Morphs [Oak Catalog #]/[Old/New Juniper Catalog #]
- Deerling [#585]/[#091/#159]
- Sawsbuck [#586]/[#092/#160]
Physical DescriptionThe Deerling Line are a pair of quadrupedal, dual Normal- and Grass-typed, cervine Pokémon whose coats change with the passing of each season.
Deerling is the child stage, and is a small Pokémon that measures 60cm tall at the head and weighs roughly 19 kilograms on average. It has big black eyes, a small black nose, and a short muzzle on its peach-coloured face. Its four legs, which are cream, each end in a grey hoof, and its underside is also cream, whereas the upper side of its body contains a 'coat' pattern that covers the top and back of its head, its tail and the outsides of its tapering ears. This pattern changes colour with the passing of each season, but always possesses three yellow spots near the bottom of the coat, yellow insides to its ears and a large yellow floral tuft between its ears, as well as a thin yellow trimming separating the two halves of its coloration. The coat itself is pink during spring, green during the summer, orange during autumn and brown during the winter.
Sawsbuck is the adult stage which is usually reached between 12-14 months after birth. It measures 190 centimeters tall at the head on average and usually weighs 90-100 kilograms. Each of its four legs is tipped with a brown hoof. It has a brown nose, rhomboid ears with darker brown colouration inside, and a pair of antler-like structures on its head, which are roughly 35-50 centimeters long, tipped with cream colouring and are brown for most of the year. It has this same cream colouration on either side of the snout and on its underside for most of the year, as well as sporting a large tuft of fur on its chest during autumn, winter and spring. Its eyes are black, usually semicircular and are each surrounded by a yellow marking which tapers off at the jawline, and it has the same yellow trimming as a Deerling; the trimming which separates its underbelly and chest from its back and neck. Its upper body is now a constant brown colour all year round, unlike the coat of Deerling changing each season. It also has three oval-shaped spots on its back which change colour with the season.
Sawsbuck undergo a different change each season that doesn't affect their younger kin. During the spring, its antlers are adorned with several five-petaled pink flowers with yellow centers and the spots on its back are pink. Its lower legs are also the same cream colour as its underbelly and face. During the summer, its fur shortens and it loses the large patch on its chest, allowing a full view of its yellow trimming. It instead sports a ragged mane of fur running down the back of its head, and the spots on its back turn dark green. Its legs are fully brown and its short tail is always seen pointing up during this season only. Its antlers are adorned with thick green foliage during this time. In the autumn, its calves return to their cream colour from the spring, and the ruff of fur on its chest grows back. It loses the summer mane, the spots on its back become red, and the foliage on its antlers becomes less compact, turns red and brown, and droops down. During the winter, the cream areas on its body and the spots on its back turn white, and the ruff on its chest grows much longer and touches its shoulders. Its antlers are no longer adorned with foliage, and turn white. Each lower leg is surrounded by a cuff of thick white fur.
Notable BiologyAs dual Normal- and Grass-type Pokémon the members of the Deerling line are unique in possessing both the earthly nature-wielding abilities typical of Grass-types but also the unique adaptability of a Normal type Pokémon and are the only two Pokémon currently known to possess this specific combination of types.
The flower on a Deerling's head is surprisingly effective at allowing some form of photosynthesis and enabling a Deerling to use its energy to increase its agility. It also serves as a conduit for many of its moves. The antler-like structures on a Sawsbuck's head are a little more complicated than normal antlers and typically do not fall off, only being broken after a particularly nasty fight or other injury. Small grooves are etched into its antlers, which allow it to draw nutrients from a potential attacker in a technique known as a 'Horn Leech'. Although once thought by Unovans to be a secret technique only Sawsbuck had the capability to utilise, it is now known that the Skiddo and Phantump lines can possess it too.
Deerling and Sawsbuck both possess an omni-sac which allow them some slight control of electricity in the form of weak, paralyzing jolts or a strong electrically-charged tackle in the 'Thunder Wave' and 'Wild Charge' techniques, along with allowing them to seep venom in the form of the 'Toxic' technique, usually emitted from a Deerling's flower and the antlers of Sawsbuck. The exterior of the omni-sac contains a small amount of umbrite, which also allows them to draw dark energy in the form of a shadowy blob named the 'Shadow Ball' or a vicious tackle with perfect accuracy, labeled the 'Feint Attack'. However, they seem to lack the capability of other similarly shady techniques.
Sawsbuck are quite swift and graceful, and can hit rather hard with their physical techniques. They have the ability to utilise a number of ranged techniques, but these seem to be nowhere near as powerful. There are three known phenotypical subgroups of Deerling and Sawsbuck, with differently increased methods of self-defense. The first sub-group has a cell composition in the floral areas of their bodies (Deerling's flower and Sawsbuck's antlers) which increases their chlorophyll intake and metabolism, thus increasing their top running speed and reflexes. The responsible gene is dubbed the 'Chlorophyll' gene. The second phenotype, colloquially known as 'Sap Sipper', is caused by unusual growth of algae within Deerling's and Sawsbucks now-thickened fur. These algae exhibit a symbiotic relationship with Deerling and Sawsbuck, obtaining a substrate on which to grow. With rapidly-metabolised sunlight, this gives Deerling and Sawsbuck an immunity to the techniques of other Grass-types and an apparent boost in physical strength when struck by these techniques. The third subgroup is the rarest. An increased analytical skill gives the third subgroup the ability to more effectively use techniques and increase the chance of side effects. However, due to learning very few techniques that are affected by this, and none of them able to be used very effectively, interest in maintaining this subgroup has been very low, so it is now on the verge of going extinct and is rare even by the standards of rarest subgroups. This subgroup is called the 'Serene Grace' subgroup.
