Skyrim: Dragonborn to contain clear Vaardenfell elements
Bethesda Softworks has released a number of screenshots for its upcoming Skyrim: Dragonborn expansion.
In Dragonborn, the Skyrim protagonist Dovahkiin travels to Solthsiem to face off against an ancient, long-dead dragon priest who was active before the dragons were eliminated from Tamriel.
Many years ago, the Dragon Priest who was ruling Solstheim turned out to possess the innate Th'um, the way the Dovahkiin 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, his rule was ended as well. 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. The 'Last Dragonborn' of the prophesies must go up against the first Dragonborn.
The expansion will include a plethora of additional content in addition to this new primary quest line. There will be lots of side quests, new shouts, several armor types, and a whole new land to explore which is roughly the size of one of the holds of Skyrim.
The new land will be similar in climate to the northern patches of Skyrim, rocky and snow-bound, but the architectural style and the creatures inhabiting the land will be more like what we saw back in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - except more heavily populated, since in the time of Skyrim, Vaardenfell itself is still inhospitable after the erruption of Red Mountain about 200 years earlier. Expect lots of rounded clay buildings, towers made of giant mushrooms, the occasional cliffracer, and lots of Dunmer, a race under-represented - and trodden - in Skyrim.
We have a number of new screenshots from the game, depicting the style of the new setting, and some of the charcaters, situation, and monsters therein. It's pretty obvious from these that we are indeed returning to a part of Vaardenfell which has changed little in 250 years:
If you missed it last week, here's the trailer:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn will be available as of December 4, 2012 for XBox360. Release for Steam and PS3 is likely coming soon after, but has not yet been announced.