The Gwanji Valley is a large wilderness located in southern Hollywood. It has a varied climate, ranging from jungles to marshlands, which may be the result of pocket dimensions outside of space and time. Such a notion is purely theoretical, but it would explain the dinosaurs and other strange creatures present there.
Originally an isolated valley only reachable by an extensive cave system, the Gwanji Valley now extends over much of southern Hollywood after the effects of the Big One. Much of the landscape lies below sea level, in a series of layers bordered by large cliffs that protect the interior from flooding. With the exception of Underwood, it is the deepest part of Hollywood.
The topmost layer, entirely above sea level, is referred to as the surface world. Most of the region's settlements are on this layer. The next 1500ft is the level called the lowlands, with a thicker atmosphere that makes observation from the surface world close to impossible due to frequent dense mists. The higher oxygen concentration in the atmosphere of the lowlands has allowed insects to grow to sizes to rival those of the dinosaurs also native to this layer.
After the lowlands is subterra, where the local flora and fauna have adapted to the low-light environment. Crustaceans and other, more bizarre forms of life dominate this region. Despite their often fearsome appearances, many creatures at this level are lithovores, consuming minerals to survive. The valley connects beneath the ocean at this level, through a vast cavern network.
The final layer, at a depth of greater than 2500ft, is the abyss, which has not been fully documented despite numerous attempts. A number of kaiju have been spotted at this level, and it is suspected there is an underground ocean somewhere within the depths.
First discovered in 91 BBO by director and explorer Cooper Malone, the Gwanji Valley was at first thought to be a "lost world" hidden from the passage of time, allowing prehistoric species to flourish safe from the various extinction events. In the name of science and entertainment, many of the native creatures were imported into Hollywood, and multiple expeditions were made to establish shooting locations. Era of the Lizard (77 BBO), The Lost Expedition (71 BBO), and Journey to the Edge of History (69 BBO) were all filmed within the Valley. It is suspected that Mightosaurus was native to the Valley and found its way outside by following tracks left by the film industry's many expeditions.
After the Big One, the cave system that led to the Valley collapsed into a sinkhole, either expanding the Valley or bringing it from its native timeline into Hollywood's own. The earthquake also revealed new areas of the Valley that had never been seen before, prompting new expeditions to find suitable shooting locations as "dinosaur fever" once again gripped Hollywood. Several permanent outposts were constructed (see below) and almost 50% of expeditions managed to return with minimal loss of life.
Settlements in the Gwanji Valley
- Main article: Challenger Point
A common launching point for expeditions, Challenger Point has grown from a simple riverboat refueling station into a boom town complete with goods and services, even its own post office and town hall.