I've become devote to the exploits of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden and have been trying to figure out something in the well-crafted stories. It is the transcendance of the value of life.
You see, one of the things that happens all of the time in these books is that Harry Dresden and other mortal humans bump heads with creatures that do not die. So I keep wondering why the immortals bargain with humans and find them worthy opponents. The immortals obviously have access to orders of magnitude more information / knowledge / wisdom, and yet with scorn and disgust, they deal with mere mortal humans whose powers are so much weaker. Doesn't it make sense that if you could not die or be permanently injured that you wouldn't particularly hesitate?
There may be somthing engineered in the narrative of author Jim Butcher that suspends our disbelief, and perhaps there is no need to be logical when we're reading fantasy, but then I came upon an insight yesterday listening to a particular passage. It had to do with the idea of the infinite politics in the Never Never, that netherworld where the magical immortal creatures live. Without the consolation of death, nothing focuses the mind of eternal beings. When you have all eternity to exist, you might very well waste 100 years being a bitch just to be that. You might learn to connive everything possible without the use of intellect, but soley on physical beauty for 200 years. Or you might decide that revenge and dark perfidy is all you want to do for a millenium.
As a programmer, I am always put in the position of telling people who don't know what I think they need to know about the limits of systems. But that doesn't stop them from wanting what they want, nor does the absolute no of a product limitation stop the politics from trying to squeeze blood from a stone. One might be the general the president wants to defend and indefensible position on the battlefield, and you are just one mortal general in a line of hundreds of men who want your job, none of whom can produce the impossible result. But when you're immortal, you don't need to care.
When you're immortal, politics are infinite. Every faerie, ghoul, ghost, zombie, and vampire can be what they want, when they want, made real and solid because of their desire. It is the only the drama of desire that animates the spirit world, the laws of physics can be ignored when the time horizon expands.
The other thing I think I figured out was that mortals had to be interesting because they were either foolish of poignantly prescient in the extreme short period of time they have, relatively speaking. It makes each of their limited decisions that more important. Each of their 4000 orgasms more meaningful. All of their energies and discipline directed towards something that had to be transcendent.
There's a lot to this - exactly why immortals would care about mortals. Perhaps in the same way men care about dogs.