Caiden led everyone through tricky, rocky paths, often slipping in between crags that they were surprised he could fit in - crags they hadn't even noticed. The Venator always waited and kept everyone in sight before he kept moving.
Eventually, after a rather long trek, they finally approached a cave nestled away deep in the mountains. It was hard to reach, but everyone made it.
To the giants, he commented, "Sorry to leave you out in the cold. I never expected any giants."
Caiden then entered, stopping in the mouth of the cavern to turn around and regard them.
The cave was furnished surprisingly well for a simple cave hidden in the Jagged Edge: there were several bedrolls made of furs and other animal skins, clearly pre-prepared for them - somehow. There were also supplies lining one wall of the cave: a few kegs, some tankards of various shapes and sizes and materials, and some preserved meats. It looked like just enough food for all of them, if they ate sparingly and shared.
In the very far back, they saw a strange, natural passageway in the wall, and just beyond it, they could make out something in the dark.
"Make yourselves at home," said Caiden, nodding toward the bedrolls in the cave. "Help yourselves to anything here. Just don't go back there," he gestured with a thumb back at the narrow, ominous passage leading deeper into the cave. "Consider it my bedroom."
He gestured at the kegs and added, "Two of those are Dwarven ale. The third is some orcish brew that might even kill you. I don't recommend it unless you're desperate and we run out of the other.
"You're all welcome to stay one or two nights, depending on how much rest you need," here, he glanced at the human peasants, particularly the old lady and the woman with the baby, as well as the injured dwarf who was still holding onto life. "I'll keep watch at night. But I'm not staying longer than that. If you want the cave after I leave, you can have it."
As he finished, one of the human peasants - this one a young man - came forward, continually glancing at the centaur, who had also accompanied them all this way, though not without excessive difficulty and much complaining under his breath.
"Venator," the peasant said in a quiet voice, "do you really expect us to... sleep in the same cave as these--" he glanced at the centaur, and at D'naaku, "these monsters? As a Venator, I would've expected...!"
"As a Venator," Caiden replied coldly, and without lowering his voice to the same level, "I know those 'monsters' can hear you. And I know these beastfolk aren't your enemies. You're sharing the cave."
The centaur, however, gave a haughty laugh. "If I wanted to harm you, weakling, I would've trampled you back at that camp."
That sent the peasant into a shaking fit of pure fear, and Caiden scowled, narrowing his eye at the centaur - which quelled even the beastman's bravery. "Show some respect," ordered Caiden. "Threaten anyone, and you'll regret it. Any of you."
The centaur crossed his arms, his horse tail flicking. "I will not cross you after what I've seen you do, monster hunter," he growled, and though he looked like he desperately wanted to, he said nothing more.
Caiden fixed him with a stony glare for a moment before saying tersely, "Good."
With that, things began to die down a little. The humans made their way to a corner, grabbing some bedrolls and preparing to rest, as the centaur went to the opposite corner and settled down, looking far more tired than he had behaved. Meanwhile, the dwarves also picked their own corner - though they were far closer to the humans than the beastman, who stayed alone. One dwarf fetched some tankards of Dwarven ale for himself and his companions, but otherwise they seemed little interested in mingling.
Caiden made his way toward the back of the cave, standing near the passage leading to what he had described as being his personal quarters. He just stood there, arms crossed, watching everyone. It looked like he considered once or twice approaching someone and speaking, but then he thought better of it.