Showcasing dragon mounts, new gear, and perhaps attempting to invoke some of that classic Morrowind magic with its new setting and narrative, last week’s trailer for Dragonborn, the second full expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, began Bethesda’s official unveiling process for what appears to be the game’s most ambitious add-on to date.

With Dragonborn taking flight in mere weeks for the Xbox 360 (Tuesday, December 4), the studio released even more details regarding the DLC today (and yes: even more than those culled from an October update’s source files), along with some captivating new screenshots exploring beyond last week’s trailer.We already know Dragonborn departs Skyrim for the province of Morrowind. Our Dovahkiin hero will journey to the island of Solstheim, to destinations both iconic and new. While there he’ll be confronted by perhaps his deadliest adversary: Tamriel’s very first Dragonborn — a dragon preist! — who happens to be plotting a return. The new bullet points shared by Bethesda, then, don’t drop any plots hints or reveal why the powerful dragon priest is readying a resurgence. They do, however, elucidate on some new spells, weapons, dragon shouts and exploration opportunities — which are apparently becoming the hallmarks of Skyrim DLC.

  • Explore Beyond Skyrim — Leave the province of Skyrim and travel to the coastal island of Solstheim. Encounter the Dark Elven settlers of Raven Rock and the native Skaal, as you unravel the mystery of a Dragonborn’s return.
  • Become the Ultimate Dragonborn — Harness the power of the Voice as you face off against the first Dragonborn. Wield new shouts and spells including Dragon Aspect — allowing you to summon the inner power of a dragon to deliver colossal blows and strengthen other shouts.
  • New Powers — Discover dark powers as you journey into a new Daedric realm. Collect books of forbidden knowledge and choose new paths for your skills and abilities.
  • New dungeons, creatures, weapons, and more — Suit up in Bonemold and Chitin armors and wield Stalhrim weapons as you navigate through a myriad of dungeons. Battle formidable foes like Ash Spawn, Rieklings, and more.

Another facet of Dragonborn that still seems largely out of our purview is the artistic direction Bethesda is taking for its sojourn into Morrowind. Clearly, a fantastic framework is in place from 2002’s The Elder Scroll’s III: Morrowind; a pure HD replica of the world would likely be enough to please most fans. But with everything unique Dragonborn plans to offer in terms of tangible gameplay — not mention the leaps in lore the series taken over the last ten years — it’s only natural to assume the upcoming DLC will have its own distinct aura.

The screenshots below give us an idea of what to expect when encountering cultists, wandering through the town of Raven Rock or slashing through an Ash Spawn. They even hail the return of netch’s — floating, poison-spewing jellyfish and a Morrowind favorite.

Dragonborn will be available for download over Xbox Live on on December 4 for 1600 Microsoft Points. While a PC edition should release 30 days later, we’re not holding out hope for the unfortunate Skyrim owners on the PlayStation 3.

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.