Gunther is maybe one of several children, so there really is no place
for him at home....but he's a good fighter, so many clans would want
him--why he can command a well off wife. Also why Hilda's clan maybe
doesn't investigate too carefully: they wanted him.
> > Unfortunately, Gunther's parents won't let him marry HIlda, as
she isn't rich enough to
> > for it to be a good match. Bert and Hilda co-own the
> > stead, as their parents have died. Bert won't divide
> > the land; there isn't enough to form two steads. So,
> > Hilda accuses her own brother of coming home drunk,
> > making lewd advances to her, and beating and raping
> > her when she refuses in horror. Bert is outlawed, and
> > Hilda gets the stead, and the man she wants to marry.
The thing is that Bert did come home drunk--so drunk that he doesn't remember what happened, and he believed his sister. He spent the next many years thinking he deserved to be outlawed, and perhaps doing a lot of terrible things, thinking for some time that he was irredeemably damned already.
Or, if you want someone else still alive to deal with: Gunther was in on this from the beginning, and one of his sisters was there that night, and slept with Bert. He vaguely remembers having sex, but not the details. Maybe the original plan was that she would accuse Bert of rape but when it was clear he didn't remember her she faded out, or maybe it was always planned that she would not remember. Either way, she got pregnant. So the hero has a double cousin, who could get dragged in eventually (this doesn't need to come out at first)
> > No-one (except Gunther) realises that Hilda has borne
> > false witness. Gives a reason for Bert to rape her
> > when it all goes wrong (assuming that someone else in
> > the gang hadn't actually been the perpetrator of that
> > particular crime).
Maybe what makes everything fall apart is when they tell him he did not really commit rape? Thinking to make him feel better, and soothe their own concience? But after suffering for so long he figures he might as well be guilty of the crime for which he was punished. So maybe Hilda and Gunther were trying to make things right now, and that is when they go really wrong.
Or maybe all of that is getting a little too over the top, don't know.
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