DC Database
DC Database

Alexander Burgess was an occultist from Sussex who tried to contact Morpheus all his life.

Alexander Burgess was born some time in the early 1900s. He lived at Fawny Rig in Wych Cross England with his father, famed cult leader and demonologist Roderick Burgess. The identity of Alex's mother has never been revealed. As a young boy, Alex was often present when his father conducted ceremonies for his organization, the Order of Ancient Mysteries. In 1916, he witnessed a ritual wherein the Order summoned forth the personification of dreams, Morpheus. His father trapped Morpheus (also known as Dream) inside of a mystic circle where he kept him imprisoned for more than seventy years. At first Roderick and his son did not know exactly who it was they had captured. Roderick knew that the being in the circle was one of a group of entities called the Endless, but he did not know which one. In August of 1926, Alex found a picture of the being in the Paginarum Fulvarum and correctly identified him as Dream.

In 1947, Roderick Burgess passed away and Alex became the new leader of the Order of Ancient Mysteries. Though practiced in the ways of black magic, Alex was not nearly the magus that his father was, and the Order was but a shadow of its former self. In 1955, Alex became close friends with a man named Paul McGuire. He brought Paul into his circle and made him his second-in-command of the order. He showed him the secret that the family had kept locked in the cellar. Paul was concerned that keepin Dream locked in the cellar was tantamount to kidnapping, but Alex dismissed his concerns, citing that Dream wasn't an actual human being. He didn't eat or sleep or even breathe.

In the 1960s, Alex turned his interests towards more esoteric schools of thought, particularly Hindu mysticism. Paul and he often hosted parties at Wych Cross, which inevetibly turned into a series of Tantric sex rituals. Paul never truly respected the Order's mystic origins, and saw it as nothing more than a means of parting the credulous from their money.

By 1970, Alex grew despondent. The Order had all but dissolved, and he became increasingly obsessed with the man in the cellar. He still had the page from the Paginarum Fulvarum and spent his evenings gazing at the image of Morpheus.

As old age began to creep up on him, Alex became desperate. He continously tried to communicate with Dream, often begging him to grant him power and vitality. On other occasions he taunted Morpheus, saying that he was glad that his father trapped him. Dream remained unresponsive to Alex's demands.

By 1988, Alex was in his seventies and confined to a wheelchair. He went to the cellar one last time to visit the Dream King. Barking a few brief comments, he turned to leave. The tire from his wheelchair however smudged the circle on the floor that kept Dream's spiritual essence bound to the Earth plane. Dream soon escaped and was able to plague Alexander in his nightmares. Unable to avenge himself against the man who first imprisoned him, Dream took his anger out on the son. He cursed Alex with Eternal Waking; an endless nightmare wherein he suffered terrible visions that resulted in him waking up in his bed, only to discover that he was actually still dreaming. The cycle repeated itself over and over. When Morpheus was replaced by Daniel Hall, he was allowed to wake.


  • Occultism: Alexander Burgess was exposed to a world of mysticism nearly all of his life. Watching his father and the other members of the Order of Ancient Mysteries he learned a great deal about magic and mystical incantation. Alex was not a learned mystic however and was never the practitioner that his father was. In the 1960s, Burgess became experienced at various esoteric schools of thought including Hindu mysticism, Kundalini, yoga and principles of tantras.


  • Magdalene Grimoire: Burgess inherited the Magdalene Grimoire from his father Roderick. He also possessed a mystic tome called the Paginarum Fulvarum. This book contained an illustration of Morpheus donned in his various tools of office, including his helm. Written on the same page were the words, "Here is said thee Kinge of Dremes". In later years, Burgess became obsessed with this passage and would read the words aloud over and over again. Alexander Burgess also carried with a skull-tipped walking stick. In the sixties he used this more for cosmetic value than utility, but as he grew older he came to rely upon it more and more. Burgess still carried his skull-tipped cane even when he grew so feeble that he required a wheelchair for mobility.



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Vertigo Character
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers.Their continuity takes place within the context of Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.