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Gavin Zosimus was a human nobleman who served as a representative of Tyre in the Amenthian Council. By his wife Melissa, he fathered William Zosimus and the future queen Laura Stirling. He is the maternal grandfather of Richard Stirling and Eleanor Stirling.

Biography

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A young Gavin.

Gavin was born to Lord Hugh Zosimus and Lady Sibylla Andronikos 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.

When he was fourteen, his mother committed suicide by drowning; she had become depressed by her loveless marriage and materialistic 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 noblewoman. Eventually however he became disillusioned with wealth and privilege, and at the age of nineteen he left his family's estate in search of meaning. Before he left, he promised to return when he had found the answers he sought and marry Melissa.

Gradually, Gavin ran out of money and was reduced to poverty and homelessness. Stranded in the city of Kataru, he slept on a street corner with rags as blankets. One day he overheard Vormund preaching. His words so moved Gavin that he followed him out of the city and into the wilderness.

At the cave where Vormund and his followers dwelled, the weak and dehydrated Gavin was taken in. The young man knelt before Vormund, who asked him not to prostrate himself before the "mouthpiece", but only in the presence of Akhen. He led Gavin outside to witness the sunrise and prayed with him at the edge of a cliff. The young man would take to visiting the cliff every day to pray.

Gavin converted to Vormundism and lived in the cave with the other early disciples. In particular he befriended the Exekian Kemet, who was found the day before his arrival. Because Gavin was the only Alucar among them who knew how to read and write, he and Kemet began working on translations of Kemet's various Exekian texts, including one of the last remaining copies of the holy books, such as the Book of Ferdia and the Book of Matta. Gavin would later write the Hymns to the Sun, which documented the life of Vormund and the growth and eventual disbandment of the cult surrounding the prophet.

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Gavin upon arriving at the cave.

Hymns to the Sun

In the city of Bodai, where Vormund had gone to preach, a misunderstanding (or more likely, a conspiracy) led to the local authorities ordering the expulsion of the cult from the city. Vormund and his self-appointed bodyguard Joshua Merriman were protected from this order, as they were the guests of the physician Nathan Lucassen. Daniel Zuse managed to escape the soldiers and joined them for the night.

The other followers of Vormund were thrown out of the city just before nightfall, including a prospective disciple named Rowan Renard, who was adamant he get to meet the prophet. The group began the return journey to Arza Kell, and to pass the time Gavin struck up a conversation with Rowan. He described how he became a follower of Vormund, his work as a scribe in creating the new translation, and his friendship with Kemet. Gavin proved an effective introduction to the inner workings of the cult, as well as an amicable, reliable new friend to the confused and frightened Rowan.

After spending the following day meditating at his customary spot on the cliff edge, Gavin headed back to the cave. Along the way he saw Daniel Zuse lying alone by the stream, bleeding. He hurried back to tell the others, but they were so concerned by the disappearance of Ilena Merriman that the only person willing to help was Kemet.

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Not long after the death of Vormund, Gavin made the decision to help escort Kemet and Clara to the Shadowlands.

The two carried the badly injured Daniel back to the cave. To Gavin's horror, it was revealed that Daniel had used Gavin's dagger, a Zosimus family heirloom he had hidden in a tree stump, to castrate himself. Along with Nathan Lucassen and Clara Belgrade, he tended to Daniel's wound, applying pressure to staunch the blood.

A King's Fortune

Not long after, Gavin discovered his father had died, leaving him his estate. To claim his fortune, he would have to return to Tyr. With Vormund's blessing, he prepared to depart, but delayed in order to attend the wedding of Kemet and Clara.

The wedding was canceled when soldiers arrived to arrest Vormund. In the ensuing chaos, Rowan and Daniel were also taken; Rowan for attacking one of the soldiers, and Daniel because a warrant was already out for his arrest. Gavin used his authority as a lord to prevent them from ransacking the cave, thereby protecting Kemet.

The young lord attempted to use his power and wealth to further influence the outcome of Vormund's trial, to little avail - he ultimately succeeded only in sneaking Kemet and Clara in to be quickly and quietly married by the doomed prophet. Vormund and Daniel were sentenced to die, while Rowan was successfully bailed out by his sister Rhine.

Using the money he inherited, Gavin arranged for the safe passage of Kemet, Clara Belgrade, and her son Adrian 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 Zemar and a copy of the newly translated holy books. The two lost contact and never saw each other alive again.

After returning to Tyr, Gavin set himself up as a lord and appeared before the king. He eventually married Melissa and had two children with her, Galahad and Laura. Due to the persecution of "Vormunds", Gavin kept his religion private, but raised his children within the faith. He was favored by King Tristan, who described Gavin as "incorruptible", but made many enemies at court.

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Gavin Zosimus kneels on one knee before Tristan Stirling. His wife Melissa can be seen in the background.

When Tristan was assassinated during a tournament, Gavin defended the royal family and Castle Vallon from the ensuing attack. He recognized the leader of the onslaught as Drusus Rolfe and slew him. 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 and unfit to be king, citing his call for the total annihilation of the Exekians.
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Gavin bidding his wife Melissa farewell before going to war.

Gavin secretly arranged a meeting 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 Vormunds but scorned by Aldous' supporters.