The Endless are a somewhat dysfunctional family of seven siblings. They may appear in different forms, but usually have light skin and black hair, with the exception of redheads Destruction and Delirium. Their appearance can change to fit the expectations of others. When asked by Marco Polo if he is always so pale, Dream replies, "That depends on who's watching."
The Endless spend most of their time fulfilling their functions as embodiments of natural forces. For example, Death leads the souls of the dead away from the realm of the living, while Dream oversees the realm of dreams and imagination ("The Dreaming") and regulates dreams and inspiration. One notable facet of their depiction is that none of them are "representations" or "personifications" of their function, they simply are their function; as Sto-Oa says of Death in Endless Nights, "She is Death, just as he is Dream, and that one is Desire." In The Sandman (vol. 2) #48, Destruction gives a further description of the Endless:
"The Endless are merely patterns. The Endless are ideas. The Endless are wave functions. The Endless are repeating motifs. The Endless are echoes of darkness, and nothing more... And even our existences are brief and bounded. None of us will last longer than this version of the Universe."
Some of the Endless are more dedicated to their tasks than others. The younger Endless, especially Desire, are known to play games with mortal lives. Destruction, often called "The Prodigal", abandoned his duties altogether. If one of the Endless is destroyed, then he or she will be replaced by another aspect of their role, but this does not occur if they are simply absent or inactive. In such cases, the aspect of existence supervised by that member of the Endless becomes more random and chaotic. During this time the Universe may attempt to replace that member by putting some of their essence within a mortal, as it did with Wesley Dodds, who received a fraction of Dream's soul while Dream was imprisoned.
Each of the Endless has a realm in which they are absolutely sovereign. Within their realm, each member of the Endless has a gallery containing symbols, or sigils, of the other Endless. The Endless may contact each other by holding the appropriate sigil and calling for that member of the Endless. Destiny is also able to summon his siblings by using his gallery of portraits, whether they want it or not (as seen in The Sandman : Overture).