(Thanks go to Dragon Lord who helped to grow a joke into a full submission with his ideas and inspiration.)
To his worshippers, Mathom is the god of the proper moment, of the inevitability of time, but also of its mercy. To the rest of population, it is an annoying god barely worth speaking of.
Admittably, it is mentioned now and then in the speech of the people, “Mathom’s Work” or “Mathom’s Helper” speak about labour (or its worker) being too late for some petty reason.
Mathom is here for all of us. Unfortunately, he has some pressing business at the moment, but fear not: he will come and save us. It is only by his power that the Final Hour has not yet come. (Insert a fitting apocalyptic belief, best one shared with other priesthoods.)
Mathom is the essence of the right moment, of the care one must give to important matters - nothing that really counts was finished on time. So take the time and care and love necessary… and it may be finished someday.
Many seek to avoid His attention. Some would call Him upon their neighbours or rivals. And a few - like prisoners sentenced to death - beg for His intervention on their behalf.
But very few have the potential to become a priest of Mathom. These are the carriers of His power, and sometimes they can impart His blessings with their mere presence; it is like an aura of chaos that permeats their life and impacts the lives of the people around. They may not do it consciously, it could be just a side effect of their great powers.
Their magic is able to delay events, or call upon the powers of fate and chance to create new events that will constitue a delay.
Similarly, people around them have a hard time doing anything on time, for it is perilously easy to find a reason why not to do what they have put on their mind.
The priesthood is a very loose organisation; while they do have great plans on enlightening the masses, sadly they do not come around to realising them, hindered by their own powers.
Still, a priest can be persuaded to help a noble cause (or in some cases, with a suitably large donation). Most of them are calm, well-meaning people that are used to a LOT of waiting.
It has to be admitted that they can be annoying. While getting around to use violence against this priest is hard enough, there exist horror stories of the terrible curse for those foolish enough to kill a priest of Mathom. A violent death of this kind of priest is rare indeed… even rarer than for another religions.
Other priesthoods, of course, claim it is a fake god, and could eradicate the cult easily… they just have always more important things to do.
The general approach is to ignore them and stay at distance. However, there are stories of smart heroes that could delay whole armies by putting a powerful priest in their way, buying enough time for organising defense. (Like the one of an army wanting to kill a few cows for lunch: not loosing any time, the general just ordered the archers to shoot them for practice. Being hit into their behind, the cows got mad and wracked the whole army camp, with horses that panicked and ruined many wagons, and fire getting out of hand. It cost them a whole day and later the entire battle. The story is silly, but loved by the simple folk, occassionaly played by amateur actors, along with “Moooh!” sounds it makes everone laugh.)
This deity can seem incredibly powerful. He could stop almost anything just by “delaying it for a day or two”. Pity he doesn’t find the time to take the world’s matters into his own hands. Lack of time perhaps.
Maybe he was cursed by other gods. Being afraid of his great power (in whatever domain), they have just cursed him to never find the time to do something right. His curse has become his new domain. Who knows… maybe it was the head of the pantheon, The Creator Of Everything. But then there was a coup.
Alternatively, maybe he wasn’t a god to start with, but a mortal who learned how to break the links between the mundane and divine. Cursed by the very gods that wished to hinder this, he is stuck somewhere in the place between mortality and godhood. And since he stays there, nobody can cross it, or would meet him and be delayed, too.
Need to delay the villain from taking on the world? Just get a priest (which is not as easy as it sounds) and there you go! His powers (or the mere presence) will frustrate anything that should be finished on time.
Then, with the villain delayed, the crafty heroes set out to defeat him. But first they have to gather all their supplies, solve all kinds of minor problems that crop up, renew their adventuring permit that has run out, etc. etc. etc.
(And now, just imagine the villain would do the same to you. Or worse… make the villain a priest of Mathom.)
Shortly: a priest of Mathom is a potent tool; at least until you try to use it. ;)
This is Mathom. A great power limited by its own nature. Have fun with him, but beware his blessing.
Additional Ideas (1)
This rather lengthy text contains the collected sermons of the self-appointed "Patriarch of Mathom", Saint Ferdric the Sluggish. This decrepit wise man spent many years wandering from village to village, expounding on the need for all things to happen in their own, appropriate time. While the elderly sage’s odd views brought him into conflict with civil and religious authorities in several lands and he was eventually arrested, the magistrates never found the time to try him on the charges. Local legend says that on the day when the Blessed Ferdric passed away, his fellow prisoners were able to walk right out of the dungeon that held them, for the rusted-out bars of their cell had not been repaired on schedule.
The text itself is very disorganized, for many of the individual sermons within were never completed. It appears that Saint Ferdric intended to revise the sermons and organize them properly, but passed away before this task was completed. After his death, his acolytes respectfully decided to keep everything as the saint had originally written it.
A printed version of the text was planned, with elaborate woodcuts illustrating important passages, but this version was never produced due to disagreements between the printer and the acolytes that possessed the original text. While some woodcut illustrations were made, and are still widely admired, the text itself is only found in a few hand-written copies.