On the Origin of the Staff:
As the story goes, Seryl bought the staff from a hedge wizard, a dowser by trade who made a living by finding sources of potable water for villages. He had been hired by foolish treasure-hunters seeking to cross the Yalte Highlands, where the dragons keep their counsel and the insane colossi pace endlessly up and down their bronze highway.
As the treasure-hunters idiotically ventured inside a colossus, the hedge wizard watched the camp. Then the party's thief returned, half-blind with fear. The sweaty cat-burglar shoved the staff into the hedge wizard's hands and threw him on a horse. The hedge wizard was made to swear on his hope of rebirth that he would wait for the thief in Juna Nuyo.
After six weeks of waiting and no word, the hedge wizard wanted nothing to do with the staff, and decided to sell it at the first opportunity.
On Seryl's Attempts to Unlock the Staff:
Seryl was sure that the staff was highly magical. Numerous higher-order moteric scaffoldings encircled the thing, and it resonated strongly when he performed a oculoclastic assay on it.
Feeling lucky, he blindly channeled magic into it, expectantly. Nothing happened.
Seryl had not come seeking artifacts and spells alone--he traveled with two other lesser mages, who also attempted to use the staff. Branlo had little success, and Shannia had even less with her attempt. Or so it seemed.
On the Sex Lives of Wizards:
Six months later, when the three returned to the filigree spires of Meltheria, Shannia was very visibly pregnant.
Because the mages of Meltheria love scandal more than magic, Seryl found himself in the center of a cauldron of gossip. Romance is shunned between true professionals, and most wizards agree that magic ability is inversely proportional to libido (although those that disagree usually have better things to do at night than participate in these sorts of discussions).
The staff, along with the rest of the items that Seryl brough back, was red-taped and promply lost between the couch cushions of bureaucracy.
But many still speculated whether the child would have Seryl's brown hair or Branlo's golden curls. Or an orc's fangs, who knew?
On the First Seryph:
When the baby was delivered, wagging jaws across the city clicked shut. Seconds later, the jaws hung slack.
The Facts Were These:
Any female who channels enough magic into the Staff of Seryl gets pregnant. Nine months later, she give birth to a baby girl. The child will have blue skin, white hair, and red eyes. She will look like the mother, but she will look even more like the rest of the Serypha, for that is what these girls came to be called.
Serypha struggle to use even elementary spells, but can create and activate magical items with ease.
Mages who have seen into the minds of serypha report that the women are not sentient. That is, they are intelligent but not conscious. Being a serypha feels no different than being a rock. Serypha are only golems pretending to be human, who use our speech and expressions without understanding them.
Many a mage has gloatingly explained this to a seryph, only to leave red-faced. It's tough to tell an eight-year-old girl that she's a golem after you've made her cry.
On the Doings of Serypha in the World Today:
Most serypha remain in Meltheria, eternally apprenticed to their mothers. They are valued for their abilities, but ostracized for their supposedly inhuman nature.
Only two serypha have left that curling peninsula.
Lhasadhet is the the new head of the Library of Kalamon, where she oversees the description and classification of 600 years of artifacts and dust.
Opaline has traveled across the mountains to Yurmishi, where she strives to unlock the artifacts that the Molok left behind in the hopes that she may discover where their wives went.
Currently, the Staff of Seryl is kept in deep storage and never used. After all, it is a powerful magic item with poorly characterized powers. And also, the male wizards resented their female peers' ability to manufacture awesome golems that they couldn't.
On Further Wizard-Gossip:
Omarl the Rotund speculates that the ancients of old were actually serypha who lived in a utopian society where they used the staff's power to do away with the need for men, each one giving birth to wise and good-natured babies.
It was a fascinating idea spoken before a rapt audience, but unfortunately Omarl said no more on the subject, as the tavern was closing.
On the Fate of Seryl:
He disappeared. His notes indicate that he was working on a way to achieve immortality by creating a staff that would allow him to be reborn after his death, using the same magics entwined in the Staff of Seryl. The final entry seems to claim that he discovered something significant, but Seryl was a wizard meddling with spells beyond his understanding or ability, and he probably just blew himself up.
But that's just gossip.