Colm courted Aditi Hilli for more than a year before she even agreed to speak with him. As a wedding gift, he bought her the jurda farm on which they lived, and at some point had a son, Jesper. Colm worked the jurda fields from sunrise to sunset while Aditi and Jesper did the chores.
One night, Aditi went to help the daughter of a neighboring farm who had fallen ill. When Aditi herself fell ill, Colm and seven-year-old Jesper rode to the farmhouse and stayed with Aditi as she died. They took her back to their farm and buried her beneath a cherry tree while Colm sang Kaelish songs.
When Jesper was ten, Leoni and a man came to the Fahey cabin to ask Jesper to come with them past the frontier to train their zowa (Grisha) gifts. Colm vehemently denied that Jesper was zowa and threatened the man into leaving. When the man was gone, Colm offered to Jesper that he could go if he wanted, but Jesper decided to stay with his father.
At fifteen, Jesper left Novyi Zem to study at university in Ketterdam. Unbeknownst to Colm, Jesper soon left his studies, developed a gambling addiction that led him deeper and deeper into debt, and fell in with one of Ketterdam's gangs. When Colm's farm finally began to turn a profit, Jesper convinced him to put up the farm as collateral for a loan, ostensibly for Jesper to finish his degree.
Colm comes to Ketterdam when the bank moves up the collection date for Jesper's loan and threatens to take legal action. After failing to contact Jesper at the university—where he believes Jesper is still studying—Colm asks around the city, eventually leading Rotty to hear about him. Jesper sends a message to the Ostrich, the inn where Colm is staying, asking to meet at the courtyard of the Boeksplein.
Colm and Jesper share a heartfelt reunion that is quickly interrupted by an ambush and a gunfight. Wylan Van Eck directs Jesper and Colm through a secret passage in the library, and they run back to Black Veil Island, where the rest of the Crows are hiding. To cover for Jesper, Wylan, Nina Zenik, and Kaz Brekker spin a lie claiming that Jesper had paused his studies to work with a gunsmith to repay the loan, but was swindled. Kaz has Colm relocate to the Geldrenner Hotel; Colm agrees to give Jesper three days, after which they would return to Novyi Zem.
When Black Veil is compromised by the Dime Lions, the Crows relocate to Colm's suite at the Geldrenner. He catches Jesper and Kaz physically fighting in the clocktower and learns the Crows lied about everything. Jesper tells his father the truth about his involvement in the gangs and his gambling addiction, but Colm becomes upset when Jesper brings up his Grisha power.
Kaz outlines his plan to auction Kuwei Yul-Bo and get the Crows' money—involving Colm playing the role of Johannus Rietveld, a farmer and the head of a consortium of Kerch and Zemeni jurda growers. Jesper refuses, but Colm agrees. Nina acts as his assistant while they take meetings in the Geldrenner's dining room, enhancing the mystery and reputation of Johannus Rietveld. Under this guise, Colm meets with Karl Dryden and Jan Van Eck and convinces them to have the Merchant Council invest in the fund for Rietveld's consortium.
While the auction of Kuwei Yul-Bo occurs at the Church of Barter, Colm hides with Wylan at a small bakery near the Exchange. Colm and Wylan discuss Jesper, but then Wylan is kidnapped by Anika and Keeg in disguise as Dime Lions. After the auction, Inej Ghafa and Rotty retrieve Colm from the bakery and head to the Van Eck house. Colm helps them convert a bottleboat into a bodyman's sickboat. Jesper promises to come back to Novyi Zem soon, and Colm gives Jesper his blessing to train his Grisha ability. Rotty then rows the boat carrying Colm, Kuwei, and Nina, disguised as dead bodies, to Sturmhond's ship waiting in the harbor; from there, Colm would return home to Novyi Zem.
Personality and traits
Colm is honest, serious, and loving. He loves his wife and son deeply and values them above anything else. As a father, he is stern but caring, and shows fatherly concern for the Crows within days of meeting them. He always wants to believe the best of people. Colm dislikes violence and has a strong sense of morality.
Colm struggles with the Grisha power and identities of his wife and son. Though he cares for them greatly, he was raised in the superstitions and fear of Grisha in the Wandering Isle, which grew after his wife died from overextending her power. Colm becomes angry when Jesper uses or talks about his power, leading to arguments between father and son. At the end of Crooked Kingdom, Colm realizes the importance of Jesper's power and begins to prioritize Jesper's health over Colm's fear.
Colm is "classically Kaelish," with dark red hair, pale skin, and grey eyes. Since Colm spends most of his time outdoors under the Zemeni sun, his pale skin is densely clouded with freckles. He is slightly shorter than Jesper and has broader shoulders and large hands.
- Colm is a variant of the Irish name Colum.
- His name is pronounced kohm fay-hee.
|Main Characters||Kaz Brekker • Inej Ghafa • Jesper Fahey • Nina Zenik • Matthias Helvar • Wylan Van Eck • Kuwei Yul-Bo • Jan Van Eck • Pekka Rollins|
|Minor Characters||Joost • Anya • Emil Retvenko • Councilman Hoede • Geels • Bo Yul-Bayur • Per Haskell • Tante Heleen • Jordie Rietveld • Specht • Rotty • Jarl Brum • Cornelis Smeet • Adem Bajan • Colm Fahey • Aditi Hilli • Alys Van Eck • Marya Hendriks • Zoya Nazyalensky • Sturmhond • Genya Safin • Dunyasha Lazareva • Anika • Pim • Keeg • Roeder • Karl Dryden • Jellen Radmakker|
|Locations||Ketterdam • The Barrel • Hellgate • Ice Court • Djerholm • Black Veil Island • Kerch • Fjerda • Ravka • Novyi Zem • Shu Han • Wandering Isle|
|Groups||The Dregs • Dime Lions • Black Tips • Stadwatch • Grisha • Drüskelle • The Menagerie • House of the White Rose • Merchant Council • Council of Tides • Khergud Soldiers|
|Events||Hringkälla • Hellshow • Queen's Lady Plague • Komedie Brute|
|Miscellaneous||Jurda • Jurda parem • Kefta • Indenture • Djel • Ghezen|