"Tales from the Ninth World" is a digitally disturbed PDF, written by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain containing three short stories set in the upcoming Numenera RPG. The PDF file also has a three page preview of the Numenera Core Rule book entitled "Welcome to the Ninth World." I recently bought this PDF from RPG NOW for the low, low price of 2.99 USD.
The Ninth World, Numenera's world setting, is a science fantasy representation of what earth might be like a billion years in the future. The "World" we know and love is long gone and the current age is built on the defunct marvels of technology of the Eight previous Worlds. The most recent incarnation of humanity struggling to survive amongst the horrors unleashed by their predecessors. Their level of technological mastery is comparable to our medieval time period with the exception of "old world" devices salvaged and discovered by brave and diligent adventurers. These technological relics are called "Numenera" the three classes of adventurers changed with their retrieval are Glaives, Jacks, and Nanos.
"Tales from the Ninth World" features three short stories:
"The Smell of Lighting" by Monte Cook. It's about a kid named Faber who lives with his family in an Castle that has the seemly supernatural ability to grow and self expand.
"The Taste of Memory" by Shanna Germain. The protagonist in this tale is a self defined thief and ink addict named Marseyl. She a Jack who trades the Numenera she finds on jobs for ink; a combination hallucinogenic drug and tattoo ink that allows the user to experience false memories
"The Sound of a Beast" by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain. A miss matched team of adventurers are on a mission to escort a captured but completely complainant varjellen. The narrative start with the main character, a were-beast style shapeshifter, laminating about his annoyance with a party member named Palmer and his strong desire to kill him.
All three stories were very original and paint a great picture of what it must be like to live in a broken world haunted by the shadows of eight grand civilizations All three also end leaving many questions unanswered, perhaps keeping the stories open for future installments. In my humble option, the best of the lot is "The Taste of Memory." The idea of Ink felt very true to the source material and it had a likable yet highly flawed leading lady. On the other hand, the preview pages of the Numenera was a little bit of a let down. Most of the info presented can be found for free on their website, http://www.numenera.com/.Still, overall it was worth the three bucks.