Mikhail's grandfather, the Duke of Varuz, died when he was a very young child. In order to protect Varuz from the unstable and uncertain leadership of a child ruler, Guena married Aurelian, creating an alternate line of succession for the dying Duke. Aurelian took over the role in Mikhail's place, creating a lasting resentment between the two.
Mikhail grew up to be an intelligent, but impulsive, young man. Working with the city guards of Varuz's capital, he was the first member of the Duke's court to meet the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald when they arrived in the city, and brought them to meet with Aurelian. Mikhail was one of several individuals working with Guena and Lord Bernhardt in secret to control Varuz behind Aurelian's back, attempting to negotiate a peace treaty with rival Duke Conrad against Aurelian's wishes.
When Aurelian discovered Mikhail's involvement in this plot, he banished the young Lord from Varuz. Travelling towards the border, Mikhail encountered Clara and Emfil, who had also been banished. The three of them travelled together to Conrad's camp, where Mikhail - after attempting to persuade Conrad to leave Varuz in peace - agreed to help him invade the country.
Mikhail led Conrad's forces into battle against Aurelian's army, slaying first Lancelot, then Aurelian himself. With Conrad ruling over Varuz, Mikhail assumed the role of ambassador for the city-state. (PROSE: Royal Blood)