- “Maker spit on you... I deserved... more...”
During the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden, Rendon's father, Tarleton Howe, sided with the occupiers and was subsequently hanged by the Couslands after they captured Harper's Ford. His uncle Byron became the new Arl of Amaranthine and joined the rebel cause in 8:97 Blessed. Like his uncle, Rendon Howe joined the rebellion led by the future king, Maric Theirin.
He fought alongside the young Bryce Cousland of Highever and Leonas Bryland, future arl of South Reach, at the bloody Battle of White River. The battle was the most catastrophic defeat of the entire occupation, from which only 50 rebel soldiers escaped alive. Rendon fought with the Army of the North led by Bann Angus Eremon, tasked with holding the valley against the Orlesian cavalry's charges. He was gravely wounded on the second night and had to be dragged off the field by Bryce and Leonas. When Bann Angus finally announced the retreat, Rendon's friends carried him to a freehold in Redcliffe. While the rest of the survivors left to find the Army of the South, Bryce and Leonas stayed with Rendon almost a month while he recuperated. Though all three were personally decorated for valor by King Maric, Rendon was too wounded to rejoin the army, and while his friends joined the Army of the South, he spent months in South Reach being tended by Eliane Bryland, Leonas' sister and an accomplished physician and herbalist.
Byron Howe died just a few months later, which made Rendon the new arl. Eliane Bryland insisted on accompanying him to Amaranthine; he proposed to her a year later, saying that if she wasn't going to leave already they might as well marry. Leonas had become concerned by the changes in his friend's behavior since the battle and attempted to prevent the marriage. When Rendon told him that he needed her for dowry and connections, he severed all contact. Because some believed the arling should have passed to Byron's daughter, and because Eliane was half-Orlesian, only Bryce Cousland and his fiancee came to witness their vows. They had three children Nathaniel, Thomas, and Delilah. According to their son Nathaniel, Rendon hated his wife; when asked why, he says that he doesn't know, but he remembers that her family was wealthy.
Since the Battle of White River, Howe's abrasive manners have earned him almost universal dislike among his peers.
The Human Noble Origin begins with Arl Howe's arrival at Castle Cousland in Highever. Howe explains to Teyrn Cousland that his troops have been delayed, and that he will march with them when they arrive. Teyrn Cousland then tasks his eldest child, Fergus Cousland, with leading the Cousland forces ahead to Ostagar, where they have been called by King Cailan Theirin to fight against the darkspawn.
Fergus leaves Castle Cousland immediately, taking most of the Highever troops with him and leaving behind only a small guard. After they are well away, Howe's treachery is revealed: his soldiers attack the castle in the middle of the night, killing almost all the inhabitants, including Fergus' wife and son, as well as the Teyrn.
With the castle secure, Arl Howe declares himself the new teyrn and reveals his new political ally and lord is none other than the Teyrn of Gwaren, Loghain Mac Tir. Unless the City Elf Warden kills the previous Arl of Denerim's heir, Howe uses his position to gain more power by kidnapping Vaughan and claiming the arling for himself. Meanwhile Regent Loghain comes to depend more and more on Howe's political ability. By the time Lothering is destroyed by the Darkspawn, Howe has become the most powerful person in Ferelden, after the regent.
After hearing reports of surviving Grey Wardens, Howe hires an agent of the Antivan Crows to assassinate them. Eventually, Howe witnesses Queen Anora questioning her father's actions and involvement in Cailan's death. While Howe attempts to direct Loghain's attention to the increasing darkspawn threat, and both Howe and Anora ask him to consider asking for reinforcements, Loghain refuses to be swayed, citing Orlais as a major threat.
Howe is responsible for many of the terrible events that happen during the Blight. He is shown to be a cruel and iron-fisted ruler as he gains land holdings and titles; in Denerim and Highever alike people mention suffering under his heavy taxation and harsh treatment from his guards, and the dungeon at his Estate is full of tortured prisoners; his brutality earns him the sobriquet "The Butcher of Denerim", his ill reputation becoming notorious as far as the Free Marches. Along with brutalizing the elves of the Denerim Alienage and imprisoning any loose ends that could threaten Loghain's rule, he imprisons Anora in his Denerim estate after she visits to inquire about the negative rumors about her father. He also tries to convince Loghain to murder his daughter and pin the crime on Arl Eamon, in the hopes of sullying Eamon's popularity at the Landsmeet and is also implied to be embezzling funds from Denerim's treasury behind Loghain's back.However, his plan goes awry when the Warden is enlisted to rescue Anora from her captivity. While doing so, the Warden tracks Howe to the dungeons of his estate and kills him and most of his men-at-arms. He dies cursing the Warden, lamenting that he "deserved more."
The Darkspawn Chronicles
- According to the quest, Crime Wave, Arl Howe is intimate with a noble known as Lady Sophie, and is embezzling from Denerim's treasury.
- It could be speculated that the Scout's Medal, bought from Yuriah at Vigil's Keep, is the medal Howe won at the Battle of White River.
- (Regarding Cailan) "I think of him as much as he thinks at all."
- (Speaking to a female Human Noble) "Well, well. Bryce Cousland's little spitfire. All grown up and still playing the man."
- Howe suggests a match between the male Human Noble and his daughter Delilah; in Awakening, Delilah mentions this in passing. The male Human Noble Warden has an opportunity to respond to her.
- If playing as a female Human Noble, then he will suggest a match between you and Thomas, his son. However, Thomas does not survive the Blight.
- After the Fifth Blight, Howe has been nicknamed by some "The Butcher of Denerim".