Generating my first Shaman character for Pathfinder and I am a bit confused about the Spirit Animal. Is the Spirit Animal a single, living animal that must be with the Shaman when the commune each day? Since it has a process for if the "spirit animal is slain" that would lead me to believe it is an individual animal.
So if the Shaman is unable to have their Spirit Animal with them does that mean they are unable to have any spells for the day? Does that make it an Animal Companion like for a Druid? Does that mean the Spirit Animal can attack during combat or perform other game related tasks?
It never talks about the Spirit Animal in the same way a Druid's Animal Companion is discussed, which is why I am unsure.
Or is the Spirit Animal just any animal of the selected type? Or maybe it is an actual spirit of that animal?