So what do you think? Does this work?
The companion idea. (very very short and lacking any detail other than those necessary)
Everard the Sojouner
As a child he was guided by the mysterious call within him. As soon as he could reasonably walk the boy left humans behind and went into the wilds. (Feral Upbringing flaw) (Incomprehensible flaw) He survived instinctually hunting, making his clothes, and excelled and lived joyously as a man-beast. (Carefree flaw) (Intuition virtue) (Keen Vision virtue)
On one occasion, the beast-man was tracking a giant stag and had managed to wound the creature's powerful hind. As he fell upon the creature intending to feast well, he was dumbfounded to find the tables turned on him. Suddenly he was prey to a Bjornaer, who's magics not only healed his wounds but sufficiently rebuked the man-beast and dealt his own grievous injuries.
The boy woke to find himself in a large, well-lit cave, made a home and sanctum by the magus, and having his wounds tended by the silent Bjornaer. The boy typically would have felt trapped and panic, but was oddly soothed and calm by the old mage's demeanor.
The boy took on duties fitting of a human, while also performing tasks that came naturally to his instincts. The two took to, in the twilight hours, racing through the forest's shadows at peace with a natural existence. And slowly, naturally, the magus began to teach the boy magic, language, and abstract concepts of the heartbeast mystery. (Student of Magic Realm)
The years passed in peace, the boy was named Everard, and the two adventured into foreign lands to experience new and dangerous existences. The nameless beast-man was now an named apprentice and learning student of the Bjornaer, and was steadily learning to interact with the periphery of human society. The master and pupil were close and glad of each other's company, and although the boy was not the smartest of learners (Poor Student flaw) his passion for animals and the understand of the heartbeast mystery more than pleased the old magus. (Trainer of Magic Creatures virtue)
The time was drawing close that the apprentice would be sent to test in the Gauntlet when the bizarre and cruel hand of Fate struck down upon the boy's happiness. Handling one of his master's exotic creatures called a amphisbaena, a serpent with a poisonous head at each end of a powerful and lissom body, the boy was overwhelmed by the creature. He had secured the "forward" head of the beast with one hand and in the midst of searching for the other he became trapped in the mythic creature's coils. It was then the "backward" head speared out from amidst the writhing mass, and struck the boy in the face, with two rows of sable, venom-dripping fangs. (Disfigured flaw)
The master drove the beast off with thunderous magics and astutely began the seemingly impossible task, to save the fading life on the apprentice. Working day and night, the days and weeks smeared into a blur of exhaustion and Warping, but the Bjornaer refused to allow his child perish. For all his effort, the boy did live, but the cost and suffering were harrowing. The Gift perished, perhaps from the venom of the magical beast, or perhaps from the Warping magics of the master, expended to save the boy's life. What ever the cause Everard now would never become his heartbeast. (Failed apprentice virtue)
It was a very long winter in the Bjornaer's cave. The recovery, slow and anguished, was more challenging for Everard than the actual attack. He begged to be allowed to die. The heart ache and wretched sorrow drove the magus away from the boy, coming only when the boy slept to provide healing and to leave food.
In this dark time, as he regain the ability to move and support brief activity, Everard found, sleeping within his bedding, a hibernating badger. The creature seemed to have been there the entire winter, and yet when the boy questioned the magus, there was no answer only a look of confusion. The boy took to watching the passive beast, caring not to disturb the sleeping animal. He spent days silently contemplating the animal, and a obsessive thought began to form; a heresy if he ever spoke it to his master. Could this animal... BE IT? (Magical Animal Companion flaw)
As spring returned, the badger awoke and so did the boy's spirit and vigor. The boy may not have magic to use but he had no issue with communicating with the small black and white creature. He found it natural to speak in the badger's voice and could understand with clarity the expressions of his new friend.
The magus however was bothered by this new entity and it's influence on the aura of magic within his home. Half a dozen seasons passed, but the time soon came that the master, with a onerous heart, asked the boy to find his own way in the world. Everard was sent off well provisioned and with the promise of fidelity, should he ever find himself in need.
The years came and went, and the boy explored his abilities, finding that not only could he hold conversations with animals, but that he also could locate magical creatures and auras, and that he had some measure of skill in controlling them. (Abilities Animal Ken and Magic Sensitive) (Trainer of Magical Creatures virtue) His ever present companion, the badger, was wise beyond that of a natural animal, which further convinced (however correct or incorrect the assumption) Everard that the animal was his heartbeast somehow sprung to life beyond his body, as possibly his soul and Gift were spared destruction. Of this he never spoke to any person, except his dear companion.
He traveled far across the lands, collecting, bargaining, and trading great and marvelous animals. (Social Contacts virtue) Everard surpassed his own dreams encountering such mythological entities as the lammasu of Babylonian stories, the Re'em of the Jewish tales, and even witnessed, and survived, an actual "le drac" off the coast of Normandy. It was only when he returned to a fair which he frequented often in his early years that he discovered a bizarre and astounding fact.
Making his way to a seller of esoteric traps for magical beast smaller than voles, the man was stopped by a hand upon his arm. The man appeared ancient, his face weathered, liver-spotted, and stark of hair and was mumbling something bewildering. It was only when Everard agreed to sit with the man that he was confronted by a shocking realization. This sage was his old master, and the magus was bewildered to find that Everard, though gone from his cave for over a score of years, had not aged a single day. (Unaging virtue)
Perhaps it was the venom of the magical creature that, having survived, diminished the hand of Cronos upon Everard; or perhaps some other manifestation of his life's experiences. The matter is a curiosity that Everard does not seem to concern himself with, choosing to simply add it to another mystery of which he does not speak to those with whom he interacts. (Carefree flaw)
His fortieth year has come and gone, and Everard seems no older than a man of twenty. He abides by natural laws to govern his life and is compassionate to the plight of animals both mystical and mundane. (Duty Bound flaw) (Compassionate flaw) He continues to travel and to trade stories and animals with those others who find magical beast fascinating. (Social Contacts virtue) As of late he has taken to staying with covenants and offering his skills in trade for learning extensively about the area and it's mythological fauna. (Covenfolk social status) It is not so simple for him to find text and read about the creatures, he must experience them to grasp the knowledge he seeks. (Poor Student flaw) When he has satisfied his curiosity, or on rare occasions finds himself incapable of tolerating the cruelties of zealous humans, Everard moves on to his next home. At least for a while.