I actually went back to the original draft, made a few tinkerings, and went with that. Later versions were cut for length but I think it works better long. Fantasy is a genre that benefits from more length. You can do more world building, which is important with secondary world fantasy.
Reading it again reminded me of what kind of stories I like to read and, therefore, what kind of stories I need to be writing. But I also need to stretch myself. My current story idea is to take one of my existing short story fragments and flip the gender of the protagonist.
Let’s see if I can kill two birds with one stone.