Morpheus usually appears as a tall, thin man with bone-white skin, black hair, and two distant stars looking out from the shadows where his eyes should be. Most often they are silver, blue, or white, but when he becomes angered, they have been known to turn red.
Morpheus’ appearance ranges widely “depending on who’s watching.” People generally perceive him as wearing a style of dress appropriate to their region and era. In the Dreaming, he is often seen wearing a grey tee-shirt and dark pants. He appears to be light skinned when interacting with white characters, but the people of Tales in the Sand’s primordial African city see him as a star-eyed black man. Although he is most often seen in human form, Morpheus appears as a huge black cat when speaking to the lonely cat-pilgrim of Dream of a Thousand Cats and as a cat-headed god when addressing the Egyptian feline goddess Bast. The Martian Manhunter sees Morpheus as a Martian god in the shape of a flaming alien skull and identifies him as Lord L’Zoril, but Mister Miracle, looking at him simultaneously, sees Morpheus as a man. However in Season of Mists, he appears in the same form to all the Gods (Bast comments, “I much prefer you in cat form, Dream old friend”). In The Dream Hunters, which is set in ancient Japan, Morpheus appears as a Japanese man to a Buddhist monk and as a fox to a fox spirit. It is unclear whether Morpheus’ appearance is determined by the expectations of onlookers or if he chooses to manifest himself in different forms. He does deliberately change the style of his clothing to be less conspicuous when he visits the waking world.
He customarily wears a billowing black cape, sometimes with a flame motif. In battle he wears a helmet made from the skull and backbone of a defeated enemy god. This helmet, which resembles a World War II-era gas mask, is also his sigil in the galleries of the other Endless, as well as appearing in the dreams (and at least once on the staircase wall) of Wesley Dodds
10 billion years ago
Dream came into existence once sentient lifeforms capable of dreaming appeared in the universe. Dream was one of the Endless, personifications of ideas and concepts that were tied to life, and were fated to fulfill their functions until the universe ended and all life disappeared from the cosmos.
Dream took Abel, the first murder victim, away from his sister Death and offered him a place in the Dreaming. He made Abel a storyteller and gave him the House of Secrets to live in. When Abel got lonely, Dream commissioned his brother Cain to join him next door as a storyteller in the House of Mystery.
80,000 years ago
After Despair was murdered Dream and the Endless went to the necropolis to put her body to rest. The necropolitans had long lost their passion for their job, and didn’t know about the necropolis arrangement with the Endless, so they laughed at them when they asked for Despair’s cerements and the book of rituals. The Endless revoked the necropolis charter, causing it to be destroyed. The village of Litharge was granted a charter by the Endless and became the new necropolis.
10,000 years ago
Dream, as Kai’ckul, appeared to Nada, the queen of a wondrous African city. She fell in love with him, and went to the Dreaming to see him again. They both knew there would be terrible consequences if a mortal fell in love with one of the Endless, but they gave in to their desires. The next morning Nada’s kingdom was destroyed, and she killed herself because she felt she was responsible. Kai’ckul appeared to her soul and told her he would make her queen of the Dreaming. She refused, and out of pride Kai’ckul condemned Nada to Hell.
As a favor to the Roman god Terminus, Dream came to emperor Augustus in a dream. Augustus saw two futures for Rome, one in which the whole world would be under Rome’s banner and last thousands of years, and another in which the Roman empire would die after a few hundred years. He wanted the latter, but was afraid of the Roman gods learning of his plans. Dream advised him to give up being emperor for one day and disguise himself as a beggar in the streets. Augustus took his advice, and while the gods weren’t watching over him he formulated his plan to stop Roman expansion.
Baghdad, Haroun al Raschid summoned Dream to the waking world by threatening to unleash the djinns of the Globe of Suleiman. Dream disliked being called in such a manner and took away the Globe. Raschid told Dream that Baghdad had become a city of magic and wonders, but he sensed that it would not last, so he asked Dream to take Baghdad into the Dreaming. Dream agreed, and put the dream of Baghdad city of wonders in a bottle. In the waking world Baghdad transformed from a magic city into a prosperous yet ordinary one, with Raschid and all of the residents unaware of what it once had been, except in legend.
