"Go then," the king had said. "Gather your armies and carry our message to the Witch-Queen Malumbra. We shall resist her to our dying breaths!" At the head of her armies, the general marched on the Witch-Queen's horde. She used every tactic and trick, but the onslaught of ghouls, damned spirits, and twisted ogres overwhelmed her armies. Harsh months of campaigning left her with a single bloodied company, limping back to the castle to recommend capitulation.
No one challenged her at the city wall. No one greeted her at the castle gate. The throne room was vacant, its great fireplaces cold. She found the city abandoned, and found a notice declaring evacuation, dated after her departure.
She sent her soldiers on and waited in the castle. When Malumbra's monsters reached the city, they bore Malumbra by palanquin to the throne room. "Will you surrender?" asked the Witch-Queen.
"No." The general sounded tired. "My king spent me like a clipped coin. My people have mourned me. But I will never be yours."
"I'll rip your soul from the lands of the dead and enthrall you to my will," said Malumbra.
The general raised her sword. "Only if you can kill me."