For information about the quest in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, see The Howe Family.

The Howe family are a noble family from Ferelden at the time of the Fifth Blight, claiming the Arling of Amaranthine. They used to rule Amaranthine from Vigil's Keep, one of the most ancient fortresses in the country.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Howes are one of the oldest noble families in Ferelden. According to Byron Howe, the first of the Howe family was gifted a superior dwarven-made sword by the dwarven king.[1]

In the second half of the Blessed Age, Arl Tarleton Howe, who was almost ninety years old and described as sharp and bitter, sided with Orlais during the occupation of Ferelden, however the Cousland family ruling the neighbouring Highever openly supported the rebellion.[2] He fought several bitter battles against the Couslands, but in the end they managed to capture the town of Harper's Ford as well as Tarleton. Arl Tarleton was subsequently hanged.

Arl Byron Howe of Amaranthine, the much younger brother of Tarleton, became the new Arl of Amaranthine. Like his brother, he bent the knee to Meghren, the Orlesian usurper King of Ferelden.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne.

Byron was more reluctant in his support for the occupation. When Prince Maric and the rebel army took shelter in his arling, Byron went out of his way to ignore the rebel presence. After Prince Maric personally thanked him for his non-intervention, Byron switched allegiance to the rebels and took all his loyal soldiers and joined the rebel cause. Byron was later killed in battle against the Orlesians.

The young Rendon Howe, Tarleton's son, also sided with the rebels and Prince Maric and was one of the few survivors of the disastrous defeat at the Battle of White River. Once the war was won, Rendon was decorated for his service by King Maric, and was made Arl of Amaranthine. The Howes were hailed as heroes, and Arl Howe became close friends with Teyrn Bryce Cousland of Highever.[3]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

In 9:30 Dragon, the Fifth Blight broke out in Ferelden. Arl Rendon was invited to Castle Cousland, but turned traitor, using his soldiers to slaughter the Cousland family while their guards were battling darkspawn in the south. Howe was a confederate of Teyrn Loghain, whose actions at the Battle of Ostagar doomed King Cailan Theirin.

With Loghain as regent, Rendon was made Teyrn of Highever and Arl of Denerim, making him one of the most powerful men in Ferelden, second only to Loghain and Queen Anora. During his reign, he imprisoned and tortured innocents, interfered with a templar's duties, and was complicit in the selling of elven slaves to the Tevinter Imperium. Howe was killed by the Warden who ended the Blight. The Howe dynasty finally came to an end when the new monarch of Ferelden stripped the Howes of all land and titles, restoring Highever to Fergus Cousland, who was travelling south when his family was murdered. Amaranthine, however, was granted to the Grey Wardens.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.

Nathaniel and Delilah are reunited in Amaranthine.

Rendon Howe's children, Nathaniel and Delilah, survived, though his youngest son Thomas died during the Blight. Delilah remained in Amaranthine, hating her father and believing he deserved to die for his crimes. Nathaniel returned from the Free Marches, and sought revenge on the Wardens, ignorant of his father's atrocities. He was captured by the Orlesian Grey Wardens stationed at Vigil's Keep, the former home of the Howes, after being caught prowling inside.

If the Warden-Commander recruited or conscripted Nathaniel:
He joined the Grey Wardens either after the Warden-Commander invokes the Right of Conscription, or when the Commander accepts his plea to be recruited after being released from the Vigil's Keep prison.

If the Warden-Commander had Nathaniel executed:
For trespassing in the Grey Warden's fortress, Nathaniel was executed.

If the Warden-Commander raised Nathaniel's approval high enough and he survived:
If the Commander befriends him after Nathaniel is made a Grey Warden, Nathaniel is informed of his father's crimes by his sister, and comes to hate him as she did.

Following the Darkspawn Civil War, Nathaniel saved Fergus Cousland, now Teyrn of Highever, from bandits. For this, a portion of land was restored to the Howes, which Nathaniel passed on to his sister's son.

In case the Commander doesn't befriend Nathaniel:
He decides that the life of a Grey Warden is not for him and leaves the Wardens.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

If Nathaniel was recruited into the Grey Wardens, survived the conflict in Amaranthine and the Warden-Commander befriended him:
Later Nathaniel was assigned to an expedition by the Wardens to the Primeval Thaig ordered by the First Warden himself. Delilah went to Kirkwall searching for her brother and enlisted the aid of Hawke whom rescued Nathaniel from the Deep Roads.

Known Howes[edit | edit source]

Rendon Howe, Arl of Amaranthine

Elias Howe – one of the first freeholders to follow Calenhad Theirin
Padric Howe – a Grey Warden; presumed to have died taking the Joining [note]
Kathra Howe – a fighter during the Chasind uprising two centuries ago [4]
• Arl Tarleton Howe – Rendon Howe's father
• Arl Byron Howe – Arl of Amaranthine and Rendon Howe's uncle
• Arl Rendon Howe
Eliane Bryland – wife of Rendon Howe
Nathaniel Howe – eldest child of Rendon Howe; a Grey Warden (conditional); companion of the Warden-Commander (conditional)
Delilah Howe – middle child of Rendon Howe
Thomas Howe – youngest child of Rendon Howe
• Delilah Howe's son [5]

Family Tree[edit | edit source]

Tarleton Howe
Byron Howe
Rendon Howe
Eliane Bryland
Nathaniel Howe
Thomas Howe
Delilah Howe
Unnamed Son

Codex entries[edit | edit source]

Codex entry: The Howes of Amaranthine Codex entry: The Howes of Amaranthine
Codex entry: Arl Rendon Howe Codex entry: Arl Rendon Howe
Codex entry: Nathaniel Codex entry: Nathaniel
Codex entry: Letter to Rendon Howe Codex entry: Letter to Rendon Howe
Codex entry: Response from Rendon Howe Codex entry: Response from Rendon Howe
Codex entry: Highever Codex entry: Highever

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • After giving the Howe Bow to Nathaniel, he tells the Warden-Commander that the bow was last used by his grandfather Padric Howe, who left the family to become a Grey Warden.[6] This is inconsistent with Arl Tarleton Howe being Rendon Howe's father.
  • In an interview, David Gaider confirmed the birth order for Rendon Howe's children: Nathaniel is the eldest, then Delilah, and Thomas is the youngest.[7]
  • During the Fifth Blight, it is noted that the Howes are vassals of the Cousland family.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, pp. 146-147
  2. Conversation between the Human Noble and Aldous.
  3. Codex entry: The Howes of Amaranthine
  4. Based on The Bear's Embrace description.
  5. mentioned by his uncle Nathaniel in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening and Dragon Age II.
  6. In Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening during a conversation between the Warden and Nathaniel inside Vigil's Keep - Throne Room.
  7. Interview with David Gaider at Thedas UK Con, January 14, 2012
  8. The Human Noble Warden can state it as a fact when discussing the Fereldan Rebellion and the animosity between Tarleton Howe and William Cousland with Aldous.
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