Art by Ken Meyer, Jr.
Centuries ago Zubeida began the long and near impossible quest to bring about some sort of unification to the disparate tribes of Africa. Her quest met with initial success but also immediate opposition as her battles against the mages of Ethiopia and Wyrm-creatures of the Sahara became legendary.
Zubeida never really had a chance of victory, and her endeavor ended when she was embraced in the shadow of the Sphinx by the Followers of Set. For a long time she was bound to her masters, and served them faithfully until the Black Hand destroyed the temple that controlled her, freeing her to tear out her own intestines.
The Black Hand prevented her destruction and for decades worked to end her lust for suicide. They have not completely succeeded, and there's a need to constantly watch her for recurrences. She does serve the sect willingly because she feels it does some good.
However, if the vigilance on her were ever to relax she would do the honorable thing and destroy herself at once. Until that happens, she carries out her missions with utmost abandon, seeking her own final death at the hands of her foes. She believes that some evil presence is hunting down and killing off all of the Abominations, and seeks to face this being every night.