Not to be confused with Nocturnal's Hat.

The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal is a piece of equipment that is believed to have once been possessed by the Daedric Prince Nocturnal. Because Nocturnal is revered as the "Mistress of Shadow," the artifact is attributed with stealth and secrecy. Legend holds that it renders the wearer completely invisible to mortal eyes. It is notably worn by the Gray Fox, who stole it from her.

Role in history

The cowl was stolen from Nocturnal by a thief named Emer Dareloth, the first grandmaster of the Thieves Guild. After the theft, Nocturnal cursed the cowl so that whomever wore it would be erased from history; all who knew that person would subsequently forget who they were. This caused Count Corvus Umbranox, otherwise known as the Gray Fox to the Thieves Guild, to lose his royal ties when he came into possession of it. His wife Millona's memory of him fogged, and she suspected him of having run away, forsaking his marriage vows.

Desperate to remove the curse from the cowl, return to his position as Count, and ultimately rekindle his marriage, he employed the Hero of Kvatch to steal an Elder Scroll. Succeeding in doing so, the Count was able to break the curse, remove the cowl, and return to his wife. It is believed that the hero retained the cowl and assumed the mantle of the Gray Fox.


While wearing the cowl, one's fame drops to 0 and infamy rises to 100. Infamy can increase for every immoral action committed.

Many characters will also have different reactions upon engaging in conversation with the wearer. Most notably, all members of the Thieves Guild, residents of Dunbarrow Cove, and all beggars will speak in awe to the wearer, with the impression that they are speaking to the Gray Fox himself. Non-member characters will also recognize and beg to be spared by the Gray Fox.

Additionally, wearing the cowl in public accumulates a 500 Gold bounty, resulting in an attack by all guards in the Hero's immediate area. The wearer is given no option to pay off the bounty or yield and can only resist arrest. This bounty cannot be removed by Armand Christophe or S'Krivva.

The only way to remove this bounty is to either unequip the Cowl (preferably in a safe location) or to use the console command setcrimegold 0, which will change the target's bounty to 0 Gold. When executing this second option, however, the wearer cannot speak to any guards, or else they will be treated as if they have a bounty.

The main advantage upon wearing the cowl is all crimes witnessed and committed are blamed on the Gray Fox persona and not on the player character. This allows even "good" characters to steal and murder without consequence.

Although legend holds that the wearer becomes Invisible, this is not a trait garnered upon wearing it.


  • Inscribed on the front of the cowl are the words, Daedric S.svgDaedric H.svgDaedric A.svgDaedric D.svgDaedric O.svgDaedric W.svgDaedric H.svgDaedric I.svgDaedric D.svgDaedric E.svgDaedric O.svgDaedric U.svg, which, in the Daedric alphabet mean, "Shadow Hide Ou." The "y" was omitted. The phrase is used by members of the Thieves Guild, as well as Nightingales. The latter believe that, upon death, they are merged with the shadows, covered by a cloak of protection and enigma. The root of the phrase is believed to stem from this after-life mythos.
  • Being one of the very few witnesses, the Umbranoxs of Anvil have very different reactions upon wearing the Cowl. Millona Umbranox responds "Leave me alone Gray Fox, your presence here only stirs up dark memories." Corvus Umbranox says "The new Gray Fox. The cowl suits you. Me? I am much happier without it."
  • Guild members of a joined faction will still recognize the player even when the cowl is worn. As such, committing crimes against them will result in an expulsion of the player.
  • The Cowl does not "work" in the Shivering Isles. The effects are still present but no one will comment about the Gray Fox and none of the guards will attempt to arrest the character.
  • Highwayman bandits will still engage in conversation with the player but will not demand a payment.
Length: 0:12
Description: Cut guard dialogue
  • Originally, the player could have surrendered as the Gray Fox when caught by a guard. The cut dialogue is: "So, the infamous criminal surrenders? This calls for a celebration! So... pay the fine or serve your sentence. Your stolen goods are forfeit."
  • The Cowl is excellent to use for The Vile Lair, especially for those with little to no infamy and those that do not want to accumulate infamy.


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