Ryan Price (Holbert Price)
A soldier from another time who writes trashy novels
Ryan appears to be in his early 30s and stands just shy of 5’11" with naturally curly light brown hair that he lets grow wild, a stark comparison to his shortly trimmed beard. His light blue eyes seldom show stress or anxiety, even when provoked to anger.
He tries to keep up with all the latest fashions and trends, his car is always the newest model as are his laptops and cell phones.
Ryan does not brag to everyone in his much varied social circles about being an author, but likes to play up the playboy lifestyle that he keeps under this current name.
He can be found often at Rae’s where he likes to enjoy a cup of strong coffee, seems to talk to himself and type on his laptop for ages.
I have died several times, the first that I recall being on February 3rd 1865 at the Battle of Rivers’ Bridge. But I’m jumping ahead in the story a little.
I was born Holbert Price on October 31st 1843 to Moses and Emily Price, a middle child of 5 with two brothers and two sisters. I grew up in on an idyllic farm just outside of Charleston on the Coosaw Creek near where the Country Club is now. It was a simple time of long days on the farm, and evenings with family and friends.
Before you ask, no we didn’t own no slaves either. We weren’t rich, but we did well enough. My family did support withdrawal from the Union though. It came down to our rights as states to govern ourselves, the government was seen differently then. The war changed so much, and it was years before I saw the bigger picture and how it could have been avoided.
Enough of those lamentations, I joined the Confederate army just after the first battle of Sumter. Me there in my home spun wool and cotton uniform, I was so proud. That’s about all I was too; proud, young and dumb. A farm boy doing what I was told. I was full of the knowledge that we were going to push those Yanks north and win our freedom of self-rule. It was another blessed revolution in our eyes.
I found myself in Georgia in 1863, and was part of General Hood’s evacuation in September of 1864. We really could have done better by the people. It was Sherman who evacuated the city before burning it. We were too damned proud to admit defeat before it was too late.
Months of running battle across the snowy fields and towns, just a step ahead of Sherman, I found myself assigned to General Lafayette McLaws’ forces at Rivers’ Bridge. Our job was simple enough, hold it and delay Sherman’s forces march North East across the Carolinas. We succeeded for a whole day; they flanked us by wading through the swampy parts and got the jump on us.
I remember the feeling of being punched in the chest real hard about the time I saw the muzzle flash and smoke. I dropped like a wet bag of sand without even a single gasping word of goodbye. All I could muster was pissing my pants as the world went black. I was 21.
I don’t know how long I was out, but the pain was less worrisome as I came to compared to the sound of bones cracking and popping into place as the flesh sucked itself closed. I sat up and a bullet rolled down into my lap. I promptly retreated with my forces.
The rest of the war ain’t much to talk on, we lost. Us soldiers returned home, most of us bitter and broken. Our farm had survived the worst, it wasn’t burnt to the ground.
Once I was home life mostly returned to normal. What happened at the bridge though kept floating in my head. So I started to experiment, that’s when I realized I could be hurt.. bad. But it all healed in time. I thought perhaps I was some kind of monster and fled my home land for Europe.
Spending near 20 years exploring everything the continent had to offer. I even served for some time in mercenary units in the Prussian border skirmishes. It was easy enough to skirt my not aging by joining different units, or going to different countries. But the feeling of needing to be home, particularly the Charleston area, never left. And finally I came back on June 17th 1890.
My family didn’t know what to make of me, I hadn’t changed while they had moved on. Both parents taken by fever, my oldest brother Aaron a lawyer and the other running the farm… Yes, that Aaron Price one of the founders of Price & Reeves the attorneys. I see you just made an important connection on how I move around in the world.
They seemed to understand, after they brought in a priest to examine me. I pledged to always try to keep them safe as I could, and in return my uncle Tim who happened to make it rich in the reconstruction and Aaron offered to help me hide my true nature. An arrangement that continues to today, though I don’t need ‘em so much anymore. I only had to turn my guns on the family once in the 50s, but that man was a monster who needed put down.
It wasn’t till the first big war I discovered I wasn’t alone and the world was full of monsters and gods. I had felt I owed something to Europe, seeing it tear itself apart just as the Union had hurt me deeply. That’s where I met Radagast, an honest to God wizard, in Austria when we were both trying to put down the same Black Court. That was fun as all get out, being able to fully exert myself, and knowing I’m not alone in the world. I have even seen him around Charleston, or at least I think it’s him. I need to investigate that further.
Since then I’ve ran afoul of a few other beasts and powered people. Every thing from a man that can turn into a bear, ghouls, other mages, strippers with hearts of gold, and crazy bloggers who have figured out more than people believe he has. It’s a beautiful and strange world.
As to what I do now. That’s sort of funny. Truth is I can talk to ghosts, not sure why. One man supposed it was due to me being part dead since the civil war. I take their stories, the loves of their lives, and tell the world through “Historical Romances.” The scary part is they sell good, and can be done almost anonymously with payments flitting away to my accounts in Switzerland. I barely need to touch the rest of the money I’ve been accumulating anymore.
I also like to explore the city I call home, get to know people and occasionally foster them from a distance if I think I may need to call on them later.