Ice Palace, killing the rebels leader and eventually capturing the stronghold.
Gaunt encountered a young female psyker after the victory,.and she revealed a number of events and facts about Gaunt's life that were still to occur, including his association with the Tanith. Driven by curiosity, Gaunt confronts her in interrogation, and she informed him of the nature of his father's death, and that his superior officer, 'Uncle' Dercius had been responsible for his death.
On Folion, Gaunt led a small patrol in the ice woodlands and was ambushed by their Ork foe, incurring 70% losses. Oktar, Gaunt's mentor, spared him any punishment or reprimand, seeing the disaster as simply being a lesson for his future career as a leader of men. Following the jubilant victory and celebrations, Oktar succumbed to Orkish poison and died, though he made sure that Gaunt was made a full Commissar before he passed.
Four years after Oktar's death, Gaunt finally confronted Dercius, Commander of the Jantine Patricians, on Khedd 1173, where he revealed his knowledge of the betrayal, and challenged him to a duel, which Gaunt won at the cost of a massive laceration of the stomach. He recovered from his injury, but was left with the mark as a memento.
At some point during this service he met, be-friended and worked with Fereyd, an independent Imperial operative undercover. (First and Only, 1999)
Following his vengeance, Gaunt served as the ranking Commissariat agent for the Hyrkans, and played a crucial part in the battle for Balhaut, where he led his men alongside Slaydo in the centre of the Imperial front, in the mudlakes. In the battle, Gaunt's finest hour, the regiment took on and destroyed the arch-enemy assault carriers. They stormed the Oligarchy Gate, the first unit to do so, and destroyed the Tower of the Plutocrat, ultimately winning the battle and earning the Hyrkans a place in the hall of fame. (First and Only, 1999)
During the battle for the Tower of the Plutocrat, Gaunt met and fought alongside a PDF officer named Jaume. (Blood Pact, 2009)
First Command & Early Days of the Tanith Edit
Following the death of the legendary Warmaster Slaydo, Gaunt was given a split role as Imperial Colonel and Commissar (colonel-commissar), to be given a command of a new unit. The unit in question would be three regiments of the newly founded Tanith Infantry. While planetside on the forest world, Chaos forces slipped through a gap in the navy picket lines and assaulted Tanith. With the planet almost completely undefended, Gaunt had the choice of leading a last stand that would have resulted in a guaranteed defeat, or to salvage as many men from the world as possible before escaping. He chose the latter, a choice that would be later vindicated ten times over, but reviled at the time by the men who had been denied the right to fight for their homes.
This resentment was mainly represented by Elim Rawne, a former Tanith Magna gangster and black marketeer. Rawne and Corbec, along with Brin Milo (who Gaunt personally rescued), were sent by the leaderless army, who now only numbered enough for one regiment, to speak with Gaunt. The original reason for this meeting may have been a mutiny, but Gaunt uses it to make Corbec a Colonel, Rawne a Major, and Milo is personal adjutant. He reasons that since they were sent by their fellow Tanith, they must be seen as leaders among them. Again, this desicion is vindicated.
The new regiment, dubbed the Tanith First and Only, impress Gaunt and fellow commanders with their stealth and scouting abilities, a hallmark of their lives in the moving forests of their now deceased homeworld. 'Mad' Larkin coins the phrase Gaunt's Ghosts for the first time. (First and Only)
Early Battles Edit
In their first action, on Blackshard Gaunt leads his men into the heart of an enemy citadel and destroy a foul relic. However, Rawne attempts to kill him, but is overpowered and knocked unconscious by the much taller Gaunt. Rather than leave him to die, Gaunt carries Rawne from the explosion over his back, thus putting the malcontent Major where he least wants to be: in Gaunt's debt. The Ghost's first engagement ends in a handsome victory, and Gaunt earns the respect of his men at last. (Ghostmaker, 1997)
Over the following years with the Tanith, Gaunt earned a series of commendable victories which ensured credit to the regiment but didn't enable settling rights.
