The fire lance, or fire spear, was one of the first weapons in the world to utilize a low energy mix of what was thought to be Gunpowder but in really would be considered a pyrotechnic by modern standards.
Some of the first fire lances were spear-like weapons with a tube containing gunpowder and projectiles tied to a Chinese spear. Upon being fired, the projectile(s) would be fired along with the flames; though it only had a range of a few feet, this combined with the fact that it was a spear-type weapon, fire lances were mainly used in hand-to-hand combat.
The first fire lances were seen during the 10th century, but by 1260 they had been developed into a variety of forms, and were in use by many. Fire lances were cheap and powerful over many centuries, but were primitive compared to the firearms it helped pave the way for.