> Initiates are pretty common in the orlanthi society and initiates can do some pretty flashy stuff in HQ2! I mean, why build houses the regular way, when Ernalda initiates are like the earthbenders from Avatar? If a significant portion of the men are initiates Orlanth, you've got farmers eating lightning and shitting thunder. ;)
Basically, you build the houses the traditional way because that is how the magic has been established - see the cults of Durev (Orlanth everyman), Barntar, etc.
Growing a wall out of the earth has been a unique magic of the Pharaoh, at the Building Wall Battle, or (after significant preparation) by Lord Pavis from the remains of Paragua's Wall and the Faceless Statue. Sartar had such a magic performed in creating Boldhome's pockets and main wall. It isn't a way to build a stead.
(If you want that style of a society, visit the "Furies of Alera" series by Jim Butcher.)
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