A grenade launcher is a weapon that fires bombs over long distances. The British polymath Benjamin Franklin was a pioneer of this propulsion weapon, developing a prototype that would fall into the hands of the Templar Shay Cormac and become iconic to him.
A grenade launcher is designed to fire large-caliber projectiles. These projectiles are generally loaded with an explosive, toxic, or smoke warhead that detonate on impact. In this capacity, as its name implies, it is essentially a weapon that launches grenades into the air, from a range farther than one can normally throw. It differs from a rocket launcher in that the projectiles are propelled in an arc, much like lobbing a grenade, rather than in a straight trajectory.
The prototype grenade launcher created by Benjamin Franklin was designed for a variety of munitions, including shrapnel grenades which exploded upon impact, sleep grenades which released vapors of sleeping gas over a large area, and berserk grenades, which caused the targets to enter a state of frenzy upon inhaling their contents.
Commissioned by the Colonial Assassin Hope Jensen during the Seven Years' War, the prototype of a grenade launcher was invented by the scientist Benjamin Franklin during the French and Indian War. The project was meant to be a secret one, and as such, Franklin was strictly guarded by gangs allied with the Assassins in New York City while he worked on the prototype. In 1756, unaware of Shay Cormac's defection, Franklin handed it off to the Templar as soon as he was finished.
This prototype grenade launcher was developed in tandem with explosives and biological agents which Hope hoped to use against the Templars, and as the Templar George Monro claimed, citizens as well. Accordingly, upon acquiring the weapon, Shay immediately turned it upon the nearby factory by which the Assassins produced their munitions, dismantling their project.
Later during the French Revolution, a grenade launcher was combined with an axehead to form the Guillotine Gun, a weapon utilized by the Raiders, a group under the command of Captain Philippe Rose which ransacked the royal tombs of Saint-Denis in 1794. While navigating the tombs in his quest to stop the Raiders, the French Assassin Arno Dorian found a Guillotine Gun and, impressed by its design, adopted it for himself.