Peace and freedom do you say? The North would have known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them. But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from the sunless woods, they fly from us. What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave? And yet, less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. “Strider” I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march from foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.
“Let Riko be King,” Kevin said, with the exaggerated enunciation of the thoroughly sloshed. “Most coveted, most protected. He’ll sacrifice every piece he has to protect his throne. Whatever. Me?” Kevin gestured again, meaning to indicate himself but too drunk to get his hand higher than his waist. “I’m going to be the deadliest piece on the board.”