Bend medieval role players prep for performance

'Babylon' excited to perform, act before 'The Hobbit' premiere

POSTED: 11:13 PM PST December 2, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

A local group of medieval role-playing warriors is preparing for a special show in conjunction with the Bend premiere of the new film "The Hobbit."

They call themselves "Babylon," a chapter of the international nonprofit organization, the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.

You may have seen them before -- nearly every Sunday, they go down to Drake Park in Bend to practice their combat while having fun with friends.

The group meets every week to fight with an assortment of weapons -- all foam --including, swords, bow and arrow and shields.

Now the group is teaming up with the Old Mill's Regal Cinemas to provide entertainment while people wait in line for the premiere of "The Hobbit" on Dec. 14.

Realm leader Derek Schultz said Sunday the group is excited to put on demonstrations and acting for Lord of the Rings fans.

"If I had to equate it to anything, I'd say it's like backyard tackle football," Schultz said.  "We really like to get after each other -- not that we have the intent to hurt each other. But we're all here to have fun, and we like to engage in physical activity."

Schultz said the group has about 10 regular members and has won several national tournaments.