In the distant future Earth is divided into two camps, the barely civilized group and the overly civilized one with mental powers. A plague is attacking the second group after which its members cease to have any interest in life and become nearly catatonic. When Sean Connery one of the barbarians, crosses over, the tenuous balance in their world is threatened.Brutals are told that when they die they will go to the vortex, where the Eternals live immortally. Zed, zihin Exterminator-class brutal who worships the stone head Zardoz, comes upon an old library where a mysterious stranger teaches him how to read. When he finds a copy of L. Frank Baums The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he sets out to learn the secret of the god he worships, and disrupts life in the vortex.