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Aldo Dercius

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General Aldo Dercius was a commander of the Jantine Patricians, the head of a powerful dynasty on Jant Normanidus Prime, father of a Patrician colonel who took the name Draker Flense, and the adoptive "uncle" of the young Ibram Gaunt.


This page contains spoilers for: First and Only (Novel)

In the face of an Ork invasion on Kentaur, in order to save his own career, Dercius left Gaunt's father and his unit behind, to be slaughtered by the invading Orks.[1a] Dercius later took the younger Gaunt under his wing, sponsoring his adoption by the Schola Progenium.[1b] He never told Gaunt the truth about his father's death, which remained a carefully classified secret.[1b][1c]

Gaunt did not discover the truth until many years later, while he was a commissar-cadet in the Hyrkan Regiments. Seventeen years before the battle of Menazoid Epsilon, Gaunt - now a full commissar with the Hyrkan Eighth - confronted Dercius in front of his men and prepared to punish his "uncle" for his cowardice. In a brief chainsword duel, the severely-wounded Gaunt ran his blade through Dercius' chest, killing him.[1a]

Because he had been executed for cowardice by a fully-trained Commissar - even if it was technically for personal reasons - Dercius's family was also punished as a result. His son, the future Colonel Flense, was stripped of his noble titles, had his lands taken from him, and was forced to advance through the ranks of the Imperial Guard from the bottom up. Seventeen years later, attempting to avenge his father's death, Flense was also killed in a duel with Gaunt.[1d]

During the Siege of Vervunhive, Gaunt reflected that Dercius - coward though he was - had played a pivotal role, along with Gaunt's mentors Delane Oktar and Warmaster Slaydo in shaping Gaunt into the man he became, imparting his own ruthlessness and self-confidence.[2a] For some reason, Gaunt chose the phrase "Uncle Dercius" as the code signal for the counterattack spearheaded by the Narmenian Armoured regiment under General Grizmund.[2b]