Zed is a exterminator, a savage warrior living in a post-apocalyptic future world. Like all exterminators, Zed worships a stone head called Zardoz as a god. Zardoz promises all those who worship that when they die, they will go to the Vortex, a community inhabited by immortal men and women. Zed finds himself in Zardoz's mouth and Zardoz arrives in the Vortex. Zed's arrival in the Vortex begins to cause disruption, as Zed sets out to discover the secrets of Zardoz. Where Zed encounters a stranger named Arthur Frayn in a library and Arthur teaches Zed to read and reveals Zardoz's secrets, which could bring about the fall of all life in The Vortex and lead Zed to giving the immortals, the gift of death!