Recently one guy (the creator of Cube World) conceived similar idea to mine about replacing experience by auto-generated relics:
Wow! I thought my idea is unique :( well, at least his game is real-time and more minecrafteish (read legend of Zelda based). Also, the fans who funded his kickstarter got really angry that he totally redesigned everything since the alpha, so there is a huge drama. Good thing I have no fans, funders or any responsibilities :D
And Cube World also has circular rivers, which flow upwards, due to how perlin noise works: https://youtu.be/Oko9vr5WpS4?t=908
Circular rivers is the symbol of our time!