Larten was sitting by himself. Staring at the guardians of blood, currently guarding this hall. The Hall of Death. A rather depressing place, he thought, but he couldn't being himself to leave. He had been sitting here, cross legged, on the floor for over five hours. Unable to move.

Just hours before, one of his friends had failed his trials. He had lived through the experience, but that had been utterly useless, judging by what had happened now. Failure meant death. No exceptions, no excuses. So, the guards had carried Vincent Paladin into this hall, and dropped him. Face down onto the pit on stakes.

It wasn't the thought of his friends death that was so depressing, it was the fact that this wasn't the first, or last time members of his clan would be killed this way. There was something incredibly depressing about the thought of anyone being impaled by stakes, dying a horrible death. It could have happened to him, Gavner, Arra, anyone, he shuddered at the thought.

Vincent's screams echoed in his head, trapped for eternity inside of his skull, a constant reminder of what had transpired only hours ago. The only reason Larten had come to the execution in the first place was because Vincent had asked him to. He had yelled, as they carried him away, that he didn't want to die alone. He had wanted him to be there. So he went. Arra and Gavner offered to go, but he had told them to stay away. Now he wished they had come. Surely this would have been easier to go through with the assistance of friends.

A wave of hate and confusion washed over him. Why did the rules have to be this way? Why did they kill their own at the first site of failure? Could they have come up with a more mundane system? It was true that he believed they should succeed, but couldn't their be a less severe punishment that death? It was only a little more defendable than murder!

He was starting, for the first time in almost fifty years, the ways of his vampire clan. Seba Nile had taught him all the ways of the vampires, and he had never sought to disagree with them. Until now. The impalement of his friend had changed his outlook on the morals surrounding the death the only punishment the vampires had? He had been to several trials, and all accused guilty or convicted of a crime were sentenced to death. Couldn't they just exile them? Or kick them out of the mountain? Something other than death!

But who was he to question the laws, a newly accepted vampire, just completing his trials over a month ago. Not a chance in hell they would listen to him. They probably wouldn't listen to him ever, even when he became a general, which he planned to do. No, he wouldn't have a voice, unless he was a prince, which he doubted would ever happen. But as he sat here he thought that maybe it wasn't so impossible, maybe they would start to respect him as a general, and then he could become a prince. Change these unfair rules, the first act he would make a s a prince.

But he turned to look at the stakes again, and bile rose up in his throat as he pictures how easily that could have been him, impaled in that pit. And the great vision goes away. He still thinks the rules unjust, but also thinks there is no hope as to change them.