Skyrim: Dragonborn trailer goes live

Posted by CB Droege

Bethesda Softworks has released the first trailer for its upcoming Skyrim DLC.

It was almost two weeks ago when folks began speculating about what the upcoming DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim would be like. We knew the name, and some of the code had been uncovered, but after this weekend's teaser image reveal the speculation really ramped up. One of the communities major assumptions was wrong however, and it threw off the predictions.

The title of the new content is Dragonborn. This hinted that the story in the new adventure would revolve around developing the protagonists major Dragonborn abilities, or deepening the lore, but the title doesn't refer to the protagonist, it refers to the new villain.

Pretty much everything else that the community had come up with was right: The hero will be traveling to Solstheim, there will be new armor and weapon types based on that region's styles, and there will be dragon-riding, though it's still not clear if it will be actual player-controlled rides, or if it's just canned scenes. That masked armor in the teaser image though is not our Dragonborn

Another Dragonborn has risen, literally, over in Solstheim, an island province of Morrowind which is off the north-western coast of Skyrim. Many years ago, the Dragon Priest who was ruling Solstheim turned out to possess the innate Th'um, the way the Skyrim protagonist does. He started taking the lives and souls of the dragons he was supposed to be revering, and in his corner of the world, he became the ultimate power. When the dragons and Dragon Priests fell ages ago, however, he too fell. Now that the dragons are rising again, so too has this Dragonborn priest reawakened. Now Skyrim's hero must sail over to Solstheim to stop him.

Dragonborn is the third official DLC for Skyrim, but is the first to add new territory to explore. Solstheim is not insubstantial in size, it's aprox. the size of any of the existing Holds of Skyrim, increasing the size of the game's explorable area by about 10-15%. When we last saw the region, in an expansion for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, it contained one major city, Frostmarch, and a couple smaller settlements. Most of its area is covered in snowy hills and tundra, so it won't really  look all that different from Skyrim itself in geography. The architecture and fauna, however, will likely more closely resemble Vaardenfell. I would also expect a much higher Dunmer population, including among the nobility, since the land is part of the Morrowind territories.

We know from the code digging that some of the new locations will be Raven Rock, Miraak Temple, and Castle Karstaag, as well as at least one Telvanni Tower.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn will be available as of December 4, 2012. 

Update: The Dec. 4 release will be for XBLA only. Release for Steam and PS3 is likely coming soon after, but has not yet been announced.