Melidy is an elderly, arthritic lady who was in charge of the royal nursery. After she suffered a "brain storm" (stroke), Prince Karathanelan insisted that his old Rethwellan nurse, Hulda, be brought north to help her. However, the Hulda that left the Rethwellan palace was not the Hulda who arrived in Valdemar. The new Hulda took complete charge of Elspeth, drugging Melidy into compliance. Until Talia and Skif discovered the truth, it was widely believed that Melidy ran the nursery. Though the drugs kept Melidy asleep most of the time, and very confused during the times she was awake, they didn't appear to have any lasting health effects once Hulda was banished.