john carmack;
Because it is apparently neither as simple nor as high priority as you assume.

Standing near the Elemental Forge, you should be able to have a character interact with it in order to bring up the crafting window (with the forge filled in as one component), then add the Elemental Staff and combine. It will show a red X briefly, since there is no physical result of the crafting, but trigger the appearance of some elementals, one of whom starts a conversation immediately.