OK, managed a little more play in between celebratory events: On the way back, the stick actually pointed back north on a somewhat different path, but eventually led me back to the village site. (I got back way faster, because my excursion had led me to a TC magical forest -- the multiple chests there finally netted me a broom, as well as a couple more vengance boxes.)
At a guess, the stick is pointing to places where there would be temples, if the site weren't deep ocean. And this world has a lot of oceans, so if there's a tendency for them to line up N/S, I might have been passing far enough past one deep-ocean site, to be pointing to the next one. (ETA: Looking at the config files... every 250th chunk? I should have seen some anyway, in that huge mesa....)
Suggestion: If you change the placement again, perhaps you could add a config option to retrogen the temples....
It's good to hear you finally found one.
I thought of adding retrogen for temples as well (and it definitely can be done), but I still haven't done this because it's a bit more dangerous than just respawning ores as these are smaller. Maybe I'll look into it in the future.