Death convinced Dream to visit a tavern to see humanity on their own terms. In the tavern they overheard Hob Gadling say that death was a fool’s game and that he had no intention of dying. Dream and Death agreed to make him immortal, and Dream told Hob he’d meet him in the same tavern one hundred years hence.
Dream met with Hob Gadling, who asked if he’d made a deal with the devil to live so long. Dream told him he had not, and that he was simply interested in Hob. Death would not touch Hob unless he desired it. They agreed to meet again in another hundred years.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob told Dream life was great now that he’d acquired a fortune. Dream saw Will Shaxberd at the tavern, and promised him unlimited inspiration in writing his plays if Will created new dreams to spur on the minds of men.
As part of William Shakespeare’s contract with Dream he wrote the first of two plays specifically for the Dream King, A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Dream and the emissaries of Faerie were the audience for Will’s first performance of the play. Dream told the court of Faerie that this was his payment for all the diversion they’d offered him in the past. Although their time on Earth was over humanity would remember them through Will’s play. Dream noted Lucien sneaking Vassily of the People through the Dreaming. Lucien admitted that he had lost one of his books from the library of dreams, and Vassily was the current owner. Vassily promised Lucien his book back if he was taken to the bedroom of a duke’s daughter, the object of his desire. Dream took over, showing Vassily to the young lady’s room. Once Vassily saw her, it was enough for him, some wishes are best left unfulfilled. Dream invited Vassily to join him and Lucien for dinner in the Dreaming.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob had fallen into poverty and despair. Dream asked if he wished for death, but Hob replied that he still had so much to live for.
300 years ago
Dream and the Corinthian met Destruction. Destruction showed him the Invisible College and hinted that he was planning on splitting away from the rest of the Endless.
Destruction called a family meeting of the Endless, and announced to Dream and the rest of his family that he was abandoning his duties as one of the Endless and taking his leave of them for good.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, where Lady Constantine and her thugs ambushed them. Rumors of their centennial meetings had spread, and she believed they were the Devil and the Wandering Jew. She intended to kidnap them and learn what she could from them, but Dream put her thugs to sleep and put Constantine in a dreamlike state where she was haunted by those whose lives she’d sacrificed to advance her own agendas.
Dream came to Lady Constantine and offered her a reward in exchange for help in an affair he couldn’t directly involve himself in since it involved his estranged son. He sent Constantine to retrieve Orpheus’ head, which had been stolen from a temple in Naxos and fallen into possession of the French government. Dream needed to send her advice in dreams when Maximilien Robespierre captured her, but she eventually succeeded.
Despair presented Joshua Norton to Dream. Despair had driven him towards ruin and suicide, and speaking for herself, Delirium and Despair, challenged Dream to save him through dreams. Dream found that Norton craved success and respect, so he gave him the dream of being Emperor of the United States. Norton followed his dream, running a bulletin in the newspaper proclaiming himself Norton I. Death met with Dream and told him she had her doubts about what he was doing.
Dream checked on the progress of Norton I. Delirium met Dream, and told him she thought Norton should belong to her, but despite believing himself Emperor of the United States he was totally sane. Dream pointed out that it was madness that kept him sane.
Dream met with Desire to look in on Emperor Norton I. Desire, through his/her agent the King of Pain, offered Norton the world, but he refused. Dream proved his hold on Norton could not be assailed by Desire. Dream told Desire s/he wasn’t very subtle in her tactics, and s/he was outraged, and promised to get even with Dream for the insult.
Norton I died, and Dream won his challenge against Despair. He never entered her realm once between the time Dream gave him his dream of being emperor and the time he died.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob noted that he’d met other immortals in the past like Jason Blood and Mad Hettie. Hob used to think Dream was just curious as to what an immortal man would do with himself, but after seeing how many other immortals were out there he’d decided that Dream was looking for a friend. Dream told him that he had no need for mortal friends, and stormed out of the tavern. Hob said that if Dream met him again in a hundred years time it would be because they were friends, and for no other reason.
Imprisonment of Inspiration
On the night of June 10th, 1916, British occultist Roderick Burgess and his Order of Ancient Mysteries accidentally summoned Dream while trying to summon and imprison Death. Drained from a recent odyssey, Dream was no match for Burgess, who stole his ruby, helm and pouch and held him captive in a crystal prison in the basement of his house in Wych Cross. Burgess hoped Dream could be coerced into setting up a trap for his sister, but Dream refused to speak to him.
