Volume I of The Sandman Library, a collection of Neil Gaiman's amazing comic book about the Lord of Dreams.

This volume opens in 1916, in a manor in the English countryside. A man named Roderick Burgess recieves a valuable magic tome, the Magdalene Grimoire. He uses the tome in an occult ritual designed to capture the personification of Death itself.

Unfortunately for Mr. Burgess's plan (though perhaps fortunately for the world), the spell misfires, and instead captures Death's younger brother Morpheus, the personification of Dream. Seeking to make the most of the situation, Burgess and his associates imprison Morpheus and take from him three artifacts which contain the bulk of his power: A ruby, a bag of sand, and a mask.

Well, Morpheus's imprisonment leads to a rash of sleep related afflictions around the world, and his tools quickly fall into the wrong hands. In the end, seventy years pass before Morpheus is able to escape.

When he does, he takes revenge on his current captor, Roderic Burgess's son, and proceeds to retrieve his tools, facing wild dreams, the hosts of Hell, and a madman who had used his ruby to gain unspeakable power in the process.

Finally restored to his full strength, Morpheus still feels something missing, however an outing with his sister, Death, reminds him that he has a purpose, and he sets off to rebuild his world.