Short Fuse (story)

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Disambig icon.png This article is about the personal story quest. For the Engineer trait, see Short Fuse.
Biography VAL-A Golem.png

Short Fuse

1325 AE
Personal story
Interested Parties
Hexane Regrade
(Metrica Province)
Applied Development Lab
(Rata Sum)
Asura tango icon 20px.png Asura
VAL-A Golem
Preceded by
Biography VAL-A Golem.png Serving Up Trouble
Followed by
Biography VAL-A Golem.png I Smell a Rat
Biography VAL-A Golem.png Bad Business

Short Fuse is the second part of the personal story storyline Interested Parties for asura characters who chose the VAL-A Golem as their first invention. You have to obtain the modified VAL-A blueprints, however Mink and Keppa will only give them to you if you beat their golems in a fight.


Inquire about my blueprints in the Rata Sum archives.

  • Check with Rata Sum's archivist.

Attend the golem-fighting competition.

  • Meet Zojja at the tournament grounds.
  • Ask Keppa about the blueprints.
  • Ask Mink about the blueprints.
  • Check back with Zojja.
  • Enter the tent and begin the throwdown.
  • Golem fight!
  • Get Mink's blueprints.
  • Get Keppa's blueprints.
  • Return to your lab in Rata Sum.
  • Check all three sets of blueprints.
  • Choose your target: Mink or Keppa?


Click here to edit the reward data

All professions


Talk with who needs to be talked to, after that you'll be transformed into a golem and will have to win three fights with other golems.

Engineers can make the fights much easier by laying turrets, as they won't be destroyed upon entering the golem and healing turrets will heal the golem. Also, if you equip an engineering kit before entering the golem, you get to use those weapon skills instead of the golem's.

Your golem
Five skills: Basic melee attack with no cooldown, ranged attack with cooldown, an attack that applies Vulnerability, AoE attack and heal (heals about 50%). Bear in mind that your golem is rather slow.
Ally golem (only if you're doing the story with another player).
Two skills: long-cast, 0 damage AoE Weakness with no cooldown, and long-cast, medium damage Knockdown with 20 second cooldown.
Basic Mark I model, nothing special, punch him until he's dead.
BIT-08 and BYT-09
Two smaller Mark I golems, from time to time they "overcharge" and gain run and attack speed but they should pose no problems either.
This one requires a bit of movement and keeping your distance. While above 50% health he will perform cold-based attacks: First is a cold explosion centered on him that causes damage and chills (if you are in melee range when the red circle appears you won't make it out). Second is a channelled cold ray that will immobilize you and cause damage. If you keep to the left side of the golem you will only take minor damage and the enemy will be open for attacks. Below 50% he will switch to fire: flame shield (Burns you if you attack) and a rather wide AoE attack, keep your distance and don't attack when his shield is on.

After the fight is over return to your lab, check the blueprints and decide whether to go after Mink or Keppa.



Open world[edit]



  • Shrieksy (if a member of the College of Statics)




Open World[edit]

Archivist Grep: Welcome to the archives, Savant! I'm always happy to help a budding genius. What can do for you today? [sic]
<Character name>: I need to check on a design I filed a while back. Has anyone signed out the blueprints for my VAL-A golem in the past few weeks?
Archivist Grep: I'll say they have! Savant designs are always a hot ticket. Mink, Keppa, and even Councillor Haia have all accessed your little treasure recently.
<Character name>: Councillor Haia? I'm honored. But I'm not familiar with Mink or Keppa. Where can I find them?
Archivist Grep: Oh, they like to...test their "metal" against other golemancers, if you know what I mean. Mum's the word, though. The Council frowns on golem throwdowns.
<Character name>: Thanks, Grep. Listen, could you send word to Zojja? Tell her I've got a lead, and to meet me at the next golem throwdown...with a viable entry.
Archivist Grep: Sure! Anything for the Snaff Savant. I'll be sorry to miss that bout, though. Good luck! Give Mink and Keppa my best, and your worst.