At Voltemand, the regiment's first substantial action since Blackshard, Gaunt led his men into early combat to rescue an under assult Ketzok convoy, under the command of Colonel Ortiz, taking down five Chaos marines in the process. Having linked up with them, and socialised with the crews, they moved down to the Pavis crossroads before advancing up river and assaulting the dam, and action designed to work an opening for Volpone units to enter Voltis City. Although initially successful in breaching the tunnel system, the enemy's action of releasing the water supply drove out the Tanith troops. Just when it looked as if the battle had been lost, Sergeant Cluggan, leading his platoon into the sewage outlets, successfuly detonated his demo charges, causing a breach and opening an entrance into the city.
However, on the journey back up river, the Tanith were deliberately targeted by a Ketzok bombardment, under orders from Lord-General Noches Sturm of the Volpone. Gaunt lost 500 men, including Cluggan, and upon his return to Imperial lines, knocked out Ortiz. Gaunt was summoned to Sturm's command headquarters, and he made clear his rage at the loss of his men. Despite efforts made by Sturm to court martial Gaunt for striking an officer, Ortiz interupted by changing his statement to reflect that he had substained his injuries in an accident. Gaunt told Sturm angrily that the firing line was a dangerous place for friend and foe alike.
After leaving Voldemand and entering transit, Gaunt informed Corbec that they would not be awarded the planet, as the victory had been credited to the Volpone. As a way of consolation, he supplied mountainous supplies of Sacra to his men to toast their success and their losses. (A Blooding)
Gaunt later led his men to victory on the shrine world of Bucephalon, following the assassination of their leader, Nokad the Blighted. (The Angel of Bucephalon)
At Nacedon, Gaunt was forced to pull his men back from the frontline in order to prepare for a counter-offensive. He was contradicted by Dorden, who refused to leave in light of a medical station full of Volpone being left undefended. After attempting through a vareity of methods to persuade Dorden to leave them, he gave in and provided the doctor with Corbec, Mkoll and eight others to defend them. After the fight lasted a night, Gaunt returned with the regiment to find all of his men still alive, but admitted he didn't want a repeat of the incident. (Blood Oath)
On the frozen moon of Typhon 8, a Tanith patrol is ambushed and cut off by Orks, stranding Rawne and Gaunt in the same cave. The two discuss the hatred the Major has for his C.O, although Rawne's cut tongue prevents him from making the conversation more interactive. When Gaunt sleeps, Rawne prepares to kill him but stops short when he hears the Commissar talking in his sleep about saving Tanith. The two are jumped by a pack of Orks, and Rawne saves Gaunt's life and wakes him before they run.
Capturing an enemy trukk, the pair flee across the moons ice glaciers but are stranded when the ice melts, killing their pursuers. Rawne again saves Gaunt by throwing him his straight silver as a grip to avoid falling into the steaming lava seas. Alone, waiting for rescue, Rawne promises that one day he will kill Gaunt, but not then. (Permafrost, 1998)
During the posting on Ramillies 268-42, a veritable jungle world where most of the fighting had ceased, Gaunt had Mkoll and his scouts combing the outlying areas for fleeing enemy troops, but opined that this exercise should be ended soon since there was little success being had. (Sound and Fury)
A drop ship landing on Caligula, where the target was the hive city Nero, was botched by a psycher induced warp storm that downed the lander carrying Gaunt and a platoon of Ghosts, crashing them into a jungle infested ravine. Gaunt led the men out where the requisitioned an undamaged civilian shuttle to escape. In his absense, Corbec did 'a Gaunt' in order to make a breakthrough at Nero. (The Hollows of Hell)
Following the Imperial victory, the Tanith were selected to oversee the transport and distribution of aid to inpoverished citizens in the Southern reaches. After learning that one of the transport vehicle's crewman was giving away the convoy's position to pirates, Gaunt orchestrated a scheme, using Bragg as a leading man, to catch the traitor in the act by appearing to put the big soldier in command of a suicide mission. The operation was a success, with the traitor identified and executed by Bragg, and the convoy safetly arriving at it's destination. (That Hideous Strength)
The Sabbat Worlds Crusade Edit
Gaunt is a key figure in the ground command of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, in which the Imperium sends a large army group to recapture worlds orginally liberated by the Saint from the forces of Chaos. He was one of the men personally chosen by Slaydo to undertake the task, and shared in the blood oath to be sure the work was complete after the Warmaster's death.
