The sawbuck is a legendary creature that takes vengeance on those who are irresponsible with the forest. All it takes is one strange disappearance and entire settlements can be paralyzed by the sound of terrible whirring in the nearby woods.
A sawbuck is a legendary creature in its own right, having appeared in different forms throughout history. The truth, though, is that this creature is created most often by greed and not a manifestation of spiraling rumours.
When a forest is cut clean, or when saplings aren’t planted, when wasteful practices are employed the beasts know and express their frustration. On occasion an aether being fresh from the miasma makes it’s way among these discontented denizens and will possess one.
When this occurs a buck or doe is taken and transforms into an image of vengeance for the trees. Muscles grow denser around the neck, and a rack grows inward into one long horn. Where in historical tellings this horn was a crosscut blade it would seem the spirits have adapted and it is now a mechanical blade resembling those used by contemporary loggers.
A sawbuck’s vengeance is singular, but it’s not impossible to repent. If a concerted effort is made to repair the local ecology a sawbuck’s ire might be averted.
This is an example of a creature created using Quint’s point based system. A creature like this one requires 13 points, and would be a good challenge for novice adventurers. It uses powers from two aether trees; Dire Beasts and Cryptids, with most of the points spent in the Dire Beasts tree. Notice first how the creature has no passive skills because it has no points in the 12 skill trees. Secondly, because of its Hidden Creatures ability from the Cryptid tree notice how its Perceiving skill is uncharacteristically high. This means that players would have a very hard time sneaking up on it, however the ability offers a caveat; if they can lure it out of the hex it is in (about 15 kilometers) it won’t be able to use this ability anymore. With 11 Vital Essence, the creature is difficult to slay and with its low Influence and Politics it is relatively easy to negotiate with unless of course you’re clearly aligned with the people responsible for its creation like loggers.
To make a aether creature in Quint, you start with powers then create a framework for the powers to exist. Each aether tree offers narrative concepts with which to flesh out lore. For example the Dire Beast tree suggests that these aether beings manifest when nature is defiled or disrespected. The sawbuck has most of its points spent in the Dire Beast tree, so thematically it follows this idea to make a creature that lives under the trees and hunts people who over-harvest the forest.