About the IST

The Ironangels Starfighter Tournament is a bi-annual event held in Polaris space, bordering the Delphinus Nebula. The first tournament was founded by a conglomeration of astro-engineering corporations in order to showcase their produce. However, the tournament quickly picked up interests from the military factions of the nearby star nations, who see the IST as an excellent test bed for new technology. Military commanders also see it as an opportunity to prove their tactical expertise in the area of fighter-class vessel design.

The competition is a simple affair: pilots engage each other in both solo and team matches in a confined area directly adjacent to the Delphinus Nebula, which provides numerous hazard-filled areas of space which are used to a dramatic effect by Iron Angels Omnicorp, the event's organizer. Notable past matches included: asteroids thrust into the midst of the field; surprise comet flights; fields dominated by caustic clouds, and even, in one well-known match, recreations of ancient Republic of Glyfhaven pirate ships spreading chaos by jumping into the midst of the battle and opening fire on both sides.

The tournament is open to all, although the huge expense of outfitting and maintaining a team is only affordable to the military, the corporations, and a select few mega-rich individuals. The corporations attempt to balance this tendency towards the elite with sponsorship programs. National and system-wide competitions are held throughout the galaxy by various companies, with the best talent skimmed off for the big leagues.

The fighters themselves are the absolute apex of modern technology, with the most advanced engines, avionics, weapons, and defense systems that each team can muster. Many of the systems and craft designs are advanced prototypes or clever modifications of existing craft. The military teams in particular are famous for pulling out the stops to show what a modified version of one of their ships can do. Many a military fighter has earned a fearsome reputation due to its performance in the IST, while corporations see a fighter's performance in the tournament as the key to a new model's sales. However, the models displayed during the IST bear little resemblance to their production-line counterparts.

Due to the extremely dangerous nature of the sport, the fighters are equipped with miniaturized grav-shields, ceramic-fiber-auto-ejecting cockpit shells, self-sealing hulls, and a host of other safety features only available to those with galaxy-sized bank accounts. Fatalities are rare, but injuries are ubiquitous.

This year's IST is especially significant in that, for the first time in nearly a century, the Antarean powers and the League are once again separate. All the IST participants can feel the oncoming storm and the tensions are reverberating through the tournament. For the first time since the tournament began, fatalities are occurring during the competitions leading up to the tournament. The worries are acting divisively, not only are the military pilots feeling the heat, but the corporations as well, with their sponsors taking sides, the pilots are as well.

The tournament this year is expected to be especially bloody, with the participants taking sides every pilot has to wonder if the next time they face their opponent will be in the midst of a war. Which begs the question, wouldn't it be better to take him down now?

Team Taurus

Team Taurus is one of the teams that is funded and sponsored by the state, in this case, the Taurian Confederacy.

[] Sword-T

Team Taurus sports a native hull, one familiar to pilots everywhere. The venerable Sword Multi-Role Starfighter has been completely reworked and redesigned at Draymark Labs. The result is the Sword-T, a fighter for which cost was no object.

The ship is fast and deadly, a large engine mount, some serious firepower and two huge grav fins. The T now can spin and flip so fast that special compensators had to be built into the cockpit to keep the pilot from blacking out every time she makes a sharp turn.

[] Arianne Invigsil

Age: 27
Rank: Captain
Affiliation: Taurian Fleet Vigilant
Piloting Style: Aggressive.

Arianne Invigsil wanted to be a pilot so badly that she lied on her application to the military and signed up at the young age of 16. She worked her way through the ranks of the Taurian military quickly, but with hard work. Aggressive in space and in person, Invigsil has rubbed many an officer the wrong way, which is likely the only reason she has not accomplished a higher rank. Her personality is easily apparent in her flying style. She is sometimes incautious and pigheaded, a quality which makes her difficult to get off your tail, but can also work against her. However, due to a combination of her vast combat experience and the ultra reliable Draymark craft she pilots, she often lands on her feet.


The TCI Tenfold

The The TCI Tenfold is a team primarily sponsored by TCI systems and has been a consistently strong entry over the last decade. This year the team is in top form, with a significant chunk of its funding provided by the Antarean government. With so much of the funding coming from Antares, many tournament watchers have begun to consider the Tenfold the Antarean team.

