There are a few common ways of keeping abreast with what’s going on in Altdorf. It’s a large city with over a hundred thousand inhabitants, and a multitude of things going on. And Altdorfers have a disposition towards the curious, some might even say nosy. Maybe it is of little surprise. There are politics going on in the capital that influence their lives, there’s the Storm of Chaos, the mutant purge, the hunt for witches … there’s plenty of things that the Altdorfers need to know to avoid getting into trouble.
The two most common channels of information is through leaflets or poster, and through gossip. Since most people of Altdorf, and indeed of the Empire, are illiterate it is my belief that mouth to mouth gossip is the grease that makes the wheels of the capital turn. Without gossiping there would be no common ground for people to build their lives upon, no shared experiences, fables, stories or advice. So people gossip. Where ever and when ever they meet they exchange greetings and a choice gossip or two. It comes as easily as talking about the weather, and the people of Altdorf do much rather gossip than pontificate about meteorological phenomena. The rumours and stories they exchange can be trivial, such as the best price of eggs, or of major political importance such as a new tax, or a set back in the war against chaos.
One very interesting part of the gossip phenomena of Altdorf is the role of the semi-literates, those who know how to read just a little. It is my firm belief that these people are, as a group, the origin of most of the political and more absurd and erroneous rumors that are spread. They read the official proclamations, news leaflets and posters and as they don’t understand but half of what is written they fill in the blanks using their own fevered imagination.