Mandel Byrdsson was the son of Byrd and Felda. He was the oldest of their children. After his father was murdered by Sloan, he traveled with the other villagers to Surda. Along the way, they took Clovis' barges from Narda. While traveling on the barges, he played dice with the sailors and lost food. Roran, after learning about the matter, warned him about his unhealthy habit. Roran also advised that, contrary to Gunnar's belief, knife throwing in battle is not a wise strategy. Later, Roran gave him the task of delivering the news of their departure to Surda with Jeod Longshanks.
Mandel had proven himself among the Varden's warriors during the battles for Feinster and Belatona against the Broddring Empire. After capturing Belatona, Roran had chosen Mandel along with four others to go with him on his mission to capture the city of Aroughs.