After a year on the frontline trenches of Fortis Binary, the Ghosts were used as a arrowhead for a deep counter attack following a Shriven assault. Leading from the front personally, Gaunt achieved even greater success then he had imagined, as a gruelling battle led to him breaking through the Chaos lines with a great portion of his men intact, finding themselves in abandoned dugouts and industrial areas. They were quickly pinned with no hope of retreat by a carpet bombardment which greatly bemused the men. Having encountered a series of drumming machines in factories, Gaunt pulled his men away from the main approaches, where they linked up with a similarly sized force of Vitrian Dragoons under Colonel Zoren. It was here that Gaunt noticed an explosion from an industrial area further along the line that was not a result of the bombardment. Surmising that this was the work of his own men, Gaunt established contact with the sabotuers, who turned out to be another Tanith section led by Corbec. After berating him for the lack of discipline, the forces hooked up and bedded down in a warehouse before deciding their next move.
The Vermillion ConspiracyEdit
Following their action on Fortis Binary, the Ghosts...
Menazoid Epsilon Edit
Saprieca & Monthax Edit
Following their action on Monthax, the Tanith First were redirected to Verghast, a hive world, following an assault on the city of Vervunhive by their rivals, Ferrazoica. The regiment arrived along with fellow transiting units from the Volpone and Roane Deepers as well as regiments from the Northen Collectives of Vervunhive and a full 3 companys of Narmenian armour. When Gaunt arrived at the hive he met with the other regimental commanders, General Noches Sturm and Colonel Gilbear of the Volpone "Bluebloods", General Nash of the Roane Deepers, General Xance of the NorthCol Regiments and General Grizmund of the Narmenian 1st. There was also supposed to be reinforced by nine regiments from Vannick Hive, but as Gaunt arrived there was seen in the distance a massive cloud of dust and fire, this signified that Vannick hive had been destroyed by the use of atomic weapons. All through out the battle of Vervunhive, Gaunt continually fought with General Sturm over the tactics that should be put into place. During the battle a lifeward of Lord Chass came and relayed and invitation for Gaunt to vist the Lord at his earliest conveinience. During this meeting with Lord Chass, Gaunt learned that the current High Lord, Salvador Sondar was not high in Chass's esteem. At one point in the fight Lord Salvador Sondar deactivated the massive shield array that protected Vervunhive. When this happened the Zoicians stepped up their attacks ten-fold. Generals Xance and Nash and the High Marshal Croe all Perished in the next Zoician attack. The next morning Marshal Croe's immediate inferior Major Otte came to Gaunt bearing the Marshal's Badge of office, the power sword of Heironimo Sondar, and the request that Gaunt take full command of the whole militarised forces of the besieged hive. Gaunt accepted, reluctantly, and began to pull the Imperial forces in the hive back together. During this time he had an encounter with Lord Chass's daughter Merity. The next morning Captain Daur came into Gaunts office to find Merity wearing nothing exept the commisars cloak, he beat a hasty retreat and Gaunt followed him out. There waiting for him was General Sturm who had been picked up trying to flee the hive on board one of the passenger ships to the north. Gaunt removed him of his rank and granted him a bolt pistol to take his own life, at the last second Gaunt spun around with the sword of Sondar lit and took sturms hand off at the wrist. The bolt pistol in the severed hand which had been pointing at the back of Gaunts head was retreived and Gaunt had Sturm put in detention pending court martial. The next morning there was a new target on the scanner which had been designated the spike, it was confirment that the enemy command broadcasts were being made from this vehicle. Gaunt led a detachment of Ghosts and Volpone to assail the Spike. Inside they found a large amount of heretic soldiers and bodyguards, for in the command platform of the machine was, seated in a huge throne, the leader of the chaos force's on Vergast. Heritor Asphodel, one of the lietenants of the Archon Gaur. The Heritor tore through Gaunts force and finally came up against Gaunt himself. Guant impaled the Heritor through the chest with the sword of Sondar while a massive bolt pistol, clenched in the Heritor's left hand shot Gaunt through the heart. After the death of Heritor Asphodel the backbone of the Zoicians was broken. Days later Gaunt was lying in a hospital bed recovering from the heritors gunshot, although the bolt should have killed him ouright it hit him when Lord Chass had fixed a metal flower from his garden to gaunts uniform and the bolt was stoped by it's petals, although they were forced in to his chest. While lying wounded a Guilder came to see Dorden the chief medic and a Vergast born medic Ana Curth, the Guilder started to shoot at the two medics and was about to kill them both when his head was demolished by a bolt round. Guant was in the doorway with Colonel Corbec holding him under one arm and a smoking bolt pistol in his other. When Warmaster Marcaroth sent more imperial forces to aid, the battle was almost done, but that did not stop the force with over 4 million guardsmen, three company's of Space Marines and a titan legion from completely decimating Ferrozoicia's hive and the surrounding land and burning the Heritors corpse. As Gaunt was leaving a boat master gave him the name "The People's Hero" and the name followed was still known Years later on Vergast.
