1743-1745: Exile in his own land
Though Alykinder was the single greatest political force of Northern Tok and a brilliant military mind, he did not anticipate the backlash building against him in the capital. King Vek IX was a weak figurehead on the throne. Real power was in the hands of the king’s cousin and Privy Counselor, Duke Icho. Icho knew what kind of threat Alykinder represented, very clearly reading between the lines of “Principles” and seeing in it the end of the First Families. Icho buried Alykinder’s accomplishments in court, to the point where Alykinder’s name was removed from consideration for knighthood, and credit for the “Miracle of Skar” was given to a young viscount whose only connection to the operation was that he had been touring the north at the time.
Icho then restructured the army of Tok to place the militias under the control of generals loyal to him. The Airmobile Corps was disbanded. Most of the airships of the fleet were privatized to cronies of Icho, including both Long Walkers, which were put to service as bulk packet freighters. Icho himself commandeered the Goana Creek as his military yacht. For two years, Alykinder railed as best he could against Icho, but he could not compete with Icho’s grip on the court. Lacking political allies in the capital and the ability to sustain even a token Airmobile Corps, Alykinder could only watch in horror as Icho dissolved all of his hard work while taking credit for the campaign against Kryst.
If the bloody Battle of Goana Creek was the ground that nurtured the seed of the Crusade, it was Icho who watered it. Once again, the army was organized to fight a protracted and inconclusive siege operation, and the Airmobile Corps was erased from the history of the Army.
Next: Lake Morandi