The first reference to the Lightblades appears in the Dawn War, when the forces of Law overthrew Chaos's grip upon the world. In The History of the Dawn, Collinadius writes, "The Lords of Light forged four blades with which to carve madness and disorder from the clean bones of the earth. Blessed Theia placed these in her champions' hands so that they might perform the Great Work of the Dawn."

Translated into modern tongues, the names of the weapons are Darkbane, Demonbane, Dragonbane and Magebane. Each sword is proof against that for which it is named. All four blades glow brightly, especially when they are first pulled from the scabbard. This light apparently harms creatures of Chaos. As Collinadius writes, "When the Lightblades were drawn, it was as though four suns had risen upon the field, and the night blazed brighter than brightest day. The front rank of the foe withered and died in the light. But the rest came on."

Poplard's Thyatian Chronicle states that three 'Swords of the Dawn' were gathered at the Theian cathedral in Thyatis after the Dawn War. The fourth, Demonbane — said to be the greatest of the four — had been lost during the war, as corroborated by several sources, including the once-popular Chanson d'Alaric.

Darkbane was brought to Glantri by the priestesses of Trianoma several centuries ago, during the civil wars that tore the old Thyatian Empire apart. The 'Dawnblade' or 'Dayblade' stored in the Theian cathedral in Thyatis, which is used in the coronation ceremonies of the Thyatian imperial line, is almost certainly another Lightblade. The Temple's libraries do not clearly indicate the location of the fourth Lightblade; there are references to various holy blades, angelic blades and 'Sun Swords' which may or may not refer to Dragonbane or Magebane.

All references to the Lightblades indicate that they are meant for champions of Law. In her Lives of the Latter Emperors, Fiastra claims that the turning point in the old Thyatian Empire's fortunes came when the Emperor Floris "proved unable to take up the Holy Blade." None of the Temple's records involving the Lightblades speak of a test or trial, however, nor of any requirement to slay a companion.

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