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Dragonborn: Fans discover clues of next Skyrim DLC

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The next DLC addition for Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be called “Dragonborn.” It’s set on the island of Solstheim, includes new weapons and armor, and your character may even learn how to ride a dragon. At least that’s what a collection of clues recently unearthed by Skyrim fans seems to suggest.

By digging into the source code of the latest Skyrim patch (1.8 for those keeping score at home), a Skyrim forums user known as “Mardoxx” uncovered a number of very suggestive items that seemingly outline Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming plans. Items like this one…

$Crafting_$DLC2ArmorBonemold BONEMOLD
$Crafting_$DLC2ArmorChitin CHITIN
$Crafting_$DLC2ArmorNordic NORDIC
$Crafting_$DLC2ArmorStalhrim STALHRIM
$Dragonborn Quests Completed Dragonborn Quests Completed
$DRAGONBORN_ESMName Dragonborn

… which not only suggests upcoming downloadable content for the PlayStation 3, but also outlines four different armor types labeled for inclusion in “DLC2” and repeatedly uses the word “Dragonborn.” Why Dragonborn? As it turns out, Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media Inc. received a trademark (.pdf) on the word on September 5, 2012. That wouldn’t be so abnormal, given that the protagonist of Skyrim is constantly referred to as Dragonborn, except that ZeniMax’s trademark application specifically points out (.pdf) that this mark is to be used as a name for “computer game software for use with computers and video game consoles; downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices.”

Even more interesting though, is this item uncovered in the patch:


That “DragonMounted” prefix you see in all of the above entries is very similar to the “HorseMounted” prefix you’d find in Skyrim’s code immediately preceding various actions a player can perform while mounted. This could be a suggestion that the next DLC includes a short, scripted dragon ride in which your character can freely use their items, or it might suggest that players will be able to rely on dragon steeds. Either way, dragon riding seems to be a facet of this next add-on.

Skyrim map markersAs for how Mardoxx figured out where this hypothetical Dragonborn DLC would be set, while digging through the patch’s source code he came across a set of map markers, like those seen in Skyrim’s original iteration. Instead of being tagged with the names of any known Skyrim locations however, these markers all bore the names of Solstheim locations. That image at right includes the headers, and according to Mardoxx they are labeled, “clockwise from top, Telvanni Tower, To Solstheim, Raven Rock, Castle Karstaag, Standing Stones, To Skyrim, Miraak Temple.”

Unfortunately lacking from Mardoxx’s findings is any indication on when we might expect to see this DLC. Given the pace at which Bethesda Softworks has been releasing new content for Skyrim it seems likely that an announcement might appear in the next month. We’ll just have to wait and see how much of this stuff is actually included.

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Earnest Cavalli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Earnest Cavalli has been writing about games, tech and digital culture since 2005 for outlets including Wired, Joystiq…
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