A villainess has alienated a large chunk of her forces -- she can talk all she likes about how their wits were witched, but it won't bring them back -- and the other villainess holding down the lone wandering the countryside like a madwoman role, she needs more men-at-arms to continue as a menace.
To be sure, her husband had married her for her family's clout, which in that day and age means their men-at-arms. So, have her brother bring in new forces.
Which means that the field is wide open for his character. All that is required is that he bring the forces, and given family bonds of this era, he would have to be an odd duck ineed to weasel out of it.
Hmmm. . . hmm. . . perhaps he's a man who's content with his family lands and most determined that he will not be pried loose by any consideration. There are characters who would like to stay home, but none, thus far, who would resist even legitimate demands to leave.
Now I just have to turn him loose and see whether that works.