Dream’s imprisonment led to worldwide problems. Some people slept all day, while others couldn’t sleep or experienced waking dreams. Among those affected was Wesley Dodds whose nightmares only stopped when he became the mysteryman Sandman and fought crime.
Meanwhile, in November of 1930, the items Burgess had stolen from Dream were in turn stolen by his second-in-command, Ruthven Sykes and mistress, Ethel Cripps. Sykes traded the helm to Choronzon for an amulet to protect himself from Burgess’ wrath, only to lose it, and the pouch and ruby, when Cripps walked out on him in 1936.
Roderick died in 1947 and Alex Burgess took over as Dream’s captor. Over the next 40 years, he too attempted to negotiate with Dream, to no avail. Meanwhile, the Order fell apart.
On September 14th, 1988, after another failed attempt to get Dream to talk to him, Alex, now confined to a wheelchair, was taken back to his room, but not before one of the wheels on his chair scuffed the binding circle, breaking the enchantmant that prevented Dream from entering the minds of mortals. One of his guards fell asleep on duty, allowing him to tap into the power of dreams and make his escape from his crystal prison. He confronted Alex Burgess in dreams and demanded his helm, pouch and ruby back. Alex told him they were stolen long ago by Sykes and begged for mercy, but Dream cursed him with a never-ending nightmare.
On his way back to the Dreaming, Dream met Marco Polo in one of the Soft Places, where time and space shift like sand. Marco gave Dream water, and in gratitude Dream helped Marco leave the Soft Place, back to the year 1273 and the Desert of Lop, his point of entry.
Dream returned to the Dreaming, but escaping his prison took a lot out of him, and he collapsed on the way to his castle. He was taken to the House of Mystery and cared for by Cain and Abel. Once he was strong enough he went to his castle, and found it in shambles. Lucien, his only servant loyal enough to have stayed at the castle during Dream’s imprisonment told him the Dreaming had suffered because of his absence. He summoned the Three Witches, and they gave him clues as to where he could find his helm, pouch and ruby.
Quest of the Vestments of Dream
Dream found John Constantine, who had possession of his pouch at one point. John told him it was stolen by his ex-girlfriend Rachel, so they went to her residence. Rachel had abused the power of the pouch to get high, and inadvertently loosed dreams into the waking world. Dream took back his pouch, which was the only thing keeping Rachel alive. At Constantine’s insistence Dream let her die peacefully with a pleasant dream of Constantine in her mind.
Dream journeyed to Hell to reclaim his helm. Etrigan met him at the gates of Hell and offered to take him to Lucifer. Etrigan intentionally led him past Nada, the woman he’d long ago condemned to Hell. She begged him to end her suffering, and Dream told her he loved her but hadn’t forgiven her. He met with Lucifer, and learned that the duke of Hell Choronzon had the helm. Choronzon challenged Dream to a duel, a game in which they would fight by altering reality and alternately choosing something in creation that would vanquish their opponent’s choice. Dream used hope to defeat Choronzon’s anti-life. Dream got his helm back and Lucifer punished Choronzon. Lucifer threatened Dream, and Dream reminded him that dreams kept hope alive in Hell, and without that hope Hell would lose it’s purpose. Lucifer let Dream leave Hell, but vowed to one day destroy him.
Dream visited Mr. Miracle and the Martian Manhunter of the Justice League because he knew one of their old foes had his ruby. They told him that Dr. Destiny was the one who used the ruby, which was currently being stored in a JLA warehouse in the town of Mayhew. Dream found his ruby, but Destiny had altered it to the point that Dream couldn’t use it. When he picked it up it drained away a good portion of Dream’s power, and he collapsed to the floor. Destiny came by the warehouse and took away the ruby. When Dream awoke he found Destiny in a diner, using the ruby to drive people to madness and suicide. Destiny wouldn’t give back the ruby, so Dream challenged him to a duel in the Dreaming. After an intense battle, Destiny destroyed the ruby, hoping this would also destroy dream. Instead all of the power Dream had placed in the ruby returned to him. Dream returned Destiny to his cell in Arkham Asylum.
Dream was feeding pigeons in a park when his sister Death said hello. He told her that he felt directionless after having completed his quest of retrieving what Roderick Burgess had stolen from him. She yelled at him, for not talking to her sooner and told him he was acting like a child. Dream accompanied her as she went about her work, and gave him some insights into their relationship with humans.
