Could you have a druid being followed by any number of awakened creatures permanently (assuming their relationship is a good one, and the creatures want to follow the druid)?
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Absolutely. In fact, the duration of the spell is instantaneous, which means that it can't be dispelled once it has taken effect. If a druid is good enough at convincing animals to follow them, they can have as many intelligent followers as they want.
This is no different from the rules for getting regular people to follow you. If you have a paladin or a bard who can convince normal folks to follow them, they can do that all they want. Remember that these new intelligent creatures are sentient, and now have their own wants and desires. The relevant quote is:
So you can have one awakened creature that will help you for a while, but if you want more, it will take no less effort to get them to stay with you than it would to get people to follow you.
Yes, the effects of Awaken are Permanent
The spell awaken has a duration of instantaneous, which I'll quote the effects of here.
In the case of Awaken, the spell doesn't make sense with that duration if the effects aren't permanent.
For Followers, it's Unclear
There's nothing in the rules that prohibits having a procession of hired help, followers, or talking animals follow you. However, this sort of thing is usually handled with the Leadership feat, which the GM might require for a large number of devoted followers. Ultimately, this one is up to the GM.