Howard LaFresque is the father of Philip. Howard deserted his son before he was even born for his work in a secret facility called The Shelter, located somewhere in uninhabited area of northern Greenland. He worked as a chief translator, deciphering ancient languages. Howard sees himself as a horrible person, for abandoning his family and not regretting his decision even for a second. For the past thirty years he had worked there, he was presumed deceased by his former family. Just before the virus was released, Howard sent a letter to the person he believes could trust the most, his son Philip. Philip received the later a few days after his mother's funeral. The letter contained Howard's plea for his son's forgiveness, a key to a safety deposit box and instructions for Philip to retrieve files from an unnamed bank at Mayfair in London and dispose of them, in hopes of destroying any evidence of Shelter's existence and bury all its secrets with it. Puzzled by the indecipherable book he had retrieved, Philip's curiosity got the best of him and he left nearly a year later to the uninhabited location in northern Greenland that was indicated in the notes.

In Penumbra: Overture and Penumbra: Black Plague, Philip's whole plan is to find his father and learn of his work.

When Philip finds his father Howard in a secret room in the library, he finds him dead. When the player right clicks on Howard's body, Philip says: Father... somehow I knew it would end this way.

In the same room, there is a note containing Howard's last words.


  • Howard's name, along with Philip's, comes from H.P. Lovecraft's full name; Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
  • His last name, LaFresque, is French for Fresco, a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid lime plaster. The technique is mostly associated with Italian Renaissance painting.
    • The word fresco itself is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh".

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