Melanius the Scarlet was a Badger Lady of Salamandastron, and the elder sister of Snowstripe the Fierce. After ten seasons of ruling the mountain alongside her brother, she started to feel out of place, and went on an adventure alongside Reep Lightningflash, Logalog Felto and the Guosim, Skipper Reedthorn and fifteen of his otters, and the mouse Earlen. Together, the group stole the former searat ship The Wavecrusher and went north, trying to reach The Northlands to fight vermin. However, midway through the journey, the ship's rudder was broken off, and the crew were forced to land at Northern Mossflower Woods. There, the crew was greeted by the bankvole Rand and his family. When they told him of their dilemma, Rudd told them he knew a place many ships were beached, and there had to be a good rudder there.

The next morning, he took them to the Place he had spoken of. After a few hours, the group finally found a rudder they could use. Just as they were about to leave, Rand told them that although he was too old to go with them, his son Durnn could go, and gave his son the family club. Melanius promised the bankvole they would return his son to him. Soon the group decided to take a new route, this time northwest. They decided to land midway between a great big island (later revealed to be Sampetra) on a small island to forage for more food. While there, they found the very young squirrel orphan Dreykim. After giving him food, they decided to take them along and Earlen grew fond of the squirrel and secretly told Skipper Reedthorn that he might consider adopting him.

After ten days on the sea, the group finally reached the great big island. They soon found it to be overrun with vermin, as well as lizards and toads.