Carl was a "town clown," similar to Byerly Vorrutyer, and had no interest in a military career.
He came to a tragic end after getting in a fight with a friend while drunk. Unfortunately, this fight was made with a pair of swords, which qualified it as a duel, outlawed on Barrayar. Carl accidentally severed his friend's abdominal aorta, causing him to bleed to death. Carl was then sentenced to execution by public beheading, though his father pleaded with Lord Regent Aral Vorkosigan for an Imperial Pardon, or for the case to be a simple murder.
Carl Vorhalas was publicly executed, but the executioner botched the job, and it took three tries for his head to be removed. Aral Vorkosigan came to watch, feeling that it was his duty. This was later the impetus for Evon's attack on Vorkosigan House with the soltoxin gas.
- Barrayar chapters 3,8,18