That cuts the deepest.
Every story needs a villain.
The legend is that there was a mercenary who worked for a local warlord. He fell in love with the warlord’s daughter. They were married in secret. When the warlord found out, the mercenary was condemned to this pit. But then he exiled him instead. The mercenary understood that the daughter had secured his release, but what he could not know was the true price of his freedom.
She took his place in the pit. And she was with the child.