A medium human settlement halfway between Mourning and the Vulcan Rim, Murfreesboro is the home stomping ground of legendary human adventurer Hulan.
Hulan traveled with a party of diverse (but all at least half-human) companions over the past century, and in addition to bringing back numerous trophies and stories, the high adventuring taxes in Murfreesboro allowed for the construction of numerous public works in his honor. One such work is the Hulan aqueduct, which supplies clean water from a mysterious spring source discovered by the legendary band of adventurers.
In addition to Hulan, Murfreesboro boasts a reputation for the finest percussive instrument construction. Due to the nature of the cavern in which it is built, Murfreesboro also has access to rare breeds of yellow and orange Darkmantles, whose hides are finely suited to such fates. It is in Murfreesboro that the popular public sport of mantle-spearing was invented, and poles for such activities are regularly exported to all the nearby caverns.
While the poles themselves are little more than fire-hardened spongy mushroom tipped with a hunk of metal, the ability of major and minor nobles to purchase such poles for themselves and their retainers has allowed for a greater prestige. Additionally, city-level artifices of authority have galvanized around keeping the precise details of shaft-hardening secret. Both of these developments are reflected in the lives of Murfreesboro’s citizenry.
As with many human settlements, a major fixture of Murfreesboro’s cityscape is the domed temple of Marduk. Open to the public for adventurer solicitation, healing, and consultation with Mardukite oracles and doctrinal experts, this structure is a pillar of the human community. However, in the grand scheme of Mardukite faith, it is a backwater temple.
Those notes aside, Murfreesboro is a racially homogenous settlement. Non-humans, particularly Elves and Tengus, are subjected to particular scrutiny on attempted entry, while Strix, Goblins (and their larger kin), Dragonkin, and Halflings are more or less always denied entry to the city proper unless under specific orders from the ruling council. Due to a reciprocity arrangement with the nearby Dwarf enclave of Deep River, Dwarves are allowed to pass through Murfreesboro en route elsewhere and to patronize the establishments normally reserved for citizens, but are unable to gain permanent status.
The government of Murfreesboro is oligarchal, with the remaining companion of Hulan, a senile and ancient half-elf named Yestri, serving as a figurehead for the decisions of a broader ruling council. This conciliator government tends to advance a human-centered agenda, and is especially kind on human businesses who provide services to adventuring parties.
The general layout of Murfreesboro is a city center in the midst of a great cavern with a constructed wall. A large and imposing gate closes the cavern off from the external tunnels, but during days of business, stopping at this gate is a relatively quick step. On the outside of the dividing wall, establishments set up by citizens allow passing adventurers as well as members of entry-denied races the opportunity to engage in commerce. At the close of each day of business, the city guard shoos all non-citizens out the external-most gate and allows the citizens free passage back into the city proper through a second, less imposing, gate. This inner gate’s appearance is deceiving, as it is equipped with the same defensive fixtures as the outer gate.