What if you send the players in a dungeon that was already raided? Maybe you could have traps that are already set off, or the corpses of monsters etc.
A place where an architect has built a temple/shrine to an evil god inside the walls of another building, a castle or another place of importance.
What if a mage passes his powers on to his firstborn son, and a female mage to her first daughter, leaving the parent POWERLESS? A plain mortal, a sorcerer no longer, all wizardly might gone?
Or: what if a female wizard recieves the power of a mage who sires a child with her? Could lead to promiscuous witches and overly careful mages.