Hexane Regrade[edit]

Initial cutscene:

Zojja: I got the word from Grep, and I brought you a golem to fight with. It's no Mr. Sparkles, but it's equal to any you are likely to face.
Zojja: Victory is still down to you and your piloting skills. Another thing: don't think my apology means that I'm at your beck and call now.
<Character name>: Not at all. I just figured you'd want to be kept in the loop. Like you said, clearing my name keeps Snaff's out of the gutter.
Zojja: Don't get cheeky with me. I invented the biting sarcastic rejoinder, you know. Now, have you spoken to Mink and Keppa yet?
<Character name>: Well, no. I figured I'd introduce myself by beating their golems into scrap.
Zojja: Give them a chance to come clean first. Fun's fun, but this is serious business.

Talking with NPCs before talking to Mink and Keppa:

Zojja: Walk around and get a feel for the combat arena. Then check in with Mink and Keppa.
Talk end option tango.png I'll do that.
Elli: Hey, you're the Snaff prize Savant! Amazing work on your golem-suit-thinger. I'm hardly even bitter about it beating out my holomancy project.
Talk more option tango.png I don't remember you from the Snaff Prize contest. Who are you?
I'm Elli. I was voted out as a semi-finalist. Stupid, stuffy ol' councillors.
Talk more option tango.png Did you say your specialty was holomancy?
Absolutely! I'll be using my project to announce the tournament. The Snaff prize judges thought it was useless, but I beg to differ. Loudly!
Talk end option tango.png I look forward to seeing it in action. Good luck!
Talk end option tango.png Stuffy, indeed. I look forward to seeing your work, Elli.
Talk end option tango.png Right. You don't sound bitter at all. See ya.
Hronk: So, it's the Snaff Prize Savant, huh? I never thought you'd attend this kind of gearfest. It's beneath me, too, but…well…
Talk more option tango.png Hronk? Are your ears turning red?
Fine, fine! Yes, I come here a lot. These fights make for good construction trials. And…I admit, I'm kind of a fan of Kepa's[sic] work. Her work! What do you think I am?
Talk end option tango.png Relax. You're not my target.
Talk end option tango.png Sure, sure. Have fun watching the fights.
Kozzak: Good day, <Character name>. I was just out walking my pet, Shrieksy, but when I heard you were competing—wow! I had to come watch the fights.
Talk more option tango.png Competing? Hang on, I haven't even signed up.
And yet the betting's already 3-to-1! Someone must have made an assumption—but I hope you'll compete. Good luck!
Talk end option tango.png 3-to-1? I could make a grip with those odds...
Talk end option tango.png Good to see you, too. Hope your pet enjoys the fight.
Overzealous Golemancer: You entering the tournament? My CLUB 505 will dance on your golem's broken parts!
Talk end option tango.png That's all you've got? Really? Did you fail Mega-insult Soliloquy 102 in college?
Professor Anni: Hello, Savant! I'm Professor Anni, of the College of Statics. Zojja contracted my golem for your fights. Do you like it?
Talk more option tango.png Zojja contracted your golem? Why not just let me use one of her own?
And let you bust up one of her precious "Sparkles" models? Are you crazy?
Talk more option tango.png Okay…fair. Can I ask something else?
Talk more option tango.png Tell me about the golem.
You'll control the golem via remote. It's got a standard interface: just mash the first button, and you'll be fine.
Talk more option tango.png Good to know. Can I ask something else?
Talk end option tango.png Will do. Thanks.
Talk end option tango.png It's no Mr. Sparkles, but it'll have to do.
Tag-Team Golemancer: Our golem may be small, but it's got a heck of a short-range projectile impact concussion!
Talk more option tango.png Our golem? You seem to have your numbers backward.
Nonsense! You will die terribly! Your golem, I mean. And by "dead," I mean golemicly speaking.
Talk end option tango.png Noted.
Talk end option tango.png Walking away now.

