"There is a rather gorgeous painting that many of you, I’m sure, will be familiar with. It’s called Inquisitor Tannenberg, it's by John Blanche, and it has been reproduced in various places, including the Inquis Exterminatus. Know the one? Guy with a scalp full of cables, a black fur coat,
a double-headed eagle familiar on his shoulder, a gold-chased bolt pistol in his hand? Yes, it is good, isn’t it? [...]
As soon as I opened the package and started leafing through, I could see what they meant. This was a rich seam indeed, full of wonderful baroque material. Among the pages, along with a number of other very fine pictures, was a copy of John Blanche's painting. And that was it. I picked up the phone, called Black Library and said, ‘Can I please write about this?’ Even though, truth be told, at that stage I didn’t know exactly what ‘this’ was.
I visited the Studio, and got great help and advice from the game developers, particularly Gav Thorpe. Then I got to work.
I think what inspired me about John’s painting was the aristocratic clothing:
the rich black velvet of the sleeves, the engraved gold of the elegant weapon.
This wasn’t about the battlefield, the front-line of mud and gas and behemoth engines.
This was a glimpse behind the lines at the internal complexity of the Imperium.
It offered a chance to explore what might be called the ‘domestic’ side of the Warhammer 40,000 universe:
the daily, non-military, life – at work, at worship, at rest, at court, at slum-level.
A chance to visit worlds that were not levelled by war, and see how the billions of Imperial citizens lived.
And also to find out what evils stalked them, even in the shadows of their own hive cities."
— Dan Abnett, 'Introduction', Eisenhorn Omnibus (2004)