Nicolai came from a wealthy Triscan clan, which owned the largest cherry orchard on The Land. However, he never had much interest in the family business, and from a young age was fascinated by the idea of magic. So, at the age of 16, he left home and traveled to Sorret, where he became the first apprentice of Durell, who had just that year become a master-adept. (When not studying, he spent much of his free time at a club called Finnegan's, as did a few of his friends, including a younger apprentice named Merril.) Nicolai graduated to adept status in 892, after ten years of study. At that point, he began traveling the world, as an adventurer. In 899, however, Durell recruited him for the project suggested by Merv, of sending Sorreters to various villages to help establish inter-village gangs. He happened to be in Plist at the time, and so ended up joining LandOrder, within the department of chief Sorreter Azura.
In his early teens, before moving to Sorret, Nicolai had spent some time in a relatively small, but highly organized and clandestine local gang (it's unknown whether it even had a name). One of his main activities was dealing a drug made from purpleshade, which was made by an apothecary within his clan. Nicolai himself sometimes used this drug, and brought some with him to Sorret, when he moved there. At some point, he introduced the drug to his master, Durell (who never used the stuff himself, but was interested in its effects). Purpleshade is known to produce an enhanced sense of loneliness or melancholy, which can be counteracted by close companionship with good friends (or family, etc.) Such companionship then stimulates a sense of euphoria, and a greater appreciation of the people the user interacts with. When he secretly contacted the elves in 901, Durell came up with a plan to distribute this drug in Woodstockade, to help foster a desire among elves to reunite with human society, when the time came. He also sent a number of Sorreters there, including Nicolai, to train certain sorcerers in spells which had been developed since the elves' banishment in 773, including translocation. Some of these Sorreters would work with upstanding members of society, while others worked with sorcerers who were involved with gangs. Nicolai went to Woodstockade not only on behalf of Durell, but also of Landorder.
There was, in 902, an incident which caused Nicolai to have a falling out with his former master, as well as the local gangsters he'd been working with. (These gangsters would later officially join LandOrder, in 903.) And so, he returned to Plist, where he told Azura he was quitting the gang. But he recommended his old friend Merill, who was looking to get away from Sorret. (As it happened, Merril was also an old friend of Azura's, so she was happy to hire him.)
Subsequently, Nicolai took a job with a livestock-trading company called Stock-in-Trade. In 907, the company began importing leopcoats from a Stockadian company run by Emannus Des'Rosset. And in 910, Nicolai got the idea of enchanting leopcoats to fly. It is this for which he is best known. But while it is believed that he has not had any direct dealings with gangs since 902, it was in 904 that Des'Rosset and Nicolai's sister, Nicole Kriek, along with Rocher Zelcorner, worked together to simultaneously found branches of InterGang in Woodstockade, Triscot, and Jump Village. One cannot help but speculate as to whether Nicolai had any part in that arrangement; possibly he had met Des'Rosset during his time in Woodstockade, before the current InterGang don had any intention of joining a gang.
In 904, when the surname law was passed, Nicole chose the name "Kriek" for herself. But Nicolai didn't want to draw attention to the fact that he was related to a known gangster, so instead he chose the name "Blitz." This comes from a Terran language in which it means "lightning." He chose the name because after he first returned to his family as a Sorreter, and showed off his new skills, they were quite impressed by translocation, and said it was like he moved "faster than lightning."