Quincys are a clan of humans who, over many centuries, became spiritually aware. In doing so they devised their own brand of spiritual powers; they most commonly reshape spiritual particles into various types of bow and arrows, but can also concentrate spiritual energy into the form of swords or explosives. At their height, Quincies used their powers to combat the hollows, protecting the inhabitants of the human world with a success rate greater than that of the Soul Reapers. Unlike the Soul Reapers, who purify the souls of hollows allowing them to rest in peace, Quincy destroyed the hollow, soul and all. This created an imbalance between the worlds of the living and the dead, threatening to destroy the universe. To prevent this, the Soul Reapers almost exterminated the Quincy, leaving only two Quincy to survive into the current Bleach storyline and creating a great animosity between the two groups. Tite Kubo created the Quincy as rivals to the Soul Reapers, resulting in long-range weapons as a counter to the standard Soul Reaper zanpakuto and white clothing as an antithesis to the black Soul Reaper uniform. Their name stems from their symbol, a five-pointed star, and the prefix "quin," meaning "five," as well as Kubo's liking for the phrase "Quincy archer."