Talking with Keppa and Mink:

Keppa: Why are you bothering me? Can't you see I'm busy with my, um, entourage...?
Talk quest option tango.png Your entourage...?
Yes. These fine-furred fellows fervently frisk the fighting floor, finding functional fragments.
Talk quest option tango.png Fascinating, Sort of like finding and fiddling with my VAL-A golem blueprints?
Yes, though I improved upon your original design greatly. So many unnecessary parts. Terrible for mass production.
Dignity Do you agree that I should, by right of original invention, see your modifications?
How about this: I'll show you blueprints if you show me what your golem can do in a throwdown. Give those skritt some scrap to pick up!
Talk end option tango.png Okay, you asked for it. I'll show, then you'll tell.
Ferocity Hand over those modified blueprints. Now.
How about this: I'll show you blueprints if you show me what your golem can do in a throwdown. Give those skritt some scrap to pick up!
Talk end option tango.png Okay, you asked for it. I'll show, then you'll tell.
Charisma I must look at them to see what genius improvements you've made!
How about this: I'll show you blueprints if you show me what your golem can do in a throwdown. Give those skritt some scrap to pick up!
Talk end option tango.png Okay, you asked for it. I'll show, then you'll tell.
Talk end option tango.png I'll leave you to your own...devices.
Mink: You look familiar. Here to serve refreshments during the fight?
Talk quest option tango.png Amusing. Speaking of servers, I heard you'd built some VAL-A golems…
Sure, I saw your blueprints, but your version was far too slow. It clearly needed more raw power, some get-up-and-go!
Dignity Would you agree that I should, by right of original invention, look over your modifications?
A likely excuse, this VAL-A of yours. Let's just match our golemancy in the throwdown, and then we'll discuss my technique.
Talk end option tango.png I assumed you'd rather discuss this before your humiliating defeat.
Ferocity Hand over those modified blueprints. Now.
A likely excuse, this VAL-A of yours. Let's just match our golemancy in the throwdown, and then we'll discuss my technique.
Talk end option tango.png I assumed you'd rather discuss this before your humiliating defeat.
Charisma Fascinating. I'll bet I could learn a lot from seeing your improved plans.
A likely excuse, this VAL-A of yours. Let's just match our golemancy in the throwdown, and then we'll discuss my technique.
Talk end option tango.png I assumed you'd rather discuss this before your humiliating defeat.
Talk end option tango.png I'll be serving something up for you, all right. Don't go anywhere.

After talking to both Mink and Keppa:

Zojja: Hey, Savant. Over here.
Zojja beckons to <Character name>.

Talking with Keppa and Mink again before the fight:

Keppa: Smash them up! Pry those arms and armatures loose—I need the spare parts!
Talk end option tango.png This is going to be fun.
Mink: You may have created the original VAL-A, but your scrapper is nothing compared to my OVR 9000! It's soda-cooled!
Talk end option tango.png Pfft. You don't stand a chance.

Talking with Zojja before the fight:

Zojja: It looks as if you're going to have to fight in the throwdown.
Talk quest option tango.png It also looks like I'd be killing two birds with one stone.
That's right. Just make sure to hit them extra hard for maximum scrappage!
Talk quest option tango.png So, where do I go to enter the fight?
Registration is in the main tent. Head on inside and we'll get everything properly sorted before the fight.
Talk quest option tango.png Let's do this!

Talking with Zojja again before the fight:

Zojja: Looks like that's all we're going to get out of Mink and Keppa for now. Mink wants a showdown, and Keppa wants spare parts.
Talk end option tango.png I'll go register for the fight, then.

During the fight:

Elli: Let's see...connect the vocal transamplifier to the aetheric luminosity enhancer and...
Elli: We're ready to go! Gather 'round, everyone. It's showtime!
Elli's Hologram: Welcome to Throwdown At The Power Grid! It ain't strictly legal, but it sure is fun!
Elli's Hologram: We have a very special treat for you tonight! Please welcome this year's Snaff Savant!
Elli's Hologram: The first opponent is our crowd favorite and all-time large fella, CLUB 505!
Elli's Hologram: Ready? Fight!
Elli's Hologram: Oh, that has got to hurt! Our challenger is bringin' it to the CLUB!
Elli's Hologram: CLUB 505 is scrap! And so are those scavengers! Well, all's fair in love and golem-smashing!
Elli's Hologram: Our next contender—sorry, contenDERS—are the twins, BIT 08 and BYT 09!
Elli's Hologram: On your mark, get set...kill!
Elli's Hologram: It's two-to-one, but the twins are in trouble! Can they mount a comeback?
Elli's Hologram: The twins are done! And our little rodent friends are in motion! Nice work, Savant.
Elli's Hologram: Our final contestant is from Mink Labs: the super-powerful, hyper-charged OVR 9000!
Elli's Hologram: Ready, steady, go, go, go!
Elli's Hologram: OVR's on the ropes! It's a full-on fountain of fearsome ferocity!
Elli's Hologram: OVR is down for the count! All hail the new champion. See ya next time!