Leaving the RegimentEdit
Following the incredible victory on Herodor, Gaunt was chosen by Van Voytz to lead an insertion team on an incredibly dangerous mission to locate and eliminate former Lord-General Sturm, captured by Chaos forces and undergoing interrogation and transcoding. As a result, he was forced to take a small team, and then leave the Tanith First. Since he and his team were not expected to ever be extracted, the regiment was reorganised.
Gereon & Sturm MissionEdit
Resistance Campaign & SurvivalEdit
Escape From Gereon, Detention & TrialEdit
Ancreon Sextus & Sparshard MonsEdit
Return to the Tanith 1stEdit
Following the death of Lucien Wilder, and with the 81st/1st without a leader, it was decided that Gaunt had justified the trust of high command, and as a result was given back command of the regiment, which was quickly renamed the Tanith 1st.
Return to GereonEdit
(The Armour of Contempt)
Jago & HinzherhausEdit
Return to HealthEdit
Return to BalhautEdit
In the wake of Jago, the Ghosts were taken off active duty and reassigned to Balhaut while they awaited transfer back to the front lines. The Ghosts would be inactive for two years, with many of their number turning to petty crime and other bad habits out of bordom. However, an incident at the end of that period necessitated a change in circumstances; a high ranking enemy prisoner had been brought to Balhaut for detainment and questioning, but had made it plain he would speak to no one other than Gaunt himself. The prisoner, identifying himself as Mabbon, holding the rank of etogaur (general) in the Blood Pact, had been tasked with hunting down the Ghosts on Gereon after Sturm's death, claimed to have information crucial to an Imperial victory in the Sabbat Worlds.
Gaunt quickly found himself drawn into a tense game between the Comissariat, the Crusade's High Command and the Inquisition, all of whom wished to deal with the prisoner in their own way. He was also forced to go on the run with Mabbon after a Blood Pact insertion team deployed to Balhaut with orders to kill the prisoner before he could talk.
Salvation's Reach MissionEdit
Based on intel provided by Mabbon Etogaur, the Ghosts were reassigned to active duty for a covert mission to Salvation's Reach, an abandoned space station hidden in an asteroid belt in the far reaches of the Sabbat Worlds. According to their intelligence, the Sons of Sek, (a breakway faction within the Blood Pact looking to supplant Archon Gaur with their leader, Anakawar Sek) were using Salvation's Reach as a research and development facility for weapons tech and other Chaotic knowledge to aid their effortsof a coup. The Ghosts and Gaunt were given two parts to their mission; to raid the facility for any intelligence and prototypes of weapons and other technology the Sons were developing, and to plant evidence the attack was a raid by the Blood Pact with the intention of driving a wedge between Gaur and Sek. Because of the danger of the mission, the Ghosts were reinforced by fresh troops from Belladon and Verghast, as well as a trio of Space Marines volunteered for the mission. (According to Tona Criid, their presence was a mark of respect from the Chapter Master of the Silver Guard Chapter, who had fought alongside Gaunt on Balhaut and been impressed enough by the young Commissar to heed his request years later).
