The Aluminum Knights emerged from three sources. Aij had recently lost a great many troops to an attempted Kaillan takeover, largely due to the inability for offensive actions. Moreover, Aij had made recent discoveries in alchemy that could potientially be weaponized, and wanted to test these, while also desiring a cavalry force, despite lacking the room on the island Aij. As such a deal was made with Calum, creating the Aij-Calum Training Grounds. Calum provided the land, horses, and initial training in exchange for the services of a handful of relatively unimpressive alchemists elsewhere in the country. The Aiji Knight Units were thus created.
As the Aij-Calum training grounds became a permanent entity, the infrastructure was developed, including a permanent alchemical research center, and a Calumi factory. An incredibly fine mesh mail was developed though the use of lead iron wires that were then turned into aluminum and tungsten steels. Layered plates with insets of hard metals in soft were also used, and metal spear shafts eventually developed, allowing full mass production and standardization. At this point, the Aiji Knight Units acquired their modern nickname, the Aluminum Knights.
Training methods were developed much more gradually and much less visibly. Real combat appeared only in dealing with banditry for decades, and while the Aluminum Knights developed a reputation the training was largely overlooked, and the real effectiveness of the knights was attributed entirely to the quality of their arms and armor, neither of which were quite as good as their reputation suggested.
Early WarsThere were several minor wars in quick succession after the establishment of the Aluminum Knights. A Bhustani regional king attempted to take Aij alone during the height of Bhustan's power, but without the backing of his country the war was short and brutal, with his entire fleet annihilated before they stuck Aij, followed by a counter attack of Aiji troops. All of them were far more effective than had been previously seen, due to an Aij military secret. The Aluminum Knights were especially devestating, and the war ended only because the Bhustani emperor had the regional king executed and replaced.
Following that, the Aluminum Knights were deployed in the Taxes War between Esheni and Calum after it had escalated, in exchange for the removal of Aij's obligation to provide alchemists for the Calumi court. The war ended shortly thereafter, to be followed by several Aij-Esheni skirmishes in northern Esheni and the Aij Hunting Grounds
The Aluminum Knights played a significant part in the Aij-Esheni war, after the bulletproofing of their armor. However, their contribution was greatly mitigated by the heavy Esheni weaponry, and overshadowed by the alchemists that Aij directly deployed. After the war the Aluminum Knights were but a shadow of their former selves, and the Aiji regime put little effort into improving them, focusing instead upon direct defense of Aij.
The Aluminum Knights are a small force, and only marginally significant to the Aij military. They are expected to be useful only against less developed militaries, none of which show any indication of planning agressions towards Aij.