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Firearms were portable, barrelled ranged weapons first developed during the mid-late Blessed Era, designed to launch one or more projectiles by the use of gunpowder. They came into existence as early as 1465 B.E, but only saw maturation and widespread use in military forces during the late Blessed Era and the Imperial Era.
The first true firearm was widely considered to be developed by the Kingdom of Leoben in 1465 B.E, however this was a crude and impractical weapon based on an existing small bore cannon design. The first modern firearm as would be later developed and adopted was the product of the Astanién master gunsmith Aurél Bassot, who would go on to father some of the most successful designs in history.
In principle, the firearm was a logical step forwards from the development of cannon technology, as designs were only growing more compact and more powerful in response to the perceived dominance of the airship.
Early Firearms (1465 - 1595)
As the 15th century came to a close, the concept of the cannon had sufficiently matured and had become a durable, reliable weapon that was a staple for military forces of the time. In 1511 B.E, many nations including Auvais-Chane and Leoben had developed cannons suitable for use onboard an airship, leading to a revolution in aerial tactics and strategy.
Advanced Firearms (1596 - )
The Beckett Rifle was the first breech-loading rifle created by the Vesryne gunsmith Lyrell Beckett, a prominent member of the Greater Vesryn Hermetic Society. It utilised a single shot falling block design and was renowned for its accuracy at long ranges, but it was relatively heavy for a weapon of its time.
It was adopted by the Empire of Greater Vesryn as the Model 1606 Infantry Rifle after only months of testing, although its design was simplified in places to allow for ease of manufacture. Despite becoming the first standard-issue breech-loading firearm in Vesryne military service, it did not initially replace the earlier muzzle loaded weapons of the time. Instead, it was given to select rifle regiments and to skirmishers posted ahead of battle lines where its unprecedented accuracy could be best utilised.