A Spirit Animal is a lifelong partner that is bonded to a human. Spirit animals commonly appear to/are summoned by a human of the age of 11-12. The bonds between spirit animals and humans is preserved by The Evertree. However, in the First Devourer War, the Evertree was damaged and people started to develop the bonding sickness. With the sickness came the gift of the Nectar of Ninani from Ninani the Swan, a substance that is drank at a Nectar ceremony to safely summon a spirit animal. After the events of The Evertree, the bonding sickness was abolished as a result of the Evertree’s rebirth and the bonds form naturally at any time between 11-12 years of age.
Summoning a Spirit Animal
Not much is known about spirit animal bonds prior to the First Devourer War. After the war, it was common for people to drink the Nectar of Ninani and call a spirit animal. However, drinking the Nectar did not guarantee a spirit animal, and many people did not have access to the Nectar in the first place. The continent of Stetriol in particular was deprived of the Nectar, causing thousands of people to develop the bonding sickness and die. The Bile was then created from the Jade Serpent of Gerathon the Serpent to serve as a substitute to the Nectar. The Bile successfully cured the bonding sickness, but it caused the human to be in total control of their spirit animal, and allowed Gerathon to take over the human or spirit animal's conscience and control them.
When summoned, a spirit animal is always an adult (Although a kitten appears in Broken Ground as a spirit animal) It can also be any gender. Their names are decided mutually between the spirit animal and the summoner. (In the Four Fallen's case, and the summoners of the Great Beasts in the second series, they already had names, due to them being Great Beasts). Usually, people summon spirit animals that are native or common to their area/region. Although there is a vast range of animals that could be summoned, insects, fish and humans cannot be summoned. However, arachnids, such as spiders and scorpions can be summoned, but it is rare.
A spirit animal dying was described as "like losing a limb". In extreme cases, a spirit animal dying causes the summoner to go insane, possibly resulting in death. The same applies if a summoner were to die and the spirit animal live. The spirit animal will become extremely aggressive and unstable.
It is possible to have more than one spirit animal in a lifetime, but never multiple at the same time. The only characters to have multiple spirit animals are Lishay (Who bonded to her deceased brother's spirit animal when her own was killed) and Zerif (Who had a Bile bond that was broken, and later bonded to the Wyrm, he also used the parasites from the Wyrm to capture Great Beasts and a few remarkable spirit animals).
Spirit animals can also be summoned into passive state, transforming them into a tattoo somewhere on the summoner's skin. The spirit animals, can, of course, also be summoned out of the state. The first Greencloak, Tembo was able to control where his spirit animal (Omika the Vervet Monkey) was summoned out of passive state. Another Greencloak, Finn Cooley, had many tattoos over his skin, to confuse someone what his spirit animal might actually be among the many tattoos. A group of people called the Redcloaks took the Bile. After Gerathon died from the events of the Second Devourer War, the Bile stopped working. For Bile-drinkers who had their spirit animals in passive state at the time of Gerathon's death, a rash was formed where the tattoo should be. Over time it shaped their bodies into a hybrid of human and their spirit animal. All of the people afflicted by this formed to become the Redcloaks. They were an important part of the Wyrm War, and helped a little in the Greencloaks vs Oathbound war.
- Spirit animal summoners are also called "Marked".
- They are likely called "Marked" because of the tattoo that appears on their skin when their spirit animal is in passive state.