Dream had Lucien do a census of the Dreaming and found four major dreams had gone missing in Dream’s absence, Brute, Glob, the Corinthian and Fiddler’s Green. Dream discovered a dream vortex was coming into power, and her name was Rose Walker. He watched her from her dreams and sent Matthew the Raven to keep tabs on her in the waking world. He learned that she was searching for her brother Jed, and strangely enough Dream couldn’t find Jed’s dreamself anywhere in the Dreaming. While Dream was in prison Brute and Glob created a false Dreaming called the Dream Dimension inside of Jed’s mind and tried to create their own Dream King, one under their control. Dream dismantled the Dream Dimension and banished Brute and Glob to a dark part of the true Dreaming. Although Dream found Brute and Glob’s Sandman (Hector Hall) to be somewhat amusing, he nonetheless sent Sandman, who was a ghost, into the afterlife. Dream told Sandman’s enraged wife Fury that the child she would soon have had been carried so long in the Dream Dimension that it belonged to him, and he would one day come to claim it.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob admitted he had doubted that Dream would show up. Dream told him it would have been impolite to keep a friend waiting.
Sandman found Rose Walker at a serial killer Cereal Convention, and saved her from being murdered by Fun Land. He also found the Corinthian at the convention, and told him he was disappointed in him. He’d created the Corinthian as a nightmare to be a dark reflection of humanity, but the Corinthian was now a common killer. Dream admitted he’d made Corinthian poorly, so he unmade the nightmare. Dream then turned to the collected serial killers and took away their dreams of grandeur and self-importance. Rose Walker’s vortex powers began to manifest, merging the dreams of everyone in her apartment building. Dream appeared to her dream self and told her that she would destroy the Dreaming if her vortex powers were left unabated, so as much as he regretted it he had to end her life. Rose’s friend Fiddler’s Green offered his life for Rose’s, but Dream told him it didn’t work that way. Rose’s dying grandmother Unity Kinkaid appeared in the Dreaming and told Dream she would have been the vortex if Dream hadn’t been imprisoned during her lifetime. She reclaimed the vortex power from Rose, then passed away, sparing both Rose’s life and the Dreaming. Dream found that Desire was Rose’s grandfather, and confronted her. He knew s/he was the one who made sure the vortex power was passed onto Rose, because it fulfilled Desire’s scheme to see Dream brought to ruin. If Dream had killed Rose he would have killed his own kin, and thus brought the Kindly Ones down on his head. Dream warned Desire to stay out of his affairs and to abandon her plans of destroying him.
Dream found his former lover Calliope imprisoned by writer Richard Madoc. Dream asked him to free her, but he refused. Without Calliope, Richard would no longer have the inspiration he needed to write. Dream overloaded Madoc’s mind with ideas for stories, bringing Madoc to the point of madness, so he agreed to free Calliope. Calliope was surprised that Dream had forgiven their past differences and that he would save her. After his recent ordeals Dream was learning that he could change, and change for the better.
Dream, as the Cat of Dreams, gave council to a dreaming cat mourning the loss of her children, killed at her master’s hands. The Cat of Dreams revealed that cats once ruled the world, but humans dreamed of a world where they ruled, and thus changed the universe from the beginning of time to the end. Dreams shape the world, and the cat could change it back if enough cats dreamed the same dream.
Journey To Hell
Destiny called a gathering of the Endless, telling them a meeting with the Fates made him aware that he had to call the family gathering to set in motion a chain of events that would cause change and upheaval. During the course of conversation Desire got under Dream’s skin by reminding him of Nada. Dream was indignant, but Death said she agreed with Desire, sending his lover to Hell for spurning him was an awful thing to do. Dream vowed to make amends by journeying to Hell and saving Nada’s soul. Dream made preparations for his journey to Hell. He gathered the dreams of the Dreaming and gave them instructions on maintaining the Dreaming should he fail to return. He didn’t want to Dreaming to fall into ruin like when Burgess captured him. He sent Cain to Hell to announce his upcoming visit, and visited Lyta Hall’s son. She screamed for him to keep away, but Dream told her she had no reason to fear him at the present, and he named her son Daniel. Lastly Dream visited Hob Gadling in dreams and shared a bottle of wine with him. Dream then entered Hell to find Lucifer Morningstar, tired of his role of the adversary, resigned as ruler of Hell. He had cast out every last demon, never-born and damned soul from his realm, including Nada. At Lucifer’s request Dream cut off his wings. Lucifer fulfilled his promise to destroy Dream by handing him the key to Hell, thus making Dream its rightful ruler.
