Hey, how about an excerpt? No context necessary.
Many came to visit Conya when she was free, for the witch woman wasn’t needed to heal often. She passed her time preparing herbs and collars, sharing stories with anyone available to listen. When they drank, they were merry. He had seen fights spill into streets in the Empire and the fighters hauled away by armored police. He had seen wealthy men drinking, staring sullenly into their glasses.
This reminded him of home, of drunken warriors holding trials of strength in firelit rooms or dark fields lit with wavering touches. Or of hearing the songs of farmers weaving their way home from the fields and homekeepers singing in front of their homes. The Thurzin were free people, free from the Empire’s laws. The homekeepers and farmers worked long hours and rested equally well, while the warriors fought in the Rajah’s wars to keep them free.
He wanted to go home, to his mother’s warm kitchen, where his grandmothers helped her cook bread-wrapped meat and the thick stews that kept the warriors and farmers working. To the longhouses of the warriors, where it smelled of steel and leather and wool, where there was always the clang of weapons and curses. To the trees where the young warriors would perch to watch the farmers work and trade stories of their training and compare wounds.
He could go home. If he was strong, if he was brave, he could go home. They would conquer this place, sell it to the Rajah or build warrior longhouses and family roundhouses here, and he could go home. Even with no honor, ever if he’d be reduced to a farmer or homekeeper, when the Thurzin conquered here, he could go home.
I reduced my goal to 15k words, but I’d still like to make it to 25k. My current count is 5k, but I have more to get typed up today.