At one point during his rule, Laius left Thebes to consult with the Delphic oracle. The oracle foresaw that Laius's son would murder him and sleep with his mother. Horrified at this dilemma, and the fact that he indeed bore a son, Laius gave the baby to Iocasta to leave him in the mountainside to die. As it turned out, Iocasta gave the baby to a shepherd, who couldn't bare to leave him to die. The shepherd thus passed him on to another shepherd, who passed him on to another shepherd, who finally passed him on to Polybus and Merope.
As Laius was on his way back on his chariot, he encounters another vehicle on its way. Laius attempted to cut him off, but the vehicle's rider, who was his son Oedipus, killed him in an altercation. Following his murder, a plague incurred upon Thebes, which would only subside when his murdered was found.