Lore:Gray Fox

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Gray Fox
OB-npc-The Gray Fox.jpg
Corvus Umbranox as the Gray Fox circa 3E 433
Appears in Oblivion, Skyrim, Legends

The Gray Fox is more accurately described as an identity rather than a person. Although some doubt his existence, the general populace of Tamriel that believes in him sees the persona as one mysterious master thief, who had been the leader of the Thieves Guild in Cyrodiil for three hundred years by the time of the Oblivion Crisis. In reality a series of different people had actually held the title throughout the years. The persona of the Gray Fox is created by the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, which was originally stolen from Nocturnal by Emer Dareloth. Nocturnal cursed the cowl to steal the identity of the wearer. Once a person dons the cowl, the curse transforms them into the Gray Fox and their original identity is lost. The cowl had been passed from one guildmaster to the next, preventing the guildmaster from appearing in public due to the infamous reputation of the Gray Fox.[1]


In 3E 433, Hieronymus Lex, a Watch Captain of the Imperial Guard, began a personal vendetta to bring the Gray Fox to justice, although the Thieves Guild eventually conspired to put an end to his hunt. The current Gray Fox, previously Count Corvus Umbranox of Anvil, had spent 11 years attempting to break Nocturnal's curse, and eventually succeeded. His best thief stole an Elder Scroll from the Imperial Palace, and used its power to re-write history. Without the curse, the Thieves Guild had flourished, and the Cowl's power to hide one's identity could be fully manipulated. The persona of the Gray Fox continued to lead the guild, with the Cowl being passed down from the redeemed Count Umbranox to the master thief who aided him.[1]

At an unknown time, the Gray Cowl made its way into Skyrim, and so did the mantle of the Gray Fox to a Nord by the name of Pjofr Ice-Blade. Instead of becoming the head of the Ice-Blade clan, he left it, pursuing his own interests out of greed.[2] By 4E 201, conspirators succeeded in making the death of Pjofr’s sister seem like it was caused by an illness. Her son, Smaref, was left an orphan and last of the Ice-Blades. The scoundrels obtained the boy’s consent to transfer his family’s lands over to them, then sent him to Riften before he became old enough to suspect their motives.[3] After hearing of the passing of his sister, Pjofr learned of Smaref’s adoption by one of Riften’s wealthy. When Pjofr attended dinner at their household, he saw that this new father figure was caring, while his wife wanted nothing to do with the child. She revealed that her husband was asked by a Thane of Solitude to take in the urchin as a charity case.[4]

Pjofr faked the death of the Gray Fox. The Last Dragonborn investigating the unmarked grave took up the quest to gain the Gray Cowl. Following a series of instructions, the Dragonborn swapped important documents with forgeries, ruining the conspirators claims to the Ice-Blade clan’s lands. Finally, the Dragonborn delved into the Nordic ruin of Silverdrift Lair, and retrieved the ancestral Sword of Clan Ice–Blade. With the tasks done, the Dragonborn returned to the Gray Fox’s grave, and Pjofr came in-person to pass on the Gray Fox’s mantle.[5]

Known Gray Foxes[edit]


  • One document written by an individual known as Ilrathion, Master Enchanter suggests that the Gray Fox was leading the Riften Thieves Guild and recruited the young Barenziah and her Khajiit ally Therris as hired blades of the guild and eventually tasked Barenziah to steal a valuable gem from a rival thieves guild in Windhelm.[UOL 1] The veracity of this account is questionable as it does not align with the events found within the other known biographies of Barenziah's life.[6][7]


See Also[edit]


Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.