In the 3rd book of the multi-author Sundering series, the award-winning Erin M. Evans throws her signature character Farideh into a maelstrom of devilish politics and magical intrigue. With today's release of The Adversary, we present Farideh's backstory.
As her friends and sister race across the landscape on a desperate rescue mission, Farideh is drawn deeper into the mystery of the Netherese plot alongside two undercover Harper agents. But will her closest ally turn out to be an adversary from her past?
bandoned as an infant along with her twin sister and adopted by an exiled dragonborn warrior, Farideh grew to adulthood acutely aware of the drawbacks of being a tiefling. Even with outcast tieflings and dragonborn as her neighbors in the mountain village of Arush Vayem, Farideh knew they watched for the day one of the twins would show the stain of their devilborn blood. Despite doing everything she could to reassure them, including keeping wild Havilar out of trouble, the villagers focused on Farideh as the one who would embrace the dark side of herself.
They weren't wrong.
In 1478 DR at the tender age of seventeen, Havilar attempted to summon an imp with a borrowed scroll and wound up calling down a half-devil, Lorcan, instead. For all it seemed a lucky accident, Lorcan had been looking for the twins—or someone like them. As a collector of warlocks, Lorcan needed one of these two to complete his most prized set, a Toril Thirteen. Thirteen descendants of the warlocks whose ritual helped Asmodeus seize the godhood and doomed the tiefling race—and Farideh, as the great-great-granddaughter of their leader, Bryseis Kakistos, was the last piece. Toying with her affections, her fears, and finally her love for her sister, Lorcan convinced Farideh to accept a warlock's pact, confirming what the villagers of Arush Vayem had always said and leaving the twins and their adoptive father to roam Faerûn as bounty hunters.
Though Farideh draws magic from the Nine Hells, she uses it only to protect her loved ones and the good folk she encounters—especially those caught in the sights of devils. Perhaps she made a mistake taking the pact, but now she has the power to make a difference, rather than bending under the will of those who think she was wicked from the cradle and hiding away. She might be damned for falling under Lorcan's sway, but that doesn't matter to Farideh. She can still save those who have a chance.
As the Sundering approaches, Farideh has learned still more about her lost past and her daunting future: The crimes of Bryseis Kakistos and the Toril Thirteen. The rapaciousness of collector devils. The spell of protection cast upon her and Havilar, shielding them from devils' scrying magic. She's made more than one enemy in the Hells, but she's gained allies to match, including Harper agents, a scion of one of Cormyr's royal families, and, of course, Lorcan. Whether he remains an ally, an enemy, or something else, Farideh is still waiting to see.
As innocent as everything seemed, as much as a part of her wanted to believe that she was the worst person in the fortress, the better part of Farideh knew that wasn’t true. The wizard was up to something, and she needed to know what. Especially if he was the one the devil meant for her to stop.
Continuing reading in The Adversary.