The Gods' Swords are the most sacred relics of the Yamani Isles. Legends tell that the fire goddess Yama gave the two golden swords to her children. The short sword is the sword of law, without which the Yamani consider people to be animals. The long sword is the sword of duty, the killing sword. Kel is told that without duty to lords, to families, and to the law, people are less than animals.
In the year 447, Lady Ilane of Mindelan, accompanied by her daughter Keladry, rescues the swords during a Scanran pirate attack on the Imperial Palace. It is for this reason that the emperor welcomes the Mindelan family into his inner circle and agrees to a treaty and marriage alliance with Tortall.