So I recently restarted one of my campaigns online. As background action for the world, I've decided that Good [ie celestials] and Evil [ie. fiends--I'm ignoring the distinction between demons and devils] are going to try and take their eternal war to the mortal realm. They've begun granting powers to people, creating clerics for the first time [there were no clerics in the previous incarnation of this game]. The clerics and associated followers for each side are trying to complete a TASK, and the race is on to see if Good of Evil will complete the TASK first. Meanwhile, the rulers of the mortal realm, the Dragons, are trying their darndest to stop either side from succeeding.The PCs may or may not have any direct involvement in the TASK, but it will definately be going on in the background.
But the question is: what is the TASK?
I know there are a couple of standards: namely the Summoning [the Bad Guys are trying to summon a demon god, or the Bad Guys are trying to open a portal to hell so the forces of evil can come flooding in] and the Artifact [the Bad Guys are trying to find/build/reconstruct/operate a powerful weapon which will allow them to take over the world]. But as these are kind of cliche, I'm wondering about having the TASK be something else. Of course, I could always go with a cliche and then hope to put a new spin on it.
I like the idea that Good and Evil are trying to do the same thing, so they might inadvertantly help the other side or hinder their own side by their actions--it seems like that would allow for some fun situations (I almost imagine an Evil cleric and a Good cleric stumbling up the steps to some major site, yanking on each others legs like in a cheap comedy). It also might add just enough twist to make the cliche not such a groaner. And with the dragons as a third side (and the PCs don't really like the dragons), I'm hoping that something good can come of this.
So what other cliche TASKs are there, and which is your favorite? I mean, what are the other "end of the world"-type plans that the Good Guys always seem have to foil? Do you have any ideas for new TASKs? In the end, what should the clerics in my world be trying to accomplish?