|“|| Many years ago, Evard came to Duponde to destroy his rival Vontarin, a powerful wizard who lived in a manor at the edge of town. The two mages met near the walls of the abbey of St. Avarthil and dueled all night long with black spells, laying the old monastery in ruins with their magic. In the morning, the surviving friars found Evard dead in the wreckage and buried him in the town’s graveyard. Vontarin was never seen again.
Now, almost fifty years after his death, Evard's final curse is about to descend on the town and everyone within it.
"Dark Legacy of Evard" by Richard Baker, is the adventure for Season 5 of D&D Encounters. It was released for play in Spring 2011.
As with the previous two seasons, "Dark Legacy of Evard" continued to tie into the Essentials line for D&D 4e. As a result, the pregenerated PCs are all Essentials builds—the exact same characters from "March of the Phantom Brigade," as it happens. However, this season of Encounters also ties in with Player's Options: Heroes of Shadow (2011), which was Wizards' first post-Essentials release, supporting both Essential and classic 4e builds. Heroes of Shadow featured Evard as the creator of shadow magic in the Points of Light world, so he was a natural focus for this adventure. "Dark Legacy of Evard" also tied in with another shadowy sourcebook: The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond (2011).
This new season of Encounters didn't include an explicit homage to an older D&D adventure, as the previous two seasons had. However, Evard was actually quite an old name in D&D. Evard had first been mentioned as the originator of "Evard's Black Tentacles," which dated back to Dragon #67 (November 1982). Just a month later, in Dragon #68 (December 1982), Gygax explained that Evard was an NPC from the Greyhawk campaign. One of Evard's spell books was described in Dragon #82 (February 1984), in an article by Bruce Heard, but Evard still didn't get as much attention as most of Greyhawk's wizards during the AD&D days.
That changed a bit with the release of 3e. Evard was mentioned as an enemy of Mordenkainen in an article by Erik Mona and Gary Holian that appeared in Living Greyhawk Journal #0 (August 2000) and also received a mention in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000). Then in Dungeon #107 (February 2004), the Paizo staff (finally) gave Evard a full write-up as a "Critical Threat." Evard's inclusion in Heroes of Shadow and "Dark Legacy" just continued his upward trend of recent years.