Foreword: With the advent of 'Shape Your Flesh', I will not only add new monstrosities into the mix but also some new weapons will make an appearance. One of them already appeared while another one will be gracing us with its presence in chapter II.
Name courtesy of Lazercrusher who suggested I call the weapon 'Cloudbreaker'. It fits really well so I ran with it.
Weapon Type: Short range projectile weapon
Ammunition: Iron balls
The Cloudbreaker is a short range handheld projectile weapon, in size akin to the small, wrist mounted crossbows the Dwemer Spheres carry around, albeit somewhat bigger to allow for sizeable ammunition. In essence, the weapon consists of a metal tube, its rear end being a small chamber wherein a specific, volatile alchemical compound is situated that explodes when force is applied to it. A small bolt that is connected to the trigger and aforementioned chamber will come crashing down on the compound when the trigger is pulled, resulting in an ear-shattering explosion.
An iron ball is inserted into the tube from the front, a small hole in the rear chamber allowing for the force of the explosion making contact with the projectile.
When the alchemical compound explodes, the iron ball is propelled forward with intense speed. It can easily shatter most solid matter on impact and is known to completely rend skulls when the shot connects.
Alchemical residue on the ball left from the explosion also applies a noxious effect on the target should it survive the shot.
The Cloudbreaker is held with one hand. It had earned its name from the thunderous noise and power that ensues when one pulls the trigger.
While reloading the weapon is cumbersome as the wielder has to refill the chamber with the unstable powder and load up the tube with a ball again, one cannot deny its unrivaled destructive power capable of bringing down giants in one hit if the shooter aims correctly.
The Imperial army's engineers developed this weapon when it became clear that the Dominion was to become a serious threat. To receive an edge in combat, fearing an imminent war, they needed something that could obliterate even the greatest of foes.
In order to field test the weapon, it was bestowed upon the head of the Imperial Investigative Division, Thorus Blackward, for him to use at his leisure. While it would have made more sense for it to be in the hands of a skilled marksman, the Empire needed to retain an inconspicuousness in order for the experimental device to stay hidden. None would look for such a weapon among the belongings of a crime investigator.
In 4E198, the weapon got used for the first time ever with more than promising results.
This weapon is featured in my TES Fanfic 'Tales of Darkness: Shape Your Flesh':
Credit for the name goes to Lazercrusher who suggested it.