This is Gonzoron from over on the Fraternity of Shadows. Glad you're enjoying our netbook! As a bit of explanation, Quoth the Raven accepts articles from our community, and isn't an attempt to form a cohesive canon. Some of the articles are easy drop ins for any Ravenloft campaign. Some are more radical departures to address whatever issues the author might see in the canon material. In the case of the Nova Vaasa article, the author wanted to streamline the cultural references, since all other noble names in the domain are slavic sounding, so Tristen Hiregaard became Dmitri stan
ov. (clever, I thought). In addition, she felt that for Malken to be the darklord, it made more sense that he started as a real person, rather than a curse, or a fragment of an otherwise "good" person. So, it's a deliberate departure from canon that revises his story completely. Of course, given the multiple published
versions of Malken's backstory, it's hard to say what's canon with him anyway.
You'll see similar departures in the re-imaginings of Barovia and Pharazia later in the book. (Whereas my own Demise article is meant as an expansion of canon, not a revision, since it will eventually be included in our Sea of Sorrows Gazetteer. Of course, Demise has precious little canon to work with, so it was easy to avoid contradictions there!)
In summary, as with any D&D source, take what you want, drop what you don't like, and feel free to use Rule 0 as needed. Enjoy!