Evening of 13 April
After meat and warming mead, I talk long with these courteous brothers.
"You speak Westron much better than I do."
"We hail from Rivendell, a refuge to many peoples. As children, we learned several languages... though we did not then value that instruction."
"Are twins common among Elves?"
"There are but a handful of pairs, our father included."
No honey-tongued diplomat, I finally blurt, "How old are you?"
"Why do you ask?"
Stout-hearted, my people consider me; surely I can withstand one raised Elven eyebrow?
'Tis a most uncanny habit: glancing at one another, then bursting into laughter.
"Forgive our mirth! Are you familiar with Lord Frumgar?"
"My forefather? He guided our journey to Langflood's wellsprings."
"We met him once, returning from Mirkwood; your people guarded the Old Ford then. We told him of Angmar's fall."
"Five hundred years ago?"
"Eldar lives are counted in ages... we have seen two thousand summers." I overlook his mute shock. "Your people prospered in the North. These Riders number fivefold their entire count then."
"Aye. We have many settlements now, scattered widely. Yet ever more we fend off encroachment by others. We love our lands, but our herds need more room."