HabitatDeerling and Sawsbuck live in sparsely-populated grasslands and forests far away from urban areas and human activity, though sometimes they travel to marshlands. Populations will also migrate, depending on the season.
Unova is the region where they are most often seen, along the Route 6 and Route 7 areas. Sawsbuck are usually seen alone around Dragonspiral Tower nowadays, with Deerling sightings around that area becoming rare.
They are rather uncommon in regions outside of Unova, while being completely absent from Alola, as its island climate lacks the stability needed to sustain picky species such as Deerling and Sawsbuck. In Hoenn, sightings of Sawsbuck are extremely rare. Following the attempts to awaken the super ancient Pokémon, Deerling have been occasionally spotted along Hoenn's Route 117, though the stability of the population is debated, as sightings have remained sparse. The Safari zone in Kiloude City is the only place in Kalos where Deerling can be found. Additionally, Deerling and Sawsbuck are never encountered outside of spring in Hoenn or Kalos, though the reason for this is currently unknown.
DietDeerling and Sawsbuck are ruminant, herbivorous and feed entirely on grasses and small aquatic plants, though a captive Deerling or Sawsbuck will still eat man-made forms of Pokémon food, such as Poké Puffs. Plant matter is still required for these specimens, however.
HazardsDeerling are typically timid Pokémon and rather than choosing to fight back, they will hide in tall grass if they sense hostility. That is not to say that a cornered Deerling is harmless, however, especially older Deerling which are in areas where hiding places are few or absent. The fight-or-flight response can occasionally tip in favour of the former, and a sudden headbutt or swift kick can send an attacker reeling long enough for the Deerling to make its escape.
The more immediate threat is Sawsbuck. Sawsbuck are territorial, male and female both, and will protect their Deerling young fiercely. Humans are not likely to elicit the flight half of the fight-or-flight response, and are in danger of being kicked by the front legs or gored by the antlers. While a kick is rather painful and can result in broken bones and bruises, internal bleeding is possible, though rare. Bleeding can also occur from being stabbed by the antlers, and if lucky, this can be fixed with a visit to the hospital provided the individual does not decide to drain nutrients from the unfortunate person on the receiving end of an attack.
Tranquill and Unfezant can pose a danger to young Deerling. Beartic and Druddigon will prey on both Deerling and Sawsbuck, although Sawsbuck is more able to defend itself, especially within a herd. Particularly dangerous predators can ellicit the flight half of the response, but otherwise they will fight back.
Courting and ChildrearingMale and female Sawsbuck live separately until breeding season, which occurs during June and July. Competition between males will involve antler fights, which is usually the reason they stay apart from the females until breeding season. A male Sawsbuck will usually maintain a harem of females, and it is often the Sawsbuck with the largest and most impressive antlers and foliage that ends up with a harem. Repeated mating attempts with a harem member will occur until one is successful, at which point he will shift his focus to another harem member.
A roughly 40-day pregnancy occurs in females, after which point they will give birth to one or two Deerling, though the latter is a rare occurence. Females will raise their young alone, though any biological fathers hanging around will also protect both the females and young; however, this is almost unheard of, since males maintain a herd of their own until the breeding season. Vocalisations will keep the mother and child(ren) close, and larger nurseries of Deerling often have ongoing chatter throughout much of the day. Deerling are born with atrophied limbs. Roughly 2 days after birth, they are fit and running alongside their mothers, and can join the herd. They are nursed for around 2 months, and are then weaned off and able to graze.
Sawsbuck are among the few Pokémon to display homosexual behaviours, though this is usually to build up experience for less experienced stags, and is an otherwise rare occurrence.
Social StructureDeerling and Sawsbuck live in herds with roughly 50 females and their young, and sometimes one or two males. Males often live nomadically in small herds of their own until the breeding season occurs, at which point they will commingle with the females.
In Human CultureIn human society, Sawsbuck are reared for their milk as an alternative to Miltank milk. Sawsbuck milk reportedly has a minty, herbal taste without the associated heat from eating a mint.
Deerling and Sawsbuck have been an integral part of fables and other literary works since the inception of writing. Many a fable is told where Sawsbuck are personified in order to teach moral lessons, such as 'The Sick Sawsbuck', 'The One-eyed Sawsbuck' and 'The Sawsbuck and the Pyroar'. For example, 'The Sick Sawsbuck' teaches that uncaring friends can do more harm than good.
Many a work in the media has also been dedicated to these Pokémon. For example, a 1923 novel and its 1942 film adaptation chronicle the life of a young Deerling from birth to adulthood. Along the way, he meets and befriends a Buneary and a Stunky, his mother is killed in an iconic death scene and he ends up in a rivalry with another smug Deerling named Ronno. In the midquel released 64 years after the original film it is shown that the heroic Deerling ends up being looked after by his aloof father after his mother dies, and the character of Ronno is further fleshed out, where he gets even worse as an adult.
Written by AgentParadox. If you have any ideas for revisions or edits, send me a PM. If I don't respond... Consult the thread.