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Vignar Gray-Mane is an elderly Nord and a former Companion. He is the patron of Clan Gray-Mane, one of the two oldest families in Whiterun, the other being their rival Clan Battle-Born. He is the brother of Eorlund Gray-Mane, who makes the armor for the Companions at the Skyforge, and an uncle to his children. Vignar is a supporter of the Stormcloaks, and will become the Jarl of Whiterun if the Stormcloaks conquer Whiterun. Vignar is wealthy, and shows it by wearing fine clothes and matching fine boots. He carries with him a Skyforge steel sword, a spare belted tunic and a selection of valuable items.
He is often accompanied by his servant Brill, who he also shares a room with in the legendary mead hall Jorrvaskr as a honorary member of the Companions. He allegedly saved Brill from a self-destructive lifestyle. He spends most of the day wandering around Jorrvaskr, at times taking random meals or talking to the other Companions. At 3 PM he goes outside and takes a walk around Whiterun, while watching his rival Olfrid Battle-Born. At 7 PM he visits The Drunken Huntsman where he will stay until 1 AM, before returning to Jorrvaskr to sleep.
The ongoing feud between the Gray-Manes and Battle-Borns was evidently caused by the civil war. Speaking to Vignar will cause him to tell you about his political beliefs. "When the Empire surrendered to the Aldmeri Dominion, they shamed us all!", "For thirty years, I served the Legion as a commander. Fought in the Great War." and "We Gray-Manes have been feuding with the Battle-Borns for years. There's no more bitter enemy than an old friend." When asked about the Gray-Manes, he will say "We've got an old saying -- the Gray-Manes have lived in Whiterun since the first snows fell in Skyrim. Well, maybe that's not entirely true, but our clan's got a long an' proud history in this hold. We respect the old ways, the Nord ways, an' a Gray-Mane has worked the Skyforge since before the time of my grandfather's father." When asked about the Battle-Borns, he will give a significantly more bitter response: Aye, they're an old clan like ours, but they cast their lot with the Empire when the uprising began. Olfrid Battle-Born made his money from farming, an' got himself some new friends among the Empire's nobles. Now he's in the Emperor's pocket like the rest of 'em, with no regard for honor an' tradition."