Cadmus was informed by the oracle at Delphi that he would establish a great city. When he eventually found the site of the future Thebes, he prepared to sacrifice to the gods in thanksgiving. He soon discovered that the local spring from which he needed to draw water for a proper sacrifice, was guarded by a serpent. He sent his men to dispatch the monster and bring back the ritual water. All of his men failed in the attempt and Cadmus eventually took it upon himself to kill the serpent. Though Cadmus was ultimately victorious, he now found himself bereft of his comrades and dispaired of establishing his realm. A Cadmean Victory has come to mean a victory won at great loss to the victor.