Cordwood "Cordy" Mather appeared for the first time in the book Shadow Games.

Cordy was the son of an honest tax assessor who brewed his own beer in the Free City of Roses. He served in the military, and later traveled thousands of miles south with his friend Willow Swan. On the way, they rescued a man named Blade who had been thrown to the crocodiles by priests. Blade joined them in their travels and they became a close-knit group.

Taglios had been pacifist for generations, so the Taglian royal family approached him, Swan, and Blade, to organize the protection of Taglios against the first invasion from the armies of the Shadowmasters. He used tricks that he had learned from the Black Company's campaign near Roses to trick the Shadowlanders army into small prepared towns which were burned around them. These would turn out to be the opening skirmishes of the Shadowmaster wars. They destroyed the five thousand man force sent against them, north of the Main, and set out to welcome the Black Company and attempt to enlist them into service.

Cordy watched the Battle of Dejagore from afar, and witnessed the Taglian forces lose. Taglios had become his home, so he began work to continue its defense and the war against the Shadowmasters.

He became a paramour of the Radisha Drah, the sister of Taglios's prince, the Prahbrindrah Drah, who placed him in command of the Royal Guards. He served closely as her adviser at this time and was sent out to investigate the progress of the war as Croaker launches the Battle of Charandaprash and the Siege of Overlook. He was captured by Croaker's forces after the Prahbrindrah betrayed the Company. Croaker brought the Prahbrindrah along as a high-value prisoner during his ill-fated expedition onto the Plain of Glittering Stone. Cordy and Willow Swan, in their roles as Royal Guards, accompanied the Prince. Halfway across the Plain inside the Fortress With No Name, Soulcatcher trapped him, along with the rest of the Captured, in the Cave of the Ancients.

For reasons unknown, he awakened from his stasis in the ice cavern. Panicking, and unaware of the dangers, he attempted to awaken seven nearby men: Wheezer, Candles, Longinus, a pair of Shadar soldiers, and a pair of Nyueng Bao bodyguards. But as he did so without the requisite sorcerous precautions, those he touched all died. He then attempted to crawl down a small side passage, but was killed by the poisoned pin of a mechanical booby trap placed there by ancient Stranglers.