Pokemon Gym Concept
What I ended up going with was a Steel type gym. The leader would be studying legends tied to the Pokémon Aegislash, which is associated with kings and is said to be the result of a spirit inhabiting a sword. The gym would be divided by three gates, each with a different shield on the lock, three different bladed weapons on a rack against the wall, and two trainers to fight. Beat the trainers and they each tell you a different piece of a story about an ancient king, talking about feats they accomplished to clue you in on exactly what type of sword they were known for using. (Examining the different weapons on the rack tells you the type of weapon and what it’s specialized for.) So they could talk about a king who won a battle by breaking the enemy’s shield, and you know to pick up a heavier weapon, or hear about a lot of duels and pick up a sword meant for that. Then you place the sword in the shield, revealing them to be parts of an Aegislash variation if you’re correct, and the door opens to let you through! The leader’s team then consists of Bastiodon (since it’s got a shield for a face), Alolan Sandslash (it’s got a lot of sharp edges, plus it’s a Pokémon with a special variation like these Aegislash), and Aegislash (duh). Didn’t think of any details for a badge or TM, though I guess Swords Dance would be fitting?
I just really like the idea of regional variants and thought it’d be neat to apply something similar to Aegislash, since it’s one of my favorite Pokémon. This setup also provides incentive to fight the trainers but allows you to bypass doing so if you already know what to do or figure it out more quickly, though I guess there should be a penalty for making a failed attempt? Maybe that forces you to fight one of the trainers? I was also thinking maybe this could be part of a whole league where each gym focuses on the lore/variations of a specific Pokémon, but maybe that’s a bit much…