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Roderick Burgess was born in 1863 as Morris Burgess Brocklesby. He became an infamous magician, even rivaling Aleister Crowley.

In order for everyone to become immortal, he decided to capture Death via a magical circle. He enlisted the aid of Dr. John Hathaway, who gave him the Magdalene Grimoire. But when the spell was cast, it was Dream that was captured in a glass globe. But he made the best of the situation, and took Dream's helmet, ruby and pouch. Throughout the rest of his life, Roderick tries to bargain with Dream immortality for release, but Dream remains steadfast. Eventually, still imprisoned, Dream watches Roderick die, heartbroken over his mortality. He died in 1947. Roderick has a son, Alex Roderick, who took over his father's estate and notorious magical order.

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