Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt

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Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt is a male character who features in Warhammer 40,000.



Like almost all Imperial Commissars, Gaunt was an orphan, a son of an Imperial Guard officer. He was raised and indoctrinated on the Schola Progenium world of Ignatius Cardinal, where he was often visited by his "uncle", General Aldo Dercius of the Jantine Patricians. He learned that his father had been an Imperial Guard hero, but had died and the circumstance were hidden from him. As a Commissar-Cadet he served under Commissar-General Oktar, gaining full rank status of Commissar at Oktar's death-bed. He served as a political officer with the Hyrkan 8th, from the regiment's foundation to their victory on Balhaut, a world reclaimed by the Imperium during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. After this victory, Gaunt was granted the additional rank of Colonel, along with command of the three new regiments from the world of Tanith. Gaunt discovered the fate of his father years later: he had served on a mission on an enemy-held world, but was abandoned by the cowardice of General Dercius and left to die. Tracking down his uncle, Gaunt exerted his authority as an Imperial Commissar to execute him for his failure. He dueled Dercius with only their chainswords. While killing Dercius, Gaunt suffered greivous injuries and has a scar across his stomach. This event earned the hatred of the Jantine Patricians for some years afterwards.

During the founding of the First, Second and Third Tanith Regiments, Tanith fell to a surprise Chaos attack. He ordered the forces of Tanith to retreat, depriving them of the chance to fight and die for their homeworld. The retreat was costly; from three entire regiments there were less than four thousand survivors, and not a single officer of the three regiments made it off Tanith. While waiting for orders, Gaunt was instrumental in the reorganisation of the survivors, reorganising the men into the Tanith First-and-Only, and promoting the non-commissioned officers and soldiers who had shown initiative and leadership during the retreat and subsequent reorganisation to officer positions. The Tanith were ordered to the world of Blackshard, and during their successful first engagement were dubbed "Gaunt's Ghosts", a moniker that would stick with the regiment for the duration of its existence. Gaunt is considered to be an unconventional but effective leader, slowly winning the devotion and respect of the soldiers who initially hated him for letting their homeworld fall to Chaos without a fight. He is feared among the upper echelons of the Imperium almost as much as he is feared by the forces of Chaos, as he is a model for honour and defiance of corruption in all forms. He is respected by many soldiers and commanders because he leads from the front, attacking the enemy alongside his men. However, some would consider his unorthodox approach and rank problematic, as in many ways he fails in his duty as a Commissar. His ability as a leader is never questioned, indeed he has been approached for promotion several times, but to assist his duties as a commissar, Victor Hark was introduced to the regiment.

Thus far, up to and including the novel His Last Command, the Tanith First-and-Only have been fighting in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade for approximately ten years. They have seen combat on several worlds, including Fortis Binary, Menazoid Epsilon, Monthax, Verghast, Phantine, Hagia, Herodor and Ancreon Sextus. However, due to the inevitable casualties, and the lack of a homeworld from which to draw new recruits, the regiment is constantly dwindling in size. This fate was held back for a time by the mass-recruitment of survivors from the hive-city of Vervunhive, on Verghast, but even with these reinforcements, it was only a matter of time before the Ghosts shrunk below the size of a feasible military force. While Gaunt is on a Vermillion-level mission (coded EZ for Extremely Hazardous) on Gereon with a hand picked team, the Ghosts are folded into the 81st Belladon Recon, to form the 'Eighty-first First' under Colonel Wilder. After the battle for Sparshad Mons, Gaunt is given 'temporary' command of the regiment, in light of Wilder's sacrifice in a heroic rearguard action.


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  • Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt was created by Dan Abnett and featured in the Gaunt's Ghosts novel series set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
  • In the desktop game, he appeared as a special character in an Imperial Guard army. The rules were initially released in White Dwarf Magazine, and were edited and reprinted for the 2003 Imperial Guard Codex. In game terms, Gaunt is represented at a point between the siege at Vervunhive and receiving his Vermillion-level mission. As befits a special character, he has superior gaming stats, and several specialised rules, some of which also affect other soldiers in the army. He is also unaffected by some of the special rules that restrain normal Imperial Guard Commissars, displaying the side effects of his double rank.


  • Gaunt's Ghosts:

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