I have seen this question asked before and answered as "That can't happen". but this has happened to me a couple times and i assumed i just couldn't find it. however it happened with my dawnbreaker and i was disarmed in the doorway of a room with a hallway behind me. i'm sorry i searched for quite awhile in the small area of the hallway as well as the room. there was nothing else that could have hidden it in any way and i used my torches and light spells to try to find it and there is no way i missed it. not to mention i have seen things disappear when i picked something else up or moved something so i can say for certain that things do disappear (in this case at least the name appeared as i moved over it).

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    stuff falls thru floors\walls\ect all the time. hate to say it but it does. – Ender May 27 '13 at 16:21
  • i'm not familiar with console commands as i dont play on pc, but someone shoudl be able to tell you how to fly thru walls and floors and stuff to find it – Ender May 27 '13 at 16:23

It fell through the floor or ground mesh. I don't know who said "That can't happen," because it happens all the time.

Either reload a previous save, or use console commands (if on PC) to either walk through the floor or spawn in a replacement.

  • tcl will let you walk through things. Use it again to turn collision back on.
  • additem <item ID> <count> will give you an item. The item ID of Dawnbreaker is 0004e4ee.

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