[] Rottshein FB

The Antarean team's formidable Rottshein FB is the result of an alliance between TCI Systems and the Covington-Kaller conglomerate. This meeting of the minds had been previously prevented by competition on a number of markets. However, this alliance allows, for the first time, the joining of TCI's advanced hull designs from their military R&D branch and the innovative weapons systems that have made Covington-Kaller's shareholders very rich.

The Rottshein is an experimental fighter/bomber heavily dependent on a gravity manipulation technology that is barely a prototype. The result is a fast ship that can carry a heavy payload and turn on a chit.

[] Leopold Vert

Age: 31
Rank: Guard Sergeant (Former)
Affiliation: House Haitius of Ixion.
Piloting Style: Emotionless.

Leopold Vert is the iceman of the competition. He makes no errors, but has no surprises either. With a steely determination he has led the Tenfold to victory, match after match. He has been accused by some factions of making the competition too boring, a long string of wins.

TCI Systems
Covington Weapons Systems
Kaller missile systems
Deep6 Yards

The Ascendant Flight

Believing that overall technological advancement will naturally lead to men meeting gods (or becoming them, depending who you ask), the Ascendancy is one of the most followed religions in the galaxy. Coincidently it is also the richest. As their beliefs dictate, the Ascendancy also runs the number one foundation for funding technological research.

One of their biggest contributors is Raulien Desarc, one of the few Ascendants in The Star Kingdom of Mournecreek, which is mostly composed of monarch worshipers known as Creeists. Desarc has sponsored a team in The Element Ascendancy's name. He hopes to bring more of his countrymen around to the beliefs of Ascendancy.

This year the construction of his craft has been contributed to by fellow believers and it is his hope that this new ship will catapult him into the winner's circle.

[] Kestrel V

The original Kestral was one of the Kingdom of Mournecreek's best models from the Colony Wars. Though the model name has been maintained over the years, the current model retains little resemblance to the original. In fact, the Mark V Kestrel bears little resemblance to the Mark IVs which are currently on the market. The V takes advantage of all the latest technology, using integrated gravimetric systems, with the matrixes built directly into the hull. The result is a superbly agile craft powered by a pair of mighty Soltano R-Series 5-over-5 engines, which combine to give it unparalleled speed at an extremely low rate of fuel combustion.

The ship's split wing ultra-sleek design makes it the most aerodynamic out of any of the competitors, an advantage that may come in handy should the IAO once again hold an intra-atmosphere event.

[] Raulien Desarc

Age: 25
Rank: Duke (86th from the Throne)
Affiliation: Ascendant, Subject of Mournecreek.
Piloting Style: Showboat.

The primary funds for The Ascendant Flight comes from the man who is also its lead pilot, Raulien Desarc. Playboy and Chairman of the Borizzi Industries' board. He also has a hereditary position in the ladder of the Mournecreek monarchy. As a Duke, he holds the owner's share in several planets, based off deeds granted to his family by the monarch of Mournecreek.

Notorious for his playboy lifestyle, it is often that Desarc is seen celebrating, girls draped on either arm, a bottle of his favorite Bitsari Dark in one hand. Desarc is a permanent runner up in the IST. Several times he has seen the trophy within his grasp, only to succumb to his crafts' various intermittent reliability issues. Desarc has his own reliability issues and is famous for showing up to matches drunk, only to win them by significant margins.

Soltano engines
Winman Hulls
Pinemead Cores
Borizzi flights+navs

Polaris Twisters

The Polaris Twisters are sponsored jointly by the Polaris Concordat's Altirmis Stellar Transport agency and the Concordat Bureau of Civic Administration. The Polaris Twisters have entered the Tournament year after year and the team has taken home silver or bronze medals in the past, but they are still waiting for their gold. The cooperative effort between the two Polaris Concordat agencies has brought in a great deal of funding from other groups wishing to hang their name on one of the Tournament's top teams. The result is more funding comes from outside of the Concordat then within, which is a good thing for the Concordat's tax-payers.

The team's latest recruitment cycle polled thousands of citizens of the Concordat and, despite the small number of planets under Concordat control, the scholarship competitions for the Concordat team were some of the most fierce technically excellent, drawing the largest number of viewers for any pre-Tournament event.

