Monday, November 7, 2011

[Resources] Diet of Worms

The Imperial Diet of Worms of 1521 was an assembly called by Emperor Charles V for Martin Luther to defend the 95 theses he wrote in 1517 that lead to the Protestant Reformation.

Luther appeared at the diet in April. He was confronted with his writings and asked if he "stood by their contents." He answered that content question with:

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

He also is known to have said "Here I stand. I can do no other."
Five days of private meetings led to release of the Edict of Worms in May, which sealed Luther's position. It stated:

"For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favor the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, where upon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work."

This was the Catholic Church's way to put the screws on Luther and maintain their dominance over the religious life of the Holy Roman Empire and Charles was the hammer for the church.

How can this be used in a game? Well, what happened in those private meetings? What deals were made and what occult knowledges were passed? The basic history allows the GM to run with it, mixing in conspiracies and secret histories, in any campaign for settings between the Renaissance to the modern era.

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