In South Peloria the cults of Dendara and Ernalda overlap, often with great confusion.
As we all know, Ernalda is the great Earth Goddess of the Theyalans. Her cult is centered on what was once Ernaldela – the land of the Earth Goddesses. Her cult is about Earth, agriculture, fertility, women, childbirth, and community – she is closely associated with the Grain Goddesses. She is also associated with the malevolent aspects of earth through Ty Kora Tek, Maran Gor, and Babeester Gor. Ernalda has many husband-protectors – Orlanth, Yelm, Yelmalio, Flamal, Magasta, Storm Bull, even Argan Argar. Although she generally lets her husband-protectors manage affairs of war and disputes, her priestesses wield great influence and power.
Dendara is the Earth Queen of the Lunar Heartlands. Her cult is centered on Dara Happa, and her cult is also about Earth, fertility, women, childbirth, and community – and like Ernalda she is also closely associated with the Grain Goddesses. However, Dendara has but one husband – Imperial Yelm, and is associated with the malevolent aspects of earth through Gorgorma. Dendara’s priestesses are greatly respected, but must defer to Yelm’s priests and lords. She has a “horsey” aspect as well, as Dendara took pity upon Hippoi and cared for her.
Despite the best efforts of the God Learners, both goddesses consistently denied recognition with the other. They are clearly closely related, but not the same. See the Feathered Horse Queen, who revealed that the great goddess La-Ungariant of Dragon Pass is Ernalda, and not, as all other Pure Horse People believe, Dendara.
In Saird, both goddesses can be found, distinct but often intertwined. Ernalda-Dendara are often clustered together, sharing the same temple, like how the Great Mother and Hecate shared a temple at Samothrace. At Filichet, there is an echo of the ancient Hippoi/Hyalor cults, where the Hippoi goddess – called Redaylda – is the patron of the queens and is associated with the Ernalda cult. Other stories associate her with the ancient Vingkotlings and still others with the Hyalorings of the Dawn. Redaylda is an echo of La-Ungariant/Sorana Tor cult around the Feathered Horse Queen as well.
In the province of Holay, the High Priestess of Redaylda is ruler of the city of Filichet and Queen of Holay. Holay has been a Lunar client state since around 1460 or so and the Lunar Empire has long supported the queens of Holay.
Filichet is an important religious center in the Lunar Provinces. It is best known for its great temple to Ernalda called the Bell Temple, where the Earth goddesses and their consorts are entertained by music created by racks of chime bells. The Bell Temple includes major temples to Pel-Oria and Redaylda, minor temples to Dendara, and Orlanth Adventurous, and shrines to Asrelia, Babeester Gor, Gorgorma, Maran Gor, Ty Kora Tek, and Voria. The Bell Temple recruits and supports the Bell Temple heavy cavalry regiment, a famed unit of the Lunar army.
The city also has a major temple to Barntar Thunderous, with shrines to each of the Seven Lightbringers, and minor temples to Gustbran and Humakt. The market has a major temple shared by Issaries and Etyries, with a minor temple to Lokarnos. There is a great temple to the Seven Mothers, with a major temple to Hwarin Dalthippa, and a shrine to the Red Goddess. The city has a major temple to Yelmalio and a minor temple to Yelm, with shrines to Hyalor and Uleria.
What is interesting is that this seemed an easy identification for the God Learners, but the goddesses rejected it! There’s far more concrete difference between Ernalda and Dendara, than between say Yelmalio-Kargzant-Elmal.
Not twins either! Ernalda and Dendara deny even having the same genealogy!