Speaking with NPCs:

Zojja: Don't get ahead of yourself. You bested Mink's combatant and scrapped golems for Keppa. Now we see if they'll hold up their ends of the deal.
Talk end option tango.png Those blueprints are mine. I'll go get them now.
Elli: Wow! You bowled me over, <Character name>! That was amazing work—and with so little preparation!
Talk more option tango.png Thanks. Hey, what was that big, green, shouty...thinger?
My hologaphic twin? Ha! Perfect for announcements, isn't it? Large enough to be seen, adds voice projection—the works! What'd you think?
Talk end option tango.png Impressive. Those councillors really did judge you harshly.
Talk end option tango.png It's nice, I guess. Not as good as—I mean, see ya!
Hronk: Well done, <Character name>. You showed those fools the true quality of a dynamics degree!
Talk end option tango.png Thanks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to see to.
Kozzak: Brilliant fight! Worth staying for. Right, Shrieksy?
Talk end option tango.png Thanks for showing up!
Overzealous Golemancer: Pah! I'll be back! Live in fear and stuff!
Talk end option tango.png You really need some remedial insult lessons.
Professor Anni: Magnificent! You performed admirably, given the circumstances. You have an eye for the dramatic, Savant.
Talk end option tango.png I won't claim responsibility for Mink's explosive finish, but I will take the credit!
Tag-Team Golemancer: We were no match for your golemancy. I bow to your might!
Talk end option tango.png Again, walking away.

Talking with Keppa after the fight:

<Character name>: All right, Keppa. Ready to share your blueprints now? Or will you needing your skritt assistants to locate your teeth?
Keppa: Easy there, killer. You landed a few lucky punches, that's all. What blueprints are you referring to? I don't recall discussing any—
Zojja: Can the act, Keppa. We came for your modified golem blueprints and we're not leaving without them.
Keppa: Oh, those blueprints. Sorry, my head's still ringing from all the blunt force trauma. I haven't got them with me, but I'll send them to you. Promise.
<Character name>: Don't promise, Keppa; do it. To the victor goes the spoils. And if we have to spoil your face to get them, so be it.

After cinematic:

Zojja: That's one set of blueprints. One more to go.

Talking with Mink after the fight:

Mink: What an unmitigated disaster. I was ready for the usual crowd of flops and duds that frequent these throwdowns, not a Snaff Savant's murder machine.
<Character name>: That's what you get when you step into the ring against one of Snaff's intellectual progeny. Now, about those blueprints...
Mink: I can't discuss that now. I'm too distraught. Look what you did to my beautiful golem!
Zojja: Yeah, it's a real mess. If you don't want to wind up in worse shape, fork over your modified blueprints. Don't make me sic Mr. Sparkles on you.
Mink: All right, all right. A genius can't even mourn properly around you lot. I don't have the blueprints here, but I'll send them to you straight away.
<Character name>: See that you do. You fought a good fight, Mink, but innovation beats imitation every time.

After cinematic:

Zojja: Okay, I'll check with Councillor Haia about her blueprints and meet you back at your lab.

Applied Development Lab[edit]

Cinematic back at the lab:

Councillor Haia: Hello, dear. I'm so glad I ran into you. I understand you were inquiring after your VAL-A golem blueprints. I must say, I found them most elucidating.
Councillor Haia: Please have a look at the modifications I made. I'm no Snaff Prize Savant, but we can all benefit from a little constructive criticism, yes?
<Character name>: Of course. Thank you, Councillor. It's an honor to have your input.
Councillor Haia: The honor was all mine. Oh, I also baked you some cookies. I'll have them sent 'round to your lab right away.
<Character name>: I hardly know what to say, Councillor. Thank you very much.
Councillor Haia: You're quite welcome, dear. Please, don't let me keep you from your work. Take care now.

Approaching Zojja:

Zojja: Have a look. I've assembled the blueprints side-by-side so you can examine them.

