Mathom, the God of Delays
Mathom, the God of Delays, is an overlooked but powerful entity. Few worship him, but many remember him with word and deed.
(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.
Ye Boke of Ye Blessynges of Mathom
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.
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? Responses (83)
Will it ever be done? Or has Mathom taken it to his heart?
Maybe it was delayed for a while, but now it is finally done!
All praise Mathom!
This is really cool. I for one really wish there was no doubt as to whether or not Mathom is a real God. You took something trivial and really made it work, and that's talent.
Great! It's rare indeed that someone comes up with a truly new idea for a god.
I've been intending to comment on this for some time, but somehow I never quite got around to it ... hmmm ... the God at work perhaps
Thanks for the credit manfred to be honest I only really got caught up in your joke, but I see you've included one or two of my suggestions (well the better ones at least) and it seems to have come together nicely
Since this, at least partially, owes much to my input I shall post no vote a little close to the voting for your post I feel
Every bit as good as predicted though well done that man
He deserves a site dedicated to him alone. Actually I will do it!! Soon!!! Really!!?
LOL The God of Delays-Excellent!
Here's an idea...
The lower priests of Mathom, the adepts and others not yet gifted with the ability of magical delay, instead perform more physical obstructions- throwing themselves in the way of individuals on pressing errands, 'accidentally' upsetting barrels of salt and racks of trinkets in the paths of carts so that they must stop... Basically making a nuisance of themselves.
Hmmm... any worthy adept would already be spreading delays around himself, without any intent of doing it. But there really could be some worshippers trying it.
Actually, this would be a great (and innocent-looking) diversion.
'Hey! Why are you blocking the path?!'
'I profusely apologize, sir. I had slightly forgotten myself contemplating the mysteries of Mathom. It was the question of the right moment, that has occupied me, and...'
'Aaargh! Forget this fool and catch the darn thief! Goo!'
Impersonating a priest of Mathom may be useful at times. Just take care that you don't become one, it has happened more than once.
It would seem that actually doing something purposely you defie the will of Mathom. Any Priest worth his beans would be a worthless priest if he actually tried to do something. If they intentially did something then they wouldn't be followers of Mathom. Seems that priests of Mathos wouldn't be 'developed' or 'groomed' they just are.
My head spins when I read and think about Mathom, I have so much to add to it but don't have the time to do it!
You have already recieved His blessing. :)
sorry for the delayed vote
my old computer was doubly blessed by Mathom...
Sorry for the delayed comment; All praise Mathom.
By Mathom, the time to vote 5.0 for this is now. It's the god of Slack, that's great.
I want to write a story about Mathom...but I don't feel I have the time to do it, as there are so many other things to do.
Truely, an incredi-- one sec...
Ah, the joke of ages, not to jump on the bandwagon but perhaps Mathom kept me from this for so long.
You would think that to become a priest of Mathom wouldn't be a choice as Strolen has said. It is more of someone who seems to have bad luck perhaps? Always causing havoc when they are near. As you said knocking over a group of barrels to block the path of the city watch or in front of a coach only to help and slow things down for your distractions or incompetence.
A 'Priest of Mathom' could be a title not woth having and therefore are given special benefits from the God of Delay. A conundrum to say the least.
I think Mathom is frowning on my attempts to get a cybergirlfriend, as there is always something happening that makes every attempt fail. :(
Also to a lesser extent on my and my parent's travel plans.
Mathom, a Citadellian institution and the God of Delays
I have felt His heavy hand today when I wanted to write something for Strolen.com :(
Mathom is interfereing with my microphone.
and my web camera too.
You have been a dilligent worshipper, thus you recieve His blessings.
OH WOE IS HE! Even Mathom has been reduced to a simple formula now.
I have taken the time to review the article, but clearly the formula in question is only a summary of the factors, as none of them are measurable, so in practice it is useless besides serving as a mental reminder.
Besides, it does not capture the true essence of what is Mathom. Science cannot explain, only describe what our imperfect minds and senses are able to percieve from what is beyond them. Give up the props, and embrace him with your soul, for that is the only way to the true god.
All praise Mathom. :)
I must agree with manfred on this point
Actually I would have done so a couple of months age, but the Blessings of Mathom are upon me
I have added Ye Boke of Ye Blesssynges of Mathom as a scroll.
Manfred, thank you for giving us this amusing and useful diety.
The pleasure is mine, though sometimes I fear the things I produce here... or would fear, if I had the time. :)
I am glad that HE has truly come alive here. All praise Mathom!
I loved the Book of Mathom. I would do a scroll for this but I never get around to it.
All Praise Mathom!!
I would praise Mathom... but is now really the right time? Yeah, I will praise Mathom... when the time comes. Just... not right now. I think.. maybe.. Yeah, I'll wait.
