"You are good."
- —Scout Seargeant Mkoll to the confused Mandrake Skarwael
Oan Mkoll is the Scout Sergeant of the Tanith First-and-Only and one of the most skilled scouts of the Imperial Guard. Drafted from the Forest World of Tanith on the day of its destruction he serves as leader of the unique Scouts, overseeing their training as well as leading them into battle. While he has taken on foes, that seemed unbeatable by normal humans, his greatest skill lies in the art of stealth. He is equally skilled in moving fast and unseen deep into enemy territory, as well as leading his fellow Guardsmen, especially his own Scouts, where they need to be, without being noticed.
Life on Tanith
Oan Mkoll was born on the Forest World of Tanith and raised in one of its numerous villages deep in the forests. There, he learned how to move and orientate inside the forests of Tanith, which had a strange habit of being in constant change. This way Mkoll developed a strong sense of direction, like most people of Tanith.
He later joined the Tanith PDF, where his outstanding talents were first discovered: While all men of Tanith are trained scouts and nearly never get lost anywhere, Mkoll's sense for orientation and scouting even excelled compared to the other natives of Tanith. Therefore, in his military training, he developed all the skills, a professional scout needs. He not only learned to move fast and unseen, he also became a skilled marksman with his Lasgun, specialising in precise single shots, as well as a great fighter with the "Straight Silver", the unique combat knifes of Tanith.
He also developed a friendship with a great number of those, he would later fight together in the Imperial guard. Most notably he met Mkvenner, also a scout and perhaps the only person, who could compare his skills as a Scout with Mkolls or even surpassing him in some fields, like fighting with "Straight Silver".
One day Colonel-Comissar Ibram Gaunt arrived, sent to recruit three regiments on this world to support the Sabbat-World-Crusade. Mkoll was one of the chosen to leave the PDF and join one of these three regiments. However, the same day Chaos attacked. The planet was destroyed, but Ibram Gaunt decided, that, instead of giving a last stand, completing his task was more important. He ordered all Guardsmen he could get to leave the planet, which was destroyed beneath them. The surviving troops, extremely decimated in numbers, formed only one regiment, the Tanith First-and-Only.
One of the survivors was Oan Mkoll. Due to his outstanding and well-known talent as a Scout, as well as his skills as a leader, Ibram Gaunt decided on Mkoll to lead the separate Scout-Unit of the Tanith First-and-Only as its Sergeant.
Leader of the Scouts
"Form a separate Scout-unit and let him take the lead. You will love what he does. He is like... I don't know. He is a wizard."Mkoll started to excel in his knew role quickly, proving, that the new and strange challenges he faced as a guardsman could be met with the same skill and efficiency he was known for on Tanith. He organized his Scouts quickly and became one of the most important reasons for the regiments extraordinary history of unexpected victory. This way he also played a great role in earning the regiment the name "Gaunts Ghosts", partly because they had no home or history anymore, therefore were "ghosts", but also because they, especially Mkoll's Scouts, seemed to move invisible on the battlefield just like ghosts.
- — Gol Kolea at Mkoll return
Since it is said, that every man in the Tanith First-and-Only is just as talented as a scout as any specialist of other regiments, this makes the Scouts of Tanith literally the Best of the Best. And Mkoll is probably the best of them. Just as on Tanith he and Mkvenner stayed close friends with Mkvenner unofficially taking the role of a second commander. Often Mkoll chose him to lead a mission or take on solo operations, that would be challenging even for Mkoll.
Soon Mkoll was faced with a new challenge: After the battle of Vervunhive the regiment was filled with volunteers of this world, both civilians and experienced soldiers. And although the Verghastites were more known to develop skilled snipers, the other speciality of the First-and-Only, Mkoll still had a great amount of new recruits for his scouting company.
Mkoll soon grew into one of the closest friends of Colonel-Commissar Gaunt, who was wise enough to always listen to the Scouts advices and trusting in its talents. Because of this, Gaunt chose him to accompany him as part of a strike force on the chaos-controlled world Gereon in a top secret assassination-mission. This mission, and the time afterwards, when the strike force, unable to leave the planet, decided to continue building up the resistance. On this planet Mkoll, as well as the other members of the team, learned many new things, Mkoll later often put to good use. He learned the language spoken by the human forces of Chaos and he and Mkvenner, who also was part of the strike force, traded techniques with the native Nithganes, who lived in extremely deadly jungles and had developed stealth and scouting techniques equal to the two Guardsmen.
After a long time they finally were able to leave, but Mkvenner, together with Ana Curth, decided to stay, Mkoll found a new rival, the Nithgane Eszrah ap Niht. They became close friends, and Eszrah ap Niht, just as impressed by Mkoll as it was the other way around, named Mkoll "Spuk", which translates into "Ghost".
The same problem, that occurred with the Verghastites, happened after his return: He had to discover that the regiment was fused with another regiment, the Belladons. However, after being called into service as Scout Sergeant once again, he was able to integrate those new troops as well, especially since the Belladons also were a light-infantry-scouting regiment, which allowed Mkoll to built on their already impressive skills to put them on equal footing with the native Taniths and the Verghastites.
Since then Mkoll continues to serve as the prime example of the combat doctrine of the First and only, as well as one of their most talented and experienced veterans. He also is one of Colonel-Commissar Gaunts closest friends and Gaunt is known to never refuse one of Mkoll's hints and advises.
Personality and Skills
"In basic training and as a hunter [...] he was presumed to be a good tracker. That was the reason, he was placed in the scouting unit [...]. And this old bastard gives him the feeling of being an idiot, a clumsy idiot."Mkoll has a character fitting to his job. He is tough, has great expectations both from his Scouts and himself and is always calm and introverted. However, he cares deeply for his comrades and friends He would always throw away his life for those he was entrusted with .He for example faced a Chaos Cybot, just because retreating would mean to search for the beast later, which most likely would result in losses for the regiment.
- — Scout Dewr, thinking over Mkoll
In general, the responsibility to always lead the regiment safely through dangerous lands is pressuring him constantly. If he is ever without a clue, if his skills seem to fail, he feels guilty and a burning self-hatred starts to grow. This results in a great fear of failing. As his Colonel Gaunt seemed to be dead, he could feel the same pain as Eszrah ap Niht, who was sworn to protect Gaunt at any costs and believed he has failed his quest. This way, Mkoll had a deep understanding for Eszrah and his daeda waeg. He accompanied the Nihtghane to kill any Blood Pact soldier on Jago or die trying, since those were responsible for Gaunts "demise". If they would not have found Gaunt, they probably would have reached the end of this special path, one way or another.
Being an Imperial Guardsman Mkoll continued to deliver incomparable results. He is an expert in close combat with his silver knife, the Straight Silver, which all members of his regiment carry. He can move unseen nearly anywhere and kill without being noticed. He is known for always finding the right path and always be able to safely lead the regiment to any location he already scouted. The few times, when Mkoll can't find something, are usually in some way connected to sorcery.
Being a Scout of the Tanith First-and-Only, Mkoll carries their standard equipment. This means, like nearly all men of his regiment, he makes use of a Mark 3 Lasgun, with a shaft made out of Nalwood directly from Tanith, as well as his Straight Silver, the silver dagger used by the First-and-Only. Finally, his camo-cloak helps him to move around unseen. He also sometimes carries explosives for saboteur-operations, but that is by no means standard.
- Gaunt's Ghosts Series (Novels) by Dan Abnett
- Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett