Sergei Sokol

Real Name

Siarhei Sokol




The Eastern Jewel







Created on March 10th, 2013 so Tatyana Petrovna could have something to be legitimately afraid of.

He's a charismatic strongman with shades of Putin, Chavez, Lukashenko, and Lex Luthor. He's no Doctor Doom, but he's competent, he's got a secret police of supers, and he genuinely believes his leadership is best for his country, no matter the cost.


At the end of the Cold War Sergei was able to use his wealth and status as a war hero to seize control of an ex-Soviet satellite nation. His rise to power was swift and occasionally brutal; elected President-for-life with 97% of the vote, every superpowered sadist behind the Iron Curtain flocked to him for protection, keeping them safe from justice and him safe from deposition. 'The Eastern Jewel' itself is an advanced, stable, and comfortable, if not a brutally militaristic and oppressive nation.

There's always a steady flow of superpowered recruits from most wanted lists all over the world pouring into his boarders. Most enroll in the secret police or his personal guard, but some paraded as "reformed heroes" as a result of the kindness they've been shown in their new home. Despite all this, he enjoys widespread popular support thanks in part to his agenda of developing the region's natural resources, foreign investment, improved trade, and his citizens enjoying a standard of living far above what they had under Communism. The stability he brings to an often turbulent region has made him friends in high places abroad, and his darker activities swept under the carpet for the sake of good relations.

Whenever possible, he'll actively seek to weaken any possible opponents and keep his country ahead of its rivals. He makes good use of corporate espionage to acquire new breakthroughs in technology or to pull funds from those who would actively try to make a meaningful case against him. International law and governments not wanting to be the ones to start trouble have let him get away with this for decades.


He largely remains quiet and reserved, preferring to stay out of the spotlight and avoid throwing grandiose parties. He'll openly accept criticism and will make changes if a fair point has been made, but is intolerant to any outright opposition. He's determined to keep his country on the cutting edge and despises any old dilapidated infrastructure leftover from the Soviet era, having it all torn down and rebuilt.

Enjoys hunting elk, playing chess and the cello, fine artwork, and putting international lawyers on hold.


... I was to see the ultimate expression of this ethic not long after. By now I was sick of photographing the cities, impressive though they were. The high-speed train line, the National Memorial, the tech plant built into the old steel works, the restored castle turned art gallery, the subway, even the miles of bunkers - I'd seen it all. To the countryside, I thought. 

A few hours later, 62-year-old Leanid was showing me around his dairy farm sixty miles from anywhere, beaming with pride as he gestured at his wind-blasted little cottage. Four hundred years old, he claimed. It doesn't look like much from the outside, does it? He led me inside, and poured me some wine from a refrigerator larger than my own. Then he called his wife down from the refurbished attic, where a widescreen television nestled between solid oak beams waxed with preservative. He seemed very pleased with his broadband internet, though I think he said something about there being 'too many Russians'.

I asked him where all this came from. The government, he said, had given him a cultural grant to repair his historic house and build a visitor's car park. School parties began to arrive every few days for tours. A year after that, a local official helped him find a lucrative export market for his fine cheeses. I knew my instructions were to ask everyone I met directly what they thought of Sokol, but... I think the answer was there for all to see.

-from The Eastern Jewel, by Friedrich Schwartz