In a Victorian city on an apocalyptic world, a haberdasher has gained social power. All things pertaining to the Victorian life circa 1880 would be proper here, save for the equine industry. He has established a high-quality reputation providing quality products and services, generating word-of-mouth recommendations. For his craft, he interfaces with assorted artisans and offers custom fittings or consultations, further elevating his standing among customers. I’m trying to determine which connection is the most logical pathway a haberdasher would use to discreetly propagate his blackmail and extortion communiques.
His role is a purveyor of intelligence for the underworld. I’m trying to avoid obvious interfaces with seedy thugs and lowlifes which could tarnish his carefully manicured reputation. He needs an interface which can travel in both those social strata unaffected. What would be a typical connection for his profession that could serve this purpose; who he could be seen with and no eyebrows would raise?
There are five cities in the world, each with their own major markets and products, networked by train and airship. I’m basically looking for a liaison this haberdasher would have with vast reach and would be likely corruptible.
The goal is building a "door" in my criminal underworld society that can safely transport intelligence without getting dirty. Think of it as designing a spaceship that need a door to keep bad air out, how do you engineer that? Well, my spaceship is a society, and my door is a courier, and the "bad air" is a soiled reputation by being seen with anyone unsavory. My world is not a spaceship, it's a society. Doors look different, but they're still just doors.