The Mahrkagir is the insane ruler of Drujan. His name means "Conqueror of Death." The followers of Angra Mainyu, the Lord of Darkness, believe he is a messiah figure who will establish the god's reign on earth.
During the seizure of Drujan by Akkadian forces, it was said that as a mere child, the Mahrkagir bore witness to all of the bloody violence and was dealt a staggering blow to the skull, meant to kill him. As he did not die, he awoke instead to the terrifying reality of being half-buried beneath the piled up corpses. His mother's mangled body was said to have been near to him as well.
The Mahrkagir is described as being fairly young, near Phèdre's age , and while not exactly handsome was not unattractive either. His features were common, typical for someone of Drujan descent, however his eyes were perhaps the most noticeable thing about him. Phèdre describes them as being dark, completely and utterly black, no doubt due to his madness. The madness itself which seems to possess the Mahrkagir, came about when he endured the massacre as a young child, as well as the heavy blow to the head.
Phèdre remarks a certain lack of conscienable goodness to the Mahrkagir's nature; indeed, he thrives on cruelty and deliberate human violence towards others and keeps a seraglio filled with his would-be victims, be they young, old, male or female. It is in this seraglio that Imriel de la Courcel was being held, after he was kidnapped at the start of "Kushiel's Avatar". Being Kushiel's Chosen, Phèdre receives a divine message from Blessed Elua, showing her at last her true purpose; to stand against the Mahrkagir's cruelty, as she is the only person strong enough to endure his lust for violence.
The sadistic nature of the Mahrkagir is shown during more than one scene where he couples with Phèdre and violates her with a blunt, barbed instrument of his own designs. When Phèdre responds somewhat positively to this ill-treatment at his hands, the Mahrkagir falls in love with her after a fashion, and deems her the perfect victim, who he would sacrifice in a religious ceremony in order to truly resurrect the power of Angra Mainyu.