Guardian of Hell
Dream returned to the Dreaming and asked for Death’s advice on what he should do with Hell. She was confident he’d figure things out, and she was very busy containing all the souls Lucifer freed from Hell. An envoy of representatives from Heaven, Hell, Asgard, Faerie and numerous other realms and pantheons all arrived at Dreams’ castle. They all sought the key to Hell, and all wanted an audience with Dream.
Dream served a banquet for the emissaries seeking control of Hell, then met with them privately. Odin offered him a glass ball containing a notional Ragnarok, and inside the ball was the Sandman (Wesley Dodds), who contained a piece of Dream’s soul. The Lords of Chaos threatened him, the Lords of Order tried to reason with Dream. Susano-o-no-Mikoto offered anything, and Bast claimed to have information that could lead Dream to his prodigal brother Destruction. Azazel of Hell revealed he had Nada as his captive and threatened to devour her if Hell wasn’t returned to the demons. Dream couldn’t decide who to give Hell to, but the decision was taken out of his hands when the angels Duma and Remiel informed him that the Creator chose them to resume control of Hell. Dream handed over the key to them and announced the news to the emissaries. Azazel was upset and threatened to devour Nada’s soul then and there. He renounced Dream’s hospitality, enabling Dream to save Nada and imprison Azazel in a glass bottle.
Dream discovered Loki had switched places with Susano-o-no-Mikato while the rest of the emissaries were watching Dream and Azazel fight. Dream freed Susano from the torment Odin reserved for Loki, but instead of retuning to Loki to his punishment he put a dream image in his place. Dream told Loki he was now in Dream’s debt. The last emissary to leave was Cluracan of Faerie who gave Dream his sister Nuala as a servant, a gift from the Faerie queen Titania. Dream apologized to Nada, although it wasn’t an easy thing for him to do, and offered her a chance to be reborn. She accepted the gift, and her soul was reborn into a newborn in Hong Kong.
Sandman observed the Land, one of the distant skerries of the Dreaming. He noted that it was dying and kept his eye on it, as he originally created it for his old lover Alianora. The Cuckoo destroyed the porpentine and hierogram of the Land, and because of the terms of the compact Dream made when he created the Land, he was bound to unmake the Land and it’s inhabitants. The second part of compact was a boon for Barbie, the last ruler of the Land. Barbies friends had entered the Dreaming to save her from the Cuckoo, but had no way to return home, so she asked Dream to send her, Thessaly, Hazel and Foxglove back to the waking world safe and sound.
Dream and Thessaly fell in love and Dream made a room for her in his castle in the Dreaming. They spent all their time in the castle or walking in Fiddler’s Green. Thessaly left Dream, and he tried his best to forget her, forbidding his palace staff from mentioning her. He went into deep brooding, causing awful weather throughout the Dreaming.
Quest of Destruction
Delirium visited the Dreaming and begged Dream to help her find their prodigal brother Destruction. Seeking some diversion from his break-up with Thessaly, Dream agreed to help her. They visited the ex-god Pharamond who provided them with transportation in the waking world. They sought out Destruction’s old friends, the first they visited was a lawyer named Bernard Capax, who had died under unusual circumstances the day before. This and the fact that their chauffer Ruby DeLonge died in a freak fire led Dream to suspect that forces were conspiring against their quest to find Destruction. Delirium took over as chauffeur, but she didn’t know how to drive, so Dream summoned Matthew the Raven from the Dreaming to give her some pointers. The trio visited Isthar, a goddess of love reduced to working in a strip club. She didn’t know where Destruction was, so Dream warned her about the rash of accidents happening to Destruction’s old acquiescences, and left. Isthar was soon destroyed, and Dream, realizing the repercussions of their quest, called it off. He soon reconsidered, and after visiting Bast, Death and Destiny for advice he sought out an oracle, his estranged son Orpheus. Dream swallowed his pride and learned from Orpheus that Destruction lived on a small Greek isle. In exchange for the information Dream promised to end Orpheus’ miserable existence after he met with Destruction. Dream and Delirium dined with Destruction and learned that the deaths accompanying their trip to see him were a result of safeguards Destruction set up in case anyone came looking for him. It was the death of the mortal Ruby that spurred Dream on in finding Destruction, and Destruction commented that Dream had changed greatly in recent years, seeing mortals as something other than characters in dreams. After some quality time together Destruction declined Dream’s offer to return to the Endless, and then departed from the Earthly plane of existence altogether. Dream returned to his son Orpheus and ended his life, then went back to the Dreaming to grieve.
