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In the late 1340s DR, Hadley Erridge was a neighbor of the prosperous and enterprising farmer Del Geery. Geery had increased the yields of his crops, but they then attracted hordes of rabbits, which were followed by badgers, wolves and other predators. Unable to curb their numbers, Geery consulted Erridge, who proposed that Geery get a hydra. A hydra, Erridge claimed, would devour or scare off the pests then depart when there was 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, and after two months they successfully caught an adult hydra in a cage of iron. 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 hired a group of warriors to slay the hydra, at which they at least were successful.