Colm Corbec EditAlways highly respected by Gaunt, he often found that Corbec exhibited an unusual self-doubting streak as a result of his grunt mentality, which often meant that the two mixed in very different circles. Despite this, Gaunt made an effort of keeping Corbec's council in non-duty related activities, and early on their relationship were drinking buddies. Because of this, Corbec always felt at ease with Gaunt and was never intimidated by his dual status. Gaunt trusted Corbec a great deal more than he trusted Rawne, and often relied on him to be the envoy between himself and the Tanith, who were still slightly awkward with him.
Gaunt found that although he had to accomodate for and tolerate Corbec's ruthless streak, he was able to enjoy his company during interludes between combat, often debating the merits and approaches of command and reminiscing about old battles. Their bond was slightly reduced due to Gaunt abstaining from alcohol after events at the Doctrinopolis on Hagia, but none the less the two opposites enjoyed each other's company. Ultimately, Gaunt trusted Corbec before anyone else.
When Corbec died, Gaunt showed his respect by paying a huge sum for enough Nalwood to make a coffin for him. He found himself dearly missing Corbec, particularly during lapses in battle, and dreamed often of his former number two laughing and asking Gaunt to join him in death.
Elim Rawne EditGaunt's relationship with Rawne could best be described as complicated. Initially, Rawne was the figurehead of a sizeable group within the regiment who openly hated Gaunt for his abandoning of Tanith. This resulted in an attempt on his life at Blackshard, which Gaunt survived. The animosity and resentment grew when rather than leave the Major to die, Gaunt rather carried him to safety. Over the course of the next few years, Gaunt found it impossible to trust Rawne and often excluded him from discreet operations.
However, the hatred that Rawne bore slowly began to rescind as the battles they faced led Rawne to have a growing respect for his commanding officer, while his feelings of vengeance became more and more dated. Eventually, although the two never liked each other, they learned to work alongside each other without trouble and the respect became mutual.
After the surprise decision by Gaunt to bring Rawne as part of the Gereon 12, their relationship began to change once again. Initially undone by the effects of Chaos, their feud became more open than before, resulting in petty arguments and another attempt by Rawne to kill Gaunt while in the Gereon Untill. However, after learning to battle their flowing emotions, the two formed an incredibly tight bond. By the time that the mission team had escaped off world, the two were best friends, due to the experiences they shared, and referred to each other by short forms of given names (Eli and Bram).
Tolin Dorden Edit
Gaunt has considered Dorden to be a close friend since just after the regiment's formation, often seeking out his council in regards to Tanith customs over even Colm Corbec and Brin Milo. Although the two share very different views, and have differing responsibilities, they shared a mutual understanding.
However, this contrast often caused clashes, first at Nacedon when Dorden refused orders from Gaunt to retreat in order to treat the Volpone wounded at an aide station. Gaunt allowed Dorden to stay, but later admitted his regret at putting the life of his chief medical officer at risk. It became more serious on Aexe Cardinale, when Dorden refused to let Gaunt shoot Costin depite the trooper's misdemeanours causing the death of the majority of Raglon's platoon. After a heated stand off, Gaunt relented and allowed Costin to live, but was left bitter at having his authority questioned. The two did not speak other than on professional terms for some time, although they reconciled as friends at Herodor.
The nature of their friendship was displayed on Balhaut, when Dorden confessed that he was dying of cancer. Ana Curth is the only other person aware of the fact. Gaunt openly moured Dorden after he was killed in action during the assault on Salvation's Reach, feeling the success of the mission was diminished by Dorden's death.
Oan Mkoll Edit
Ana Curth Edit
Brin Milo Edit
Vaynom Blenner Edit
Sabbatine Cirk Edit
Merity Chass Edit
Barthol Van Voytz Edit
Inspirations & Influences Edit
Delane Oktar Edit
Warmaster Slaydo Edit
Aldo 'Uncle' Dercius Edit
Ibram Gaunt Snr. Edit
The influence of Gaunt's father, Ibram Snr., is one that has escaped definition by him for years, due to his death coming with Gaunt was only four years old and also because his father spent long stretches of time serving with the Jantine Patricians, therefor rarely seeing his son. However, he was close enough to him to seek out revenge for his death and has since cited him as a main example in his path towards being a great leader.