There is always time to praise Mathom, but sometimes there is no time to praise Him properly.
Interesting, and the amount of love shown this is a bit scary.
When I saw Mathom mentioned in the Walking Dead scroll, I couldn't figure out what it was referring to (I googled it and got something completely different). But this explains it.
See, you have to search in the right places.
Actually, I plan on doing a massive SEO campaign, to finally get Mathom the recognition He deserves. One day, he will dominate the whole Internet.
You mean he does not?
Of course is His influence palpable there, as in many other places. But people are too often ignorant to the truth, and the few that know are loath to embrace his worship. We should aid everyone to a better understanding of Mathom and his place in our universe. For that is the way to finding true inner peace.
I'll get right on that, just as soon as I finish this submission...
Love this one. An institution in its own right. They should teach the doctrine of Mathom instead of that Intelligent Design crap. Here´s a deity with some LOGIC to ´im.
I am meaning to vote on him.
I think it is time for me. I mean I first posted on this feb 2006
Now no one get too hasty now!
This page was slow to load today. lol
Has Mathom ever indirectly kept someone alive I wonder?
But of course. It is by His aid, that many survive yet another day. And a few - like prisoners sentenced to death - beg for His intervention on their behalf.
Old. Amusing. A running joke that hasn't found the time to quit yet.
As good as the sub is, though, it'd be honestly quite hard to actually use in a campaign...
Well, besides the fun factor, you can readily employ Mathom as a wild card - anytime something/someone (including the PCs) needs to be stalled. Then there's the various side-effects and pieces of chrome like the Time-Wine. Lastly, it is an excellent concept to ponder over the fifth glass of ale.
It is not something to define a campaign, but rather to extend it with (and supply the GM with an extra tool).
I should probably comment properly on this some day, but I have too much else to do. Back later.
I've been kinda meaning to comment on Ye Boke of Ye Blessynges of Mathom, but I've never really gotten around to it
... and I'mnot at all sure I've got the time just now
Oh well, maybe someday
I really meant to expand something here... and all the blessings of Mathom fell on me. I should have known better. :)
All praise Mathom!
I kept meaning to vote and say something here, but... You know.
Trust me, I know.
I would not make the same joke that everyone else has about being delayed, except that I'm too busy right now.
Fhtagn! I've created a paradox!
Yeah, I always did mean to vote on this. I think I wanted to wait until I could pull it back up from the vault with an HoH. I guess now is the appropriate moment.
It occurs to me that followers of Mathom don't have to lack aims or goals. They could be just as ambitious as others, they would however be more apt to take plenty of time checking and double checking their work, time being a blessing and not a curse, and of course, receptive to distractions as a sign from Mathom that they haven't given their goals it's proper time.
It's funny, I started writing this comment at 10am, and it's 6pm now.
Very funny. I had a really good laugh with this one, I'm still hurting. I'm surprised this submission was as complete as it is... ;)
Rarely does a submission make my job drop, but this one is stunningly clever. If I could get away with it, I would love to play a priest of Mathom in a campaign, or get one of my players to indulge me. Bloody brilliant. 5/5
I've been meaning to HoH this for some time, but just never got around to it . . . no matter, here's my patented "Smashing Sub of the Day" award. Have your HoH!
Heh, commented in 2007! but did not vote till now. Hmmm.
Just getting around to it, eh?
(Yes, I know... That's what EVERYONE ELSE said. I'll think of something original when I have some spare time.)
I've seen references to this for months and I always meant to read the whole thing, but, well, you know...
Well, we would of got around to explaining to you eventually. But, you know....
This quite literally made my day. Having a crummy day at work, but I read this and I loved it so much I had to grab my PC and comment. Excellent, EXCELLENT work. Amusing, but at the same time highly usable. I could totally imagine some really interesting dialogue, using this God in colloquial speech as a synonym for laziness or delay.
Now I should get back to work but...
This is my favorite thing on the Citadel.
Mathom, the cause of many sleepless nights of mine :P
It's just one joke. But it's a good joke.
I am smitten with admiration. This is indeed an entertaining submission, with entertaining commentary too!
I can't believe I've never voted on this.
Mathom must have got in the way.
If I happen to make a comment that could be taken as aforesaid joke, involving Mathom delaying/hindering my voting/HoHing/ commenting, it is not intended.
Such a classic deserves another name (my own) on the old HoH list. And I got around to commenting and voting on this.
Does anyone have an idea for a symbol of Mathom?
Working on it.
A 'herd' of cats? An unraveled ball of yarn? A question mark, without the dot on the bottom? A 'delays ahead' traffic sign? Im stumped.
This is the Sub that keeps on giving.
Just created an avatar of this god, Nartine the Stubborn. Mathom is just too cool not to have a terrestrial representative.
We were going to get around to doing that.