I’m a fairytale enthusiast and I just finished a re-watch of the King’s Quest series, so I’d love to fangir- I mean, make suggestions!
Some of my favorite lesser-known mythic creatures are the firebird, water panther, and karkadan. The firebird is quite different than the phoenix in its’ portrayal and role in stories, though few people realize this. I love reading the variations of the firebird myth (and Ivan’s adventures). The symbolism of the bird and the elements surrounding it (the golden apples, the garden and cage) and how it affects the other characters has often been of interest to me.
I’ve never seen anyone use the water panther in a story, but I’m very curious about it. I’d like to see interpretations and expositions on the legends.
And I’ve been playing around with the concept of the karkadan for some time now. It’s one of those beasts that I wish more fantasy writers were aware of because it would make such a splendid opponent!
You said you were interested in ‘misinterpreted’ creatures? In that case, I’d love to see more classical portrayals of the fae/faerie (perhaps the Celtic and Irish legends in particular). That race has been huge in the fantasy market for the last decade, but I haven’t seen many versions that truly felt mythic.
There are lots more beasties I’d like to see, but those were the first ones that came to mind.