Melissa Zosimus was an Alucar woman from Tyr. By her husband Gavin Zosimus she mothered the future queen Laura Stirling.

Originally a servant at Isidore, the estate of the Zosimus family, she was discovered by a young Gavin while she worked in the gardens. He was immediately smitten with her, but she refused his offer to become his mistress on the grounds that they would not be equal. Gavin finally agreed to marry her, knowing his father Hugh would disinherit him.

However, before they could elope, Gavin's elder brother died unexpectedly, and Gavin became the sole heir of the family fortune. Hugh was infuriated when he learned of Gavin's plans to marry a servant, and threatened to disown him. Gavin eloped with the pregnant Melissa in spite of these threats.


Gavin and Melissa in the gardens.

The two wandered from city to city, eventually encountering Vormund and his followers. Upon learning of their situation, the prophet allowed them to stay at Arza Kell. As Melissa's time drew near, they traveled with Vormund to the nearby city of Bodai.

Melissa went into labor and was taken to the physician Dr. Kovak, but before she could give birth, the police arrived with orders from the governor to banish Vormund and his cult from the city. Melissa was thrown out with the others, but found help in Rowan Renard, who offered to led them to the house of his aunt, a midwife. Before they reached the house, Melissa gave birth to Laura, facilitated by Rowan.

While in the postpartum care of Hester Renard, Melissa came down with a fever and died five days after giving birth. Gavin brought her body to Arza Kell, where she was buried.