OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To give one anonymous Mandalrian's view on the antiquated, yet culturally significant role that bes'uliik riders held in various Mandalorian circles
- Image Credit: "Machine Hunters" by sandara, edited by me
- Media Name: Tal'nappa: Blood Riders
- Format: Holobook
- Distribution: Inter-Planetary
- Length: Long
- Description: Tal'nappa was a non-fiction novel that discussed the significance of bes'uliik riders to the Mandalorian culture. Despite its name, it only references Tal'nappa a handful of times and instead devotes much of its time picking apart a collection of historical works, diagrams, military strategies, and schematics to paint a concise history of the various droid mounts that the Mandalorians have used throughout their history. It also showed a side of Mandalorians not commonly seen in the Galaxy, one of a caring lifetime friend and caretaker.
- Author: Reiko
- Publisher: University of Alderaan
- Reception: In its initial release Alderaan and the Madnalore sector saw a warm reception however in the core and deep core saw heavy criticism for its apologetic tone towards Mandalorian war crimes, which was the reason they lost their ability to utilize Bes'uliik in the first place. Many argued that they still were committing war crimes simply by using them in the current day and age. Seen as brutal and uncivilized the bes'uliik were greatly feared by supporters of neutering the Mandalorian military. The book was subsequently banned on many of the Core Worlds before a second edition was released where Reiko in their revised introduction made it clear that they did not condone any of the past war crimes the Mandalorians committed, nor did they support claims of war crimes from recent conflicts.
Tal'nappa's chapters were split into three sections. The first section delved into the history of the bes'uliik, the riders, and the legendary Beast Smiths that constructed the largely hand-crafted droids. The fact that these were droids was a part of the main narrative of the first section, which the author suggested was often hard to tell the way the droids and riders interacted. Some technical details were given here, but it was obvious that this was not the point of the first section. The ups and downs of the bes'uliik's history and the several hundred year span of time where the Republic took the beasts away from their riders was well documented through use of ancient documents, barely discernible holorecordings, and holoimages left over from several hundred years ago.
The second section detailed the cultural significance of the bes'uliik, the riders, and the Beast Smiths whom made them. The craft, style, and influence of several renowned Beast Smiths was recorded here as well as historically significant Riders, clans, and individual machines. The section spent several chapters praising Mandalorian Beast Smiths for their clever use of native and exotic fauna in their design language. It also went into curiously deep detail on the phenomenon on Tal'nappa, the book's namesake. Reiko noted how the title only shows up a few times throughout hundreds of years worth of documents however recalls the name from their childhood on Concord Dawn from stories. Audio logs only confirmed their anecdotal stories as the word came up in conversations regarding particular precursor clan members of famous riding clans in today's galaxy such as Clan Sarad and Clan Namadi.
The third and final section of the book is dedicated almost entirely to military strategy and tech jargon. It is rumored that the final section was partially written by Gilamar Skirata, who was one of Mandalore's top authorities on the craft of Bes'uliik riding and creation. The first and middle chapters were incredibly technical and included various classes and sub-types of bes'ulik in an attempt to dismantle the stereotype that there was only one kind of Mandalorian War Droid, which many readers reported to find unsettling. Weapons were also discussed, especially the importance of the shockwave generator rods, the defacto main weapon on any self respecting bes'uliik war droid. The final chapter again attempted to drive home the importance in Mandalorian society placed on a rider and their bond to their bes'uliik. It was stated in the final pages that the bond was unlike anything in the galaxy and closed on a story of one loyal bes'uliik whom was put to rest with their rider in a traditional Mandalorian burial for great warriors and cast into the sun of Manda'yaim.