Local LARP group in need of new players

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Margaret Matteson

On a chilly, overcast day in North Hattiesburg, members of NexusLARP gathered to show off their dramatic flair and prowess on the field. Despite the threat of rain March 1-3, LARPers from many states and of various ages came out in their finest traditional garb.

NexusLARP is a live-action role-playing group based in Hattiesburg that hosts many events throughout the year catered to all different people with one common trait: an active imagination.

The game grounds were strewn with bird seed-filled packs–in-game rewards and conduits for spell casting. Players mingled in small groups, each clad in handmade cardboard armor, authentic chainmail or another form of true-to-time attire. Shouts of “3,2,1–go!” and “let’s do this!” were heard as fictional battle commenced.

Akin to Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, NexusLARP utilizes a narrator personality to describe places and events and to keep players on track. The narrator this weekend was Tim Crowley, who goes by Arbos Hekt in-game and who added his own touch to his descriptions.

Crowley explained the intricacies of developing a storyline for a LARP game.

“Our portion of the staff is to run the big arcs of the story, make sure everyone’s having fun and write up adventures,”  Crowley said. “There are 12 years worth of lore that we’ve had for this game. We have files upon files upon files of history for all these made-up lands, and we have an entire world we’ve created.”

Owners Scott Anderson said that he has been playing for about 20 years and plans to keep his group going.

“We’ve [run this group] for almost 12 years, and we have a plan to keep it going for another hopefully 12 years or until I’m too old to do it,” Anderson said.

When Anderson explained that his favorite part of the weekend was entertaining other people and keeping them interested in the game, co-owner Dallas Van Norden agreed.

“I like being entertained,” Van Norden said.

Aside from watching and engaging in combat, there are characters who work inside crafting and selling wares. These characters are just as necessary as the field fighters, for they initiate the transfer of duckings, LARP currency, and information that may help players in battle.

One of the few female players involved, Virginia Clough, played as a tavern wench. She described her important role in the game.

“I drink ‘rum’ out of a bottle–it’s actually water. I pretend to be drunk most of the time. I like to sing sailor songs,” Clough said. “Part of my build for my character is that I wanted to sit in the tavern most of the day. I wanted to be able to heal people when they’re dying and then sell them information.”

Regardless of your interests, you can become involved with NexusLARP; you just need an appreciation of history and a vivid imagination. The group is always looking for new members to fill current roles or to create their own character.

NexusLARP has games every first weekend of the month until May. A themed feast is held every fall, where authentic food is served, and discussions are held about upcoming events. For more information or to get involved, visit NexusLARP on Facebook.