Gavin Zosimus was the lord of Tyr. By his wife Melissa, he fathered Galahad Zosimus and the future queen Laura Stirling. He is the maternal grandfather of King Richard Stirling and Princess Eleanor Stirling.
Gavin was the second-born son of Lord Hugh Zosimus and Lady Sibylla Andronikos, the presiding noble house in the city of Tyr. The Zosimus family was well known for their great wealth, gained from the vastly successful Tyran trade. Gavin was raised in the lap of luxury, living a sheltered life at the family's castle, Isidore. With his elder brother Stephen as the heir to the family fortune, he was not raised to expect the responsibilities of inheriting his father's wealth.
When he was fourteen, his mother committed suicide by drowning, apparently driven to despair by her loveless marriage and opulent but empty lifestyle. Gavin was deeply affected by her death, and had recurring nightmares of the incident for years after.
As a young man, Gavin fell in love with Melissa, a beautiful and charming peasant woman who worked in the castle gardens. Initially reluctant to pursue a long-term relationship, she won him over and he began to seek his father's approval of their marriage.
However, Stephen died unexpectedly in an accident, making Gavin the heir to Tyr. At that point Melissa was already pregnant. Left with little option and unprepared to assume the responsibilities of running the family business, Gavin eloped with Melissa, fleeing to the west.
Gradually they ran out of money and were reduced to poverty and homelessness. Stranded, they slept on a street corner with rags as blankets. One day they overheard Vormund preaching and approached him. Upon learning of their unfortunate circumstances, Vormund agreed at once to take them under his wing.Gavin and Melissa converted to Vormundism and lived in the caves of Arza Kell with Vormund's other disciples. The young lord befriended the Exekian Kemet, who would later be named godfather to his children.
Just Another Believer
In Bodai, a misunderstanding (or more likely, a conspiracy) led to the local authorities ordering the expulsion of the cult from the city. It couldn't have happened at a more inopportune time - Melissa had gone into labor.
The followers of Vormund were thrown out just before nightfall, including a prospective disciple named Rowan Renard, who was adamant he get to meet the prophet. Rowan told them his aunt was a midwife who lived only a couple of miles away, and they set out for her house.
Upon their arrival, they were taken in by Rowan's family, a poor farming couple. Rowan's aunt tended to Melissa, who gave birth to twin girls - Laura and her stillborn sister Ilena. The grieving Gavin and Melissa buried Ilena the next morning, but Melissa's condition was such that they couldn't leave for three days after the birth.As soon as Melissa was well enough, the group began the return journey to Arza Kell with Rowan in their midst.
While Vormund and several of his disciples traveled to Hiberia, Gavin and his family were among those who chose to stay at Arza Kell, along with Kemet and Sophia Richter. Kemet unwittingly discovered an abandoned infant nearby, and while Sophia was tempted to take the child for themselves, they ultimately decided to offer the boy to Gavin and Melissa, as a way of healing the loss of their daughter Ilena. While Melissa was less enthusiastic, Gavin eagerly accepted the child, naming him Galahad.
Not long after, Gavin discovered his father had died, leaving him his estate. To claim his fortune, he would have to return to Tyr. He and his family prepared to depart, but before they could leave, Rowan and Drusus Rolfe returned bearing dire news: Vormund and Ethan had been arrested for murder.
Unbeknownst to them, they had been followed from Hiberia. Armed men ambushed them when they exited the caves, and everyone ran in different directions to escape. Gavin killed one of the agents with his dagger, and helped Kemet defend himself from another. In the chaos, the group split up and lost contact with each other.
Gavin attempted to use his power and wealth to further influence the outcome of Vormund's trial, to little avail. Vormund and Ethan were sentenced to die.
Using the money he inherited, Gavin arranged for the safe passage of Kemet and Sophia to the Shadowlands, and even escorted the trio to the Antoi himself. He also "rescued" Rowan from his sister, providing him with the means to escape to Kataru and a new, professional copy of the Mandorlin. The two never saw each other alive again.
After returning to Tyr, Gavin set himself up as the new lord and formally presented himself to the king. He legally married Melissa and legitimized his two children, keeping Galahad's true origins a secret. Due to the persecution of "Vormundists", Gavin kept his religion private, but raised his children within the faith. He became a favorite of King Tristan, who described Gavin as "incorruptible", but his quiet support of fellow cult members made him many enemies.
Assassination of the King and War of Succession
When Tristan was assassinated, Gavin defended the royal family and Castle Vallon from the ensuing attack. He recognized the leader of the onslaught as his old friend Drusus Rolfe, but dutifully slew him in combat. Gavin then followed his wife to a locked room, where she was tending to the wounded king along with Princess Helen. He was present to hear Tristan's last words, and the king gave Gavin his sword before dying.After Aldous was crowned, Prince Claudius approached Gavin on the issue of challenging Aldous' right to the throne. Claudius and Gavin both agreed that Aldous was dangerous, citing his call for the total annihilation of the Exekians.
Gavin resumed a secret correspondence with Kemet, whom he had not seen in fifteen years, to discuss the possibility of an alliance between the Exekians and Claudius' forces in order to overthrow Aldous. Kemet revealed the sorry state of the Exekian people, but assured him they would not interfere in the conflict.
In the War of Succession, Gavin sided with Claudius Stirling. After bidding goodbye to his family, Gavin joined the rebel army. During the Battle of Duat, he threw himself in the way of Aldous' sword, saving Claudius at the cost of his own life.
After his death, Aldous took the Zosimus family captive and eventually married Gavin's daughter Laura. Gavin himself became a highly controversial figure, revered by the Vormundists but scorned by Aldous' supporters.