At Nuala’s request Dream entered the realm of Aurelian and freed Cluracan from imprisonment at the hands of Carnifex Carys XXXV.
On a parallel Earth Dream saved Prez from Boss Smiley’s clutches in that world’s afterlife. Prez wanted to travel to other Earths and other Americas to run for president and change those Americas for the better like he did on his own world. Dream opened a doorway to other worlds and told Prez to go where he was needed.
Dream created a new Corinthian and briefly spoke with Matthew the Raven. Matthew wanted to know what happened to ravens once their service to him was finished, but Dream declined to answer.
Cluracan sought an audience with Dream, and on behalf of Titania he asked to take Nuala back to Faerie. Dream told Nuala she could go, and as a reward for her loyal service to the Dreaming he enchanted her pendant so that if she needed him she could summon him.
Dream met with Hob Gadling, who was mourning his recently deceased lover Audrey. He asked Dream to make the man who killed her in a hit-and-run realize how special she was, and Dream made it so. Hob told Dream that he had the smell of death about him, and asked him to be careful.
Dream brought the new Corinthian to life and sent him and Matthew to the waking world to rescue Daniel Hall from Loki and Robin Goodfellow. Odin visited the Dreaming and told Dream he knew he’s allowed Loki to escape from his prison in the center the Earth. Odin expressed disappointment, but warned Dream that Loki hated being in anyone’s debt and would surely try to destroy Dream for his help. Dream threw himself into his responsibilities running the Dreaming, and was met by Delirium, who told him she lost Barnabus, Destruction’s talking dog. Dream conscripted a nightmare to help her find him. Lyta Hall and the Kindly One’s arrived at Dream’s castle, and after killing his gatekeeper Gryphon they demanded an audience with him. Lyta mistakenly believed Dream killed her son Daniel because Dream once told her Daniel belonged to him since he gestated in the Dreaming. She demanded vengeance, which is why she merged with the Kindly Ones. The Kindly Ones told Dream he was their legitimate prey, to drive to madness and destroy, since he had spilled family blood by killing Orpheus. After the Kindly Ones left Dream checked in on Matthew and the Corinthian to see if they’d found Daniel, but they were still working at it. Dream had a funeral for his Gryphon.
Dream came to Thessaly in the waking world because Thessaly was guarding the physical body of Lyta Hall. Thessaly was still bitter over their breakup, so she created a circle of protection that prevented Dream from killing Lyta and ending the threat of the Kindly Ones.
Death of a Dream
Dream considered what to do about the Kindly Ones as they murdered his loyal dreams and began wrecking the Dreaming. Nuala chose that moment to call in her boon, calling Dream away from the Dreaming to Faerie in hopes of saving him. She didn’t know that the only way the Kindly Ones could destroy him was if he left the Dreaming. Dream and Nuala spoke, and when she asked him if he wanted to be punished for Orpheus’s death he thought about it and realized how much he’d changed since he was released from Roderick Burgess prison. Dream returned to the Dreaming to find the Corinthian had saved Daniel. Once Lyta realized Daniel was all right she told the Kindly Ones not to hurt Dream, but once they were set in motion the Kindly Ones couldn’t be stopped. Dream had words with Daniel, giving him the eagle dreamstone and letting him know that when Dream died Daniel would become the new Dream of the Endless. Matthew insisted on accompanying him to the borders of nightmare where Dream would make his stand against the Kindly Ones, but when they arrived Dream made Matthew leave. Death met Dream and correctly guessed that he’d let things go so far because he wanted to leave his role as Dream of the Endless, but couldn’t abandon his post like Destruction did. The Kindly Ones arrived but Dream would not fight them, he allowed them to destroy him in order to save the Dreaming, and Death took Dream. Dream’s role in the Endless was assumed by Daniel.