Spirit of survival.
He has always been there…
He was the wind blowing snowflakes around tree tops, he was the earth which nurtured the forest, he was the river which provided water and the trees which provided shelter. He saw ages come and go, seasons pass, animals and humans be born and die. He fought to protect his realm and he stayed, because its inhabitants needed him. He was the spirit of the forest, its guardian, its soul…
Then a new child was born and he felt the gentle nudge of the spirit world drawing him to this little creature. It was a boy, born in one of the Icewalker tribes from the far north. His parents were just passing through the forest, his forest, when his mother gave birth and placed the child just underneath a tree, his tree, asking for protection for this new human. So he became the spirit guardian for this newborn child.
Once the baby was strong enough to survive, its parents moved an, according to the tradition of their tribe, and he moved with them, always keeping an eye on that little child who knew nothing of the spirit world yet. Hiding in the trees, flying with the wind, pouring down with the rain – that’s how he stayed close, always watching, always cautious. As the child grew older, he allowed himself to be seen sometimes, a quick flicker in the night, just visible out of the corner of the eye; a hasty shadow moving quickly between the trees; a little bird flapping its wings just over the tip of a head.
Then, one day, the boy strayed away from the shelter of his family to pursue a deer. He was young, but already a good hunter. Good, but reckless: It was already too late when he saw the mountain lion sneaking up on him, its teeth bared and ready to attack. That’s when the spirit had to choice but to intervene: He borrowed the body of a nearby badger, the only animal in the proximity capable of dealing with the threat. Snarling and swinging his claws, the badger threw himself between the hunter and the hunted and together they were able to fight off the cat. He was prepared to be stabbed by the boy’s spear afterwards, him not recognizing his guardian in badger form, but the boy just watched him, before bowing low to show his gratitude. When he rose again, the boy smiled, shouldered the dead mountain lion and returned to his family without looking back at the startled badger.
From this day on, not only his form in this world was settled, but also the bond between spirit and human grew stronger. Soon the boy called Aujaq learned how to cross the small gap between the physical and spiritual world through the rites of his tribe and during his first meditative journey, his guardian spirit revealed himself again. The newly assigned shaman gave him the name Koda and thus sealed the bond between spirit and human.
Not a day has passed when Koda wasn’t close to his protégé, guarding him from harm, fighting along his side and providing spiritual guidance whenever he seeked it (or not). Over the years the spirit in badger form evolved, sometimes acting more human, sometimes falling back to his feral state and being more badger than divine being, but his deep bond to Aujaq and his devotion for this human never changed.
He will always be there…