If mana recovered slowly enough, and mages could pass it on freely between them, the ephemeral force would become a valuable trading commodity on its own.
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.
What if cancer is not an ailment if one has a will powerful enough, and knows what do do. What if one using the right techniques could control it and use it to become immortal, or to grow into something else?
Pick up a pathology/microbiology book, and add the diseases/syndroms to your game. Your players will freak out.
Coughed at? Diphteria. or tuberculosis?
Drunk from a muddy stream? Or just walked through? Well, let us introduce you to schistosomiasis...
Hit by a stream of energy? Too moch mana is ust like too much radioactivity - perhaps all mages could develop cancer early if too powerful...
Orcish currency is derived from glass beads. The art of glassworking is well beyond them, but perhaps the orcs have something of value to the civilized races, such as animal pelts, and well made axes, and bows. The humans trade beads for the goods, and the orcs will trade the beads amongst themselves as a form of their own currency. Perhaps they value blood red beads above all others, or animistic orcs favor beads in the colors of their gods.
Inspired by Indian trade beads, some of which could be quite ornate and beautiful. Most North American Indian beads were made in Italy. Surprise!