In the late 1340s DR, Geery increased the yields of his crops of carrots and clover, but his fertile fields attracted hordes of rabbits. These were followed by a variety of predators, like badgers and wolves. Normal means of controlling such pests, like traps and poison, failed to curb their numbers—for every animal trapped or killed, it seemed two more arrived.
At a loss, Geery consulted his neighbor, the explorer Hadley Erridge, who proposed that Geery get a hydra. A hydra, Erridge claimed, would devour or scare off the pests then depart when there were no more prey. The damage to the farm would be more than outweighed by the benefits of getting rid of the burgeoning pest population, Erridge thought. Despite his skepticism, Geery agreed to finance Erridge with 20,000 gold pieces for an expedition into the Vast Swamp to capture a live hydra. Erridge and his thirty-man expedition ventured into the feared swamp.
Two months later, they emerged, successful, with an adult hydra in a cage of iron. Geery gave each member of the expedition a bonus of 100 gp before they were dismissed. Geery based himself in a local cave while Erridge released the hydra. It rampaged about the farm, scaring away all the animals within a few days. However, despite what Erridge said about the hydra returning to the swamp, it instead stuck around and began building a nest by the pond. The hydra was, in fact, pregnant. Outraged, Geery gave Erridge the sack, then, for 15,000 gp, hired a group of warriors to slay the hydra, at which they at least were successful.
Geery was down 38,000 gp and had a dead hydra on his hands. Determined to recoup his losses, he spent some 40,000 gp hiring the best rangers and wizards of the realm to help him discover the uses to which one could put the carcass of a hydra. He intended to use every part of the beast, and wring out every coin he could.
He was so successful at this new trade that he began to fund new hydra-hunting expeditions in the Vast Swamp. By 1367 DR, he'd earned a reputation in hydra trade, and projected that his profits from hydra products would, in a few years, outweigh those of his crops.
Del Geery conducted pioneering agricultural research. He was able to improve the yields of his carrot and clover crops and increase the output of his cornfields threefold. He was also able to grow wheat in soil so poor it wouldn't sprout ragweed.
However, the harvesting, making, and selling of hydra-based products was just as profitable. Geery was able to extract a great variety of useful wares from the corpse of a hydra. The teeth could be used to fashion almost-unbreakable blades for hoes, plows, and saws; the skin could be dried to make warming covers for plants; the dried tongues could be used to predict the weather; ground hydra bones were an excellent desiccant; hydra fat was an oddly useful rat poison; and finally the head would scare away birds and small mammals.
Thanks to his hard work and enterprising nature, Geery was prosperous and enormously wealthy, his fortune thought to be in the thousands or millions of gold pieces.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Settled Lands”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), pp. 23–24. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (July 1995). Volo's Guide to Cormyr. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 194. ISBN 0-7869-0151-9.