If you haven't picked up the staff, nothing special will happen.
Assuming you did pick up the staff (You should have a new quest in your quest log.) and then somehow lost it, you should still talk to the elder in center of Last Hope.
Provisions have been put into the quest for exactly this kind of thing.
Thanks for all the replies. I have scoured level 9 of Dreadfell, again and again, but cannot find the staff. The Master is no longer to be found.
I cannot create the staff in Godmode. If you try to create an object, that one does not show up in the list.
If I speak to the Elder in Last Hope, I have one option in the dialog that says something like, "Never mind."
I actually tried to create all artifacts from Godmode, but that crashed TOME (it hung and would not respond to any keys; I had to kill it).
...Then when I went back into TOME, it is as if I haven't been anywhere... the main map is all unrevealed, and when I went back into Dreadfell it is totally repopulated with monsters... except The Master. So I am now lingering again on level 9 hoping that someone can help me create the staff or trigger some variable in cheat mode that will enable the next quest.
At this point, I know the game is not for me (I don't have the time) but I would like to just explore to the end so I can move on with life
. I did donate because I appreciate the fun that I've had. Thanks for any help.