Howard was Nicci's father. He ran a productive and high quality armory in the Old World. He was constantly chastised by Nicci's mother for his accumulated wealth.
The armory was a large company with multiple facilities, shown when he exasperatedly told his wife how he spent a fortune on a new battering mill. He produced high quality pieces of work, from chain mail to rare "Poison Steel", which could kill with a single scratch.
Men would hammer on breastplates, pulling out imperfections, while women chatted about the day's gossip while closing chain links for chain mail.