"What, then, is a Thane? Some will tell you that a Thane is a proud or greedy man who makes himself a lord over others the better to satisfy his basest hungers. I tell you, my beloved son, that this is not so. Rather; a Thane is a servant. He serves his people, and all people, by standing between them and the darkness.
There is an impulse in this world, and in we its peoples, towards destruction and decay. Ungoverned, we will always, sooner or later, tear down whatever we have built, unlearn whatever we have learned. If there are to be no Gods to give us order, we must impose order upon ourselves lest we sink for ever into a chaos of cruelty and suffering. Such was the darkness we fell into at the departure of the Gods."
From Bloodheir, by Brian Ruckley