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Gaiien Region: Tier 5 Gym Leader: Lord Ironhelm

by Keleri

Keleri Name: Galen "Lord Ironhelm" Richter
Location: Port Brac
Awards: Gear Badge
Affinity: Steel-type
Age: 61
Hometown: Anistar City, Kalos
Hobbies: Tinkering, Gardening

Ironhelm grew up in Kalos during a somewhat turbulent time, when third-crossing immigrants were first arriving in the region. Second-crossing people had lived there for thousands of years, and after the recent conflict in Kanto there was a commitment to peace on both sides, but also distrust and uncertainty. As part of a broader program of inter-crossing mixing and reconciliation, the second-crossing practice of bonding with partner pokemon was extended to young third-crossing children. Mixed groups set out on their journeys together to visit the various shrines and clan-holds (the precursors to gyms). Ironhelm bickered constantly with his second-crossing partner, and the two eventually decided to be best friends so that they could keep bickering long after their journey had ended.

Ironhelm received additional attention due to his bonded starter, which was a Honedge: during the days of the second crossing, iron mining was much more difficult and steel-type pokemon were considered rare and powerful. (Steel-types have since become much more common, with magnemite almost considered pests in urban areas.) Like dragon-type specialists, steel-type specialists formed not just clans, but cults, who infused their chosen type with a sense of mysticism and mystery. The steel-cult was especially powerful due to their partner pokemon's ability to control chemicals in forged iron, producing superior weaponry and other metallurgical applications. Ironhelm therefore received the tutelage of the steel clan and was fully accepted as one of their members. He was able to enjoy unparalleled freedom among the clan masters of the second crossing, who tended to distrust outsiders and hold closely to their elementals' secrets.

However, a tragic accident in his 30s left Ironhelm severely injured, and due to complications, attempts to regen his lost limbs failed. His artificial prostheses worked well enough, but he found himself barred from the second-crossing contacts he had once enjoyed, whether out of ableism or an unignorable reminder that he was third-crossing. Ironhelm left Kalos for the "wild west" region of Gaiien as a prospector, using his pokemon to locate and take samples of vast metal and mineral deposits there. With his cut of the profits he headed for the seaside town of Port Brac, for its confluence of modest mineral deposits and pleasant weather. He contracted help to build a replica Kalosian chateau fort, and became an "independent" gym leader (in a way that is now illegal). He was grandfathered into the newly-formed Gaiien League.

Pokemon Roster (Tier 5): Acupeix, Dusquill, Soldant, Magneton, Mawile, Burnox, Kodiaxe, Drillgon
Pokemon Roster (S-Tier): Lucario, Steelix, Aggron, Klinkang, Mega Aegislash, Carchardax, Ursabre