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Dermon Caffran

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Dermon Caffran[1c] (sometimes simply called "Caff"[1e]) was a Trooper of the Tanith First and Only (also known as "Gaunt's Ghosts")[1a], serving in the regiment's Third Platoon under Major Elim Rawne.[3e][4a] He was regarded as one of the regiment's best when it came to storming enemy fortified positions.[5a]


Early Life

Prior to enlisting with the Astra Militarum, Caffran was betrothed to a woman named Laria, who was killed during the destruction of Tanith by the forces of Chaos.[2]


When the remains of the Tanith Regiments were combined to form the Tanith First and Only, Caffran initially served in Sergeant Orcha's squad.[3a]

While the regiment was deployed on Voltemand, they were ordered to breach Voltis City and open the way for the Royal Volpone 50th to take the main Chaos stronghold on the planet. While moving through an underground tunnel network, several members of Caffran's squad were killed, but Caffran managed to survive.[3a]

Following the pacification of Voltis City, the regiment was commanded to spearhead an expedition into the ruined city of Kosdorf. Caffran was part of an advance force sent by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt to scout Kosdorf while their armoured support awaited resupply. While scouting the ruined city, the force came under attack from corrupted PDF troops. As the vox was down, Caffran was given the dangerous task of making his way back to the Tanith main base alone to carry a message for reinforcements.[2]


In the assault on Caligula, Caffran was on a troop-ship which was shot down by a psychic storm over Nero Hive. Thanks to the leadership of Colonel-Commissar Gaunt, the survivors of the crash managed to reunite with the rest of the Crusade.[3b] He was later part of a Tanith detachment assigned to escort a supply convoy from Aurelian Hive to Hive Calphernia, manning the guns on a track-bike driven by Corporal Meryn.[3c]

Menazoid Epsilon

Caffran was part of the team selected by Gaunt to accompany him on a secret mission on Menazoid Epsilon.[1d]


Caffran was part of the first wave of Guardsmen deployed against the Kith on the beaches of Oskray Island in the Sapiencia campaign. However, while most of the Tanith successfully made it onto the island, a number of the troop-ships fell short of their targets; in particular this meant that artillery units that were planned to be used to blow holes in Oskray's sea walls were dropped into the Bay of Belano and rendered useless.[3d]

The lack of artillery support caused the Imperial advance to falter. However, one of the troop-ships, which had been shot down by enemy fire, crashed into the sea wall. This distracted the island's defenders long enough for the remaining long range units to deploy, but the gap created by the troop-ship was still too narrow to attack and the advance was stalled again. As the Ghosts prepared to retreat to allow shelling to widen the gap, Trooper Domor spotted a passageway inside the wall that had been blown open. Sergeant Gorley assembled a fire-team to infiltrate the island's hive complex. Leadership of the fire-team fell to Caffran, however, as Gorley (who had waited until last to enter the passage) was caught in the Imperial shelling and killed.[3d]

Caffran and the other Ghosts in the fire-team (Domor, Adare, Bude, Caill, Flaven, Mkallun, Mkendrik and Tokar) continued in their mission, managing to bring down a refinery tower with explosives. This unexpectedly proved decisive, as the Chaos commander of the Kith, Sholen Skara, mistakenly believed that the Imperials had breached the island's defences in force and ordered his followers to commit mass suicide, thereby allowing the Imperials to breach the defences and secure the island.[3d]

In the aftermath of the assault, Sholen Skara was captured. Gaunt was going to allow Caffran the honour of executing him, until Caffran pointed out that to Skara, a man who worshipped death, executing him was exactly what the Chaos lord wanted - a far more appropriate punishment would be to take him alive and hold him captive. Gaunt acquiesced to Caffran's suggestion.[3d]


It was on Verghast, where the Ghosts were fielded as reinforcements to break the Siege of Vervunhive, that Caffran met Tona Criid, an ex-ganger who would go on to be his lover.[4c][5b]

Criid had unofficially adopted two young children (Dalin and Yoncy) after the childrens' mother was killed in the opening shots of the Siege.[4e] Struggling to survive in the ruined parts of Vervunhive, Criid tried sneaking into the Tanith basecamp to scavenge for food and supplies on multiple occasions.[4b][4c] On one of these raids, Caffran confronted her and she was forced to abandon what she had gathered as she escaped. However, Caffran took the supplies and left them outside the base for her and the children, along with his laspistol and a Tanith cap badge - an invitation to join the Ghosts.[4c] Cridd would go on to save Caffran's life from Zoican soldiers and fight beside him for the remainder of the Siege.[4d][4e]

In the aftermath of the Siege, Criid accepted the offer and enlisted in the Tanith First as part of a wave of reinforcements from Verghast.[4f][5b] She took the children with her and, together with Caffran, the four of them became an ad-hoc family (to the point that Dalin and Yoncy started to call him Papa Caff). Unbeknownst to them, the childrens' father had also survived the Siege and enlisted with the regiment.[5b]


As with many of the Tanith troopers, Caffran had a tattoo - in his case, a dragon rendered in blue ink on his temple.[1b]