"This was such a glorious city. But then everything had to change. The Empire came... and my brother was lost..."
―Avulstein Gray-Mane[src]


Avulstein Gray-Mane is a Nord and member of the Gray-Mane clan, a well-established family in the city of Whiterun.


Avulstein Gray-Mane is the son of Eorlund and Fralia Gray-Mane, the brother of Olfina Gray-Mane and the missing Thorald Gray-Mane, and the nephew of Vignar Gray-Mane. He will be in the Gray-Mane clan house, hiding in one of the bedrooms. Upon opening the bedroom door, Avulstein will begin to speak, explaining that he is paranoid of meeting the same fate as his brother who is missing. He is certain that the Battle-Borns are behind the disappearance of his brother and wants proof stolen from their house.


Missing in ActionEdit

The Dragonborn can help to find out the fate of his brother and rescue him from Northwatch Keep.


Missing in ActionEdit

"Who are you? What are you doing here? Are you working with the Battle-Borns? Speak now before I put you in the ground!"

I don't know what you're talking about. "A likely story. They won't even do their own dirty work now, eh? Well, you won't get the better of me! Now tell me where my brother is!"
Calm down. I'm not working for anyone. "No? So you don't know anything about my brother? Then what are you doing here?"
I don't know your brother. "Thorald... Thorald Gray-Mane? Fighting for the Stormcloaks, disappeared and believed dead? You really don't know anything about this, do you?"
I didn't mean to alarm you. Why are you so tense? "Because they've got Thorald locked away somewhere, and if they find me here I'll disappear too! I am not going to let that happen!"
Sounds like you need some help. "I can't do this all on my own. Are you... are you offering to help me?"
I'm not even sure what's going on. "My brother, Thorald. He was fighting for the Stormcloaks, and went missing. Everyone assumes he's dead. But he's not. I just know it. The Imperials captured him, and they're holding him someplace. The Battle-Borns know where. I'd go and search their house for proof, but they want me too. I'd be captured, and then we'll never know what happened to him. So I need someone to find that proof for me."
Yes, absolutely. What can I do? "I know that Thorald's not dead. I just know it. The Imperials have him, and are keeping him somewhere. But I don't know where. Those damned Battle-Borns... they know something. They're hiding it. They practically taunt us with it. They must have some sort of proof! There's got to be something in that house of theirs. I just know it. I don't dare leave the house myself. So I need your help."
Why do you think the Battle-Borns are involved? "The Battle-Borns. The Emperor's biggest boot-lickers here in Whiterun. Their connections to the Empire and the Legion are well-known. When Thorald didn't return home, there was no question in my mind. They knew Thorald supported the Stormcloaks, knew he was going to aid them in battle. Made sure he didn't come back. Locked him up someplace to get back at my family. I'm sure of it."
What sort of proof do you need? "Anything that confirms that Thorald isn't dead, but is being held captive. I know those Battle-Borns have it. They'd be hiding it, of course. Wouldn't want it to get out that they've been lying this whole time. But you might be able to butter them up enough to lower their guard."

(Give Proof)

I have proof that Thorald lives. "I knew it! Let me see, please! The Thalmor? By the Nine, it's worse than I thought. So... Northwatch Keep. Then we know where to hit them."
You're going to assault Northwatch Keep? "I'll do anything if it means saving my brother. You'll join us, won't you? Thorald can't be left to those... monsters."
Of course I'll join you. "I'll round up what men I can, and meet you outside Northwatch Keep. We'll get in and out as fast as possible. I'll see you there."
Let me see if I can bring him back on my own. Without bloodshed. "What? You, alone, reasoning with the Thalmor? That's madness, friend. You're serious, aren't you?"
I'm sure. I'll bring him back myself. "Very well. I'll give you a chance. But if you can't do it, I will."
You stay hidden. I'll take care of this. "Are you sure? I doubt you stand a chance against the Thalmor. I can have a group of men ready at a moment's notice. Many would be willing to help rescue my brother."
I'm sure. I'll bring him back myself. "Very well. I'll give you a chance. But if you can't do it, I will."
You're right. We should work together. "Exactly. Together we stand more of a chance of making this work. Make your way to Northwatch Keep in Haafingar. I'll meet you near there, and we'll plan our assault."


  • "I'm... well, who I am isn't important. Let's leave it at that, huh?"
  • "You've been a good friend to me. That means something." ―After completion of "Missing in Action."
  • "Forget Solitude or Windhelm. Whiterun was the crown jewel of Skyrim before... well, before... nevermind."
  • "Ah, but Skyrim, Skyrim is supreme among all nations. Our people, our native people, are unmatched in all Tamriel."
  • "One day the war will end and the true sons of Skyrim will inherit this great realm."


  • If Idolaf Battle-Born is killed, the Dragonborn may receive a message by courier from Avulstein, thanking the Dragonborn. He states that he knows it was the Dragonborn who killed Idolaf, and that he will not report the Dragonborn to the authorities.
  • Avulstein carries a Skyforge Steel Battleaxe
  • If the Stormcloaks occupy Whiterun, he will still be in hiding, even if his uncle Vignar is Jarl


This section contains bugs related to Avulstein Gray-Mane. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • There is a glitch where Avulstein will become hostile if you have a bounty on your head. However, if you sheath your weapon, he will not yield. If the guards see him attacking you, they will consider it assault and attack Avulstein constantly, and during the quest Missing in Action, he will not die, preventing you from going further.
    • If you can enter Avulstein into a battle with a dragon, he will snap out of it, and communicating with him normalizes.
  •  PS3   During the quest "Missing in Action," if Avulstein gets really hurt, his character will limp on the ground. Casting a Restoration spell on him such as Healing Hands or Heal Other will not help and he will keep limping. Just proceed through Northwatch Keep and he should stand back up soon.