Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, we're told, will take place on the Isle of Solstheim, setting for Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind expansion Bloodmoon, former seat of the Nords and home to a werewolf race. Since the events of Morrowind, the land of Solstheim has been repopulated by Dunmer refugees from Vvardenfell, following the eruption of the volcanic Red Mountain.
Solstheim is identical to Skyrim in terms of climate, but as you may have deduced from the trailer, the local culture, flora and fauna are dramatically different. Here are some places we'd like to visit or revisit, perhaps on dragonback.
1. Castle Karstaag
The first icon mentioned in the Skyrim patch notes is Castle Karstagg. During the events of Bloodmoon, this ice-built fortress was inhabited by Reiklings (small blue skinned humanoids) and a single Frost Giant called Karstaag. Karstagg was killed during the events of Bloodmoon, but his castle still stands.
2. Temple of Miraak
The temple is the second icon to be mentioned in the latest Skyrim patch notes. Miraak has not been mentioned in any Elder Scrolls lore, as far as we know, so this is a mystery. We expect murderous priests, nubile captives about to be sacrificed, an altar full of gold and an old lady at the back, praying cautiously.
3. Standing Stones
The third icon appearing in the Skyrim patch notes is a generic "standing stone" icon. There are Sun, Wind, Water, Earth, Beast, and Tree stones scattered around the island, each of which forms part of a ritual practised by the local Nord tribe, the Skaals.
4. Skaal Village
This is a peculiar village on the north coast, relatively closed to strangers, which is full of hippy Nords. That's village in the Skyrim sense, i.e. "cluster of about ten huts".
5. The Telvanni Tower
The fourth icon to appear in the patch notes is a 'TelvanniTower'. House Telvanni is the richest of the Six Great Houses of Morrowind's Dark Elves. Telvanni wizard lords (often necromancers, liches or vampires) tend to live in isolation and be contemptuous of all other living creatures, even other Telvanni, explaining this lonely tower (which may have no staircase, given the Telvanni's excessive use of levitation magic). Despite these negative associations, House Telvanni was proactive in closing Oblivion gates during the Oblivion crisis.
Young Telvanni retainers are often sent into the wilderness to construct their towers, as it's illegal to build on the more populated areas of the Morrowind province. Room here for a few additions to the Hearthfire building tool set, Bethesda?
6. Raven Rock
During Bloodmoon, this was a new town built by the East Empire Company over a vast ebony deposit (essential for all the Empire's armour and swords) and an ancient burial chamber. In Oblivion, you can meet people in the Imperial capital who fled the town when the money ran out and the Nords reclaimed it. Whether the town is still Nord or has been taken over by the Dunmer is unknown. (Incidentally, there's also a town of the same name in Fallout 3.)