Not much of a blog post today because I fell behind on NaNoWriMo this weekend. It turns out the ice wastes weren't as interesting as I had hoped, and I think I treated the ice giants a lot more problematically than I needed to. Those chapters are going to be a major location for rearranging later -- I think I need to rebuild the motivation of my ice giant character, Visyth, entirely. For another detail that's going to have to wait for the second draft for full-scale implementation, I've got a pretty good idea of what more established races to make my two thus-far unassigned groups, the islandfolk and the spirefolk.
I don't want to call the islandfolk mermaids, because I think their living on boats and islands, rather than in the water, is too big a departure from the mythology of mermaids -- who are literally biologically structured to live in the water. (Though, there are also several examples of monstrous versions of races, and mermaids might make a good counterpart for islandfolk in that regard. --I don't mean that there are races that are inherently monstrous, but that there are particular ways in which individual groups push magic too far. For example, vampires are elves that have pursued immortality beyond the threshold of moral decency, and use magics that steal life from others to keep themselves functioning.)
On the other hand, water spirits seem like a good source. The examples I like most are Nixie and Selkies, both of which are pretty damn close to mermaids. Transformation magic may have to figure into the islandfolk to bring them closer to a reasonably fantastical form, and avoid them just being 'human.' (I really want to avoid making anyone just the normal humans, against whom the other races would thereafter automatically seem to be deviations.)
For spirefolk, there are lots of examples of winged or birdlike mythological creatures. Alkonost look good, based on their Wikipedia page they seem like the lore would fit into spirefolk culture. I also like the idea of the spirefolk being compared to or called angels -- being flying humanoid mythological creatures, it would fit really well if so many people on earth didn't think they were real. I may also borrow Valkyrie for some small group of spirefolk.
I will definitely need to research more about all of these groups before committing to any of them, as it's important to me that I'm not blatantly stomping all over a mythological tradition I don't understand or appreciate. (I'm trying to stay mostly away from non-european mythology for that reason, since at least I come from a cultural line of descent from Europe.)