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Mara was an orphaned female badger who was adopted by the Badger Lord of Salamandastron, Urthstripe the Strong, who called her "Browneye" as a pet name while she was an infant. Her best friend was the young hare, Pikkle Ffolger. She constantly fought with Urthstripe, feeling that he was too strict and overbearing. She met the weasel Klitch - son of the warlord Ferahgo the Assassin - and his comrade Goffa while wandering not far from Salamandastron, befriended them, and took them back to the mountain as guests. Urthstripe, incredulous and disgusted, ordered them taken from the mountain; A distraught Mara ran away with them, as did Pikkle. But Klitch led them into a trap, intending to turn them over to his father Ferahgo - believing that Mara and Pikkle knew where the famed badger treasure of Salamandastron was hidden. However, Urthstripe had sent Sapwood and Oxeye to follow them, and Sapwood allowed the pair to escape.
Shortly after, Mara and Pikkle encountered the lizard Swinkee after they had taken up temporary residence in his cave and accidentally broken off the lizard's tail, his "best tail". In anger, Swinkee pretended to lead them to Salamandastron, but turned them over to the Toadking Glagweb as "Foodslaves", where they would be eaten by the tribe of toads, in exchange for food. While being kept in the toads' pit, they met Nordo, son of the Log-a-Log of the Guosssom, and waited for the shrews to rescue them. They joined with the Guosssom as they went across the Great Inland Sea to the island at its center, to reclaim the Blackstone that was the symbol of Log-a-Log's authority. Along the way, they encountered the Deepcoiler, a legendary monster of the Great Inland Sea. Panicked by the monster, many shrews tried to replace Log-a-Log with the shrew Tubgutt and paddle back to the mainland. However, Mara intervened on the side of Log-a-Log and ended the mutiny.
After evading the Deepcoiler and reaching the island, Mara, Pikkle and the Guosssom encountered the albino badger Urthwyte, his grandmother Loambudd and his squirrel guardian, Ashnin. Mara explained to them was going back to Salamandastron to aid Urthstripe against Ferahgo, and told Loambudd all she knew of the badger Lord when asked. Realizing that the mountain would need all the help it could get, Ashnin, Loambudd and Urthwyte decided to accompany Mara to Salamandastron. They joined with Samkim, Arula and the Guosssom tribe of Alfoh the Elder and made the final stretch to Salamandastron. By the time they reached the battle, it was very nearly over. At its end, Mara found Urthstripe dead, having clutched Ferahgo to his chest and jumped from the top of the mountain. She realized then that she wished she had been able to add one more title to his credit - that of father.
With Urthwyte installed as Urthstripe's successor, Mara decided to return to Redwall Abbey with Samkim and Arula, and take up the mantle of Badger Mother of Redwall - the first since Mellus' death many seasons earlier.