Talking to Zojja before looking at all blueprints:

Zojja: Well? Blueprints! Take a look at them!
Talk end option tango.png On it!

Interacting with Keppa's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Keppa, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
Talk quest option tango.png Activate the holoprojector.
Keppa's blueprints annotate several key components with "unnecessary" or "swap for cheaper substitute."
Talk end option tango.png Interesting. Could a lack of key parts cause the golems to go haywire?
Talk end option tango.png Leave.

Interacting with Mink's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Mink, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
Talk quest option tango.png Activate the holoprojector.
Mink's blueprints depict a larger version of the VAL-A, with far more power cells than necessary for a service golem.
Talk end option tango.png Why so many power cells? Could that have caused the malfunctions?
Talk end option tango.png Leave.

Interacting with Councillor Haia's Blueprints:

A blueprint of your VAL-A golem, modified by Councillor Haia, is on the table. Activate the holoprojector for a closer look.
Talk quest option tango.png Activate the holoprojector.
Haia's blueprints look nearly identical to your own. There aren't any noticeable changes at this magnification.
Talk more option tango.png Zoom in.
At a higher magnification, it can be determined that something has changed in the core—the golem's power source.
Talk more option tango.png Enhance.
The core has been swapped out for what appears to be a new, more efficient power source of the same size and weight.
Talk end option tango.png Seems like a clever improvement on the original spec.
Talk end option tango.png Leave.
Talk end option tango.png Leave.

Making decisions:

Zojja: I've only caught a brief glimpse over your shoulder. What have you deduced regarding the VAL-A modifications?
Talk quest option tango.png Keppa and Mink's revisions were troubling. Councillor Haia actually improved on my design.
I see. That narrows our suspects to two, then.
Talk quest option tango.png Who should we go after?
It's your choice. Do you think the fatal malfunction resulted from Keppa's use of subpar parts or Mink's overcharging?
Talk quest choice tango.png It had to be Keppa's modifications.
Talk quest choice tango.png Mink made my golem into a hazard.
Talk end option tango.png I need a little longer with their blueprints.
Talk end option tango.png I need a little longer to analyze their changes.

After choosing to go after Keppa:

<Character name>: It's got to be Keppa. She removed several key parts in the name of mass production, and added pounds of second-hand, reclaimed junk.
<Character name>: Junk collected by skritt, no less. She has an entire team doing salvage for her . No wonder her VAL-A golem malfunctioned.
Zojja: I concur. Inadequate part substitution is a common factor in experimental golem failures. How do you plan to find her and shut her down?
<Character name>: If we follow the skritt, we'll find Keppa. We just need to start in a place that's crawling with them. Next stop: Skrittsburgh!

After choosing to go after Mink:

<Character name>: It's got to be Mink. He crammed so many energy cells into my design, it's no wonder the VAL-A golem overloaded and went haywire.
Zojja: I concur. All that power had to go somewhere, and the Val-A's duties weren't terribly strenuous. The surfeit of undirected energy must have caused it to snap.
<Character name>: So, how do we find Mink and shut him down?
Zojja: I did some checking. He trades over by the Seraph Protectors camp, and he deals with some pretty shady characters. Let's start there.

Talking to Zojja after choosing to go after Keppa:

Zojja: I knew there was something terr-rat-ble about Keppa. Let's teach her a lesson about messing up other people's designs.
Talk end option tango.png I'm with you!

Talking to Zojja after choosing to go after Mink:

Zojja: Mink's even less imaginative with plagiarism than with golem names. Let's teach him a lesson about messing up other people's designs.
Talk end option tango.png I'm with you!


My story[edit]

Any Sufficiently Advanced Science.jpg

My blueprints had been checked out three times from the Rata Sum archives, by three separate people: Mink, Keppa, and Councillor Haia. The archivist mentioned that Mink and Keppa hang out at the golem fights.

Zojja and I went to the golem fights. Keppa was scavenging golem parts after each fight. Mink boasted about his powerful golem. I fought, blasted up some golems, and retrieved those modified blueprints.

My analysis of the blueprints produced interesting results: Mink overpowered his golems with power stones; Keppa swapped components with salvaged parts; and Councillor Haia only changed the core...which couldn't have caused such a dramatic reaction. That narrows it down to Mink or Keppa.

My story