[] Twisted Lightning

Truly riding the storm, the Polarian Twisted Lightning Interceptor has long been a stable of the Concordat Bureau of Civic Administration's system patrols. The Twisted Lightning has powerful grav systems to increase maneuverability; an innovative Shunt buffer, which trickles power into high-output burst cells, allowing the pilot to overpower thrusters and have a limited period of unheard-of maneuverability when required; and special enhanced sensors.

The Lightning has a special balance, or rather, a lack of balance. An inequality in the structure and engine design makes the Lightning very difficult to fly but highly maneuverable as well. The ship can rotate, twist, and turn with a great deal of accuracy and speed. Encounters with normal models have seen Lightnings flip, maintain their speed while in reverse, and launch a missile salvo at pursuing ships before flipping back again, all in under three minutes. With the extra money that the Concordat has received for this Tournament, it is likely that this ship is anything but the standard model. Opponents should likely prepare for chases to turn to retreats in short order.

[] Selene Tala

Age: 23
Rank: Constable
Affiliation: Polaris Concordat.
Piloting Style: Cautious.

Selene Tala is a favorite of many Tournament fans, though many would say that this is more because the majority of the tournament's viewers are male then because of her season of wins.

Despite her status as the IST's semi-official pretty face, Tala is an excellent pilot. She was selected out of a group of elite pilots, all of whom were competing for the Concordat teams' lead pilot position. Extremely precise combat techniques and exquisite grace mark Tala's fighting style when she's on somebody's six. She has an unfortunate tendency to fluster under fire and her natural caution, while good for running a patrol on the Concordat's borders, works against her in the tournament. Many speculate that it is this lack of adaptability that will prevent her from achieving the gold. Others look at her performance thus far and find themselves impressed. Either way, Tala is a formidable opponent.

Like all citizens of the Concordat, Tala is on a rotating sequence for military service. She has been deferred from her latest service requirement in order to participate in the tournament.

Innertai launch systems
Talisorn Mining Union
Altirmis Stellar Transport
Concordat Bureau of Civic Administration

The Foyeri Technicals

Foyeri, once the providence of a house of Antares, has since become a power in and of itself. With the influence of its business enterprises the House Foyeri is one of the primary manufacturers of electronic hardware. In previous tournaments Foyeri has supported the teams of other manufacturers inside Antarean borders, but this year they have fielded a team of their own.

With their first entry into the tournament, the Foyeri group of companies has a lot to prove, with Foyeri Astrotech taking the lead by manufacturing a majority of the entry ship's components. The Foyeri Technicals is a team determined to prove itself, its ability, and the quality of its products at any cost.

[] Quadiis Q17

Foyeri never fails to impress. Every entry into the IST in which the House is involved is always a success, so this year, with the Technicals' almost entirely Foyeri-crafted Quadiis, tournament watchers are keenly following the ship's appearances leading up to the tournament.

Foyeri has managed to keep the Q17 under wraps and its specs away from the press, in fact, the Q15 and Q16 have yet to even reach the market. The two models are anticipated to sell out upon their introduction, planned for the eve of the tournament. However, Foyeri's researchers and engineers have published a number of articles detailing the reduction in artificial compensating equipment and the refinement of hull balance that many suspect are to be the primary factors in the construction of the Q17. The research available and the team's budget, the highest in the tournament, only raises the high levels of anticipation in regards to the Foyeri entry.

The Quadiis is perhaps the most unusual entry in the tournament, as it is the largest ship with the greatest mass. However, the ship's sled-hull configuration and incredibly balanced center of gravity are expected to provide key advantages in the various tournament events, especially those events involving heavy combat. The ship, without a doubt, has the best balanced hull and is the most heavily armed of any ship in the tournament.

The ship is also one of the first anywhere to implement the Antarean/TCI Second Spine technology. Still highly experiential, the Flight had to request special permission to have it installed in their ship and in their pilot. It is believed that the Second Spine will give Foyeri's pilot an unanticipated, unpredictable, and remarkable advantage.

[] Alfieri Cirroco

Age: 27
Rank: Mercenary
Affiliation: None Declared.
Piloting Style: Inhuman.

Son of shipping magnate Jihradaro Cirocco, Alfieri Cirroco is independently wealth, but he has always worked as a pay-to-fight pilot, leaving his social status behind every time he enters the cockpit. One of the most talented pilots for hire in the Orion Arm, Cirroco suffers from none of the flaws that are intrinsic to the spoiled and reckless youth who are his contemporaries. He fights as hard as any of the sponsorship pilots in the competition, some might say harder. He has long had a reputation in starfighter circles, but this is the first time he has agreed to enter the IST.

