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The majority of Unukalhai's physical features are obscured by the white robes and mask that he wears. He appears to be a Hyur, and is mentioned by several characters as appearing to be a young man. When he finally unmasks himself, he is revealed to have shoulder-length, white hair, and violet eyes.
Unukalhai tends to be stoic and businesslike at all times, revealing little of his personality and motives. Only once, when questioned of his true goal by Krile, does he show a flicker of emotion, which he quickly quells by the next time he is encountered. He seems to hold disdain for the Garlean Empire and their reckless attempts to control the power of the Primals. He often speaks of his master, on whose behalf he claims to have arrived, but does not reveal who or where this master is.
Unukalhai was born on the thirteenth reflection of Hydaelyn, the world that became known as The Void. Despite being gifted with the Echo, he was barely more than a child when the world ended, and was unable to stop the Flood of Darkness from transforming his world into The Void. He was rescued from the fate of the rest of his world by Elidibus, who explained the importance of maintaining the balance between light and darkness. He continued to serve as Elidibus's disciple, swearing to never allow what happened to his world happen to any other.
After the defeat of Thordan VII the Adventurer is told that a visitor is waiting for them in the Scions' headquarters, The Rising Stones. They find a young, masked man waiting who introduces himself as Unukalhai. He claims to have been sent by his master to aid the Scions in facing the coming threat of the "Eikons", primals that were summoned during the Third Astral Era. Known as the Warring Triad, they were defeated and imprisoned by the Allagan Empire, and sealed on the floating island of Azys Lla. The actions of Archbishop Thordan VII, who tried to gain their power for himself, has weakened their seals, making it possible for them to break free—a process the Garlean Empire may hasten in their attempts to uncover the secret of binding primals. This explanation is corroborated by Urianger.
Before the Triad can be dealt with, the Adventurer is told that they must first defeat the primals Bismarck and Ravana, who have been recently resummoned by their respective worshipers. Unukalhai wants to assist, offering instructions on how to confront each of them, including two enigmatic gems associated with each primal.
The Gears of ChangeEdit
When it becomes time to deal with the Warring Triad directly, Unukalhai instructs the Adventurer to journey to Azys Lla alongside Krile, Urianger and Y'shtola. There, he leads them to Containment Bay S1T7 where Sephirot, the first of the Triad to risk being awakened, is held. While Y'shtola and Urianger distract the Garlean forces patrolling the area, the Adventurer, Unukalhai, and Krile unseal and defeat Sephirot within its containment.
While leaving the area, Unukalhai is approached by Regula van Hydrus. Unukalhai criticizes the Garlean's attempts to control the power of the primals. Regula rebuffs this lecture, but leaves without a fight. Krile attempts to question Unukalhai's motives and background, and though he shows a brief flicker of emotion, he quells it without revealing anything of his past.
After returning to The Rising Stones, Unukalhai reveals more of the background of Sephirot, and offers the Adventurer an Allagan Tomestone that will allow them to enter a combat simulation pitting them against a stronger version of the Eikon.
Revenge of the HordeEdit
Unukalhai brings word to the Adventurer that Regula van Hydrus has broken the wards that Urianger used to seal off the Aetherochemical Research Facility. Conferring with the Scions, Unukalhai believes van Hydrus is after the "Genesis Expression", one of the most powerful pieces of Allagan technology, and recommends pursuing and, if possible, slaying him. The Adventurer, Unukalhai, Urianger, Y'shtola, and Krile journey inside the facility, fighting off waves of Garlean troops. Krile is injured, and Unukalhai stays behind to protect her, earning her trust and gratitude. Although the Adventurer defeats van Hydrus and prevents him from retrieving the Allagan tomelith, he escapes.
After the mission is complete, Urianger asks to speak to the Adventurer and Unukalhai in private, revealing that he deduced that it was Unukalhai himself that broke the seal on the facility, hoping to lure Regula van Hydrus into a trap where he could be killed. After Unukalhai admits this to be the case, Urianger chides him, stating that had he trusted the Scions enough to tell them his plan, it may have succeeded. Urianger asks the Adventurer to forgive Unukalhai and to conceal it from the other Scions.
To atone for his lack of honesty, Unukalhai decides to share some of his personal history with the Adventurer, and reveals that he, too, possesses a form of the Echo. He hails from a conflict-ridden land, where he learned magic to survive until his master found and recruited him. He tells the story of another world where people believed they could harness the power of primals using Auracite leading to the destruction of their world. The fear of it happening to Eorzea causes him to despise van Hydrus and the Garlean Empire.
The second of the Warring Triad, the goddess known as Sophia, is about to awaken. Upon again traveling to Azys Lla with Urianger, Y'shtola and Krile, they find several of Sophia's thralls who had been sealed alongside her by the Allagans. While Urianger and Y'shtola deal with the thralls, Unukalhai, Krille and the Adventurer enter Containment Bay P1T6, and defeat Sophia in combat.
While the Scions prepare to leave, Unukalhai stays behind to shut off the life support for Sophia's remaining thralls to prevent the possibility of another summoning. When later asked about his actions by Y'shtola, he explains that he knew it had to be done, but did not want the Warrior of Light to have to sully themselves with such a distasteful task. Y'shtola explains that all of the Scions, including the Adventurer, know what has to be done in the battle against the primals, and are willing to do what is necessary, including the slaying of thralls. Unukalhai admits that he had been mentally placing the Adventurer on a pedestal, seeing them more as the embodiment of an ideal than as an individual, and promises to not underestimate their resolve in the future. He presents the Adventurer with a Tomestone containing data on Sophia, allowing them to challenge a simulation of a stronger version of the goddess.
The Far Edge of FateEdit
When it comes time to confront Zurvan, the final member of the Warring Triad, Unukalhai again journeys to Azyz Lla with the Adventurer, Urianger, Y'shtola, and Krille. They are confronted by Regula van Hydrus, who, to their surprise, offers them an alliance. Having decided that the Allagan method of containing primals was flawed, and thus useless to the Empire, he wishes to destroy Zurvan and his thralls. The Scions reluctantly agree to the alliance, and travel to Containment Bay Z1T9 where Regula's troops are already in battle against Zurvan's thralls. Unukalhai is defeated and nearly slain, but is saved by Regula, who takes a mortal blow from Zurvan. When he asks the dying Regula why he saved him, Regula states that Unukalhai's powers are better suited than his to end the primal threat.
After Zurvan's defeat, Unukalhai, ashamed of his self-perceived weakness compared to the Scions, asks them to meet with him back at the Rising Stones. Once there, he finally unmasks himself and tells them the full story of his past. The Scions, after hearing his history and the revelation that he faced the end of his world alone, tell him that he no longer has to fight by himself, and welcome him as a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Despite the newfound friendships he has forged, he insists on putting his mask back on. He presents the Adventurer with a Tomestone containing data on Zurvan, allowing them to challenge the final, and most difficult, simulation battle.
Unukalhai is the traditional name of Alpha Serpentis, the brightest star in Serpens, a constellation often represented as being held by Ophiuchus. As Ophiuchus is the symbol associated with Elidibus, this very likely hints to a connection to the Final Fantasy XIV character of the same name.