Most "Life Blooms" in Akoum, the sudden bursts of growth that occur after a tectonic upheaval, last only a year or two. A notable exception is Ora Ondar, sometimes called the Impossible Garden or the Khalni Garden. This oasis of growth in the harsh, angular setting of Akoum has lasted almost a hundred years. A mid-sized, multiracial settlement of mostly elves now thrives there—home to roughly 8,000—and the tenders of Ora Ondar, who call themselves "nourishers," do everything in their power to help it last. The settlers have built homes into the stone crannies of a five-tiered outgrowth of rock that juts dramatically out of the crystalline basin. Each layer is home to a different era's flora—gigantic flowers and ferns, thorned vines, giant pitcher plants and flytraps, and on the top layer, a grove of carefully cultivated kolya trees, which produce a mango-like fruit with magical properties.
Eating a kolya fruit is a risky proposition, as the trees serve as natural mana extractors. Most of the time, eating a kolya fruit will simply be an enjoyable culinary experience; the flesh of the fruit is sweet and tangy. In rare instances, however, the fruit will cause a change in the eater, granting great strength or intelligence if the eater is lucky, or causing strange physical properties to manifest: a phosphorescence to the eater's blood that causes his veins to visibly glow in the dark, or a dramatic change to the color of the eater's eyes.
A cult of elves believe the kolya tree to be a gift from the gods and eat the fruit religiously. These cultists claim that continued eating of the fruit grants them wisdom and visions, but after years of eating the fruit, fatal mutations will usually develop. The elf druid Sef Amaran is the current leader of the cult, and the fruit has disfigured him just as it has granted him many gifts. Now blind and insensate much of the time, his followers dutifully collect his fevered rantings as prophecy.
In actuality, Ora Ondar grows around an ancient artifact, the Khalni Stone. This artifact is a powerful mana refractor, and the druids' success in tending the site comes from an amplification of the effort that the elves have put into maintaining it. Many researchers of the stone have posited that it lies somewhere in the forests of Akoum, but nobody has yet theorized that it could be the source of Ora Ondar. If someone were to learn the truth, the elves and other settlers would do everything in their power to strike back at any who threatened this, their most sacred and life-supporting site in Akoum. The Stone would be a prize that few planeswalkers or magical practitioners of any sort would cease pursuing were its location to become known.