In 308 YE, Inga Tarn was declared an Exemplar of the Virtue of Courage by the Assembly of Courage.
Inga was the daughter of a Steinr blacksmith and grew up helping her parents at the forge. From an early age she was remarkably strong, possessed of a stubborn spirit and unparalleled boldness. Throughout her life she wielded a massive two-handed maul that she crafted herself, marked with runes, and used to scatter the enemies of Wintermark and the Empire, including at least one ancient horror uncovered from an icy tomb.
Inga Tarn was a famed companion to Empress Mariika. She met Empress Mariika during one of her earliest visits to Anvil, and the pair remained fast friends until Inga's death in 230 YE fighting to defend the Varushkan territory of Miekarova against a Thule incursion. In life Inga served several times as a Wintermark general, but was possessed of a great wanderlust and thirst for adventure. She spent a great deal of time traveling the Empire and fighting its enemies, with an ear for the concerns of the 'common folk' of the Empire.
There are many stories about her adventures still told today in the Empire. She is known to have spent a year in Varushka fighting alongside several of the Warden fellowships - in one tale her prodigious fortitude allows her to defeat three monstrous mora in a drinking contest, leaving the creatures insensible and unable to harm anyone in the settlement where she was staying. She travelled with several Navarr Stridings, and lead a small contingent of Wintermark heroes to aid the thorns against the Vallorn of Therunin. In one popular (if apocryphal) tale told in the Marches she single-handedly won every contest of strength during a great fair held near the town of Sarcombe in the Mournwold before being outwitted in a game of riddles. A popular site of pilgrimage to those who revere the exemplar is the Burden of Igna Tarn, a great rock marked with Wintermark runes that she apparently carried almost to the White City itself as part of a quest. The exemplar herself never entered the city - shortly before she arrived, she received a cryptic messenger calling her away urgently to an undisclosed location.
Inga Tarn never claimed to be fearless, but her bravery in the face of terrible enemies strengthened the spirits of those who fought alongside her. She often served as a living banner, encouraging cowed villagers standing up to the bandits who terrorised them, or serving as the bulwark that prevented soldiers from routing in the face of dreadful odds.
After her death, she was interred with great ceremony in the swamps of Kallavesa. To this day Inga Tarn is remembered as a larger-than-life hero, a woman who seized life by the throat and never apologised.
The Assembly of Courage cited the following signs of Inga's exemplardom:
- Inga left behind a Legacy in the form of Avalanche, her famed rune-forged two-handed hammer, that played a significant part in many of her adventures.
- Inga is also attributed with Miracles in relation to her superhuman physical strength.
- For both her service to the Empire as a General of Wintermark, and for her deeds in defence of citizens during her adventuring days, Inga was credited with the sign of Benevolence.
- However, the strongest sign of Inga's exemplardom is held to be her Inspiration. Not only did her heroic courage serve as a rallying point for her allies on the battlefield, but she stands as an example of someone unafraid to speak her mind, seize the opportunities life offered her, and pursue the things she believed in regardless of the odds against her or the opinion of strangers.