The Gray Fox is the guildmaster of the Thieves Guild. The Gray Fox gets his name from his sneakiness in thievery and from the gray mask, the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, that he wears. The first Gray Fox stole the cowl from the Daedric Prince Nocturnal herself. The title of Gray Fox is passed from leader to successor by giving the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal to the successor. Since the successor then becomes the Gray Fox, many think that he has been alive for over 300 years.
In the the book Purloined Shadows, a young female thief is enlisted to help a master thief. During a ritual performed by witches, the daedric god Nocturnal is summoned, and Nocturnal removes her cowl during the ritual. The young thief is hiding there, waiting for the master's signal to steal the cowl. Suddenly, the master's voice cries out, warning Nocturnal of the young thief's presence. Nocturnal turns and begins to strangle the young thief. The young thief, before she dies, notices that the cowl has disappeared. It is presumed that the master thief then dons the cowl and becomes the Gray Fox, activating the curse of the cowl in the process.
It is unknown whether the book is true or not, but it tells possibly the only full story of how the Gray Fox came to be in possession of the cowl. The names of both thieves are never revealed in the book; however, at the end of the Thieves' Guild quest line, the current Gray Fox names Emer Dareloth as the true thief of the cowl.
Who is the Gray Fox?Edit
It is revealed later that the current Gray Fox is Corvus Umbranox, the Count of Anvil. The curse of the Cowl caused his real identity to be erased from history, forcing him to continue his life known only as The Stranger. Though he had been missing for ten years, with the help of the Hero of Kvatch, he lifts this curse from himself at the end of The Ultimate Heist and returns to his wife, the Countess of Anvil Millona Umbranox. He passes down the Cowl to the Hero of Kvatch to succeed him as Gray Fox and the Grandmaster of the Thieves Guild, thus he becomes the new Gray Fox.
There are a couple of references to the Gray Fox in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
- During the Thieves Guild questline, the Bust of the Gray Fox can be found in Mercer Frey's house. The bust is a larceny target for Delvin Mallory, and upon turning it in, will appear on the guildmaster's desk. Delvin will also state that Mercer Frey admires the Gray Fox.
- When in the Pelagius Wing of the Blue Palace, the Dragonborn is teleported into the Pelagius' mind. With in-game subtitles turned on, Sheogorath mentions several things pertaining to the life of the Hero of Kvatch, including 'a Fox', with a capitalized F.
- Upon completing the Thieves Guild questline, Ravyn Imyan will occasionally praise the player as you pass him, but comment that you are no Gray Fox.