In interviews, Cirroco has come across as cold and distant. He rarely makes public appearances and at times he has been described as mercurial, especially when it comes to his performance as a pilot. His reputation is not the only thing that is keeping other pilots on the edge; Cirroco's willingness to be implanted with the Second Spine bio-mod has many competitors wondering if the toughened Cirroco has gone over the deep end. Some fear something even worse, that Cirroco has been waiting for the Spine neural link all along, the one device that could possibly amplify his piloting skills beyond human norms.

Cirroco has not been seen outside of his flight suit since he took the Foyeri contract. Many believe that it is some sort of media campaign.

Foyeri Astrotech (hull/systems)
Momotaru Organics
Al-Huriya Shippping

Permanent Impacts

The Permanent Impacts is a fairly new team, only having participated in the last three tournaments. Though they have previously held contests between both pilots and corporations for the honor of being on the team, this year the Republic of Cinnabar's team is mostly being funded by the fast personal fortune of Vehrat Kasori, the President of Cinnabar. As such he was also the one who picked the lead pilot, who just happened to be his wife.

Oddly, this is also the year in which the team has received the highest level of funding compared to previous tournaments. Enough so that, for the first time, the Impacts are flying custom designed ships.

No one is quite sure what to think of this years Cinnabarian entry. On one hand the display showings and run-up tournaments participated in by its lead pilot have been unmistakably impressive, with shredding speed and thrilling lightning-quick engagements. On the other hand, some observers can't shake the feeling that this year's team is little more then a prize for the President to give to his wife.

[] Djinn

The Djinn is a completely original ship, custom designed and built for this year's IST on its pilot's specifications. The Djinn is a ship built for speed. It has been designed around a Tir-Bodah Valaris Mark 6 Air/Space hybrid engine, which was originally constructed for a higher class of ship. The rate of acceleration and top speed level is so high that the largest problem with the ship's design was keeping it from sheering off pieces every time it started moving. The engine was further modified with two scoops to keep fuel consumption down. Another byproduct of the oversized engine is that it allows the Djinn to mount one of the most powerful energy weapons in the IST. Run-up tournaments and tests have shocked and amazed viewers as the Djinn slipped into one follow slot after another and blew away the competition with a single blinding shot.

The ship's forward momentum is so huge that the Cinnibar had to pay Foyeri Astrotech to install a heavier grav system then is normal for a starfighter, a system that takes up large swaths of the ship's main hull. Even so, the Djinn is very difficult to turn and as a result maintaining a bead on a more maneuverable ship can be difficult. Another serious worry for the Impacts is that an overturn by the pilot could very well be disastrous, once it snaps into a slot it moves so quickly that it can fall irrevocably behind during a pursuit. However, with its speed, the Djinn is the last craft you want on your six, thanks to the skill of its pilot, once it drops down it is a case of unstoppable object; its highly accurate primary weapon and high-level engine lets it close the space quickly and blow its opponents to scrap before an enemy can even think about jigging away.

[] Yanadra Kasori

Rank: Salaah
Affiliation: Cinnabarian Presidential Guard
Piloting Style: Automatic/Reflexive.

Yanadra Kasori started her life as a herd-poke on Poranti, where she learned the thrills of speed side by side with her father, riding powerful Gravbikes to find and round up Rhynth-beasts. Later, she was recruited by the Cinnabar Bright Navigators, the Republic of Cinnabar's elite officer training program.

The CBN took her directly to their special training-grounds in the Japesh system, where she pursued a meteoric career as a fighter pilot. Kasori rose rapidly through the military ranks until she was recruited by the Republican Guard, an select group responsible for the protection of Cinnabar's political upper-class. She eventually made it to the highest position in the Guard, Salaah of the presidential protection unit.

As closest bodyguard and personal pilot to the President of the Republic of Cinnabar, she and Vehrat Kasori became very close. Three years after achieving the Salaah position, Yanadra married President Kasori, becoming one of his many wives.

The Impacts' ship in this year's IST was custom built for Kasori

Tir-Bodah - cores
Mezzian Hull/systems
Foyeri Astrotech grav systems
Ghabool-Cinnabar venture capitalist




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