Grayson (formerly Claudianus) was an Immortal, and former pupil of Darius and the teacher of Callestina and Milos Vladic. Unlike his teacher, Grayson never gave up violence, eventually evolving from a warlord into an arms merchant.
Grayson was born Claudianus in Dacia in the year AD 325. He was a farmer, whose wife died in the winter after their marriage. Around the year 365, Claudianus died under the hooves of the invading Goths and became Immortal. Darius, the general of the Goths and one of the most powerful Immortals at the time, sensed Claudianus and took him under his wing and trained him to become a powerful warrior. Claudianus changed his name to Grayson, believing that Darius, who always wore a gray wolf-skin over his shoulder, was his true father, and he became Darius’ second in command. Over the years, he developed a strong desire to create a legion of Immortals to rule the world, and pleaded with Darius again and again, that he would be the perfect leader, that he could take disparate Immortals and form them into an army, despite the Game. Darius put him off, uninterested and doubting it could be possible.
Darius fought many times by the side of Alaric of the Goths. Asked to join Alaric in conquering Rome, he came with Grayson and his army around the year 409. Grayson was not at all happy, wanting more every day to leave mortals behind, and loathing Alaric. He was shocked to suddenly sense that Alaric's sister, Callestina, was a pre-Immortal, and he fell in love with her, but she was already in love with Darius. Darius, however, did not love her, but was only using her. In 410, Alaric laid siege to Rome with Darius and Grayson fighting by his side. In the chaos, Callestina was killed and revived as an Immortal. Grayson was with her and told her what she was, and kept her safe, beginning to teach her to fight and explaining about the Game and the Gathering.
Darius, after Rome was won, and he found himself bored with mortals, finally agreed that Grayson's desire to create an army of Immortals was something he wanted to accomplish. Grayson was overjoyed to tell their men it was time to leave, but when he came back to Darius, found a heart-broken and furious Callestina leaving Darius' chambers. Knowing she had been rejected, he urged her to live, and left her behind to go with Darius.
Later that year, while leading the Goths to the gates of Paris, Darius fought, defeated, and beheaded an ancient Immortal holy man named Emrys who, at the time, was the oldest living Immortal. The Quickening changed him utterly, he became a peacemaker. Grayson saw this as a betrayal of him and their cause, and the shock of it shattered him. He could not defeat Darius, so he left, returning to Callestina. He married her, and she became his student and lover. They lived together for over two centuries. Grayson became one of the most powerful Immortals in the game, and killed many Immortals. Some watchers assumed that he would become the one.
In modern times, Grayson became a wealthy arms merchant. (It is implied by Grayson in the speech before his final battle with MacLeod that he was the one who first turned gunpowder into a weapon.) based in Vienna Austria. He decided a way to get revenge against Darius was by killing everyone Darius cared about, in order to drive Darius off holy ground, so Grayson might take his head. He then discovered that there was a spy within his organization hired by Darius. After he was discovered, the spy ran to Darius’ church where Grayson murdered him just outside the fence. Grayson taunted Darius, urging him to step off holy ground and become the man he was before. But Darius refused, and tried to convince his old friend to change his ways, and become a peacemaker like him. Grayson refused, and said that he would keep on killing those Darius cared for one by one. He then said his next victim was going to be a mortal named Victor Paulus, a man of peace like Darius, and another of his protégés.
Paulus was then in Seacouver, Washington, so Darius sent Duncan MacLeod, yet another protégé, a warning about Grayson. Duncan was able to foil two attempts on Paulus' life, and challenged Grayson. Grayson was not interested in killing MacLeod, because he thought MacLeod to be a great potential asset who could be a powerful ally. Duncan was determined to stop Grayson and, after preparing himself to fight "one of the old ones", sent a message to Grayson to meet him at a sulfur processing facility, where they would fight. After a long fight in which Grayson proved his skill as a warrior and almost took his victory, but just when it looked like Duncan was about to meet his end, he was able to block a strike by Grayson and slashed his abdomen. In pain, Grayson tried to strike at Duncan who blocked him and disarmed him, then Duncan took Grayson's head.
In the season 3 episode "They Also Serve", several members of the Watchers who are all participating in a poker game at Joe Dawson's blues bar, stated their surprise at Duncan MacLeod's victory over such a superior opponent. Dawson said that he even thought that Duncan was a goner till he gained momentum against Grayson, which surprised him.
Despite being one of the most powerful evil Immortals at the time of his death, Grayson's interests did not seem to be focused on winning The Game. His interest in destroying Darius was purely personal, and he had sought an alliance with MacLeod rather than a duel to the death, even though all parties involved seemed to think Grayson would have been the more likely victor. MacLeod, though, expressed to Richie a fear that taking Grayson's head might influence him to become evil, even as Darius taking the Holy Man's head had done the opposite. Grayson did say to MacLeod, "...there are not many like you left...I've killed so many."
Despite being an evil immortal Grayson was, in contrast to others like The Kurgan, very sophisticated. He affected a polite and civilized manner that was lacking in most other evil immortals. Grayson actually even offered to allow Duncan to withdraw his challenge, and suggested he take a job in his organization, a bloodless version of keeping one's enemies closer perhaps, but possibly a genuine effort to recruit him.
Although Grayson had a tendency to kill mortals, he didn't kill them out of fun or randomly like others. When he did it, it had logical reasons like killing the one who was sent to spy on him by Darius or to assassinate Paulus to lure Darius from holy ground. When Grayson encountered Tessa, he didn't harm her because there was no reason for him, a strong contrast to other immortals who threatened Tessa to hurt or provoke Duncan.
Grayson's sword was an Iberian Kris Broadsword.
- Shadow of Obsession