“Even death feared the Doomstaff.” – The Tale of Kieyenna
Two centuries past, a monastery was built, hidden away in the deep crags of Doloth. The place was founded by a benevolent group of sorcerers and wizards for the purpose of taking in young magi and teaching them to use their gifts with responsibility and discipline. One day, a young half-elf girl was left on the front steps of the monastery. Her magical abilities were beginning to manifest, and her commoner parents were too terrified to care for her any longer. The monks took her in, gave her food and shelter, and began to train her in the proper use of her abilities.
As a novice, she formed a fast friendship with Miro Zandobar, a fellow student. Where Kieyenna was dour and studious, Miro was a light-hearted joker, and the two made for an unlikely pair. Kieyenna proved a peerless learner, mastering the forms faster than anyone who had come before and progressing to advanced magic beyond that of which many of her superiors were capable. She showed a particular gift for channeling magic inward to boost her own strength and reflexes, and for shaping magical artifacts into powerful weapons through force of will.
As Kieyenna continued to grow stronger, her masters began to worry. She seemed a woman of raw ambition, untempered by any ideals; her only wish was to constantly reach new heights of power, and she cared little about the means by which she progressed. As her knowledge grew, she found ways to secretly slip through the wards that the masters had put upon the monastery’s labyrinthine vaults, and discovered an artifact of untold power in the deepest level. Believing that she had learned all that she could at the feet of her masters, one night she descended into the vaults and broke the seal on the artifact. What she found there was Cobb’s own staff, an artifact of unimaginable power.
The masters were horrified to find Kieyenna holding the twisted artifact, and realizing that their pupil had grown beyond their control they attacked with all their fury. Kieyenna channeled the power of the staff inward, transforming herself into an unstoppable vortex of death. She dodged spells or batted them aside, and everywhere the staff struck bones shattered and flesh was rent. By the time the sun rose the monastery was a burnt-out husk with not a single living soul remaining. Kieyenna took the most powerful of the artifacts with her and set out into the world.
Tales of the Doomstaff soon began to spread. She was a fearsome duelist, journeying from town to town looking to test her skills against the finest warriors she could find. She never lost, and she never spared an opponent. She was also an artifact-hunter, and any who came between her and the treasures she sought would meet a similar fate to her opponents. However, her old friend Miro Zandobar had been away from the monastery the night it had burned, and unknown to her he was tracking her, seeking justice for the death of his friends. In his efforts to destroy her he recruited the elven knight Kyras Barca and the mad witch Yamyra, and the three of them confronted their quarry in the fields outside of Two Rivers. Kieyenna had grown unimaginably powerful, and even the combined efforts of the three heroes were unable to defeat her and her fell staff. She struck down Yamyra and Miro, and a grievously injured Kyras was barely able to escape.
Kieyenna’s crimes had drawn the attention of another though, the legendary elven fighter Tess the Exile. While she had refused to come out of retirement to help Miro defeat Kieyenna, Tess finally realized what a threat Kieyenna posed to the innocent of the world, and challenged her to single combat. What followed is considered by many to be the single greatest display of martial prowess ever witnessed. Kieyenna was at first contemptuous of her foe, who she saw as an aging drunk with no magical powers to bolster her strength. But soon the arrogant young magus found herself outmatched by Tess’s experience, cunning, and sheer ferocity. The two battled for hours, Kieyenna channeling more and more magical power just to keep pace with Tess’s onslaught of blows. Finally, Tess sundered the ancient staff in two with a blow from her bare fists. The resulting release of magical energy utterly annihilated the elven brawler, and left Kieyenna gravely injured and helpless.
As she lay on the battlefield, the crippled Kyras Barca appeared before her, determined to take his revenge for the loss of his comrades. She begged for her life, telling him that she had been manipulated by the staff and repenting for all of her crimes. When he let his guard down for a moment, she slit his throat. She managed to crawl into the woods to recuperate, but she was badly shaken. She had always wanted to be the greatest warrior alive, and sought to defeat her opponents in fair combat. But she had beaten Tess only by a fluke, and been forced to resort to base trickery in order to overcome Kyras. That day, Kieyenna the Doomstaff vanished from the records of history, and many believe she succumbed to her wounds or left behind her life of bloodshed to live in exile.
In truth, Kieyenna found her way to Two Rivers, where she fell into a deep depression, retreating into darkness and alcohol and making a few spare coins in the fighting pits when she needed to. Her self-image had been irreparably shattered by the deaths of Tess and Kyras, and she was barely able to go on. When she learned that a new group of adventurers was tracking her in hopes of finally bringing her to justice, she booked passage across the ocean, hoping to escape her old name forever. However, the three of them followed her aboard the ship, and confronted her on the open sea. One last time she took up a staff to defend herself, this time a simple oaken quarterstaff. Her spirit finally returned to her as she felt the rush of fighting a worthy opponent one last time, but before she could triumph the ship was consumed by a mighty leviathan summoned by the Undine monk Pari Marius, and the Doomstaff finally met her end.
Kieyenna the Doomstaff was the third incarnation of Cobb.