Sandman Wiki

Roderick Burgess is an English man infamous for the capture of Dream.


Born Morris Burgess Brocklesby, in 1872 in Lancashire, England, he was raised in a wealthy industrial family. As Roderick Burgess, he was the Lord Magus of the Order of the Ancient Mysteries, which he founded as a young man. In 1904 he purchased the Sussex manor, "Fawney Rig", adding Gothic additions to the house which served to prepare it for becoming the main base of his Order. He was determined that his mystical society and its accomplishments would prove him the greatest magician of his day. Ruthven Sykes emerged as his second in command.

At some point a scandal broke out in London which involved the Order of Ancient Mysteries. The police had raided a house in Belgravia which involved a naked woman and several socially prominent members of the Order. The scandal was reported widely throughout the newspapers, which led to several other scandals. Unperturbed by these scandals, Burgess decided to retreat back to Fawney Rigg.

In 1916, he attempted to capture Death, but instead entraps Dream (Morpheus) as he is returning, after a significant event, far from Earth. The event and the long journey back had weakened him considerably, and he was returning in a vulnerable condition. It was only because of this vulnerability that the spell cast by Burgess was able to capture him, it was a fluke that he was able to succeed in capturing one of the Endless at all.

He takes Morpheus' helmet, his bag of sand, his ruby, and his clothing, then seals him in a glass bubble behind a magic circle in the basement. Throughout the rest of his life, Burgess tried to bargain with Dream for immortality in exchange for release. He never succeeded in making Dream say even a single word. Meanwhile, the imprisonment of Dream causes the sleepy sickness throughout the waking world and initiates the unraveling of the Dreaming.

Still imprisoned, Dream watched Burgess fall apart, bitter and angry over his mortality. In 1947, he died after a heart attack at 83 years of age. His son, Alex Burgess, succeeded his father, inheriting the estate, the notorious magical order, and the imprisoned Dream.