If you like detailed backgrounds for Sartarite clans, you’ll love the latest Jonstown Compendium release: Vivien Prigent’s In A Merry Green Vale. This 165-page systemless sourcebook centres on the Lysang clan, whose ancestors settled the titular Arfritha Vale before the kingdom of Sartar was founded. Living between the Colymar, Malani and Cinsina tribes, they form a bridge between two areas previously detailed for HeroQuestWorldWars: the Colymar of Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and the Cinsina of the Red Cow books.
The sourcebook is set in the Lunar Occupation period, with an innovative campaign premise that kicks off in 1614: the adventurers are the children of exiles, returning under an amnesty to a homeland they’ve never known, so the players can discover details of the setting alongside their characters. The pages that follow are packed with accounts of compromised clan leaders, local troublemakers and all-too-fanatical resistance to oppression.
As well as thoroughly detailing the history and politics of the Lysang clan, with personal profiles that set out the ambitions of every member of the clan ring and family head, there are short writeups for every neighbouring clan; descriptions of clan treasures; a fully fleshed-out heroquest (The Seduction of Gwyncariad) and hints of others; and local representatives of the Lunar Empire’s interests: religious, military and mercantile.
A gazetteer details ancient and modern landmarks throughout the Vale, many with fascinating local features and myths (and many with “eye-splitting Celtic names”). The book closes with six pages of Rumours and a nine-page “who’s who” indexing the name, tribe, clan, cult, faction and function of every named character in the region. This is essentially a gigantic bag of plot-hooks and thwarted ambitions, with complications aplenty for any sandbox campaign.
The author promises to follow up with a Lysang Scenario Pack holding three scenarios in this setting. “All three scenarios have been written with the objective to kick-start long-term campaign dynamics: none of them allows for perfect solutions since the best campaigns are woven from scenario loose ends.” I’m not sure that’s true – some of the best campaigns grow out of sourcebooks like this.
It's well worth a look, even if the period (1615-ish) and systemless / stat-free nature of the book aren’t entirely your cup of tea.