Arl Rendon Howe is an old friend of Teyrn Bryce Cousland and the Arl of Amaranthine. He is also the father of Nathaniel Howe, a companion in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. He is Loghain's closest political ally following the Battle of Ostagar.
During the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden, Rendon's father, Tarleton Howe sided with the occupiers and was hanged by the Couslands after they captured Harper's Ford. His uncle Byron became the new Arl of Amaranthine who joined the rebel cause in 8:97 Blessed. Like his uncle, Rendon Howe also 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. Although he was decorated for valor by King Maric, Howe's abrasive manners earned him almost universal dislike among his peers. Bryland implied that Howe's personality altered after the battle. He has three known children: Nathaniel, Thomas, and Delilah.
During Awakening, Nathaniel recounts the proud history of the Howe family. He states that Rendon hated his wife; when asked why, he says that he doesn't know, but he remembers that her family was wealthy.
The Human Noble Origin begins with Arl Howe's arrival at 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, 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 political ally and lord, Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir. Unless the City Elf Warden executes the previous Arl of Denerim's, heir Howe uses his position to gain more power by kidnapping him and claiming the arling for himself while Regent Loghain depends more and more on Howe's political ability. By the time Lothering is sacked, Howe has become the most powerful person in Ferelden, after the regency.
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. 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 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.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 died, but not before saying he deserved more.
- According to the quest, Crime Wave, Arl Howe is intimate with a noble known as Lady Sophie, and 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.
(Speaking to a Human Noble Warden)
- (Regarding Cailan) "I think of the King as much as he thinks at all."
- (Speaking to a male Human Noble) "Well, well. Bryce Cousland's little boy. All grown up and still trying to fit into daddy's armor."
- (Speaking to a female Human Noble) "Well, well. Bryce Cousland's little spitfire. All grown up and still playing the man."
- (Speaking to any other origin) "You should have left when you had the chance, Warden. Slunk off back to the Anderfels with the rest of your kind. This Landsmeet is a farce. Loghain will triumph, and you will die!"
- (Last threat to a Human Noble) "There it is. Right there. That damn look in the eye that marked every Couslands' success that held me back. It may appear that you've made something of yourself after all. Your father would be proud. I on the other hand want you dead more than ever."
- (Last words) "Maker spit on you!... I... deserved... more!"
- 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.
- At the time of his death, Howe controlled the arlings of Amaranthine and Denerim, and had claimed the teyrnir of Highever. Together, these made up the entire northeastern border of Ferelden; in conjunction with his alliance with Loghain, these made him the most powerful person in the country besides the Regent.
- In Dragon Age II, Howe is referred to as the "Butcher of Denerim."